Bishop

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The '''bishop''' is the first and highest degree of the [[clergy]] in the [[Orthodox Church]] (Επίσκοπος or ''episkopos'' in Greek, which means overseer).  He is the successor to the Apostles in the service and government of the Church.  The bishop thus serves εις τόπον και τύπον Χριστού (in place and as a type of Christ) in the Church.  A '''ruling bishop''', is responsible for and the head of all the [[parish]]es located in his [[diocese]].  All authority of the lower orders of clergy is derived from the bishop.  No divine services may be served in any Orthodox temple without the authorization of a bishop.  Saint Ignatius the God-bearer of Antioch went so far as to state that "he who acts without the bishop's knowledge is in the devil's service".
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The '''bishop''' is the first and highest degree of the [[clergy]] in the [[Orthodox Church]] (Επίσκοπος or ''episkopos'' in Greek, which means overseer).   
  
<!--- == Episcopal Ministry == --->
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== Episcopal Ministry ==  
 +
A bishop is the [[Apostolic succession|successor]] to the [[Apostles]] in the service and government of the Church.  The bishop thus serves εις τόπον και τύπον Χριστού (in place and as a type of Christ) in the Church.  No bishop in Orthodoxy is considered infallible.  None has any authority over or apart from his priests, deacons and people or the other bishops.  They have the responsibility of maintaining the unity of the Church throughout the world by insuring the truth and unity of the faith and practice of their diocese. The bishop represent his particular diocese to the other churches or dioceses, and represents the Universal Church to his own  particular [[priest]]s, [[deacon]]s, and people.
  
== Rankings of Bishops ==
+
According to [[Canon law|Church Law]],  bishops of an area must meet in [[council]]s.  When doing so, the metropolitan or patriarchate presides administratively. 
  
Sacramentally, all bishops are equal. Nevertheless, there are distinctions of administrative rank among bishops.
+
==Male Monastics only==
 +
In the Orthodox Church, from about  the sixth century, it has been the rule that bishops are single men or widowers. Bishops are also usually in at least the first degree of [[monastic]] orders.
  
=== ''Diocesan Bishops'' ===
+
== Holy orders==
 +
It is the belief of Orthodoxy that [[Christ]] is the only priest, pastor and teacher of the Christian Church.. He alone forgives sins and offers communion with [[God]], his [[God the Father|Father]].  Christ alone guides and rules his people.  Christ remains with his Church as its living and unique head. Christ remains present and active in the Church through his [[Holy Spirit]].
  
A bishop who governs his own [[diocese]] or [[archdiocese]] is a diocesan bishop.  He may be called 'Bishop' or 'Archbishop' or 'Metropolitan' or 'Metropolitan Archbishop' or 'Patriarch'.
+
Through the  [[sacrament]] of [[Ordination|holy orders]] bishops give order to the Church. Bishops guarantee the continuity and unity of the Church from age to age and from place to place. That is, from the time of Christ and the apostles until the establishment of God's Kingdom in eternity.  Bishops receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to manifest Christ in the Spirit to men.  Bishops are neither vicars, substitutes, nor representatives of Christ. It is Christ, through his chosen ministers,  who acts as teacher, good shepherd,  forgiver, and healer. It is Christ remitting sins, and curing the physical, mental and spiritual ills of mankind.  This is a mystery of the Church.
 +
 
 +
==Ruling bishop==
 +
A '''ruling bishop''' or '''Diocesan Bishop''', is responsible for and the head of all the [[parish]]es located in his a particular geographical territory, called a  [[diocese]] or [[archdiocese]].  All authority of the lower orders of clergy is derived from the bishop.  No divine services may be served in any Orthodox temple without the authorization of a bishop.  Saint [[Ignatius of Antioch|Ignatius the God-bearer of Antioch]] went so far as to state that "he who acts without the bishop's knowledge is in the devil's service".
 +
 
 +
He may be called ''Bishop'' or ''Archbishop'' or ''Metropolitan'' or ''Metropolitan Archbishop'' or ''Patriarch''.
 +
 
 +
== Rankings of Bishops ==
 +
Sacramentally, all bishops are equal. Nevertheless, there are distinctions of administrative rank among bishops.
  
 
=== Patriarchs ===
 
=== Patriarchs ===
 +
''Main Article:  [[Patriarch]]''
  
The title [[patriarch]] is reserved for the [[primate]] of certain of the [[autocephalous]] Orthodox churches.  The first [[hierarch]] of the other autocephalous churches are styled metropolitan or archbishop or metropolitan archbishop.
+
The title patriarch is reserved for the [[primate]] of certain of the [[autocephalous]] Orthodox churches.  The first [[hierarch]] of the other autocephalous churches are styled metropolitan or archbishop or archbishop.
  
The title patriarch was first applied to the original three major [[see]]s of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch, and shortly after extended to include Constantinople and Jerusalem.
+
The title patriarch was first applied to the original three major [[see]]s of [[Church of Rome|Rome]], [[Church of Alexandria|Alexandria]], and [[Church of Antioch|Antioch]], and shortly after extended to include [[Church of Constantinople|Constantinople]]  and [[Church of Jerusalem|Jerusalem]].
  
 
Much later the term was granted to the heads of other most significant Churches. Significance for some Churches now, may be more historical than actual.
 
Much later the term was granted to the heads of other most significant Churches. Significance for some Churches now, may be more historical than actual.
  
 
=== Archbishops and Metropolitans ===
 
=== Archbishops and Metropolitans ===
 
+
The title of archbishop or metropolitan may be granted to a senior bishop, usually one who is in charge of a large ecclesiastical [[jurisdiction]].  He may or may not have provincial oversight of suffragan bishops. He may or may not have [[auxiliary bishop]]s assisting him.
The title of archbishop or metropolitan may be granted to a senior bishop, usually one who is in charge of a large ecclesiastical jurisdiction.  He may or may not have provincial oversight of suffragan bishops. He may or may not have [[auxiliary bishop]]s assisting him.
+
  
 
In the Slavonic and Antiochian traditions, a [[metropolitan]] outranks an archbishop.  The reverse is the situation in the Greek tradition.  The Antiochian tradition also uses the style metropolitan archbishop to differentiate from metropolitan bishops in the Greek tradition.
 
In the Slavonic and Antiochian traditions, a [[metropolitan]] outranks an archbishop.  The reverse is the situation in the Greek tradition.  The Antiochian tradition also uses the style metropolitan archbishop to differentiate from metropolitan bishops in the Greek tradition.
  
The change in the Greek tradition came about in later Greek history, because the diocesan bishops of ancient sees (which in the Greek diaspora are pretty much all of them) came to be styled metropolitans.
+
The change in the Greek tradition came about in later Greek history, because the diocesan bishops of ancient sees (which in the Greek [[diaspora]] are pretty much all of them) came to be styled metropolitans.
  
 
The Slavonic and Antiochian Churches continue to follow the older tradition, where an archbishop is a senior bishop in charge of a major see, and a metropolitan is a bishop in charge of a province which may include a number of minor and/or major sees.
 
The Slavonic and Antiochian Churches continue to follow the older tradition, where an archbishop is a senior bishop in charge of a major see, and a metropolitan is a bishop in charge of a province which may include a number of minor and/or major sees.
  
In the Greek tradition, all diocesan bishops of Autocephalous churches such as the Church of Greece (the bishop of Patras being Metropolitan) are now metropolitans, and an archbishop holds his title as an indication of greater importance for whatever reason.  The [[Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America]] is the notable exception in the Greek practice where diocesan bishops carry the title of Metropolitan.  In other churches under the Jurisdiction of the [[Ecumenical Patriarchate]] such as the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia the ruling bishop is the Archbishop while the other bishops are auxiliary bishops with titles of the ancient sees.
+
In the Greek tradition, all diocesan bishops of Autocephalous churches such as the Church of Greece (the bishop of Patras being Metropolitan) are now metropolitans, and an archbishop holds his title as an indication of greater importance for whatever reason.  The [[Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America]] is the notable exception in the Greek practice where diocesan bishops carry the title of Metropolitan.  In other churches under the Jurisdiction of the [[Ecumenical Patriarchate]] such as the [[Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia]] the ruling bishop is the Archbishop while the other bishops are auxiliary bishops with titles of the ancient sees.
  
 
=== Non Ruling Bishops ===
 
=== Non Ruling Bishops ===
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=== Patriarchal Vicars ===
 
=== Patriarchal Vicars ===
 +
''Main Article: [[Vicar]]''
  
 
In the [[Church of Antioch]], a bishop who is in charge of a newly-created diocese on behalf of, and under the supervision of, the Patriarch of Antioch is called a Patriarchal Vicar.  The diocese is usually kept under the direct control of the patriarch until it becomes self-supporting.  Patriarchal Vicars are not members of the [[Holy Synod]], and do not answer to the Holy Synod.
 
In the [[Church of Antioch]], a bishop who is in charge of a newly-created diocese on behalf of, and under the supervision of, the Patriarch of Antioch is called a Patriarchal Vicar.  The diocese is usually kept under the direct control of the patriarch until it becomes self-supporting.  Patriarchal Vicars are not members of the [[Holy Synod]], and do not answer to the Holy Synod.
Line 49: Line 61:
  
 
=== Auxiliary Bishops ===
 
=== Auxiliary Bishops ===
 +
''Main Article:  [[Auxiliary bishop]]''
  
 
Most Orthodox Churches allow themselves the capacity to appoint Auxiliary Bishops to assist ruling bishops within their own dioceses or archdioceses.
 
Most Orthodox Churches allow themselves the capacity to appoint Auxiliary Bishops to assist ruling bishops within their own dioceses or archdioceses.
Line 55: Line 68:
  
 
===Titular Bishops===
 
===Titular Bishops===
 +
''Main Article:  [[Titular bishop]]''
 +
 
Bishops who are assigned a title of ancient dioceses that no longer function are called Titular Bishops. The Diocese of Sourozh, the diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, in Great Britain and Ireland, is an example. However, generally, titular bishops are auxiliary bishops.  
 
Bishops who are assigned a title of ancient dioceses that no longer function are called Titular Bishops. The Diocese of Sourozh, the diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, in Great Britain and Ireland, is an example. However, generally, titular bishops are auxiliary bishops.  
  
Line 60: Line 75:
  
 
The primate of the [[Church of Constantinople]] assumed the title Ecumenical Patriarch.  The [[primate]] of the [[Church of Alexandria]] was granted the title Pope and Patriarch.  The primate of the [[Church of Georgia]] recently amended his title from [[Catholicos]] to Catholicos-Patriarch.
 
The primate of the [[Church of Constantinople]] assumed the title Ecumenical Patriarch.  The [[primate]] of the [[Church of Alexandria]] was granted the title Pope and Patriarch.  The primate of the [[Church of Georgia]] recently amended his title from [[Catholicos]] to Catholicos-Patriarch.
 
 
  
 
<!--- == Bishop's Vestments == --->
 
<!--- == Bishop's Vestments == --->

Revision as of 10:44, July 1, 2008

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This article forms part of the series
Clergy
Antiochian local synod.jpg
Major orders
Bishop - Priest - Deacon
Minor orders
Subdeacon - Reader
Cantor - Acolyte
Other orders
Chorepiscopos - Exorcist
Doorkeeper - Deaconess - Presbytide
Episcopal titles
Patriarch - Catholicos
Archbishop - Metropolitan
Auxiliary - Titular
Priestly titles
Archimandrite - Protopresbyter
Archpriest - Protosyngellos
Economos
Diaconal titles
Archdeacon - Protodeacon
Minor titles
Protopsaltes - Lampadarios
Monastic titles
Abbot - Igumen
Related
Ordination - Vestments
Presbeia - Honorifics
Clergy awards - Exarch
Proistamenos - Vicar
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The bishop is the first and highest degree of the clergy in the Orthodox Church (Επίσκοπος or episkopos in Greek, which means overseer).

Contents

Episcopal Ministry

A bishop is the successor to the Apostles in the service and government of the Church. The bishop thus serves εις τόπον και τύπον Χριστού (in place and as a type of Christ) in the Church. No bishop in Orthodoxy is considered infallible. None has any authority over or apart from his priests, deacons and people or the other bishops. They have the responsibility of maintaining the unity of the Church throughout the world by insuring the truth and unity of the faith and practice of their diocese. The bishop represent his particular diocese to the other churches or dioceses, and represents the Universal Church to his own particular priests, deacons, and people.

According to Church Law, bishops of an area must meet in councils. When doing so, the metropolitan or patriarchate presides administratively.

Male Monastics only

In the Orthodox Church, from about the sixth century, it has been the rule that bishops are single men or widowers. Bishops are also usually in at least the first degree of monastic orders.

Holy orders

It is the belief of Orthodoxy that Christ is the only priest, pastor and teacher of the Christian Church.. He alone forgives sins and offers communion with God, his Father. Christ alone guides and rules his people. Christ remains with his Church as its living and unique head. Christ remains present and active in the Church through his Holy Spirit.

Through the sacrament of holy orders bishops give order to the Church. Bishops guarantee the continuity and unity of the Church from age to age and from place to place. That is, from the time of Christ and the apostles until the establishment of God's Kingdom in eternity. Bishops receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to manifest Christ in the Spirit to men. Bishops are neither vicars, substitutes, nor representatives of Christ. It is Christ, through his chosen ministers, who acts as teacher, good shepherd, forgiver, and healer. It is Christ remitting sins, and curing the physical, mental and spiritual ills of mankind. This is a mystery of the Church.

Ruling bishop

A ruling bishop or Diocesan Bishop, is responsible for and the head of all the parishes located in his a particular geographical territory, called a diocese or archdiocese. All authority of the lower orders of clergy is derived from the bishop. No divine services may be served in any Orthodox temple without the authorization of a bishop. Saint Ignatius the God-bearer of Antioch went so far as to state that "he who acts without the bishop's knowledge is in the devil's service".

He may be called Bishop or Archbishop or Metropolitan or Metropolitan Archbishop or Patriarch.

Rankings of Bishops

Sacramentally, all bishops are equal. Nevertheless, there are distinctions of administrative rank among bishops.

Patriarchs

Main Article: Patriarch

The title patriarch is reserved for the primate of certain of the autocephalous Orthodox churches. The first hierarch of the other autocephalous churches are styled metropolitan or archbishop or archbishop.

The title patriarch was first applied to the original three major sees of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch, and shortly after extended to include Constantinople and Jerusalem.

Much later the term was granted to the heads of other most significant Churches. Significance for some Churches now, may be more historical than actual.

Archbishops and Metropolitans

The title of archbishop or metropolitan may be granted to a senior bishop, usually one who is in charge of a large ecclesiastical jurisdiction. He may or may not have provincial oversight of suffragan bishops. He may or may not have auxiliary bishops assisting him.

In the Slavonic and Antiochian traditions, a metropolitan outranks an archbishop. The reverse is the situation in the Greek tradition. The Antiochian tradition also uses the style metropolitan archbishop to differentiate from metropolitan bishops in the Greek tradition.

The change in the Greek tradition came about in later Greek history, because the diocesan bishops of ancient sees (which in the Greek diaspora are pretty much all of them) came to be styled metropolitans.

The Slavonic and Antiochian Churches continue to follow the older tradition, where an archbishop is a senior bishop in charge of a major see, and a metropolitan is a bishop in charge of a province which may include a number of minor and/or major sees.

In the Greek tradition, all diocesan bishops of Autocephalous churches such as the Church of Greece (the bishop of Patras being Metropolitan) are now metropolitans, and an archbishop holds his title as an indication of greater importance for whatever reason. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is the notable exception in the Greek practice where diocesan bishops carry the title of Metropolitan. In other churches under the Jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate such as the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia the ruling bishop is the Archbishop while the other bishops are auxiliary bishops with titles of the ancient sees.

Non Ruling Bishops

A bishop who does not rule his own diocese is either a Patriarchal Vicar or an Auxiliary Bishop.

Patriarchal Vicars

Main Article: Vicar

In the Church of Antioch, a bishop who is in charge of a newly-created diocese on behalf of, and under the supervision of, the Patriarch of Antioch is called a Patriarchal Vicar. The diocese is usually kept under the direct control of the patriarch until it becomes self-supporting. Patriarchal Vicars are not members of the Holy Synod, and do not answer to the Holy Synod.

When a diocese becomes self-supporting, it is usually granted a ruling bishop who becomes a member of the Holy Synod.

The equivalent title in some Orthodox jurisdictions is Exarch.

The equivalent title in the Roman Catholic Church is Vicar Apostolic.

Auxiliary Bishops

Main Article: Auxiliary bishop

Most Orthodox Churches allow themselves the capacity to appoint Auxiliary Bishops to assist ruling bishops within their own dioceses or archdioceses.

Auxiliary Bishops do not govern in their own right but only act as directed by their diocesan bishop.

Titular Bishops

Main Article: Titular bishop

Bishops who are assigned a title of ancient dioceses that no longer function are called Titular Bishops. The Diocese of Sourozh, the diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, in Great Britain and Ireland, is an example. However, generally, titular bishops are auxiliary bishops.

Special Forms

The primate of the Church of Constantinople assumed the title Ecumenical Patriarch. The primate of the Church of Alexandria was granted the title Pope and Patriarch. The primate of the Church of Georgia recently amended his title from Catholicos to Catholicos-Patriarch.


See also

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