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An episcopal see is, in a practical use of the phrase, the area of a
bishop A bishop is an ordained clergy member who is entrusted with a position of Episcopal polity, authority and oversight in a religious institution. In Christianity, bishops are normally responsible for the governance of dioceses. The role or offic ...
's
ecclesiastical jurisdiction Ecclesiastical jurisdiction signifies jurisdiction by church leaders over other church leaders and over the laity. Jurisdiction is a word borrowed from the legal system which has acquired a wide extension in theology, wherein, for example, it is ...
. Phrases concerning actions occurring within or outside an episcopal see are indicative of the geographical significance of the term, making it synonymous with ''
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, pro ...
''. The word ''see'' is derived from
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
''sedes'', which in its original or proper sense denotes the seat or chair that, in the case of a bishop, is the earliest symbol of the bishop's authority. This symbolic chair is also known as the bishop's ''
cathedra A ''cathedra'' is the raised throne of a bishop A bishop is an ordained clergy member who is entrusted with a position of Episcopal polity, authority and oversight in a religious institution. In Christianity, bishops are normally respon ...
''. The church in which it is placed is for that reason called the bishop's
cathedral A cathedral is a church (building), church that contains the ''cathedra'' () of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, Annual conferences within Methodism, conference, or episcopate. Churches with the function of "cathedral ...
, from Latin ''ecclesia cathedralis'', meaning the church of the ''cathedra''. The word ''throne'' is also used, especially in the
Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptized members. It operates as a Communion (Christ ...
, both for the chair and for the area of ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The term "see" is also used of the town where the cathedral or the bishop's residence is located.


Catholic Church

Within Catholicism, each diocese is considered to be a see unto itself with a certain allegiance to the See of Rome. The idea of a see as a sovereign entity is somewhat complicated due to the existence of the 23 Particular Churches of the Catholic Church. The Western Church and its Eastern Catholic counterparts all reserve some level of autonomy, yet each also is subdivided into smaller sees (dioceses and archdioceses). The episcopal see of the
Pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, 'father'), also known as supreme pontiff ( or ), Roman pontiff () or sovereign pontiff, is the bishop of Rome (or historically the patriarch of Rome), head of the worldwide Cathol ...
, the Bishop of Rome, is known as "the
Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome, Petrine See or Apostolic See, is the jurisdiction of the Pope in his role as the bishop of Rome. It includes the apostolic see, apostolic episcopal see of the ...
" or "the
Apostolic See An apostolic see is an episcopal see whose foundation is attributed to one or more of the Twelve Apostles, apostles of Jesus or to one of their close associates. In Catholicism the phrase, preceded by the definite article and usually capitalized, ...
", claiming
papal supremacy Papal supremacy is the doctrine of the Catholic Church that the Pope, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, the visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful, and as pastor of the ...
.


Eastern Orthodox Church

The
Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptized members. It operates as a Communion (Christ ...
views all
bishops A bishop is an ordained clergy member who is entrusted with a position of Episcopal polity, authority and oversight in a religious institution. In Christianity, bishops are normally responsible for the governance of dioceses. The role or offic ...
as sacramentally equal, and in principle holding equal authority, each over his own see. Certain bishops may be granted additional administrative duties over wider regions (as in the idea of the
Pentarchy Pentarchy (from the Ancient Greek, Greek , ''Pentarchía'', from πέντε ''pénte'', "five", and ἄρχειν ''archein'', "to rule") is a model of Church organization formulated in the laws of Emperor Justinian I (527–565) of the Roman ...
), but these powers are limited and never extend over the entire Church. Thus, the Eastern Orthodox oppose the idea of papal supremacy or any similar supremacy by any one bishop.


United Methodist Church

The
United Methodist Church The United Methodist Church (UMC) is a worldwide mainline Protestant Christian denomination, denomination based in the United States, and a major part of Methodism. In the 19th century, its main predecessor, the Methodist Episcopal Church, was a ...
is divided into Annual Conferences, each one of which is presided over by a resident bishop, who is
bishop A bishop is an ordained clergy member who is entrusted with a position of Episcopal polity, authority and oversight in a religious institution. In Christianity, bishops are normally responsible for the governance of dioceses. The role or offic ...
of a named
Episcopal Area An episcopal area in the United Methodist Church (UMC) is a basic unit of this denomination. It is a region presided over by a Resident Bishop (United Methodist), resident bishop that is similar to a diocese in other Christian denominations. Each ...
, or See city. This is usually the Annual Conference's largest, or sometimes most centrally located, city. Annual Conferences are the regional bodies which are the fundamental basic bodies of which the United Methodist Global Connection is composed. Annual Conferences are responsible for many matters, including the approval, election and ordination of clergy, who then become members of the Annual Conference in which they are elected and ordained and – with some exceptions – serve within the bounds of for the tenure of their ministries. United Methodist Bishops are elected in larger regional conclaves every four years which are known as Jurisdictional Conferences. These super-regional Jurisdictional Conferences comprise an equal number of lay and clergy delegates from each Annual Conference, each delegation determined by the size of the Annual Conference, within the Jurisdiction, and new bishops are elected and consecrated from among the clergy of the Jurisdiction's Annual Conferences. These bishops who are elected for life, are then sent to lead the various Annual Conferences of the Jurisdiction. Episcopal candidates are usually – although not always – the first clergy delegate elected from a particular Annual Conference. Each bishop is assigned to and leads for four year terms an Episcopal area, or see, of each Annual Conference. An Episcopal area can also comprise more than one Annual Conference when two smaller Annual Conferences agree to share a bishop.The United Methodist Book of Discipline, 2018 (special session)


See also

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Apostolic succession Apostolic succession is the method whereby the ministry of the Christian Church is held to be derived from the apostles by a continuous succession, which has usually been associated with a claim that the succession is through a series of bish ...
*
Apostolic Throne In Christianity, the concept of an Apostolic Throne refers to one of the historic Patriarchates that was associated with a specific Apostles in the New Testament, apostle. Not all of the apostles are associated with specific "thrones"; in general, ...
*
Early centers of Christianity Early Christianity (up to the First Council of Nicaea in 325) Spread of Christianity, spread from the Levant, across the Roman Empire, and beyond. Originally, this progression was closely connected to History of the Jews in the Roman Empire, alre ...
*
Ecclesiastical province An ecclesiastical province is one of the basic forms of Ecclesiastical jurisdiction, jurisdiction in Christianity, Christian Churches with traditional hierarchical structure, including Western Christianity and Eastern Christianity. In general, an ...
*
Episcopal polity An episcopal polity is a Hierarchy, hierarchical form of Ecclesiastical polity, church governance ("ecclesiastical polity") in which the chief local authorities are called bishops. (The word "bishop" derives, via the British Latin and Vulgar ...
*
Lists of popes, patriarchs, primates, archbishops, and bishops This is a directory of patriarchs, archbishops, and bishops across various Christian denominations. To find an individual who was a bishop, see the most relevant article linked below or :Bishops. Lists Catholic * Bishop in the Catholic Churc ...
*''
Sede vacante ''Sede vacante'' ( in Latin.) is a term for the state of a diocese while without a bishop. In the canon law of the Catholic Church, the term is used to refer to the vacancy of the bishop's or Pope's authority upon his death or resignation. Hi ...
''


References


External links

* {{Christianity footer Christian terminology Dioceses (ecclesiastical)