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".
<!--- == Episcopal Ministry == --->
== Rankings of Bishops ==
Sacramentally, all bishops are equal . Nevertheless, there are distinctions of administrative rank among bishops.
Diocesan Bishops'' ===
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'.
= Patriarchs ===
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
was first applied to the original three major [[ see]] s 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 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.
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.
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.
The equivalent title in some Orthodox jurisdictions is [[Exarch]].
The equivalent title in the Roman Catholic Church is Vicar Apostolic.
=== Auxiliary Bishops ===
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===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.
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.
== Etiquette ==
*[http://www. orthodoxinfo. com/praxis/clergy_etiquette. aspx Clergy Etiquette]
In general, when referring to a [[ hierarch]] , His is often used (e. g. His All Holiness, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch, visited Tarpon Springs, Florida in January of 2006). An English speaking hierarch can be addressed "Your..", such as "Your Eminence, I'm so glad to see you!".
Throughout the Slavonic Churches, all bishops of whatever rank are usually addressed as Vladyka, when face to face, or when spoken about.
Throughout the Greek Churches, all bishops of whatever rank are usually addressed as Despota, when face to face, or when spoken about.
Throughout the Antiochian Churches, except for most parts of North America, all bishops of whatever rank are usually addressed as Sayidna, when face to face, or when spoken about, for instance "But Sayidna told me.. .".
Within the Romanian jurisdictions, all bishops of whatever rank are usually addressed to their face as "Domnus".
Bishop [[Tikhon (Fitzgerald) bishop of San Francisco and Los Angeles|Tikhon (Fitzgerald) of San Francisco and the West]] ([[ OCA]] ), who retired in 2007, wrote a short memo on the [ http://www. holy-trinity.org/general/conventions.html ''Conventions of writing to a hierarch''].
<!--- == Bishop's Vestments == --->
*[[:Category:Images of Hierarchs]]