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A primate is the presiding bishop of an ecclesiastical jurisdiction and region. Usually, primate refers to the first hierarch of an autocephalous and autonomous Orthodox Church. Less often, it is used to refer to the ruling bishop of an archdiocese and diocese.

The primate will be the first among equals of all his brother bishops of the jurisdiction or diocese of which he is first hierarch, or he will be usually elected by the Holy Synod out of which he may not serve.