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Bishop (Catholic Church)

Bishop (Catholic Church)

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In the Catholic Church, a bishop is an ordained
Holy Orders
The term Holy Orders is used by many Christian churches to refer to ordination or to those individuals ordained for a special role or ministry....

 minister
Minister (Catholic Church)
In the Catholic Church the term minister enjoys a variety of usages. It most commonly refers to the person, whether lay or ordained, who is commissioned to perform some act on behalf of the Church...

 who holds the fullness of the sacrament
Sacraments of the Catholic Church
The Sacraments of the Catholic Church are, the Roman Catholic Church teaches, "efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper...

 of Holy Orders
Holy Orders
The term Holy Orders is used by many Christian churches to refer to ordination or to those individuals ordained for a special role or ministry....

 and is responsible for teaching the Catholic faith and ruling the Church.

The office of bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 traces its origin to the apostles, who were endowed with a special charism
Charism
In Christian theology, a charism in general denotes any good gift that flows from God's love to man. The word can also mean any of the spiritual graces and qualifications granted to every Christian to perform his or her task in the Church...

 by the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of the Hebrew Bible, but understood differently in the main Abrahamic religions.While the general concept of a "Spirit" that permeates the cosmos has been used in various religions Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of...

 at Pentecost
Pentecost
Pentecost is a prominent feast in the calendar of Ancient Israel celebrating the giving of the Law on Sinai, and also later in the Christian liturgical year commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ after the Resurrection of Jesus...

. This special charism has been transmitted through an unbroken succession of bishops
Apostolic Succession
Apostolic succession is a doctrine, held by some Christian denominations, which asserts that the chosen successors of the Twelve Apostles, from the first century to the present day, have inherited the spiritual, ecclesiastical and sacramental authority, power, and responsibility that were...

 by the laying on of hands in the sacrament of Holy Orders.

Diocesan bishop
Diocesan bishop
A diocesan bishop — in general — is a bishop in charge of a diocese. These are to be distinguished from suffragan bishops, assistant bishops, coadjutor bishops, auxiliary bishops, metropolitans, and primates....

s — known as eparchs in the Eastern Catholic Churches — are assigned to govern local regions within the Church known as diocese
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

s in the Latin Rite and eparchies
Eparchy
Eparchy is an anglicized Greek word , authentically Latinized as eparchia and loosely translating as 'rule over something,' like province, prefecture, or territory, to have the jurisdiction over, it has specific meanings both in politics, history and in the hierarchy of the Eastern Christian...

 in the Eastern Rites. Bishops are collectively known as the College of Bishops
College of Bishops
The term "College of Bishops" is used in Catholic theology to denote the bishops in communion with the Pope as a body, not as individuals...

, and can hold such additional titles as archbishop
Archbishop
An archbishop is a bishop of higher rank, but not of higher sacramental order above that of the three orders of deacon, priest , and bishop...

, cardinal
Cardinal (Catholicism)
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

, patriarch
Patriarch
Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. The system of such rule of families by senior males is called patriarchy. This is a Greek word, a compound of πατριά , "lineage, descent", esp...

, or pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

. As of 2009 there were approximately 5,100 bishops total in the Latin and Eastern branches of the Catholic Church.

Canon 378 §1 requires that a candidate for the episcopacy should be:
  1. outstanding in solid faith, good morals, piety, zeal for souls, wisdom, prudence, and human virtues, and endowed with other qualities which make him suitable to fulfill the office in question;
  2. of good reputation;
  3. at least thirty-five years old;
  4. ordained to the presbyterate for at least five years;
  5. in possession of a doctorate
    Doctorate
    A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder to teach in a specific field, A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder...

     or at least a licentiate
    Licentiate
    Licentiate is the title of a person who holds an academic degree called a licence. The term may derive from the Latin licentia docendi, meaning permission to teach. The term may also derive from the Latin licentia ad practicandum, which signified someone who held a certificate of competence to...

     in sacred scripture
    Religious text
    Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred, or of central importance to their religious tradition...

    , theology
    Theology
    Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

    , or canon law
    Canon law
    Canon law is the body of laws & regulations made or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian organization and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law governing the Catholic Church , the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the Anglican Communion of...

     from an institute of higher studies approved by the Apostolic See, or at least truly expert in the same disciplines.

Diocesan Bishops or Eparchs



The traditional role of a bishop is not to act as head of a diocese or eparchy. Dioceses vary considerably in geographical size and population. A wide variety of dioceses around the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 which received the Christian faith early are rather compact in size, while those in areas more recently evangelized, as in some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara...

, South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 and the Far East
Far East
The Far East is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century,...

, tend to be much larger and more populous. Within his own diocese a Latin Rite bishop may use pontifical vestments and regalia, but may not do so in another diocese without, at least, the presumed consent of the appropriate ordinary.

Duties



A "diocesan bishop" is entrusted with the care of a local Church
Particular Church
In Catholic canon law, a Particular Church is an ecclesial community headed by a bishop or someone recognised as the equivalent of a bishop.There are two kinds of particular Churches:# Local particular Churches ...

 (diocese
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

). He is responsible for teaching, governing, and sanctifying the faithful of his diocese, sharing these duties with the priests and deacons who serve under him.

To "teach, sanctify and govern" means that he must (1) oversee preaching of the Gospel and Catholic education in all its forms; (2) oversee and provide for the administration of the sacraments; and (3) legislate, administer and act as judge for canon-law
Canon law
Canon law is the body of laws & regulations made or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian organization and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law governing the Catholic Church , the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the Anglican Communion of...

 matters within his diocese. He serves as the "chief shepherd" (spiritual leader) of the diocese and has responsibility for the pastoral care of all Catholics living within his ecclesiastical and ritual
Particular Church
In Catholic canon law, a Particular Church is an ecclesial community headed by a bishop or someone recognised as the equivalent of a bishop.There are two kinds of particular Churches:# Local particular Churches ...

 jurisdiction. He is obliged to celebrate Mass
Mass (liturgy)
"Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church: others are "Eucharist", the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly ", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and...

 every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation
Holy Day of Obligation
In the Catholic Church, Holy Days of Obligation or Holidays of Obligation, less commonly called Feasts of Precept, are the days on which, as of the Code of Canon Law states,-Eastern Catholic Churches:...

 with the intention of praying for those in his care, assign clergy to their posts in various institutions and oversee finances. A bishop is to have a special concern for priests, listening to them, using them as counsellors, ensuring that they are adequately provided for in every way, and defending their rights set forth in the Code of Canon Law. Latin Catholic bishops also must make regular ad limina
Quinquennial Visit Ad Limina
In the Roman Catholic Church, a quinquennial visit ad limina or more properly, quinquennial visit ad limina apostolorum or simply an ad limina visit means the obligation of residential diocesan bishops and certain prelates with territorial jurisdiction , of visiting the thresholds of the [tombs of...

visits to the Holy See every five years.

Because of their function as teachers of the faith, it is customary in some English-speaking countries, to add to the names of bishops the postnominal title of "D.D." (Doctor of Divinity
Doctor of Divinity
Doctor of Divinity is an advanced academic degree in divinity. Historically, it identified one who had been licensed by a university to teach Christian theology or related religious subjects....

) and to refer to them with the title "Doctor".

Only a bishop possesses the power to confer the sacrament
Sacraments of the Catholic Church
The Sacraments of the Catholic Church are, the Roman Catholic Church teaches, "efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper...

 of Holy Orders
Holy Orders
The term Holy Orders is used by many Christian churches to refer to ordination or to those individuals ordained for a special role or ministry....

. In the Latin Rite the minor orders
Minor orders
The minor orders are the lowest ranks in the Christian clergy. The most recognized minor orders are porter, lector, exorcist, and acolyte. In the Latin rite Catholic Church, the minor orders were in most cases replaced by "instituted" ministries of lector and acolyte, though communities that use...

 were abolished after the Second Vatican Council. In Eastern Catholic rites, a monastic archimandrite
Archimandrite
The title Archimandrite , primarily used in the Eastern Orthodox and the Eastern Catholic churches, originally referred to a superior abbot whom a bishop appointed to supervise...

 may tonsure
Tonsure
Tonsure is the traditional practice of Christian churches of cutting or shaving the hair from the scalp of clerics, monastics, and, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, all baptized members...

 and institute his subjects to minor orders; however, the tonsure and minor orders are not considered to be part of the sacrament of Holy Orders.

The sacrament of Confirmation is normally administered by a bishop in the Latin Rite, but a bishop may delegate the administration to a priest. In the case of receiving an adult into full communion with the Catholic Church the presiding priest will administer Confirmation. In the Eastern Catholic Churches, Confirmation (called Chrismation
Chrismation
Chrismation is the name given in Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches, as well as in the Assyrian Church of the East, Anglican, and in Lutheran initiation rites, to the Sacrament or Sacred Mystery more commonly known in the West as confirmation, although Italian...

) is normally administered by priests as it is given at the same time as baptism
Baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

. It is only within the power of the diocesan bishop or eparch to bless churches and altar
Altar
An altar is any structure upon which offerings such as sacrifices are made for religious purposes. Altars are usually found at shrines, and they can be located in temples, churches and other places of worship...

s, although he may delegate another bishop, or even a priest, to perform the ceremony.

On Holy Thursday
Maundy Thursday
Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great & Holy Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries, is the Christian feast or holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the Canonical gospels...

 Latin Catholic bishops preside over the Mass of the Chrism
Chrism
Chrism , also called "Myrrh" , Holy anointing oil, or "Consecrated Oil", is a consecrated oil used in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Rite Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, in the Assyrian Church of the East, and in Old-Catholic churches, as well as Anglican churches in the administration...

. Though Oil of the Sick for the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick
Anointing of the Sick
Anointing of the Sick, known also by other names, is distinguished from other forms of religious anointing or "unction" in that it is intended, as its name indicates, for the benefit of a sick person...

 is blessed at this Mass, it may also be blessed by any priest in case of necessity. Only a bishop may consecrate Chrism. In the Eastern Catholic Churches chrism is consecrated solely by heads of Churches sui juris
Sui iuris
Sui iuris, commonly also spelled sui juris, is a Latin phrase that literally means “of one’s own laws”.-Secular law:In civil law the phrase sui juris indicates legal competence, the capacity to manage one’s own affairs...

(patriarchs and metropolitans) and diocesan bishops may not do so.

Only a bishop or other ordinary may grant imprimatur
Imprimatur
An imprimatur is, in the proper sense, a declaration authorizing publication of a book. The term is also applied loosely to any mark of approval or endorsement.-Catholic Church:...

s
for theological books, certifying that they are free from doctrinal or moral error; this is an expression of the teaching authority, and education responsibility of the bishop.

Prior to the Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. It was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and the second to be held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed...

, it was also the prerogative of the bishop to consecrate the paten
Paten
A paten, or diskos, is a small plate, usually made of silver or gold, used to hold Eucharistic bread which is to be consecrated. It is generally used during the service itself, while the reserved hosts are stored in the Tabernacle in a ciborium....

 and chalice
Chalice (cup)
A chalice is a goblet or footed cup intended to hold a drink. In general religious terms, it is intended for drinking during a ceremony.-Christian:...

 that would be used during the Mass. One of the changes implemented since the Council, is that a simple blessing is now said and it may be given by any priest.

Canonical authority


In both Western and Eastern Catholic Churches, any priest can celebrate the Mass. In order to offer Mass publicly, however, a priest is required to have permission from the local Ordinary - authority for this permission may be given to pastors of parishes for a limited period, but for long-term permission recourse to the diocesan bishop is usually required. A celebret
Celebret
A celebret is a letter which a Roman Catholic bishop or major religious superior gives to a priest in order that the priest may obtain permission in another diocese to say Mass, and for this purpose bears testimony that he is free from canonical censures.-History:The Council of Trent A celebret...

 may be issued to travelling priests so that they can demonstrate to pastors and bishops outside of their own diocese that they are in good standing. However, even if a priest does not possess such a document, he may celebrate the sacraments if the local bishop or pastor judges that the visiting priest is a person of good character.

In the East an antimension
Antimension
The Antimins, , is one of the most important furnishings of the altar in many Eastern Christian liturgical traditions. It is a rectangular piece of cloth, either linen or silk, typically decorated with representations of the Descent of Christ from the Cross, the four Evangelists, and inscriptions...

 signed by the bishop is kept on the altar partly as a reminder of whose altar it is and under whose omophorion
Omophorion
In the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic liturgical tradition, the omophor is the distinguishing vestment of a bishop and the symbol of his spiritual and ecclesiastical authority...

 the priest at a local parish is serving.

For priests to validly celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation they must have faculties (permission and authority) from the local bishop; however when the penitent is in danger of death, a priest has both the right and obligation to hear the confession no matter where he may be.

To preside at matrimony, Latin Rite priests and deacons must have appropriate jurisdiction or delegation from a competent authority. In the Latin branch of the Catholic Church, the teaching is that it is the couple themselves who administer the graces of the sacrament; thus, although it is normally an ordained person who officiates at a marriage ceremony, a bishop may delegate a lay person to be present for the exchange of vows; this would be done only in extreme cases such as in mission territories. In the Eastern tradition, the clergy not only witness the exchange of vows but must impart a blessing for a valid marriage to have taken place.

Unless a particular bishop has forbidden it, any bishop may preach throughout the Catholic Church and any priest or deacon may also preach anywhere (presuming the permission of local pastor) unless his faculty to preach has been restricted or removed.

The cathedral
Cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

 of a diocese contains a special chair, called a cathedra
Cathedra
A cathedra or bishop's throne is the chair or throne of a bishop. It is a symbol of the bishop's teaching authority in the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, and has in some sense remained such in the Anglican Communion and in Lutheran churches...

, sometimes referred to as a throne
Throne
A throne is the official chair or seat upon which a monarch is seated on state or ceremonial occasions. "Throne" in an abstract sense can also refer to the monarchy or the Crown itself, an instance of metonymy, and is also used in many expressions such as "the power behind the...

, set aside in the sanctuary for the exclusive use of its Ordinary; it symbolises his spiritual and ecclesiastical authority.

Additional titles and roles


Bishops may fill additional roles in the Catholic Church including the following:

Pope


The pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 is the man who possesses the sacrament of Holy Orders as a bishop and who has been chosen to be Bishop of Rome
Diocese of Rome
The Diocese of Rome is a diocese of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy. The bishop of Rome is the Pope, who is the Supreme Pontiff and leader of the Catholic Church...

. Because the Catholic Church holds that the "College of Bishops" as a group is the successor of the "College of Apostles", the bishops of the Church in ecumenical council
Ecumenical council
An ecumenical council is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice....

 have the authority to govern the Church. However, the Church also holds that uniquely among the apostles Saint Peter
Saint Peter
Saint Peter or Simon Peter was an early Christian leader, who is featured prominently in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The son of John or of Jonah and from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, his brother Andrew was also an apostle...

 was granted a role of leadership and authority, giving him the right to speak for the Church and making his leadership necessary for the completion of the College. Hence, Catholicism holds that the Bishop of Rome, as successor of Peter, possesses this role: the Pope, uniquely among bishops, may speak for the whole Church, and a council of bishops is incomplete without the approval of the pope. The right to speak on behalf of the Catholic Church does not mean that the pronouncements of any given pope - even in matters of faith and morals - are imbued with papal infallibility
Papal infallibility
Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church which states that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error when in his official capacity he solemnly declares or promulgates to the universal Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals...

; for such a statement to be made it must be subject to the decree of the First Vatican Council
First Vatican Council
The First Vatican Council was convoked by Pope Pius IX on 29 June 1868, after a period of planning and preparation that began on 6 December 1864. This twentieth ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church, held three centuries after the Council of Trent, opened on 8 December 1869 and adjourned...

, and has been done so only once since that time (Pius XII's declaration of the Assumption of Mary in 1950).

Catholicos


Catholicos
Catholicos
Catholicos, plural Catholicoi, is a title used for the head of certain churches in some Eastern Christian traditions. The title implies autocephaly and in some cases is borne by the designated head of an autonomous church, in which case the holder might have other titles such as Patriarch...

 is an Eastern title roughly similar to that of patriarch. In the Catholic Church it is applied to a prelate who is also a major archbishop.

Major archbishop


Major archbishop
Major Archbishop
right|200 px|thumb|Archbishop [[Sviatoslav Shevchuk]], Major Archbishop of Kyiv-HalychIn the Eastern Catholic Churches, major archbishop is a title for an hierarch to whose archiepiscopal see is granted the same jurisdiction in his autonomous particular Church that an Eastern patriarch has in...

s are the heads of some of the Eastern Catholic Churches. The major archbishops authority within their respective sui juris churches is equal to that of a patriarch, but they receive fewer ceremonial honours.

Cardinal


A cardinal
Cardinal (Catholicism)
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

 is a member of the clergy appointed by the Pope to serve in the College of Cardinals
College of Cardinals
The College of Cardinals is the body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church.A function of the college is to advise the pope about church matters when he summons them to an ordinary consistory. It also convenes on the death or abdication of a pope as a papal conclave to elect a successor...

, the body empowered to elect someone to the papacy; however, on turning 80 a cardinal loses this right of election. Cardinals also serve as papal advisors and hold positions of authority with the structure of the Catholic Church. Under canon law, a man appointed a cardinal must be a bishop (or accept episcopal ordination), or otherwise seek papal permission to decline such ordination. Most cardinals are already bishops when appointed, the majority being archbishops of important archdioceses or patriarchates, the rest already serving as titular bishops in the Roman Curia. Recent popes have appointed a few priests, most of them renowned theologians, to the College of Cardinals and these have been permitted to decline episcopal ordination.

Primate


A primate
Primate (religion)
Primate is a title or rank bestowed on some bishops in certain Christian churches. Depending on the particular tradition, it can denote either jurisdictional authority or ceremonial precedence ....

 is usually the bishop of the oldest diocese of a nation
Nation
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government irrespective of their ethnic make-up...

; the title is one of honour.

Metropolitan archbishop


A metropolitan bishop
Metropolitan bishop
In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis; that is, the chief city of a historical Roman province, ecclesiastical province, or regional capital.Before the establishment of...

 is an archbishop with minor jurisdiction over an ecclesiastical province
Ecclesiastical Province
An ecclesiastical province is a large jurisdiction of religious government, so named by analogy with a secular province, existing in certain hierarchical Christian churches, especially in the Catholic Church and Orthodox Churches and in the Anglican Communion...

; in practice this amounts to presiding at meetings and overseeing a diocese which has no bishop. In Eastern Catholicism a metropolitan may also be the head of an autocephalous, sui juris, or autonomous church when the number of adherents of that tradition is small. In the Latin Rite, metropolitans are always archbishops; in many Eastern churches, the title is "metropolitan," with some of these churches using "archbishop" as a separate office.

Titular archbishop or titular bishop


A titular archbishop or titular bishop
Titular bishop
A titular bishop in various churches is a bishop who is not in charge of a diocese.By definition a bishop is an "overseer" of a community of the faithful, so when a priest is ordained a bishop the tradition of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches is that he be ordained for a specific place...

 is a bishop assigned to a titular see
Titular see
A titular see in various churches is an episcopal see of a former diocese that no longer functions, sometimes called a "dead diocese". The ordinary or hierarch of such a see may be styled a "titular bishop", "titular metropolitan", or "titular archbishop"....

, which is usually the name of a city or town that used to be the seat of a diocese, but whose episcopal see (diocese) is no longer in existence. Titular bishops often serve as auxiliary bishops, as officials in the Roman Curia
Roman Curia
The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope...

, in the Patriarchal Curias of Eastern Churches, as apostolic nuncios or apostolic delegates. In recent times, exceptions to this are that a coadjutor bishop uses the title of the see he is assigned to, and a bishop emeritus uses the title of his last residential see.

Suffragan bishop


A suffragan bishop
Suffragan bishop
A suffragan bishop is a bishop subordinate to a metropolitan bishop or diocesan bishop. He or she may be assigned to an area which does not have a cathedral of its own.-Anglican Communion:...

 leads a diocese within an ecclesiastical province
Ecclesiastical Province
An ecclesiastical province is a large jurisdiction of religious government, so named by analogy with a secular province, existing in certain hierarchical Christian churches, especially in the Catholic Church and Orthodox Churches and in the Anglican Communion...

 other than the principal diocese, the metropolitan archdiocese.

Auxiliary bishop


An auxiliary bishop
Auxiliary bishop
An auxiliary bishop, in the Roman Catholic Church, is an additional bishop assigned to a diocese because the diocesan bishop is unable to perform his functions, the diocese is so extensive that it requires more than one bishop to administer, or the diocese is attached to a royal or imperial office...

 is a full-time assistant to a diocesan bishop. Auxiliaries are titular bishops without the right of succession, who assist the diocesan bishop in a variety of ways and are usually appointed as vicars general or episcopal vicars
Vicar general
A vicar general is the principal deputy of the bishop of a diocese for the exercise of administrative authority. As vicar of the bishop, the vicar general exercises the bishop's ordinary executive power over the entire diocese and, thus, is the highest official in a diocese or other particular...

 of the diocese in which they serve.

Coadjutor bishop


A coadjutor bishop
Coadjutor bishop
A coadjutor bishop is a bishop in the Roman Catholic or Anglican churches who is designated to assist the diocesan bishop in the administration of the diocese, almost as co-bishop of the diocese...

 is a bishop who is given almost equal authority to that of the diocesan bishop; he has special faculties and the right to succeed the incumbent diocesan bishop. The appointment of coadjutors is seen as a means of providing for continuity of church leadership. Until recent times, there was the possibility of a coadjutor bishop not having the right of succession.

Retired bishops


When a diocesan bishop or auxiliary bishop retires, he is given the honorary title of "emeritus
Emeritus
Emeritus is a post-positive adjective that is used to designate a retired professor, bishop, or other professional or as a title. The female equivalent emerita is also sometimes used.-History:...

", i.e., archbishop emeritus, bishop emeritus, or auxiliary bishop emeritus. An example in usage would be: "Most Reverend John Jones, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Anytown." For a cardinal, it would be: "James Cardinal Smith, Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Anycity." For the (arch)bishop of a diocese, "emeritus" is inserted into the title for the last diocese that that (arch)bishop occupied.

Public office


Since the publication of the new Code of Canon Law
Canon law (Catholic Church)
The canon law of the Catholic Church, is a fully developed legal system, with all the necessary elements: courts, lawyers, judges, a fully articulated legal code and principles of legal interpretation. It lacks the necessary binding force present in most modern day legal systems. The academic...

 in 1983 by Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

, all members of the Catholic clergy are forbidden to hold public office without the express permission of the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

.

Ordination of Bishops and Eparchs


The appointment of bishops in the Catholic Church is a complicated process with several officials being involved. In the Latin Church, the local synod, the papal nuncio (or apostolic delegate), various dicasteries of the Roman Curia, and the Pope all take a part; since the 1970s it has become common practice for the nuncio to solicit input from clergy and laity within the vacant diocese. In patriarchal and major archiepiscopal Eastern Churches, the permanent synod, the holy synod, and the patriarch or major archbishop also play a role in the selection of bishops.

Apostolic succession and other churches


The Catholic Church has always taught that bishops are descended from a continuous line of bishops since the days of the apostles, which is known as apostolic succession
Apostolic Succession
Apostolic succession is a doctrine, held by some Christian denominations, which asserts that the chosen successors of the Twelve Apostles, from the first century to the present day, have inherited the spiritual, ecclesiastical and sacramental authority, power, and responsibility that were...

. Since 1896, when Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII , born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci to an Italian comital family, was the 256th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, reigning from 1878 to 1903...

 issued the bull Apostolicae Curae
Apostolicae Curae
Apostolicae Curae is the title of a papal bull, issued in 1896 by Pope Leo XIII, declaring all Anglican ordinations to be "absolutely null and utterly void"...

, the Catholic Church has not recognised Anglican orders as valid, because of changes in the ordination rites that took place in the 16th century as well as divergence in the understanding of the theology of episcopacy and Eucharist. However, this view has since been complicated because Old Catholic bishops, whose orders are fully recognised as valid by Rome, have acted as co-consecrators in Anglican episcopal consecrations. According to the church historian Timothy Dufort, by 1969, all Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 bishops had acquired Old Catholic lines of apostolic succession
Apostolic Succession
Apostolic succession is a doctrine, held by some Christian denominations, which asserts that the chosen successors of the Twelve Apostles, from the first century to the present day, have inherited the spiritual, ecclesiastical and sacramental authority, power, and responsibility that were...

 fully recognised by the Holy See.

The Catholic Church does recognize as valid (though illicit) ordinations done by breakaway Catholic groups such as the Old Catholic Church
Old Catholic Church
The term Old Catholic Church is commonly used to describe a number of Ultrajectine Christian churches that originated with groups that split from the Roman Catholic Church over certain doctrines, most importantly that of Papal Infallibility...

 of the Utrecht Union
Utrecht Union
The Union of Utrecht is a federation of Old Catholic Churches, not in communion with Rome, that seceded from the Roman Catholic Church over the issue of Papal infallibility. The Declaration of Utrecht solidified this movement in 1889...

 and the Polish National Catholic Church
Polish National Catholic Church
The Polish National Catholic Church is a Christian church founded and based in the United States by Polish-Americans who were Roman Catholic. The PNCC is a breakaway Catholic Church in dialogue with the Catholic Church; it seeks full communion with the Holy See although it differs theologically...

, so long as those receiving the ordination are baptized males and a valid rite of episcopal consecration — expressing the proper functions and sacramental status of a bishop — is used. The Holy See also recognises as valid the ordinations of the Eastern Orthodox, Old Catholic, Oriental Orthodox and Assyrian Nestorian
Assyrian Church of the East
The Assyrian Church of the East, officially the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East ʻIttā Qaddishtā w-Shlikhāitā Qattoliqi d-Madnĕkhā d-Āturāyē), is a Syriac Church historically centered in Mesopotamia. It is one of the churches that claim continuity with the historical...

 churches. Regarding the Churches of the East, the Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. It was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and the second to be held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed...

 stated:
To remove, then, all shadow of doubt, this holy Council solemnly declares that the Churches of the East, while remembering the necessary unity of the whole Church, have the power to govern themselves according to the disciplines proper to them, since these are better suited to the character of their faithful, and more for the good of their souls.


However, the Holy See does not recognise as valid the orders of any group whose teaching is at variance with core tenets of Christianity even though it may use the proper ritual. The recent practice of Independent Catholic groups to ordain women
Ordination of women
Ordination in general religious usage is the process by which a person is consecrated . The ordination of women is a regular practice among some major religious groups, as it was of several religions of antiquity...

 has added a definite cloudiness to the recognition of the validity of orders, as the act of ordaining women as priests or bishops is incompatible with Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. The practice by some Independent clergy of receiving multiple ordinations also demonstrates an understanding of Holy Orders which is at variance with Catholicism and Orthodoxy, both of which hold that a person is either ordained or not.

Latin Rite


The everyday dress of Latin Rite bishops may consist of a black (or, in tropical countries, white) cassock
Cassock
The cassock, an item of clerical clothing, is an ankle-length robe worn by clerics of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Church, Lutheran Church and some ministers and ordained officers of Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Ankle-length garment is the meaning of the...

 with amaranth trim and purple fascia
Fascia (vestment)
The fascia is a sash worn by clerics and seminarians with the cassock in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Church. It is also worn with the simar by those entitled to use the simar. It is not to be worn as a belt but should be placed above the waist between the navel...

, along with a pectoral cross
Pectoral cross
A pectoral cross or pectorale is a cross, usually relatively large, suspended from the neck by a cord or chain that reaches well down the chest. It is worn by the clergy as an indication of their position, and is different from the small crosses worn on necklaces by many Christians, which have no...

 and episcopal ring. The 1969 Instruction on the dress of prelates stated that the dress for ordinary use may instead be a simple cassock without coloured trim. Since 1969, a black suit and clerical shirt, already customary in English-speaking countries, has become very common also in countries where previously it was unknown.

A Latin Rite bishop's choir dress
Choir dress
Choir dress is the vesture of the clerics, seminarians and religious of traditional churches worn for public prayer, either apart from the eucharist or by those attending the eucharist as the clergy part of the congregation rather than as the celebrants...

, which is worn when attending but not celebrating liturgical functions, consists of the purple cassock
Cassock
The cassock, an item of clerical clothing, is an ankle-length robe worn by clerics of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Church, Lutheran Church and some ministers and ordained officers of Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Ankle-length garment is the meaning of the...

 with amaranth trim, rochet
Rochet
A rochet is a white vestment generally worn by a Roman Catholic or Anglican Bishop in choir dress. It is unknown in the Eastern Churches. The rochet is similar to a surplice, except that the sleeves are narrower...

, purple zuchetto, purple biretta
Biretta
The biretta is a square cap with three or four peaks or horns, sometimes surmounted by a tuft. Traditionally the three peaked biretta is worn by Roman Catholic clergy and some Anglican and Lutheran clergy. The four peaked biretta is worn as academic dress by those holding a doctoral degree from a...

 with a tuft, and pectoral cross
Pectoral cross
A pectoral cross or pectorale is a cross, usually relatively large, suspended from the neck by a cord or chain that reaches well down the chest. It is worn by the clergy as an indication of their position, and is different from the small crosses worn on necklaces by many Christians, which have no...

. The cappa magna may be worn, but only within the bishop's own diocese and on especially solemn occasions.

The mitre
Mitre
The mitre , also spelled miter, is a type of headwear now known as the traditional, ceremonial head-dress of bishops and certain abbots in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as in the Anglican Communion, some Lutheran churches, and also bishops and certain other clergy in the Eastern Orthodox...

, zuchetto, and stole are generally worn by bishops when presiding over liturgical functions. For liturgical functions other than the Mass
Mass (liturgy)
"Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church: others are "Eucharist", the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly ", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and...

 the bishop typically wears the cope
Cope
The cope is a liturgical vestment, a very long mantle or cloak, open in front and fastened at the breast with a band or clasp. It may be of any liturgical colour....

. Within his own diocese
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

 and when celebrating solemnly elsewhere with the consent of the local ordinary
Ordinary
In those hierarchically organised churches of Western Christianity which have an ecclesiastical law system, an ordinary is an officer of the church who by reason of office has ordinary power to execute the church's laws...

, he also uses the crosier
Crosier
A crosier is the stylized staff of office carried by high-ranking Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and some Lutheran and Pentecostal prelates...

. When celebrating Mass
Mass (liturgy)
"Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church: others are "Eucharist", the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly ", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and...

, a bishop, like a priest, wears the chasuble
Chasuble
The chasuble is the outermost liturgical vestment worn by clergy for the celebration of the Eucharist in Western-tradition Christian Churches that use full vestments, primarily in the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches, as well as in some parts of the United Methodist Church...

. The Caeremoniale Episcoporum recommends, but does not impose, that in solemn celebrations a bishop should also wear a dalmatic
Dalmatic
The dalmatic is a long wide-sleeved tunic, which serves as a liturgical vestment in the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, and United Methodist Churches, which is sometimes worn by a deacon at the Mass or other services. Although infrequent, it may also be worn by bishops above the alb and below...

, which can always be white, beneath the chasuble, especially when administering the sacrament of holy orders
Holy Orders
The term Holy Orders is used by many Christian churches to refer to ordination or to those individuals ordained for a special role or ministry....

, blessing an abbot or abbess, and dedicating a church or an altar. The Caeremoniale Episcoporum no longer makes mention of pontifical gloves, pontifical sandals, liturgical stockings (also known as buskins), the maniple
Maniple (vestment)
The maniple is a liturgical vestment used primarily within the Catholic Church, and occasionally used by some Anglo-Catholic and Lutheran clergy. It is an embroidered band of silk or similar fabric that when worn hangs from the left arm...

, or the accoutrements that it once prescribed for the bishop's horse.

Eastern Catholic


The everyday dress of Eastern Catholic bishops is often the same as their Latin-rite counterparts: black clerical suite with pectoral cross or panagia
Panagia
Panagia , also transliterated Panayia or Panaghia, is one of the titles of Mary, the mother of Jesus, used especially in Orthodox Christianity....

. When attending liturgical functions at which they do not celebrate, Eastern Catholic bishops usually wear a mantya, panagia and a engolpion
Engolpion
An Engolpion or Enkolpion is a general term for something worn upon the bosom . Formerly also including pectoral crosses, Enkolpion is nowadays used for a medallion with an icon in the center, worn around the neck by Orthodox and Eastern Catholic bishops...

 if he is a patriarch
Patriarch
Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. The system of such rule of families by senior males is called patriarchy. This is a Greek word, a compound of πατριά , "lineage, descent", esp...

 or metropolitan bishop
Metropolitan bishop
In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis; that is, the chief city of a historical Roman province, ecclesiastical province, or regional capital.Before the establishment of...

. He will also carry a pastoral staff in the form of a walking stick topped by a pommel. Eastern Catholic bishops do not normally use an episcopal ring.

When participating in the Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy is the common term for the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine tradition of Christian liturgy. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, use the same term...

, an Eastern Catholic bishop will wear the sakkos
Sakkos
The Sakkos is a vestment worn by Orthodox and Greek Catholic bishops instead of the priest's phelonion. The garment is a tunic with wide sleeves, and a distinctive pattern of trim. It reaches below the knees and is fastened up the sides with buttons or tied with ribbons...

 (Imperial dalmatic
Dalmatic
The dalmatic is a long wide-sleeved tunic, which serves as a liturgical vestment in the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, and United Methodist Churches, which is sometimes worn by a deacon at the Mass or other services. Although infrequent, it may also be worn by bishops above the alb and below...

), omophorion
Omophorion
In the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic liturgical tradition, the omophor is the distinguishing vestment of a bishop and the symbol of his spiritual and ecclesiastical authority...

, epigonation
Epigonation
The epigonation , or palitza , is a vestment used in some Eastern Christian churches.-Description and usage:...

 and Eastern-style mitre. The most typical mitre in the Eastern Catholic churches is based on the closed Imperial crown of the late Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

. It is made in the shape of a bulbous crown, completely enclosed, and the material is of brocade
Brocade
Brocade is a class of richly decorative shuttle-woven fabrics, often made in colored silks and with or without gold and silver threads. The name, related to the same root as the word "broccoli," comes from Italian broccato meaning "embossed cloth," originally past participle of the verb broccare...

, damask
Damask
Damask is a reversible figured fabric of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers, with a pattern formed by weaving. Damasks are woven with one warp yarn and one weft yarn, usually with the pattern in warp-faced satin weave and the ground in weft-faced or sateen weave...

 or cloth of gold
Cloth of gold
Cloth of gold is a fabric woven with a gold-wrapped or spun weft - referred to as "a spirally spun gold strip". In most cases, the core yarn is silk wrapped with a band or strip of high content gold filé...

. It may be embroidered, and richly decorated with jewels. There are normally four icons attached to the mitre: (Christ
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

, the Theotokos
Theotokos
Theotokos is the Greek title of Mary, the mother of Jesus used especially in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches. Its literal English translations include God-bearer and the one who gives birth to God. Less literal translations include Mother of God...

, John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

 and the Cross
Cross
A cross is a geometrical figure consisting of two lines or bars perpendicular to each other, dividing one or two of the lines in half. The lines usually run vertically and horizontally; if they run obliquely, the design is technically termed a saltire, although the arms of a saltire need not meet...

. Eastern mitres are usually gold, but other liturgical colours
Liturgical colours
Liturgical colours are those specific colours which are used for vestments and hangings within the context of Christian liturgy. The symbolism of violet, white, green, red, gold, black, rose, and other colours may serve to underline moods appropriate to a season of the liturgical year or may...

 may be used. The mitre is often topped by a cross, either made out of metal and standing upright, or embroidered in cloth and lying flat on the top. He will also carry a crosier
Crosier
A crosier is the stylized staff of office carried by high-ranking Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and some Lutheran and Pentecostal prelates...

 of the Eastern style.

See also

  • Roman Catholic (term)
    Roman Catholic (term)
    The term Roman Catholic appeared in the English language at the beginning of the 17th century, to differentiate specific groups of Christians in communion with the Pope from others; comparable terms in other languages already existed...

  • List of Roman Catholic dioceses (alphabetical)
  • List of Roman Catholic dioceses (structured view)
  • List of Roman Catholic archdioceses
  • List of Roman Catholic military dioceses
    Military ordinariate
    A military ordinariate is an ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church, of Latin or Eastern Rite, responsible for the pastoral care of Catholics serving in the armed forces of a nation....

  • List of Roman Catholic apostolic administrations
    Apostolic Administrator
    An apostolic administrator in the Roman Catholic Church is a prelate appointed by the Pope to serve as the ordinary for an apostolic administration...

  • List of Roman Catholic apostolic vicariates
    Apostolic vicariate
    An apostolic vicariate is a form of territorial jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church established in missionary regions and countries that do not have a diocese. It is essentially provisional, though it may last for a century or more...

  • List of Eastern Catholic exarchates
  • List of Roman Catholic apostolic prefectures
    Apostolic prefect
    An apostolic prefect is a priest who heads what is known as an apostolic prefecture, a missionary area where the Catholic Church is not yet sufficiently developed to have it made a diocese....

  • List of Roman Catholic territorial prelatures
    Territorial Prelate
    A territorial prelate is, in Catholic usage, a prelate whose geographic jurisdiction, called territorial prelature, does not belong to any diocese and is considered a particular church....

  • List of Roman Catholic missions sui juris
    Mission sui iuris
    A mission sui iuris, or in Latin missio sui iuris, also known as an independent mission, is a rare type of Roman Catholic missionary pseudo-diocesan jurisdiction in an area with very few Catholics, often desolate or remote....

  • List of the Catholic bishops of the United States
  • List of the Catholic dioceses of the United States

External links