AskDefine | Define archbishopric

Dictionary Definition

archbishopric n : the territorial jurisdiction of an archbishop

User Contributed Dictionary



From arch-, above, high, + bishop + ric


  1. the rank or office of an archbishop
  2. the jurisdiction of an archbishop; an archdiocese

Related terms

Extensive Definition

portal Christianity In Christianity, an archbishop is an elevated bishop. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion and others, this means that they lead a diocese of particular importance called an archdiocese, or in the Anglican Communion an Ecclesiastical Province, but this is not always the case. An archbishop is equivalent to a bishop in sacred matters but simply has a higher precedence or degree of prestige. Thus, when someone who is already a bishop becomes an archbishop, that person does not receive Holy Orders again or any other sacrament; however, in the rarer case when a person who is not a bishop at all becomes an archbishop, they will need to be ordained a bishop before being created an archbishop and installed. The word comes from the Greek αρχι, which means "first" or "chief", and επισκοπος, which means "over-seer" or "supervisor".

Western Christianity

In Western Christianity, an archbishop is entitled to a few extra privileges that a simple bishop does not receive. First, an archbishop's coat of arms looks different. Roman Catholic archbishops are allowed ten tassles a side on their coat of arms, while a bishop only receives six. In addition, an archbishop can also place an archiepiscopal cross (two bars instead of one) behind his shield. In the Roman Catholic church this cross used to be carried immediately before archbishops in liturgical processions, but this is now not always done. In the Anglican Communion an archiepsicopal or primatial cross is carried before an archbishop in procession. Also in liturgical protocol, archbishops precede simple bishops.
Otherwise, archbishops dress and are styled the same as a normal bishop. Exceptions to style occur in the Anglican Communion and in countries where the Anglican Communion is prevalent. In those places, an archbishop is styled The Most Reverend while a simple bishop is styled The Right Reverend.
Most of the following applies equally to the Latin rite Roman Catholic Church and the churches of the Anglican Communion, though in the latter, the only archbishops are the provincial metropolitans and the church primates.

Archbishops of archdioceses

Most archbishops are called so because they are in charge of an archdiocese, a diocese of particular importance. Most of the time, this importance is because the archdiocese is the metropolitan see of the ecclesiastical province in which the see is located. These metropolitan archbishops, in addition to the usual ceremonial privileges of archbishops, hold the responsibilities of a metropolitan bishop over the suffragan bishops of the province and are thus the only archbishops who wear the pallium by right. In the Roman Catholic Church, if the archdiocese is particularly significant, the archbishop may become a cardinal.
Sometimes, a diocese is an archdiocese because of its history or size and not because of its jurisdictional importance. Their archbishops, while retaining the ceremonial privileges of archbishops, are really normal residential bishops and usually are suffragan to some metropolitan bishop. Most of these non-metropolitan archdioceses are located in Europe, and a few examples are the Archdiocese of Strasbourg, which is not in any ecclesiastical province, and the Archdiocese of Avignon, whose archbishop is a suffragan of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Marseille
Some titular sees are/were archiepiscopal, so their incumbents are also archbishops. These titular archbishops retain the privileges of archbishops but have the jurisdiction of neither a metropolitan nor a residential bishop.

Other archbishops

A residential archbishop who resigns his see and does not take up another one retains the title Archbishop Emeritus of the last see he occupied before the resignation. This occurs when an archbishop retires or is transferred to some other non-diocesan office, such as the Roman Curia. In the past the Pope would normally bestow a titular see on every retired bishop and every bishop who transferred to the Curia, so this recent canonical innovation was instituted to conserve titular sees for active auxiliary bishops and members of the Roman Curia who have not had a diocesan appointment yet.
If archdiocese X has a coadjutor bishop, his official title is Coadjutor Archbishop of X. However, until he succeeds to the archiepiscopal see, the coadjutor archbishop is treated as an important bishop and diocesan official and is considered an auxiliary bishop with the privilege of succession, and not as a regular archbishop.
Finally some archbishops hold their privileges ad personam. This means that the archiepiscopal dignity is conferred on them alone and not their diocese. The primates of the Anglican Communion are this kind of archbishop, since they only hold archiepiscopal rights for the duration of their presidency. In the Latin-rite Roman Catholic Church, the Pope grants ad personam archiepiscopal privileges, which usually endure perpetually. The bishop has a higher authority than an archbishop.

Eastern Christianity

In the Eastern churches (Catholic and Orthodox) archbishops and metropolitans are distinct, although a metropolitan may be referred to as metropolitan archbishop. In the Greek Orthodox Church, archbishops outrank metropolitans, and have the same rights as Eastern Orthodox metropolitans. The Oriental Orthodox generally follow the pattern of the Slavic Orthodox with respect to the archbishop/metropolitan distinction.
archbishopric in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Арцыбіскуп
archbishopric in Bosnian: Nadbiskup
archbishopric in Bulgarian: Архиепископ
archbishopric in Catalan: Arquebisbe
archbishopric in Czech: Arcibiskup
archbishopric in Welsh: Archesgob
archbishopric in Danish: Ærkebiskop
archbishopric in German: Erzbischof
archbishopric in Estonian: Peapiiskop
archbishopric in Modern Greek (1453-): Αρχιεπίσκοπος
archbishopric in Spanish: Arzobispo
archbishopric in Esperanto: Ĉefepiskopo
archbishopric in French: Archevêque
archbishopric in Western Frisian: Aartsbiskop
archbishopric in Scottish Gaelic: Àrd-easbaig
archbishopric in Galician: Arcebispo
archbishopric in Korean: 대주교
archbishopric in Croatian: Nadbiskup
archbishopric in Indonesian: Uskup Agung
archbishopric in Icelandic: Erkibiskup
archbishopric in Italian: Arcivescovo
archbishopric in Hebrew: ארכיבישוף
archbishopric in Georgian: არქიეპისკოპოსი
archbishopric in Swahili (macrolanguage): Askofu mkuu
archbishopric in Latin: Archiepiscopus
archbishopric in Lithuanian: Arkivyskupas
archbishopric in Hungarian: Érsek
archbishopric in Dutch: Aartsbisschop
archbishopric in Japanese: 大主教
archbishopric in Norwegian: Erkebiskop
archbishopric in Norwegian Nynorsk: Erkebiskop
archbishopric in Polish: Arcybiskup
archbishopric in Portuguese: Arcebispo
archbishopric in Romanian: Arhiepiscop
archbishopric in Russian: Архиепископ
archbishopric in Simple English: Archbishop
archbishopric in Slovak: Arcibiskup
archbishopric in Slovenian: Nadškof
archbishopric in Serbian: Архиепископ
archbishopric in Serbo-Croatian: Arhiepiskop
archbishopric in Finnish: Arkkipiispa
archbishopric in Swedish: Ärkebiskop
archbishopric in Turkish: Başpiskopos
archbishopric in Ukrainian: Архієпископ
archbishopric in Chinese: 總主教

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Kreis, abbacy, aedileship, archdeaconry, archdiocese, archiepiscopacy, archiepiscopate, aristocracy, arrondissement, bailiwick, bishopdom, bishopric, borough, canonicate, canonry, canton, cardinalship, chairmanship, chancellery, chancellorate, chancellorship, chaplaincy, chaplainship, chiefery, chiefry, chieftaincy, chieftainry, chieftainship, city, commune, conference, congressional district, constablewick, consulate, consulship, county, curacy, deaconry, deaconship, deanery, deanship, departement, dictatorship, dictature, diocese, directorship, district, duchy, electoral district, electorate, emirate, episcopacy, episcopate, government, governorship, hamlet, headship, hegemony, hierarchy, hundred, leadership, lordship, magistracy, magistrateship, magistrature, masterdom, mastership, mastery, mayoralty, mayorship, metropolis, metropolitan area, metropolitanate, metropolitanship, nobility, oblast, okrug, papacy, parish, pashadom, pashalic, pastorate, pastorship, patriarchate, patriarchy, pontificality, pontificate, popedom, popehood, popeship, prebend, prebendaryship, precinct, prefectship, prefecture, prelacy, prelateship, prelature, premiership, presbyterate, presbytery, presidency, presidentship, primacy, prime-ministership, prime-ministry, princedom, princeship, principality, proconsulate, proconsulship, protectorate, protectorship, province, provostry, provostship, rectorate, rectorship, regency, regentship, region, riding, ruling class, see, seigniory, seneschalship, seneschalsy, sheikhdom, sheriffalty, sheriffcy, sheriffdom, sheriffwick, shire, shrievalty, soke, stake, state, supervisorship, suzerainship, suzerainty, synod, territory, town, township, tribunate, vicariate, vicarship, village, vizierate, viziership, wapentake, ward
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