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A bishop is an
ordained Ordination is the process by which individuals are Consecration, consecrated, that is, set apart and elevated from the laity class to the clergy, who are thus then authorization, authorized (usually by the religious denomination, denominational hi ...
,
consecrated Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service. The word ''consecration'' literally means "association with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by different group ...

consecrated
, or appointed member of the
Christian clergy Image:LutheranClergy.JPG, upA Lutheran minister wearing a Geneva gown and Bands (neckwear), bands. In many churches, ministers wear distinctive clothing, called vestments, when presiding over service of worship, services of worship. In Christia ...

Christian clergy
who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian r ...

Catholic
,
Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also cal ...
,
Oriental Orthodox The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings ...
,
Moravian Moravian is the adjective form of the Czech Republic region of Moravia, and refers to people of ancestry from Moravia. Moravian may also refer to: * Moravia, the region * Moravians, people from Moravia * Moravian dialects, dialects of Czech spoken ...

Moravian
,
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; t ...

Anglican
,
Old Catholic The term Old Catholic Church is used from the 1850s by communions which had separated from the Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number ...
and
Independent Catholic Independent Catholicism is a denominational movement of clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and te ...
churches, as well as the
Assyrian Church of the East The Assyrian Church of the East,, ar, كنيسة المشرق الآشورية sometimes called Church of the East, officially the Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East,; ar, كنيسة المشرق الآشورية الرسولية ا ...
, bishops claim
apostolic succession Apostolic succession is the method whereby the of the is held to be derived from the by a continuous succession, which has usually been associated with a claim that the succession is through a series of s.F.L. Cross, E.A. Livingstone (editors) ...
, a direct historical lineage dating back to the original
Twelve Apostles upright=1.35, Jesus and his Twelve Apostles, Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla">Chi_Rho.html" ;"title="fresco with the Chi Rho">Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla, Rome In Christian theology and ecclesiology, apostles, partic ...

Twelve Apostles
. Within these churches, bishops are seen as those who possess the full priesthood and can ordain clergy, including other bishops. Some
Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of , but disagree among themselves ...
churches, including the
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Jesus Christ and was founded by Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology ...
,
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; t ...

Anglican
and
Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations Denomination may refer to: * Religious denomination, such as a: ** Christian denomination ** Jewish denomination ** Islamic denomination ** Hindu d ...

Methodist
churches, have bishops serving similar functions as well, though not always understood to be within apostolic succession in the same way. A person ordained as a
deacon A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christianity, Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the C ...

deacon
,
priest A priest is a religious leader Clergy are formal leaders within established religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social w ...

priest
, and then bishop is understood to hold the fullness of the (ministerial) priesthood, given responsibility by Christ to govern, teach, and sanctify the
Body of Christ In Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Christianity, Christian belief and practice. * help them better understand Christian tenets * make comparative religion, comparisons between Christianity and other traditions * Christia ...
. Priests, deacons and
lay ministerLay minister may refer to: * Licensed lay minister, a lay person authorised to conduct certain services and perform other priestly duties in the Anglican church * A lay minister in other denominations. See laity In religious organizations, the lai ...
s co-operate and assist their bishops in pastoral ministry.


Term

The English term ''bishop'' derives 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 ...
word ''epískopos'', meaning "overseer" in Greek, the early language of the Christian Church. In the early Christian era the term was not always clearly distinguished from '' presbýteros'' (literally: "elder" or "senior", origin of the modern English word "priest"), but is used in the sense of the order or office of bishop, distinct from that of presbyter, in the writings attributed to
Ignatius of Antioch Ignatius of Antioch (; Greek: Ἰγνάτιος Ἀντιοχείας, ''Ignátios Antiokheías''; died c. 108/140 AD), also known as Ignatius Theophorus (, ''Ignátios ho Theophóros'', lit. "the God-bearing"), was an early Christian writer ...

Ignatius of Antioch
. (died c. 110).


History

The earliest organization of the
Church in Jerusalem Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building), a building for Christian religious activities * Church (congregation), a local congregation of a Christian denomination * Christian denomination, a Christian organization with distinct doctrine an ...

Church in Jerusalem
was, according to most scholars, similar to that of
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO; ) is an international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organizations), suc ...

Jewish
synagogue A synagogue, ', 'house of assembly', or ', "house of prayer"; Yiddish Yiddish (, or , ''yidish'' or ''idish'', , ; , ''Yidish-Taytsh'', ) is a High German languages, High German–derived language historically spoken by Ashkenazi Jews. ...

synagogue
s, but it had a council or college of ordained
presbyters In the New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Biblical canon#Christian canons, Christian biblical canon. It discusses the te ...
( grc, πρεσβύτεροι ''elders''). In Acts 11:30 and Acts 15:22, we see a collegiate system of government in Jerusalem chaired by
James the Just James the Just, or a variation of James, brother of the Lord ( la, Iacobus from he, יעקב ''Ya'akov'' and gr, Ἰάκωβος ''Iákōbos'', can also be Anglicized as " Jacob"), was a brother of Jesus, according to the New Testament ...
, according to tradition the first bishop of the city. In Acts 14:23, the
Apostle Paul Paul; el, Παῦλος, translit=Paulos; cop, ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ; he, פאולוס השליח, name=, group= (born Saul of Tarsus;; ar, بولس الطرسوسي; el, Σαῦλος Ταρσεύς, Saũlos Tarseús; tr, Tarsuslu Pavlus A ...

Apostle Paul
ordains presbyters in churches in Anatolia. The word ''presbyter'' was not yet distinguished from ''overseer'' ( grc, ἐπίσκοπος ''episkopos'', later used exclusively to mean ''bishop''), as in Acts 20:17, Titus 1:5–7 and 1 Peter 5:1. The earliest writings of the
Apostolic Fathers The Apostolic Fathers were core Christian theologians Christian theology is the theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an Discipline (academia), ac ...
, the
Didache The ''Didache'' (; ), also known as The Lord's Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations (Διδαχὴ Κυρίου διὰ τῶν δώδεκα ἀποστόλων τοῖς ἔθνεσιν), is a brief anonymous Early Christiani ...

Didache
and the
First Epistle of Clement The First Epistle of Clement ( grc, Κλήμεντος πρὸς Κορινθίους, Klēmentos pros Korinthious, Clement to Corinthians) is a letter addressed to the Christians in the city of Corinth Corinth ( ; el, Κόρινθος, Kóri ...
, for example, show the church used two terms for local church offices—presbyters (seen by many as an interchangeable term with ''episcopos'' or overseer) and deacon. In
Timothy
Timothy
and
Titus Titus Caesar Vespasianus ( ; 30 December 39 – 13 September 81 AD) was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles thro ...
in the New Testament a more clearly defined episcopate can be seen. We are told that Paul had left Timothy in Ephesus and Titus in
Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology ...

Crete
to oversee the
local church A church (or local church) is a religious organization or congregation that meets in a particular location. Many are formally organized, with constitutions and by-laws, maintain offices, are served by clergy or lay leaders, and, in nations wher ...

local church
. Paul commands Titus to ordain presbyters/bishops and to exercise general oversight. Early sources are unclear but various groups of Christian communities may have had the bishop surrounded by a group or college functioning as leaders of the local churches. Eventually the head or "monarchic" bishop came to rule more clearly, and all local churches would eventually follow the example of the other churches and structure themselves after the model of the others with the one bishop in clearer charge, though the role of the body of presbyters remained important. Eventually, as
Christendom Christendom historically refers to the "Christian world": Christian state A Christian state is a country that recognizes a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the ...
grew, bishops no longer directly served individual congregations. Instead, the Metropolitan bishop (the bishop in a large city) appointed priests to minister each congregation, acting as the bishop's delegate.


Apostolic Fathers

Around the end of the 1st century, the church's organization became clearer in historical documents. In the works of the Apostolic Fathers, and Ignatius of Antioch in particular, the role of the episkopos, or bishop, became more important or, rather, already was very important and being clearly defined. While Ignatius of Antioch offers the earliest clear description of monarchial bishops (a single bishop over all
house church A house church or home church is a label used to describe a group of Christians who regularly gather for worship in private homes. The group may be part of a larger Christian body, such as a parish, but some have been independent groups that see ...
es in a city) he is an advocate of monepiscopal structure rather than describing an accepted reality. To the bishops and house churches to which he writes, he offers strategies on how to pressure house churches who don't recognize the bishop into compliance. Other contemporary Christian writers do not describe monarchial bishops, either continuing to equate them with the presbyters or speaking of episkopoi (bishops, plural) in a city.
"Blessed be God, who has granted unto you, who are yourselves so excellent, to obtain such an excellent bishop." — Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 1:1
"and that, being subject to the bishop and the presbytery, ye may in all respects be sanctified." — Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 2:1
"For your justly renowned presbytery, worthy of God, is fitted as exactly to the bishop as the strings are to the harp." — Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 4:1
"Do ye, beloved, be careful to be subject to the bishop, and the presbyters and the deacons." — Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 5:1
"Plainly therefore we ought to regard the bishop as the Lord Himself" — Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 6:1.
"your godly bishop" — Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians 2:1.
"the bishop presiding after the likeness of God and the presbyters after the likeness of the council of the Apostles, with the deacons also who are most dear to me, having been entrusted with the diaconate of Jesus Christ" — Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians 6:1.
"Therefore as the Lord did nothing without the Father, eing united with Him either by Himself or by the Apostles, so neither do ye anything without the bishop and the presbyters." — Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians 7:1.
"Be obedient to the bishop and to one another, as Jesus Christ was to the Father ccording to the flesh and as the Apostles were to Christ and to the Father, that there may be union both of flesh and of spirit." — Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians 13:2.
"In like manner let all men respect the deacons as Jesus Christ, even as they should respect the bishop as being a type of the Father and the presbyters as the council of God and as the college of Apostles. Apart from these there is not even the name of a church." — Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallesians 3:1.
"follow your bishop, as Jesus Christ followed the Father, and the presbytery as the Apostles; and to the deacons pay respect, as to God's commandment" —
Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnans The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans (often simply called ''Smyrnaeans'') is an epistle An epistle (; el, ἐπιστολή, ''epistolē,'' "letter") is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually an elegant and for ...
8:1.
"He that honoureth the bishop is honoured of God; he that doeth aught without the knowledge of the bishop rendereth service to the devil" — Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnans 9:1.
— Lightfoot translation.
As the Church continued to expand, new churches in important cities gained their own bishop. Churches in the regions outside an important city were served by
Chorbishop A chorbishop is a rank of Christian clergy below 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 Ca ...
, an official rank of bishops. However, soon, presbyters and deacons were sent from bishop of a city church. Gradually priests replaced the chorbishops. Thus, in time, the bishop changed from being the leader of a single church confined to an urban area to being the leader of the churches of a given geographical area.
Clement of Alexandria Titus Flavius Clemens, also known as Clement of Alexandria ( grc, Κλήμης ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς; – ), was a and philosopher who taught at the . Among his pupils were and . A convert to Christianity, he was an educated man who was ...
(end of the 2nd century) writes about the ordination of a certain Zachæus as bishop by the imposition of
Simon Peter Bar-Jonah's
Simon Peter Bar-Jonah's
hands. The words bishop and ordination are used in their technical meaning by the same Clement of Alexandria. The bishops in the 2nd century are defined also as the only clergy to whom the ordination to priesthood (
presbyterate Presbyterium is a modern term used in the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3&nb ...
) and diaconate is entrusted: "a priest (presbyter)
lays on hands
lays on hands
, but does not
ordain Ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is, set apart and elevated from the laity In religious organizations, the laity consists of all members who are not part of the clergy Clergy are formal leaders within estab ...
." (''cheirothetei ou cheirotonei'') At the beginning of the 3rd century,
Hippolytus of Rome Hippolytus of Rome (c. 170 – c. 235 AD) was one of the most important second-third century Christian theologians, whose provenance, identity and corpus remain elusive to scholars and historians. Suggested communities include Palestine, Egypt, A ...
describes another feature of the ministry of a bishop, which is that of the ''"Spiritum primatus sacerdotii habere potestatem dimittere peccata"'': the primate of sacrificial priesthood and the power to forgive sins.


Bishops and civil government

The efficient 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
became the template for the organisation of the church in the
4th century The 4th century (per the Julian calendar The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman people, Roman general and statesman who played a critical role in Crisis of the ...
, particularly after Constantine's
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 ...
. As the church moved from the shadows of privacy into the public forum it acquired land for churches, burials and
clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established s. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's s and practices. Some of the terms used for ind ...
. In 391,
Theodosius I Theodosius I ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος ; 11 January 347 – 17 January 395), also called Theodosius the Great, was Roman emperor from 379 to 395. During his reign, he faced and overcame a war against the Goths and two civil wars, and ...

Theodosius I
decreed that any land that had been confiscated from the church by Roman authorities be returned. The most usual term for the geographic area of a bishop's authority and ministry, 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 ...
, began as part of the structure of the Roman Empire under
Diocletian Diocletian (; la, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus; born Diocles; 22 December c. 244 – 3 December 311) was from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in , Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become a commander of ...
. As Roman authority began to fail in the western portion of the empire, the church took over much of the civil administration. This can be clearly seen in the ministry of two
pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state o ...

pope
s:
Pope Leo I Pope Leo I ( 400 – 10 November 461), also known as Leo the Great, was bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authori ...

Pope Leo I
in the
5th century The 5th century is the time period from 401 __NOTOC__ Year 401 ( CDI) was a common year starting on Tuesday A common year starting on Tuesday is any non-leap year A leap year (also known as an intercalary year or wikt:bissextile, bissexti ...
, and
Pope Gregory I Pope Gregory I ( la, Gregorius I; – 12 March 604), commonly known as Saint Gregory the Great, was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally ent ...

Pope Gregory I
in the 6th century. Both of these men were statesmen and public administrators in addition to their role as Christian pastors, teachers and leaders. In the
Eastern churches Eastern Christianity comprises Christian traditions and church families that originally developed during classical and late antiquity in Western Asia, Egypt, Northeast Africa, Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the region of the European co ...

Eastern churches
,
latifundia A latifundium is a very extensive parcel of privately owned land. The latifundia (Latin: ''latus'', "spacious" and ''fundus'', "farm, estate") of Roman Empire, Roman history were great landed property, landed estates specializing in agriculture dest ...
entailed to a bishop's see were much less common, the state power did not collapse the way it did in the West, and thus the tendency of bishops acquiring civil power was much weaker than in the West. However, the role of Western bishops as civil authorities, often called prince bishops, continued throughout much of the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
.


Bishops holding political office

As well as being archchancellors of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
after the 9th century, bishops generally served as
chancellor Chancellor ( la, links=no, cancellarius) is a title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the ' of Roman courts of justice—ushers, who sat at the ''cancelli'' or lattice work screens of ...

chancellor
s to medieval monarchs, acting as head of the ''justiciary'' and chief
chaplain A chaplain is, traditionally, a cleric Clergy are formal leaders within established religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, wo ...

chaplain
. The
Lord Chancellor The Lord Chancellor, formally the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking among the in in the , nominally outranking the . The lord chancellor is appointed by the on the advice of the prime minister. Prior to their i ...
of
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
was almost always a bishop up until the dismissal of Cardinal
Thomas Wolsey Thomas Wolsey (c. March 1473 – 29 November 1530) was an English statesman and Catholic bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a positi ...
by
Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerged fro ...
. Similarly, the position of
Kanclerz Chancellor of Poland ( pl, Kanclerz - , from la, cancellarius) was one of the highest Offices in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, officials in the historic Poland. This office functioned from the early History of Poland, Polish kingdom of t ...

Kanclerz
in the Polish kingdom was always held by a bishop until the
16th century The 16th century begins with the year () and ends with either the Julian or the year () (depending on the reckoning used; the Gregorian calendar introduced a lapse of 10 days in October 1582). The term is often used to refer to the 1500s, t ...
. And today, the principality of
Andorra Andorra (, ; ), officially the Principality of Andorra ( ca, Principat d'Andorra), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French ( ...

Andorra
is headed by two co-princes, one of whom is a Catholic bishop (and the other, the President of France). In
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
before the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

French Revolution
, representatives of the clergy — in practice, bishops and
abbot Abbot (from Aramaic: ''Abba'' "father") is an ecclesiastical title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic ...

abbot
s of the largest
monasteries A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical langua ...

monasteries
— comprised the
First Estate Image:Cleric-Knight-Workman.jpg, 250px, A 13th-century French representation of the tripartite social order of the Middle Ages – ''Oratores'' ("those who pray"), ''Bellatores'' ("those who fight"), and ''Laboratores'' ("those who work"). The esta ...
of the Estates-General, until their role was abolished during the French Revolution. In the 21st century, the more senior bishops of the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
continue to sit in the
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
of the
Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kin ...
, as representatives of the
established church A state religion (also called an established religion or official religion) is a or officially endorsed by a . A state with an official religion, while not , is not necessarily a . State religions are official or government-sanctioned establis ...
, and are known as
Lords Spiritual The Lords Spiritual of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United ...
. The
Bishop of Sodor and Man The Bishop of Sodor and Man is the Ordinary (officer), Ordinary of the Diocese of Sodor and Man (Manx Gaelic: ''Sodor as Mannin'') in the Province of York in the Church of England. The diocese only covers the Isle of Man. The Peel Cathedral, Cathed ...
, whose diocese lies outside the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, is an ''ex officio'' member of the
Legislative Council of the Isle of Man The Legislative Council ( gv, Yn Choonceil Slattyssagh) is the upper chamber of Tynwald Tynwald ( gv, Tinvaal), or more formally, the High Court of Tynwald ( gv, Ard-whaiyl Tinvaal) or Tynwald Court, is the legislature A legislature is a d ...
. In the past, the
Bishop of Durham The Bishop of Durham is the Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junc ...
, known as a prince bishop, had extensive viceregal powers within his northern diocese — the power to mint money, collect taxes and raise an army to defend against the Scots.
Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also cal ...
bishops, along with all other members of the clergy, are canonically forbidden to hold political office. Occasional exceptions to this rule are tolerated when the alternative is political chaos. In the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
, the
Patriarch of Constantinople The highest-ranking 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, Or ...
, for example, had de facto administrative, fiscal, cultural and legal jurisdiction, as well as spiritual, over all the Christians of the empire. More recently, Archbishop
Makarios III Makarios III ( el, Μακάριος Γ΄; born Michael Christodoulou Mouskos (Greek: Μιχαήλ Χριστοδούλου Μούσκος); 13 August 1913 – 3 August 1977) was a Cyprus, Cypriot clergyman and politician who served as the ar ...
of
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politi ...

Cyprus
, served as President of the Republic of Cyprus from 1960 to 1977. In 2001,
Peter Hollingworth Peter John Hollingworth (born 10 April 1935) is an Australian retired Anglican bishop. Engaged in social work for several decades, he served as the archbishop of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane for 11 years from 1989 and was the 1991 Australian ...
, AC,
OBE The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry An order of chivalry, order of knighthood, chivalric order, or equestrian order is an order of knights typically founded during or inspired by the original Cathol ...
– then the Anglican Archbishop of
Brisbane Brisbane ( ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller low ...
– was controversially appointed
Governor-General of Australia The governor-general of Australia is the representative of the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110 ...
. Although Hollingworth gave up his episcopal position to accept the appointment, it still attracted considerable opposition in a country which maintains a formal separation between Church and State.


Episcopacy during the English Civil War

During the period of the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers"), mainly over the manner of Kingdom of England, England's governance and issues of re ...
, the role of bishops as wielders of political power and as upholders of the established church became a matter of heated political controversy. Indeed,
Presbyterianism Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition within Protestantism that traces its origin to the Church of Scotland. Presbyterian churches derive their name from the presbyterian polity, presbyterian form of ecclesiastical polity, churc ...
was the polity of most
Reformed Churches Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, A ...
in Europe, and had been favored by many in England since the English Reformation. Since in the primitive church the offices of ''presbyter'' and ''episkopos'' were not clearly distinguished, many
Puritans The Puritans were English Protestants Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jes ...
held that this was the only form of government the church should have. The Anglican divine,
Richard Hooker Richard Hooker (25 March, 1554 – 2 November 1600) was an English priest A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the Sacred rite, sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more ...

Richard Hooker
, objected to this claim in his famous work ''Of the Laws of Ecclesiastic Polity'' while, at the same time, defending Presbyterian ordination as valid (in particular
Calvin's
Calvin's
ordination of Beza). This was the official stance of the English Church until the Commonwealth, during which time, the views of Presbyterians and Independents (
Congregationalists Congregational churches (also Congregationalist churches; Congregationalism) are Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Crit ...
) were more freely expressed and practiced.


Churches


Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Anglican churches

Bishops form the leadership in the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the
Oriental Orthodox Churches The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christian traditions and church families that originally developed during classical and late antiquity in Western Asia Western Asia, also We ...
, the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Church, the
Independent Catholic Churches Independent Catholicism is a denominational movement of clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and te ...
, the Independent Anglican Churches, and certain other, smaller, denominations. The traditional role of a bishop is as pastor of a
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 ...
(also called a bishopric,
synod A synod () is a council of a Ecclesia (church), church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. The word ''wikt:synod, synod'' comes from the meaning "assembly" or "meeting" and is analogous with the L ...

synod
,
eparchy ''Eparchy'' is an anglicize Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modifying foreign words, names, and phrases to make them easier to spell, pronounce, or understand i ...

eparchy
or see), and so to serve as a "diocesan bishop," or "eparch" as it is called in many Eastern Christian churches. Dioceses vary considerably in size, geographically and population-wise. Some dioceses around the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
which were Christianised early are rather compact, whereas dioceses in areas of rapid modern growth in Christian commitment—as in some parts of
Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all list of sovereign states and dependent territories i ...

Sub-Saharan Africa
,
South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continent ...

South America
and the
Far East The Far East is a term to refer to the geographical regions that includes East and Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeaster ...
—are much larger and more populous. As well as traditional diocesan bishops, many churches have a well-developed structure of church leadership that involves a number of layers of authority and responsibility. ;
Patriarch The highest-ranking 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, Or ...

Patriarch
:Patriarchs are the bishops who head certain ancient
autocephalous Autocephaly (; from el, αὐτοκεφαλία, meaning "property of being self-headed") is the status of a hierarchy, hierarchical Christian church whose head bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop. The term is primarily used i ...
or
sui iuris ''Sui iuris'', also spelled as ''sui juris'' ( or ), is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, know ...
churches, which are a collection of metropolitan sees or
province 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 g ...

province
s. After the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea, the church structure was patterned after the administrative divisions of the Roman Empire wherein a metropolitan or bishop of a metropolis came to be the ecclesiastical head of a civil capital of a province or a metropolis. Whereas, the bishop of the larger administrative district, diocese, came to be called an exarch. In a few cases, a bishop came to preside over a number of dioceses, i.e., Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria. At the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon in 451, Constantinople was given jurisdiction over three dioceses for the reason that the city was "the residence of the emperor and senate". Additionally, Jerusalem was recognized at the Council of Chalcedon as one of the major sees. In 692, the Quinisext Council formally recognized and ranked the sees of the Pentarchy in order of preeminence, at that time Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. In the Catholic Church, Patriarchs sometimes call their leaders ''Catholicos''; the Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Egypt, is called ''Pope'', meaning 'Father'. While most patriarchs in the
Eastern Catholic Churches The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, Eastern Rite Catholicism, or simply the Eastern Churches, are twenty-three Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christi ...
have jurisdiction over a "ritual church" (a group or diocese of a particular Eastern tradition), all
Latin Rite Latin liturgical rites, or Western liturgical rites, are Catholic rites of public worship employed by the Latin Church , native_name_lang = la , image = San Giovanni in Laterano - Rome.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , ...
patriarchs, except for the Pope, have only honorary titles. In 2006,
Pope Benedict XVI Pope Benedict XVI ( la, Benedictus XVI; it, Benedetto XVI; german: Benedikt XVI.; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, , on 16 April 1927) is a retired prelate A prelate () is a high-ranking member of the clergy who is an ordinary or who ran ...

Pope Benedict XVI
gave up the title of
Patriarch of the West Patriarch of the West was, on several occasions between AD 450 and 2006, one of the official titles of the bishop of Rome, as patriarch and highest authority of the Latin Church. The title no longer appears among the official ones, starting from ...
. The first recorded use of the title by a Roman Pope was by
Theodore I
Theodore I
in 620. However, early church documents, such as those of the
First Council of Nicaea The First Council of Nicaea (; grc, Νίκαια ) was a council of Christian bishops convened in the Bithynia Bithynia (; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialec ...
(325) had always listed the Pope of Rome first among the Ancient Patriarchs (first three, and later five: Rome, Constantinople,
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asia ...
,
Antioch Antioch on the Orontes (; grc, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου, ''Antiókheia hē epì Oróntou''; also Syrian Antioch) grc-koi, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου; or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Δάφνῃ ...

Antioch
and
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...
—collectively referred to as the ''Pentarchy''). Later, the heads of various national churches became Patriarchs, but they are ranked below the Pentarchy. ;
CatholicosCatholicos, plural Catholicoi, is a title used for the head of certain churches in some Eastern Christian traditions. The title implies autocephaly and in some cases it is the title of the head of an autonomous church. The word comes from ancient ...
: Catholicoi are the heads of some of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Rite Catholic sui iuris churches (notably the Armenian), roughly similar to a Patriarch (see above). ;
Primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal constituting the Taxonomy (biology), taxonomic order (biology), order Primates (). Primates arose 85–55 million years ago first from small Terrestrial animal, ...
:A primate is usually the bishop of the oldest church of a
nation A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communities may share a sense ...

nation
. Sometimes this carries jurisdiction over metropolitan bishops, but usually it is purely honorific. The primate of the
Scottish Episcopal Church The Scottish Episcopal Church ( gd, Eaglais Easbaigeach na h-Alba; sco, Scots Episcopal Kirk) is the ecclesiastical province of the Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian Full communion, communion after ...
is chosen from among the diocesan bishops, and, while retaining diocesan responsibility, is called ''Primus''. ;
Presiding bishop A presiding bishop is an ecclesiastical {{Short pages monitor


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

* * * * * * * * * * *


External links


Methodist/Anglican Thoughts On Apostolic Succession
by Gregory Neal

by Gregory Neal
The Old Catholic Church, Province of the United States

The Ecumenical Catholic CommunionThe United Methodist Church: Council of Bishops


{{Authority control Bishops, Bishops by type Christian terminology Ecclesiastical titles Episcopacy in Eastern Orthodoxy Episcopacy in Oriental Orthodoxy Anglican episcopal offices Methodism Religious leadership roles Christian religious occupations, Bishop