An episcopal see is, in the usual meaning of the phrase, the area of a bishop's ecclesiastical jurisdiction.
Phrases concerning actions occurring within or outside an episcopal see are indicative of the geographical significance of the term, making it synonymous with diocese .
The word see is derived from Latin 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 . The church in which it is placed is for that reason called the bishop's cathedral, from Latin ecclesia cathedralis, meaning the church of the cathedra. The word throne is also used, especially in the Eastern Orthodox Church, 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.
|Papal primacy, supremacy and infallibility|
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 Bishop of Rome, is known as "the Holy See"or "the Apostolic See", claiming Papal supremacy.
The Eastern Orthodox Church views all bishops 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), 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.
The United Methodist Church is divided into Annual Conferences, each one of which is presided over by a resident bishop, whose is resident bishop of each Episcopal Area, or See. This is usually located in 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.
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 bishops. Christians of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Old Catholic, Anglican, Moravian, and Scandinavian Lutheran traditions maintain that "a bishop cannot have regular or valid orders unless he has been consecrated in this apostolic succession." Each of these groups does not necessarily consider consecration of the other groups as valid.
A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.
An episcopal polity is a hierarchical form of church governance in which the chief local authorities are called bishops. It is the structure used by many of the major Christian Churches and denominations, such as the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Church of the East, Anglican, and Lutheran churches or denominations, and other churches founded independently from these lineages.
In certain Christian churches, holy orders are ordained ministries such as bishop, priest, or deacon, and the sacrament or rite by which candidates are ordained to those orders. Churches recognizing these orders include the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, Assyrian, Old Catholic, Independent Catholic and some Lutheran churches. Except for Lutherans and some Anglicans, these churches regard ordination as a sacrament. The Anglo-Catholic tradition within Anglicanism identifies more with the Roman Catholic position about the sacramental nature of ordination.
In church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop.
A synod is a council of a church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. The word synod comes from the Greek: σύνοδος [ˈsinoðos] meaning "assembly" or "meeting" and is analogous with the Latin word concilium meaning "council". Originally, synods were meetings of bishops, and the word is still used in that sense in Catholicism, Oriental Orthodoxy and Eastern Orthodoxy. In modern usage, the word often refers to the governing body of a particular church, whether its members are meeting or not. It is also sometimes used to refer to a church that is governed by a synod.
Full communion is a communion or relationship of full understanding among different Christian denominations that share certain essential principles of Christian theology. Views vary among denominations on exactly what constitutes full communion, but typically when two or more denominations are in full communion it enables services and celebrations, such as the Eucharist, to be shared among congregants or clergy of any of them with the full approval of each.
An ecclesiastical court, also called court Christian or court spiritual, is any of certain courts having jurisdiction mainly in spiritual or religious matters. In the Middle Ages these courts had much wider powers in many areas of Europe than before the development of nation states. They were experts in interpreting canon law, a basis of which was the Corpus Juris Civilis of Justinian which is considered the source of the civil law legal tradition.
Defrocking, unfrocking, or laicization of clergy is the removal of their rights to exercise the functions of the ordained ministry. It may be grounded on criminal convictions, disciplinary problems, or disagreements over doctrine or dogma, but may also be done at their request for personal reasons, such as running for civil office, taking over a family business, declining health or old age, desire to marry against the rules for clergy in a particular church, or an unresolved dispute. The form of the procedure varies according to the Christian denomination concerned. The term defrocking implies forced laicization for misconduct, while laicization is a neutral term, applicable also when clergy have requested to be released from their ordination vows.
In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis.
A cathedra was the raised seat, or throne, of a bishop in the early Christian basilica. When used with this meaning, it can be also called the bishop's throne. With time, it became synonymous with the "seat", or principal church, of a bishopric.
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 Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, a faith with ancient Christian roots in Egypt. The current holder of this position is Pope Tawadros II, who was selected as the 118th pope on November 18, 2012.
Ecclesiastical polity is the operational and governance structure of a church or of a Christian denomination. It also denotes the ministerial structure of a church and the authority relationships between churches. Polity relates closely to ecclesiology, the study of doctrine and theology relating to church organization.
An annual conference in Methodism is a regional body that governs much of the life of the "connectional church". Annual conferences are composed primarily of the clergy members and a lay member or members from each charge. Each conference is a geographical division. In general, the smaller states in the United States hold one conference each, while larger states often include two or more conferences. Several annual conferences are held in other nations as well.
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 Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Christian churches adhering to miaphysite Christology and theology, and together have 60 to 70 million members worldwide.
A personal ordinariate, sometimes called a "personal ordinariate for former Anglicans" or more informally an "Anglican ordinariate", is a canonical structure within the Catholic Church established in accordance with the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus of 4 November 2009 and its complementary norms. The ordinariates were established in order to enable "groups of Anglicans" to join the Catholic Church while preserving elements of their liturgical and spiritual patrimony. They are juridically equivalent to a diocese, "a particular church in which and from which exists the one and unique Catholic Church", but may be erected in the same territory as other dioceses "by reason of the rite of the faithful or some similar reason".