A Short Intro to Catholic Hierarchy

The catholic hierarchy is referred to ecclesiological-wise as the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Likewise as http://www.speedbet88.net, it is easy to derive a definition for that term just by looking at the words constituting it. It basically means individuals or organizations ruling the Church from within. Authority is exercised by these ruling parties to give order to the religion as a whole. The word “hierarchy” here applies to a structure of holy ordering of the Church, which extends to the Body of Christ, in order that respect can be paid to diversity of gifts and ministries, which are of greatest necessity to make up or construct a unity that is genuine.

The member of the ruling hierarchy can be broken down to three major elements: bishops, priests, and deacons. Bishops are generally regarded as the holder of the largest authority in Catholicism while the other two elements serve mostly as helpers, co-workers, or assistants to the bishops. In this sense, the term “the hierarchy of the Catholic Church” applies solely to the bishops.

The catholic hierarchy starts from the top with the bishops. The bishops are taken as the direct successors of the Apostles and therefore hold the supreme power to give orders and possess both priesthood and diaconate. The Pope is also a bishop; the word “Pope” here bears honorific connotation. As such, it does not apply to the holder in a sense of it being a title or an office. The specific honorific seems to be granted to the holder as he is the bishop of Rome, whose patrons are Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Being considered as the direct successor of both Saints, the Pope is then seen holding a higher prominence as compared to his fellow bishops.

Pope Francis

The Pope and other bishops ruling the Eastern Catholic Churches are collectively referred to as the Patriarchs; the pope is the patriarch of western churches while the six patriarchs are ruling over their respective particular Churches whereas four major archbishops rule the four Eastern Archdioceses. Cardinal is the title granted to bishops chosen by the Pope as the princes of the Church. Cardinals hold the role of the advisors of the Pope. Primates, Metropolitan, and Archbishops are other titles given to bishops with relevant qualities that grant them such offices. Primate is a title given to a bishop, but doesn’t give the person holding the title any kind of power to govern. Metropolitan heads the principal see while archbishops apply to the head of either principal or non-principal see.

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The catholic hierarchy ends with priests and deacons. Priesthood is only granted to celibate men although the Eastern Churches grant the title to both married and unmarried men. Deacons assist the Church by extending ministries in a more direct way as well as by outreaching to the poor and the needy. Deacons of Western Catholic Church concern with non-Eucharistic liturgies including adoration/benediction, funerals, weddings, and baptisms. Those of Eastern Churches lead limited services such as a reader while weddings and funerals are out of their territory, even when the priest is absent.

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