US Church Hierarchy

Generally the Catholics in the US are from the Latin Church or the Roman Rite. The leadership here falls to the bishops. They are the stalwarts of the different cities and the surrounding areas better known as dioceses. So every diocese has one bishop who is known as ordinary. Several dioceses make up a province and the lead bishop here is the archbishop, also known as the metropolitan.

But the church hierarchy that is followed in the US is almost as any Catholic Church, where the apostles were placed by Jesus to take care of this faith and the souls. He appointed Peter as the head of these apostle and the successors of these few apostles are the bishops who lead a chaste life in their own churches.

US Church HierarchyThe Pope

He is the head of the college of Bishops and is responsible for the whole of church of Christ. The Pope is the Holy Roman Pontiff, Rome’s Bishop and the successor of Peter. In other words, he has taken Christ’s place on earth.

The College of Bishops

All the Bishops across parishes and dioceses form this college and have this exclusive power over the Universal Church. But they need to be united with the Pope to authorise any decision.

The Laity

They are a group of those faithful baptised men who might not be ordained but stay together with the commoner’s world.

The College of Cardinals

Though this does not fulfil official hierarchy, there are certain bishops who are given that supreme position in the Church to be elevated to this post. They basically are special advisors to the Pope and on his death meet to decide upon the successor.

The Synod of Bishops

They are a formal body within the Church who are formed to advise Pope on numerous occasions. They meet in Rome to discuss sensitive issues and improve upon Church teachings. This Synod holds control because if there is a disagreement then the Pope can’t act contrary to their decision. But on a practical note their job is to assist the Holy Father in understanding the needs of the Church in the world over.

Brothers and Nuns

They are not part of the ordained hierarchy but they live a life that is dedicated to God. They council chastity, charity and obedience and dedicate their lives to the poor and the downtrodden. They follow a community life with established rules set up by Rome.