Bishop (Catholic Church)
In the Catholic Church, a bishop is an ordained minister who holds the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders and is responsible for teaching doctrine, governing Catholics in his jurisdiction, and sanctifying the world and for representing the Church. Catholics trace the origins of the office of bishop to the apostles, who were endowed with a special charism by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Catholics believe this special charism has been transmitted through an unbroken succession of bishops by the laying on of hands in the sacrament of Holy Orders.
Diocesan bishops — known as eparchs in the Eastern Catholic Churches — are assigned to govern local regions within the Church known as dioceses in the Latin Church and eparchies in the Eastern Rites. Bishops are collectively known as the College of Bishops and can hold such additional titles as archbishop, cardinal, patriarch, or pope. As of 2009 there were approximately 5,100 bishops total in the Latin and Eastern branches of the Catholic Church.
Canon 378 §1 requires that a candidate for the episcopacy should be:
- outstanding in solid faith, good morals, piety, zeal for souls, wisdom, prudence, and human virtues, and endowed with other qualities which make him suitable to fulfill the office in question;
- of good reputation;
- at least thirty-five years old;
- ordained to the presbyterate for at least five years;
- in possession of a doctorate or at least a licentiate in sacred scripture, theology, or canon law from an institute of higher studies approved by the Apostolic See, or at least truly expert in the same disciplines.
Famous quotes containing the word bishop:
“They shifted a little, but not
to return my stare.”
—Elizabeth Bishop (19111979)