World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Metropolitan Archbishop


In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop (then more precisely called metropolitan archbishop) of a metropolis; that is, the chief city of a historical Roman province, ecclesiastical province, or regional capital.

Before the establishment of patriarchs (beginning in AD 325), metropolitan was the highest episcopal rank in the Eastern rites of the Church. They presided over synods of bishops, and were granted special privileges by canon law and sacred tradition.

The Early Church structure generally followed the Roman imperial practice, with one bishop ruling each city and its territory.[1] The bishop of the provincial capital, the metropolitan, enjoyed certain rights over other bishops in the province, later called suffragans.[1]

Eastern Orthodox


In the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the title is used variously. In the Greek Churches archbishops are ranked above metropolitans in precedence, as in the case of Archbishop Demetrios of America, who is the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and primates of local churches below patriarchal rank are generally designated as archbishops. The reverse is true for the Slavic Churches (Russian Orthodox, Bulgarian Orthodox, etc. with exception of Serbian Orthodox Church and Macedonian Orthodox Church[2] where Archbishop is ranked above Metropolitans) and for the Romanian Orthodox Church, where metropolitans rank above archbishops and the title can be used for primatial sees as well as important cities.

In neither case do metropolitans have any special authority over other ruling bishops within their provinces. However, metropolitans (archbishops in the Greek Orthodox Church) are the chairmen of their respective synods of bishops, and have special privileges.

Roman Catholic

See also: Catholic Church hierarchy and Diocesan bishop


In the Roman Catholic Church, ecclesiastical provinces, composed of several neighbouring dioceses,[3] are each headed by a metropolitan, the archbishop of the diocese designated by the Pope.[4] The other bishops are known as suffragan bishops.

The metropolitan's powers over dioceses other than his own are normally limited to

  1. supervising observance of faith and ecclesiastical discipline and notifying the Supreme Pontiff of any abuses;
  2. carrying out, for reasons approved beforehand by the Holy See, a canonical inspection that the suffragan bishop has neglected to perform;
  3. appointing a diocesan administrator if the college of consultors fails to elect an at least 35-year-old priest within eight days after the vacancy of the see becomes known;[5] and
  4. serving as the default ecclesiastical court for appeals from decisions of the tribunals of the suffragan bishops.[6]

The metropolitan also has the liturgical privilege of celebrating sacred functions throughout the province, as if he were a bishop in his own diocese, provided only that, if he celebrates in a cathedral church, the diocesan bishop has been informed beforehand.[7]

The metropolitan is obliged to request the pallium, a symbol of the power that, in communion with the Church of Rome, he possesses over his ecclesiastical province.[8] This holds even if he had the pallium in another metropolitan see.

It is the responsibility of the metropolitan, with the consent of the majority of the suffragan bishops to call a provincial council, decide where to convene it, and determine the agenda. It is his prerogative to preside over the provincial council.[9] No provincial council can be called if the metropolitan see is vacant.[10]

All Latin Rite metropolitans are archbishops; however, some archbishops are not metropolitans, as there are a few instances where an archdiocese has no suffragans or is itself suffragan to another archdiocese. Titular archbishops (i.e. ordained bishops who are given an honorary title to a now-defunct archdiocese; e.g. many Vatican officials and papal nuncios and apostolic delegates are titular archbishops) are never metropolitans.

As of April 2006, 508 archdioceses were headed by metropolitan archbishops, 27 archbishops were not metropolitans, and there were 89 titular archbishops. See also Catholic Church hierarchy for the distinctions.

Eastern Catholic

In the Eastern Catholic Churches, the metropolitan is the head of those autonomous particular Churches that, though they consist of several eparchies, are not large enough to be placed under the authority of a patriarch or a major archbishop. They are therefore somewhat more subject than patriarchal or major archiepiscopal Churches to oversight by the pope and the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

Anglican

In the Anglican Communion, a metropolitan is generally the head of an ecclesiastical province (or cluster of dioceses) and ranks immediately under the primate of the national church (who is often also a metropolitan). Most metropolitans, but not all, are styled archbishop.

See also

References

External links

Template:1911Enc

  • List of Catholic Metropolitan Archdioceses in the world by Giga-Catholic Information
  • -logo.svg 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.