French Catholic Church Hierarchy

Also called the “eldest daughter of the church”, the Catholic Church of France is a part of the Catholic Church worldwide and is under the holy leadership of Pope and the Conference of French Bishops. Both the religious and the social aspects of the country are taken care of by this Church.

The various levels of hierarchy from top to bottom are: Pope, Bishops, Priests and Cardinal

French Catholic Church HierarchyPope

Also known as the Pontiff, the Pope is the head of the Catholic Church worldwide. He holds three offices: Head of Bishops, Head of Diocese and Head of the Parish. He also plays the all important role of handling the political and social aspects of New France. He leads the all powerful role of the office of Papacy. But there are instances when the Pope does contradict the opinions of the established religious beliefs. During those times, he loses the Papal supremacy and becomes an anti-Pope. His position in the Church is therefore quite significant as he is at the top of the religious hierarchy.

Bishops

Just after the Pope in the hierarchical rung comes the Bishops who are normally in charge of a diocese or a district. The residence of the Bishop in the local church is called the Cathedral, it is also known as his home church. A diocese is an allocated geographical territory where each if these cathedrals are situated and there is one Bishop per one cathedral.

The designation of an Archbishop is similar to that of a bishop. The only difference is that an Archbishop is located in the capital of the state or province, which holds significant political importance. Therefore they have a control of a larger chunk of the diocese.

So the Bishop holds two separate offices, Head of Parish and Head of Diocese.

Priests

In the third rank of the hierarchy is the priest, the other names of whom are Pastor, Father or Reverend. One priest is allotted for every local parish within the Catholic Church. There are territorial boundaries for every parish. The priest is answerable to either the Pope or the Bishop of that particular diocese. At the same time, the Bishop of one parish does not have any control over the priests of other parishes. A priest is the Head of the parish thus holding only a single office.

Cardinals

They are the last rank of the religious hierarchy of New France and are chosen by the Pope. They are advisors to the Pope and are in charge of electing a new Pope when the old one finishes his tenure.