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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
Diaconal titles
Archdeacon - Protodeacon
Minor titles
Protopsaltes - Lampadarios
Monastic titles
Abbot - Igumen
Ordination - Vestments
Presbeia - Honorifics
Clergy awards - Exarch
Proistamenos - Vicar
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A chorbishop, or chorepiscopos, is a rare office of clergy in the Church. The name is taken from the Greek Χωρεπίσκοπος, meaning "country bishop." He is a bishop with all the essential powers of the episcopal order but whose faculty of exercising these powers is limited. In the early Church he would confer minor orders only. His functions were supervised by his metropolitan. Although the office was quite common in the patristic age, today it is almost solely an honorary title.[1]


Chorepiscopi are first mentioned by the ecclesiastical historian Eusebius in the second century.[2] In the days of the very Early Church, chorepiscopi seemed to have authority in rural districts, but in the second half of the third century they were subject to the urban episcopate, or metropolitans. The Synod of Ancyra (314) forbade them to ordain deacons and priests.

The Council of Sardica in 343 decreed that chorepiscopi should not be consecrated where a priest would suffice,[3] and gradually their numbers declined. In some dioceses, the title chorbishop is sometimes used as an alternative title for an auxiliary bishop. However, it should be noted that the functions of an auxiliary usually differ from this specific office.

The modern Arabic word for a priest, khoury, is etymologically taken from the Greek chorepiscopos.


  1. See Palladius, The Lausiac History. ACW 34 (Washington, 1964), p 200, note 340.
  2. Ott, Michael T. (1913). "Chorepiscopi." Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company
  3. Canon 6 of the Council of Sardica. (Note there is a lacuna in the text as translated and presented in The Rudder. The essential word not has been omitted in the main body of the text, although the sense and the commentary make it clear it should have been included.)

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