Bishop Church Hierarchy

The Bishops possess a full priesthood and the Pope is the most respected and highest Bishop in the Hierarchy. Churches work according to the preaching and guidance of the Bishops. Below given is the hierarchy according to which the Bishop Churches function.

Bishop Church Hierarchy 1

  • The Pope: The Pope is the highest ranking Bishop. The bishops are the ones who possess fullness of the priesthood and are considered as the successors of the Apostles. They represent the church entirely and the main role of a bishop is to provide pastoral governance for a diocese. The Bishop of a country or a region can also form an episcopal conference and meet regularly in order to discuss the current problems and take notable decisions in important fields. The Pope is on top of the hierarchy of the Bishop Church System and everyone is bound to respect his preaching.
  • Patriarchs: The Patriarchs are the heads of some particular Churches, consisting of several local churches. The Pope himself was also called a Patriarch before some years. The Patriarchs have an authority over the Bishops of their particular Church, metropolitans and also have a direct authority over all the faithful. The Eastern Catholic Church Patriarchs also have precedence over all other bishops, with the exceptions marked by the pope.
  • Major Archbishops: The other autonomous particular churches are headed by major archbishops. They authority of the major archbishop is equivalent to that of a patriarch, with only few exceptions. They have a less prestigious office compared to that of a patriarch but the responsibilities and authorities are almost the same.
  • Cardinals: The Cardinals are the princes of the church who are directly appointed by the Pope. Generally, the Bishops who head important departments all over the world are appointed by the Pope as Cardinals. The College of Cardinals usually advises the Pope and those who are under the age of 80, elect the successor of the pope in case of his death or resignation from the position. The Cardinals do not necessarily be Bishops but they at least need to be priests so that they can have the knowledge about conducting different religious rites.
  • Primates: The Primates are involved in having an authority over all the other sees of a particular country or a region, with no power to given the structure entirely unless the privilege is approved by a custom. This title is usually assigned to the ordinary of the first diocese or the oldest archdiocese in the country of operation. The closest equivalent position to this is that or the Exarch, who holds an authority over the bishops without even being a patriarch.
  • Metropolitans: The metropolitan is the Bishop of the principal, who receives a pallium from the pope as a symbol of his office and position. This position gives the bishop a limited authority to oversight using the suffragan dioceses in their province, including enduring faith and discipline being properly observed by everyone. He has the authority to control the activities of the church to some extent, with consulting the Cardinals.

This is the structure of Bishop Church Hierarchy. Also know about Anglican Church Hierarchy.