Irish Church Hierarchy

The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland is a part of the worldwide group and is the largest Christian Church in Ireland. The Archdiocese of Armagh is the primatial seat here and on an all island basis, the Church ministers report to the Roman Catholics.

Irish Church HierarchyThe Parish

The smallest division in the administration of the Catholic Church is the parish which develop around old monastic centres. Most of these parishes go back to the early 19th century and are situated in villages and towns. This proves that the development was in and around the centres of rural and urban population.

The Diocese

At present there are 26 Roman Catholic dioceses and are not affected by the Irish political division between the Northern Ireland and the counties from Dublin to Galway.

The Church of Ireland has two archbishops, the Northern Province is controlled by the Archbishop of Armagh and is further divided into right dioceses and the other one looks after Dublin in the southern province consisting of six dioceses.

The Structural Changes

The Synod of Rathbresail set up the diocesan system of the Christian Church government in 1111and was later modified in 1152 by Synod of Kellis. As said earlier the four provinces that are ruled by an archbishop each. After the Reformation movement in Ireland the roman Catholic Church saw themselves as the successors to the Pre-Reformation Church and remained almost close to the original. Primarily the small dioceses with meagre population merged together and larger dioceses were formed.

The Functions of the Hierarchy Explained:

The Bishop

The body of bishops are considered the successors of the apostles and they are the ones who have attained the highest form of priesthood and they comprise of the pastors of the Church or rather are the Church representation. Primarily a bishop controls the diocesan ordinaries and they meet up on a regular basis to discuss the current issues. The Liturgy or certain decisions of the Church are an exclusive agenda of these meetings. The bishops are normally ordained by another three, though only a single validity is good enough. Various ranks are distinguished amongst bishops where Pope is the head.


This title is held by bishops heading metropolitan sees and also by those heading archdioceses that aren’t either.

Parish Priests

Administering most of the sacraments, he can belong to any of the religious orders like Baptism or Eucharist and is committed to serve any congregation.