Active discussions


  1. Can't the bishops in the Eastern Orthodox church also trace their ministries back to the apostles via apostolic succession?
  2. Don't Lutherans also have bishops?

  1. , yep, but the usage "Catholic" to mean "World Wide" as opposed to "Roman Catholic" covers them, too (we have remarkably few Orthodox-oriented articles so far).
  2. , yep to that, too, but they do not, with the exception of the Swedish Lutheran Church, I think, have apostolic succession. In the 17th century particularly many more protestantly inclined Anglican and Lutheran bishops refused to be ordained using the correct form (they used invalid liturgies), and in some cases were not ordained by bishops. Thus their lines are 'interrupted.' The problem of Anglican orders is much more than just 'transubstantiation' - there are a lot of problematic ordinations in there, and back in the heyday of the Anglo-Catholic movement there was a lot of research done to figure out if anyone could say generally if apostolic succession had been preserved. This discontinuity between Lutherans and Anglicans is one serious roadblock to their moves toward cooperation.
  3. - the Methodists have bishops, too, but have never pretended to apostolic succession. --MichaelTinkler

I'm not happy with the first sentence, but want to make clear that a bishop is a person, not an order. Also, changed wording on diocese because I happen to live in a geographically very small diocese with a large population. --Vicki Rosenzweig (writing, again, about other people's religions, hoping to keep to NPOV)

Actually, it can be both. As you point out, a person is a bishop. In Catholicism, and I believe Orthodoxy, a person is ordained (consecrated) to the Order of Bishops. Dave

Removed the HRE thing because it bishops were often secular lords all over Europe, not just in and during the HRE. Needs to be written in a way that works. JHK

Just added some more info on Orthodox bishops but left it stated as applying to all, simply because I think most or all of the info also applies to other bishops. If parts of it do not, I'll let someone more informed make that plainer. Wesley

Ccontrary to 11/21/02 posting, LDS bishops are direct heirs of apostolic succession in LDS/Mormon theology. -Randy 11/21/02

Do they trace their apostolic succession from Joseph Smith forward? If not, how do they trace their succession prior to Joseph Smith? Wesley
They say that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were ordained to the priesthood and to apostleship by heavenly messengers in 1829. But they envision this as a restoration of authority rather than a new creation of it. -- Someone else
Ok. I think that this notion of apostolic succession needs to be distinguished from the apostolic succession as used by Catholic and Orthodox. The key difference is that the LDS apparently believes in a Great Apostasy that made this restoration of authority necessary, while the Catholic and Orthodox maintain that no such apostasy took place, and therefore claim historical continuity from human to human, which the LDS apparently does not. This additional information probably needs to be added to the apostolic succession page as well. Wesley 20:12 Nov 22, 2002 (UTC)
This differentiation is already in the apostolic succession entry. "This LDS doctrine is contrary to the Catholic premise that Apostolic succession has an unrepeatable historical foundation upon which the entire church of Christ is to be built." Mkmcconn
Worth noting, I think, that those "heavenly messengers" were Peter, James and John, of the original apostles. This is the source of LDS apostolic succession. CsikosLo (talk) 11:59, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

There should be more info on bishops in the early church, and possibly the role played by bishops in synods and councils. I'll try and come back to this when I can, if no one else does first. Wesley 13:29 Apr 18, 2003 (UTC)

Go ahead. You may want to put in some explanation of the words antimension and omophorion while you're at it. :) -- IHCOYC
Oh yeah. Those words are so commonplace at my local parish I took them for granted. Sorry! :) Wesley 14:08 Apr 18, 2003 (UTC)

I'd like to say I found the beginning of this article to be a beautiful example of NPOV. I'm a member of a Church of Christ that believes in doing things exactly the way as described in the New Testament. I approached this article with fear, figuring I would see only modern definitions of bishop. I was really impressed with the section about bishops in the New Testament. It very accurately described what we do, and I feel it did a great job being NPOV about it; there didn't seem to be any value judgments at all toward the different ways that churches define bishop. I especially appreciated the delicate way the article stated that it is possible to read the New Testament as applying bishop, pastor, and elder to the same office, because we do indeed take it that way.

I was redirected here from right reverend, but the article makes no mention of that phrase whatsoever. what's the deal? Stubblyhead 19:26, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Since when a Bishop?Edit

Since when was/is a person a bishop (esp. in late-medieval (14th and 15th cent.) England)? Since his election/nomination? Since his consecration? Or since the transfer of the temporalities? Or more than one of these? So when did a bishopric's sede vacante end after the death/deposition/resignment/.. of a bishop? --A_W_K (talk) 10:47, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Metropolitan vs. ArchbishopEdit

I'm fairly certain that all archbishops that head ecclesiastical provinces in those churches also hold the title metropolitan. All Roman Catholic bishops do, and the term metropolitan comes from the Eastern churches, which draw a distinction between an archbishop and a metropolitan archbishop. The only group I am uncertain of is Anglican churches, although the Archbishop of Canterbury is the metropolitan bishop of his ecclesiastical province. Are there Anglican bishops that function like metropolitans but do not take the title metropolitan? Pmadrid 22:58, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

In the Orthodox Church in America, we continue to distinguish between metropolitan and archbishop. We have just one metropolitan: I believe Metropolitan Herman's full title is "The Most Blessed HERMAN, Archbishop of Washington and Metropolitan of All America and Canada. We have several archbishops who serve various cities and dioceses throughout the U.S. and Canada, while other dioceses are served by bishops. Wesley 03:55, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)
The Anglican bishop of New Zealand was made Metropolitan when his diocese split in to lots of little ones in the 1800s (see Archbishop of New Zealand). 11:29, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

British MethodismEdit

Note that although the Methodist Church in Britain may have had bishops in the 19th century, it no longer does. The nearest equivalent position is that of District Chairman/Chairwoman -- Ian Rutt

New Apostolic ChurchEdit

Not sure what denomination this is, but the section is very confusing; it is pretty unclear what a bishop is or does in the NAC. If someone knows more about the NAC, perhaps some clarification would be possible. KHM03 17:45, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Ignatius of AntiochEdit

Some material from Ignatius of Antioch should probably be in here since he had a lot to say about the Bishop. There should at least be a reference.


IS this a misspelling for deacon? Rich Farmbrough 09:00, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I would think so, although the office of deacon is called the diaconate. Wesley 02:23, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Roman Catholic Church vs. Latin Catholic ChurchEdit

There is a problem with the usage of these terms in this article. Technically speaking the Roman Catholic Church and the so-called Latin Catholic Church are the same. Rome is a Latin city. The Eastern Catholic Churches (in communion with Rome) do not refer to themselves as Roman Catholic. Rome is specifically western (Latin). It does not mean in communion with Rome. Please see the website for an explanation of Eastern Catholic churches, and their relationship to their sister church, the Roman Catholic Church, all of which, together, form "the Catholic Church", under the authority of the successor of St. Peter, the Bishop of Rome. User: 01:51, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Your point? KHM03 12:14, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
The point would be: A-NONE takes BISHOP! Stalemate! >:) Wahkeenah 12:42, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Suffragan Bishops?Edit

There is a large amount of reference to Suffragan Bishops, but there is no article, I feel there should be perhaps a small seperate article, explaining exactly what one is - and perhaps a small list of notable ones. Ideas? Anthropax 15:19, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
I think we shouls ad a section on how the bishops came about. There is evidence that since, in the bible, there is little instruction on how to govern the church, that Christians took there "catse system" from the Roman government.

Merge from Valid Bishops?Edit

I would suggest that Valid Bishops would be better merged into either Historic episcopate or Apostolic Succession (and then deleted; it is an orphan—see what links there) . Of course, interesting material could also be copied to Bishop. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 19:43, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I would strongly discourage merging this with bishops, but would rather encourage it to be deleted all together, at least under this title. "Valid" requires that some be "invalid", and although I believe that there are "invalid" bishops, they aren't those covered in this article; I'd suggest that the "invalid" bishops are those pastors who decide to tack "Bishop" in front of their names. Joseph 01:43, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for your suggestion! When you feel an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the Edit this page link at the top. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes — they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 08:03, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Joseph, from a Roman Catholic and some Anglo-Catholic perspectives, an "invalid" bishop could also be, say, a Methodist bishop.

Personally, I think that the article should be merged with historic episcopate. Carolynparrishfan 15:08, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Picture fixEdit

Someone who's experienced with dealing with images in articles needs to figure out a way to fix the position of the mitre picture at the very beginning of the article.

It's stuffing up the position of the TOC.

I tried to center or right it instead, but that causes a big gap at the top of the article till when the Christianity template ends. --`/aksha 08:44, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Switching diocesesEdit

I infer from other articles in wikipedia that it was once (early middle ages) considered a serious crime for a bishop to leave his diocese to take up the episcopacy of another. I believe that a recently deceased pope was once condemned for doing this and for approving the practice in others. Obviously, this view is no longer followed in the Catholic church; bishops who do well in a small diocese are routinely "promoted" to a larger one. What changed? How and when did the change take place? Rwflammang 15:47, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Nothing changed. It has always been possible for a bishop to transfer (if elected by another diocese) with the blessing of the synod to which he is subject. What he may not do is transfer on his own authority, without such a blessing. TCC (talk) (contribs) 20:14, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

I believe you may be talking about "pluralism," not in the sense of many ideas, but in the canonical sense of holding more than one job at a time. It was common in the Middle Ages for a bishop to hold more than one diocese at a time, and thus collect numerous salaries/have possession of numerous endowment funds/own numerous estates. This was made a crime by the Catholic Church a number of times, but was definitively cracked down upon by the Council of Trent.HarvardOxon 01:21, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I had assumed he was asking about the matter addressed by Canon XV of the First Council of Nicaea. [1]. TCC (talk) (contribs) 02:50, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, with the rise of a centralized administration in Rome, and more organized canonical bureaucracy, the Nicaea issue gave way to excardination as a matter of course, and translation of bishops at the direction of the bishop of Rome. I'm confused by his post, as translation of prelates and excardination of other clergy has been happily practices for centuries, Nicea isn't quite "early Middle Ages," and I don't know of a "recently deceased pope" who was accused either of pluralism or violating Nicaea.HarvardOxon

I suspect that HarvardOxon may be right. My confusion was over the charges brought against Stephan and Formosus as described in the article on the Cadaver Synod. Rwflammang 16:09, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
It may be little more complicated. The prohibition is based on the "husband of one wife" passage in Timothy, interpreted as the bishop taking his diocese as spouse. In the Western church, for the case of bishops other than the Bishop of Rome, dispensation was always possible for those who recognized his authority. To what extent his authority needed to be confirmed by a synod remained disputable, and very much disputed--translations during the middle ages led to long-standing conflicts. The practical importance increased with the rise of archbishoprics, because an archbishop is the bishop of his city, and without dispensation a bishop could not be promoted to an archbishop. How and when this changed is worth some checking, which I'll do if I can.

In the case of the Bishop of Rome, there was nobody to dispense him. The only body with possible authority over a pope was a General Council, and these were called on rare occasions to resolve stalemates. For much of the Middle ages, the Pope was therefore selected from someone other than a bishop elsewhere--as can be seen in the articles here on the various popes. Some were abbots. Most, in the early middle ages, were members of the Roman clergy, and there were a number of offices among them from whom bishops were often chosen. Again see the bios, which are ultimately based on the Liber Pontificalis. Again, it would be interesting to see how that changed. DGG 08:28, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Other churches?Edit

The most conspicuous omission from this article is a mention of European Protestant churches alongside the American Lutheran church. Can someone fill in about, for example, the Church of Sweden, which I think is a Lutheran church with bishops? 10:16, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Indeed. Also, do Methodist churches outside the U.S. have bishops? john k 20:54, 2 August 2007 (UTC)


What's the proper way of saying mr John Doe is a Bishop? I'm talking something like a Dr. Doe, what's the equivalent?

Commonly, Bishop Doe. More formally, for Catholics in most of the world, it would be Most Reverend Doe (Most Rev. Doe). Anglicans (and Catholics in the UK) use Most Reverend for archbishops and Right Reverend (Rt. Rev.) for bishops. Gentgeen 23:18, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Unless the bishop is Orthodox, in which case it would be Bishop John. You might not even be given his surname, which he theoretically abandoned when he took monastic vows. See, for example, [2]. TCC (talk) (contribs) 23:57, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Ditto Eastern Catholic. Anglican bishops are often addressed as Dr So-and-so, a relic of the old days. InfernoXV 07:03, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

What is the "turn of the first century"?Edit

The section "Bishops in the Apostolic Fathers" begins with "At the turn of the first century AD, ..." Does this mean around 100 AD? I would think that would be the turn of the second century, with the "turn of the first century" as around the year 1 AD (an impossibility). See 1st century. I'm confused. Steve Baskauf 01:56, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Anglican bishopsEdit

I presume today's decision on women as bishops (and the Vatican reaction) will be included shortly (and "someone" will do a comic sketch on the Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop of York marrying each other.) Jackiespeel (talk) 14:28, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

lol (talk) 22:55, 18 November 2008 (UTC) ajb

Mode of addressEdit

Just thought I'd point out that there's no information on mode of formal address. Someone might want to include that. --Pstanton (talk) 03:07, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

verge and vergerEdit

A google for Bishop's verge should show importance of mentioning "verge" and "verger" and the Bishop's staff at his seat. see crosier at our G. Robert Shiplett 13:23, 25 January 2012 (UTC)


The claim that episkopos and presbuteros were synonyms in the Bible is very far from undisputed -- and along demonational lines.Goldfritha (talk) 02:38, 28 January 2012 (UTC)


AFAIK popes (in Rome and Alexandria) are comparable to patriarchs, archbishops and catholicoi, so they should for completeness be mentioned in section Catholic Church, Orthodox churches and Anglican churches. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 19:31, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Book of RevelationEdit

It would seem to me that the John who wrote the Book of Revelation is writing with an authority of a bishop to the seven churches he mentions. This is clearly not mentioned here for a reason. I'm wondering what that reason is. Student7 (talk) 01:39, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Outside of ChristianityEdit

Koyasan Buddhist Temple has a list of bishops, who seem to be the temple leaders since its foundation. Is the title used elsewhere in Buddhism, or is this instance more of a cultural adaptation? --BDD (talk) 02:25, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Valid BishopsEdit

This article already has some overlap with the page, and is not sufficient for its own page. ReformedArsenal (talk) 11:52, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Article is entirely unreferenced, so no content that can be properly merged.TheLongTone (talk) 12:26, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
It's easier to find references for a written article than it is to generate content ex nihilo, and this information is applicable information for this article. ReformedArsenal (talk) 17:31, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Bishops and Civil GovernmentEdit

The general gist of this section is basically accurate, but the mention of Diocletian and his division of the empire into dioceses in this context is misleading. In particular, the phrase, "The most usual term for the geographic area of a bishop's authority and ministry, the diocese, began as part of the structure of the Roman Empire under Diocletian." is false and misleading. The term "diocese" (dioikesis) had many different meanings, and its use predates the establishment of the Roman Empire in the east (let alone Diocletian). One such use was in reference to the area surrounding a city (civitas) and dependent on that city for civil administration. It is this sense of "diocese" which is most relevant to the development of what would become the jurisdiction of Christian bishops. The dioceses establishment by Diocletian were something else altogether...they in no way correspond to the dioceses of bishops. The dioceses set up by Diocletian encompass relatively large geographic areas, there were only 12 (later 13) in the entire empire. The jurisdiction of a bishop was obviously much smaller than that.Ocyril (talk) 20:19, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

External links modifiedEdit

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 2 external links on Bishop. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

 Y An editor has reviewed this edit and fixed any errors that were found.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.
fixed archive links Wayne Jayes (talk) 16:15, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 15:33, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Wrong pictureEdit

The pic of the Eastern mitre is not a bishop's mitre, but that of a senior priest. A bishop's mitre would also have a cross on top. Homoousian (talk) 23:08, 26 January 2017 (UTC)

Can you locate a better photo? Jonathunder (talk) 15:13, 27 January 2017 (UTC)

External links modifiedEdit

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 2 external links on Bishop. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 01:27, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

Return to "Bishop" page.