HOME

TheInfoList




In church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a
bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Moravian Chu ...

bishop
.


History

In the later organization of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
, the increasingly subdivided
provinces A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are gene ...
were administratively associated in a larger unit, the
diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the later organization of the Roman Empire, the increasingly subdivided Roman province, prov ...
(
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
''dioecesis'', from the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
term διοίκησις, meaning "administration").
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...

Christianity
was given legal status in 313 with the
Edict of Milan The Edict of Milan ( la, Edictum Mediolanense, el, Διάταγμα τῶν Μεδιολάνων, ''Diatagma tōn Mediolanōn'') was the February 313 CE agreement to treat Christians benevolently within the Roman Empire.Frend, W. H. C. ''Th ...
. Churches began to organize themselves into
dioceses In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the later organization of the Roman Empire, the increasingly subdivided Roman province, prov ...
based on the civil dioceses, not on the larger regional imperial districts. These dioceses were often smaller than the
provinces A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are gene ...
. Christianity was declared the Empire's
official religion An official is someone who holds an office (function or mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual working space with it) in an organization An organization, or organisation ( Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an ...
by Theodosius I in 380.
Constantine I Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). Th ...

Constantine I
in 318 gave litigants the right to have court cases transferred from the civil courts to the bishops. This situation must have hardly survived Julian, 361–363. Episcopal courts are not heard of again in the East until 398 and in the West in 408. The quality of these courts was low, and not above suspicion as the Bishop of
Alexandria Troas Alexandria Troas ("Alexandria of the Troad"; el, Αλεξάνδρεια Τρωάς; tr, Eski Stambul) is the site of an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiqu ...
found that clergy were making a corrupt profit. Nonetheless, these courts were popular as people could get quick justice without being charged fees. Bishops had no part in the civil administration until the town councils, in decline, lost much authority to a group of 'notables' made up of the richest councilors, powerful and rich persons legally exempted from serving on the councils, retired military, and bishops post-AD 450. As the
Western Empire
Western Empire
collapsed in the 5th century, bishops in Western Europe assumed a larger part of the role of the former Roman governors. A similar, though less pronounced, development occurred in the East, where the Roman administrative apparatus was largely retained by the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
. In modern times, many dioceses, though later subdivided, have preserved the boundaries of a long-vanished Roman administrative division. For Gaul, Bruce Eagles has observed that "it has long been an academic commonplace in France that the medieval dioceses, and their constituent '' pagi'', were the direct territorial successors of the Roman ''
civitates In the history of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map ...
''." Modern usage of 'diocese' tends to refer to the sphere of a bishop's jurisdiction. This became commonplace during the self-conscious "classicizing" structural evolution of the
Carolingian Empire The Carolingian Empire (800–888) was a large Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient nort ...
in the 9th century, but this usage had itself been evolving from the much earlier ''parochia'' ("
parish A parish is a territorial entity in many Christianity, Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a priest#Christianity, priest, often termed a parish priest, ...
"; Late Latin derived from the Greek παροικία ''paroikia''), dating from the increasingly formalized Christian authority structure in the 4th century.


Archdiocese

Dioceses ruled by an
archbishop In many Christian Denominations Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' an ...
are commonly referred to as archdioceses; most are
metropolitan see Metropolitan may refer to: * Metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area dis ...
s, being placed at the head of an ecclesiastical province. A few are
suffragansIn the Anglican Communion, a suffragan bishop is a bishop who is subordinate to a metropolitan bishop or diocesan bishop (bishop ordinary) and so is not normally jurisdictional in their role. Suffragan bishops may be charged by a metropolitan to over ...
of a metropolitan see or are directly subject to the
Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome or Apostolic See, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian ...
. The term 'archdiocese' is not found in
Canon Law Canon law (from grc, κανών, , a 'straight measuring rod, ruler A ruler, sometimes called a rule or line gauge, is a device used in geometry and technical drawing, as well as the engineering and construction industries, to measure dis ...
, with the terms "diocese" and "
episcopal see An episcopal see is, in the usual meaning of the phrase, the area of a 's . Phrases concerning actions occurring within or outside an episcopal see are indicative of the geographical significance of the term, making it synonymous with '. The wo ...
" being applicable to the area under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of any bishop. If the title of archbishop is granted on '' personal'' grounds to a
diocesan bishop A diocesan bishop, within various Christian traditions, is a bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Wit ...
, his diocese does not thereby become an archdiocese.


Catholic Church

The
Canon Law of the Catholic Church The canon law of the Catholic Church (Latin for "canon law": ''ius canonicum'') is the system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of ...
defines a diocese as "a portion of the people of God which is entrusted to a bishop for him to shepherd with the cooperation of the presbyterium, so that, adhering to its pastor and gathered by him in the Holy Spirit through the gospel and the Eucharist, it constitutes a particular church in which the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of Christ is truly present and operative." Also known as ''particular churches'' or ''local churches.'' Dioceses are under the authority of a
Bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Moravian Chu ...
, They are described as
ecclesiastical {{Short pages monitor