In Christianity, an archbishop ( // , via Latin archiepiscopus, from Greek αρχιεπίσκοπος, from αρχι-, 'chief', and επίσκοπος, 'bishop') is a bishop of higher rank or office. In some cases, such as the Lutheran Church of Sweden and the Church of England, the title is borne by the leader of the denomination. Like popes, patriarchs, metropolitans, cardinal bishops, diocesan bishops, and suffragan bishops, archbishops are in the highest of the three traditional orders of bishops, priests (also called presbyters), and deacons. An archbishop may be granted the title or ordained as chief pastor of a metropolitan see or another episcopal see to which the title of archbishop is attached.
Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and the savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Bible, called the Old Testament in Christianity, and chronicled in the New Testament. It is the world's largest religion with about 2.4 billion followers.
Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
The earliest appearance of neither the title nor the role can be traced. The title of "metropolitan" was apparently well known by the 4th century, when there are references in the canons of the First Council of Nicæa of 325 and Council of Antioch of 341, though the term seems to be used generally for all higher ranks of bishop, including patriarchs. The term "archbishop" does not appear in the modern sense until the 6th century, although the role, above ordinary bishops but below patriarchs, seems to be established for metropolitans by the 5th century.
Beginning with three synods convened between 264 and 269 in the matter of Paul of Samosata, more than thirty councils were held in Antioch in ancient times. Most of these dealt with phases of the Arian and of the Christological controversies. For example, the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Paul of Samosata states:
It must be regarded as certain that the council which condemned Paul rejected the term homoousios; but naturally only in a false sense used by Paul; not, it seems because he meant by it a unity of Hypostasis in the Trinity, but because he intended by it a common substance out of which both Father and Son proceeded, or which it divided between them, — so St. Basil and St. Athanasius; but the question is not clear. The objectors to the Nicene doctrine in the fourth century made copious use of this disapproval of the Nicene word by a famous council.
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Episcopal sees are generally arranged in groups in which one see's bishop has certain powers and duties of oversight over the others. He is known as the metropolitan archbishop of that see. In the Catholic Church, canon 436 of the Code of Canon Law indicates what these powers and duties are for a Latin Church metropolitan archbishop, while those of the head of an autonomous ( sui iuris ) Eastern Catholic Churches are indicated in canon 157 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. All Catholic metropolitans are archbishops, but not all archbishops are metropolitans, though most are.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration is the Holy See.
The Latin Church, also known as the Western Church or the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church, employing the Latin liturgical rites. It is one of 24 such churches, the 23 others forming the Eastern Catholic Churches. It is headed by the bishop of Rome, the pope – traditionally also called the Patriarch of the West – with cathedra in this role at the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome, Italy. The Latin Church traces its history to the earliest days of Christianity through its direct leadership under the Holy See, founded by Peter and Paul, according to Catholic tradition.
Sui iuris, also spelled as sui juris, is a Latin phrase that literally means "of one's own right". It is used in both civil law and canon law by the Catholic Church. The term church sui iuris is used in the Catholic Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEO) to denote the autonomous churches in Catholic communion:
A church sui iuris is "a community of the Christian faithful, which is joined together by a hierarchy according to the norm of law and which is expressly or tacitly recognized as sui iuris by the supreme authority of the Church" (CCEO.27). The term sui iuris is an innovation of the CCEO, and it denotes the relative autonomy of the oriental Catholic Churches. This canonical term, pregnant with many juridical nuances, indicates the God-given mission of the Oriental Catholic Churches to keep up their patrimonial autonomous nature. And the autonomy of these churches is relative in the sense that it is under the supreme authority of the Roman Pontiff.
As well as the much more numerous metropolitan sees, there are 77 Roman Catholic sees that have archiepiscopal rank. 1142 In some cases, such a see is the only one in a country, such as Luxembourg :423 or Monaco, :474 too small to be divided into several dioceses so as to form an ecclesiastical province. In others, the title of archdiocese is for historical reasons attributed to a see that was once of greater importance.:
Luxembourg, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a landlocked microstate in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is one of the four official capitals of the European Union and the seat of the European Court of Justice, the highest judicial authority in the EU. Its culture, people, and languages are highly intertwined with its neighbours, making it essentially a mixture of French and German cultures, as evident by the nation's three official languages: French, German, and the national language of Luxembourgish. The repeated invasions by Germany, especially in World War II, resulted in the country's strong will for mediation between France and Germany and, among other things, led to the foundation of the European Union.
Monaco, officially the Principality of Monaco, is a sovereign city-state, country, and microstate on the French Riviera in Western Europe. France borders the country on three sides while the other side borders the Mediterranean Sea. Monaco is about 15 km (9.3 mi) from the state border with Italy.
Some of these archdioceses are suffragans of a metropolitan archdiocese; examples are the Archdiocese of Avignon, which is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Marseille, 296and the Archdiocese of Trnava, Slovakia. Others are immediately subject to the Holy See and not to any metropolitan archdiocese. These are usually "aggregated" to an ecclesiastical province. An example is the Archdiocese of Hobart in Australia, associated with the Metropolitan ecclesiastical province of Melbourne, but not part of it. :
A suffragan diocese is one of the dioceses other than the metropolitan archdiocese that constitute an ecclesiastical province. It exists in some Christian denominations, in particular the Catholic Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, and the Romanian Orthodox Church.
Slovakia, officially the Slovak Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the west, and the Czech Republic to the northwest. Slovakia's territory spans about 49,000 square kilometres (19,000 sq mi) and is mostly mountainous. The population is over 5.4 million and consists mostly of Slovaks. The capital and largest city is Bratislava, and the second-largest city is Košice. The official language is Slovak.
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 26 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.
The ordinary of such an archdiocese is an archbishop; however, especially in the Anglican Communion, not all archbishops' dioceses are called archdioceses.
The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion. Founded in 1867 in London, England, the communion currently has 85 million members within the Church of England and other national and regional churches in full communion. The traditional origins of Anglican doctrines are summarised in the Thirty-nine Articles (1571). The Archbishop of Canterbury in England acts as a focus of unity, recognised as primus inter pares, but does not exercise authority in Anglican provinces outside of the Church of England.
Until 1970, a coadjutor archbishop, one who has special faculties and the right to succeed to the leadership of a see on the death or resignation of the incumbent,was assigned also to a titular see, which he held until the moment of succession. Since then, the title of Coadjutor Archbishop of the see is considered sufficient and more appropriate.
The rank of archbishop is conferred on some bishops who are not ordinaries of an archdiocese. They hold the rank not because of the see that they head but because it has been granted to them personally (ad personam). Such a grant can be given when someone who already holds the rank of archbishop is transferred to a see that, though its present-day importance may be greater than the person's former see, is not archiepiscopal. The bishop transferred is then known as the Archbishop-Bishop of his new see. An example is Gianfranco Gardin, appointed Archbishop-Bishop of Treviso on 21 December 2009.The title borne by the successor of such an archbishop-bishop is merely that of Bishop of the see, unless he also is granted the personal title of Archbishop.
The distinction between metropolitan sees and non-metropolitan archiepiscopal sees exists for titular sees as well as for residential ones. The Annuario Pontificio marks titular sees of the former class with the abbreviation Metr. and the others with Arciv. 819:
Many of the titular sees to which nuncios and heads of departments of the Roman Curia who are not cardinals are assigned are not of archiepiscopal rank. In that case the person who is appointed to such a position is given the personal title of archbishop (ad personam). They are usually referred to as Archbishop of the see, not as its Archbishop-Bishop.
If an archbishop resigns his see without being transferred to another, as in the case of retirement or assignment to head a department of the Roman Curia, the word emeritus is added to his former title, and he is called Archbishop Emeritus of his former see. Until 1970, such archbishops were transferred to a titular see.
There can be several Archbishops Emeriti of the same see: The 2008 Annuario Pontificio listed three living Archbishops Emeriti of Taipei.
There is no Archbishop Emeritus of a titular see: An archbishop who holds a titular see keeps it until death or until transferred to another see.
In the Anglican Communion, retired archbishops formally revert to being addressed as "bishop" and styled "The Right Reverend",although they may be appointed "archbishop emeritus" by their province on retirement, in which case they retain the title "archbishop" and the style "The Most Reverend", as a right. Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a prominent example, as Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town. Former archbishops who have not received the status of archbishop emeritus may still be informally addressed as "archbishop" as a courtesy, unless they are subsequently appointed to a bishopric (not an archbishopric), in which case, the courtesy ceases.
While there is no difference between the official dress of archbishops, as such, and that of other bishops, Roman Catholic metropolitan archbishops are distinguished by the use in liturgical ceremonies of the pallium, but only within the province over which they have oversight.
Roman Catholic bishops and archbishops are styled "The Most Reverend" and addressed as "Your Excellency" in most cases. In English-speaking countries (except the United States), a Catholic archbishop is addressed as "Your Grace", while a Catholic bishop is addressed as "Your Lordship". Before December 12, 1930, the title "Most Reverend" was only for archbishops, while bishops were styled as "Right Reverend".This practice is still followed by Catholic bishops in the United Kingdom to mirror that of the Church of England.
In Roman Catholic heraldry, an archbishop has an ecclesiastical hat with ten tassels on each side of his coat of arms, while a bishop has only six. The archiepiscopal cross behind the shield has two bars instead of one. Such a cross may be borne before him in liturgical processions.
In processions and other occasions where strict protocol is observed, archbishops are ranked higher than diocesan bishops in the order of precedence.
In the Anglican Communion, archbishops are styled "The Most Reverend" and addressed as "Your Grace", while bishops are styled "The Right Reverend" and addressed as "My Lord" or "Your Lordship". (In some countries, this usage is followed also by the Roman Catholic Church, but in others no distinction is made and "The Most Reverend" and "Your Excellency" are used for archbishops and bishops alike.) Anglican archbishops are entitled to be preceded by a server carrying an archiepiscopal processional cross (with two bars instead of one) in liturgical processions.The Archbishop of Canterbury's metropolitical processional cross is always carried before him by a priest-chaplain, and (like other archbishops) is a two-barred processional cross. However, the Archbishop of Canterbury is also entitled to be preceded by the ancient primatial cross of Canterbury (still in ceremonial use) which is of an ornate historical design, made of precious metal, and with precious stones inserted, but unlike his metropolitical cross (or those of other archbishops) it is not double-barred.
Archbishops exist in all traditional denominations of the Eastern Christianity, including Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Churches, Eastern Catholic Churches and others.
In the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the office and title of archbishop can be traced from the 4th and 5th century. Historically, the title was used variously, in terms of rank and jurisdiction.In some Eastern Orthodox Churches, archbishops are ranked above metropolitans in precedence, while in others that order is reversed. Primates of autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches below patriarchal rank are generally designated as archbishops. In the Greek Orthodox Church, archbishops are ranked above metropolitans in precedence. The reverse is true for some Slavic Orthodox Churches (Russian Orthodox, Bulgarian Orthodox) and also for Romanian Orthodox Church, where metropolitans rank above archbishops.
In terms of jurisdiction, there are two basic types of archbishops in the Eastern Orthodox Church: real archbishops, and honorary archbishops. Real archbishops are primates of autocephalous or autonomous (regional) churches, and they have actual jurisdiction over other bishops, while honorary archbishops are in fact just diocesan bishops with honorary titles of archbishops and no jurisdiction outside their own diocese. The honorary title is usually conferred to bishops of historically important sees. For example, in the Serbian Orthodox Church, both types are represented: head of the autonomous Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric is styled Archbishop of Ohrid and invested with regional jurisdiction over all diocesan bishops in North Macedonia, while diocesan bishop of the Eparchy of Montenegro and the Littoral, with seat in Cetinje, is given only the honorary title Archbishop of Cetinje, but without any jurisdiction over other diocesan bishops in Montenegro.
The Oriental Orthodox custom generally agrees with the Slavic rather than the Greek with respect to the archbishop/metropolitan distinction.
Instead of the term archbishop, Eastern Catholic Churches sometimes use the word archeparch by analogy with eparch, the term used for a diocesan (or eparchial) bishop. However, the word archeparch is not found in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.
The highest-ranking bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Catholic Church, and the Church of the East are termed patriarchs.
The term exarch comes from the Ancient Greek ἔξαρχος, exarchos, and designates holders of various historical offices, some of them being political or military and others being ecclesiastical.
In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis.
An ecclesiastical province is one of the basic forms of jurisdiction in Christian Churches with traditional hierarchical structure, including Western Christianity and Eastern Christianity. In general, an ecclesiastical province consists of several dioceses, one of them being the archdiocese, headed by metropolitan bishop or archbishop who has ecclesiastical jurisdiction over all other bishops of the province.
A titular see in various churches is an episcopal see of a former diocese that no longer functions, sometimes called a "dead diocese".
The Romanian Greek Catholic Church or Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic is a sui iuris Eastern Catholic Church, in full union with the Roman Catholic Church. It has the rank of a Major Archiepiscopal Church and it uses the Byzantine liturgical rite in the Romanian language. It is part of the Major Archiepiscopal Churches of the Catholic Church that are not distinguished with a patriarchal title.
A titular bishop in various churches is a bishop who is not in charge of a diocese. By definition, a bishop is an "overseer" of a community of the faithful, so when a priest is ordained a bishop, the tradition of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches is that he be ordained for a specific place. There are more bishops than there are functioning dioceses. Therefore, a priest appointed not to head a diocese as its diocesan bishop but to be an auxiliary bishop, a papal diplomat, or an official of the Roman Curia is appointed to a titular see.
The hierarchy of the Catholic Church consists of its bishops, priests, and deacons. In the ecclesiological sense of the term, "hierarchy" strictly means the "holy ordering" of the Church, the Body of Christ, so to respect the diversity of gifts and ministries necessary for genuine unity.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tunis is a Roman Catholic diocese in Tunis, Tunisia. It was founded on 10 November 1884 under the name "Archdiocese of Carthage", with territory corresponding to that of the then French protectorate of Tunisia. On 9 July 1964, it became a territorial prelature under the ecclesiastical title of Prelature of Tunis. It was made a diocese, keeping the name of Tunis, on 31 May 1995, and raised to the rank of archdiocese on 22 May 2010.
A diocesan bishop, within various Christian traditions, is a bishop or archbishop in pastoral charge of a diocese or archdiocese.
In the Catholic Church, a bishop is an ordained minister who holds the fullness of the sacrament of holy orders and is responsible for teaching doctrine, governing Catholics in his jurisdiction, sanctifying the world and representing the Church. Catholics trace the origins of the office of bishop to the apostles, who it is believed were endowed with a special charism by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Catholics believe this special charism has been transmitted through an unbroken succession of bishops by the laying on of hands in the sacrament of holy orders.
The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is the highest Orthodox authority in the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. It formulates the rules and regulations regarding matters of the church's organisation and faith.
The Ethiopian Catholic Archeparchy of Addis Abeba, officially the Metropolitan sui iuris Archeparchy of Addis Abeba is the metropolitan see of the Ethiopian Catholic Church, a sui iuris metropolitan Eastern Catholic Church.
The Diocese of Rome is a diocese of the Catholic Church in Rome. The Bishop of Rome or the Roman Bishop is the Pope, the Supreme Pontiff and leader of the Catholic Church. As the Holy See, the papacy is a sovereign entity with diplomatic relations, and civil jurisdiction over the Vatican City State located geographically within Rome. The Diocese of Rome is the metropolitan diocese of the Province of Rome, an ecclesiastical province in Italy. The first Bishop of Rome was Saint Peter in the first century. The incumbent since 13 March 2013 is Pope Francis.
A metropolis religious jurisdiction, or a metropolitan archdiocese, is an episcopal see whose bishop is the metropolitan bishop of an ecclesiastical province. Metropolises, historically, have been important cities in their provinces.
Precedence signifies the right to enjoy a prerogative of honor before other persons; for example, to have the most distinguished place in a procession, a ceremony, or an assembly, to have the right to express an opinion, cast a vote, or append a signature before others, to perform the most honorable offices.
Archbishopric of Justiniana Prima was an Eastern Christian autonomous Archbishopric with see in the city of Justiniana Prima and jurisdiction over the Late Roman Diocese of Dacia in central parts of the Southeastern Europe.
The Eritrean Catholic Archeparchy of Asmara, officially the Archeparchy of Asmara, more informally Asmara of the Eritreans, is the metropolitan see of the Metropolitan Eritrean Catholic Church, a sui iuris Eastern Catholic Church whose territory corresponds to that of the State of Eritrea in the Horn of Africa. It depends on the Roman Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
See note 3