archbishop


archbishop
/ahrch"bish"euhp/, n.
a bishop of the highest rank who presides over an archbishopric or archdiocese.
[bef. 900; ME; OE arcebisceop (arce- ARCH-1 + bisceop BISHOP), modeled on LL archiepiscopus < Gk archiepískopos; r. OE heahbisceop (see HIGH)]

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In Christianity, a bishop who has jurisdiction, but not superiority, over the other bishops in a province as well as episcopal authority in his own diocese.

Introduced as an honorary title in the Eastern churches in the 4th century, the office did not become common in Western churches until the 9th century. It is now most widely used in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. It is more rarely used in Protestant denominations, though the Church of England has archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Lutheran churches of both Sweden and Finland have an archbishop.

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▪ ecclesiastical title
      in the Christian church, a bishop who, in addition to his ordinary episcopal authority in his own diocese, usually has jurisdiction (but no superiority of order) over the other bishops of a province. The functions of an archbishop developed out of those of the metropolitan, a bishop presiding over a number of dioceses in a province, though the title of archbishop, when it first appeared, implied no metropolitan jurisdiction. It seems to have been introduced in the Eastern church in the 4th century as an honorary title of certain bishops. In the Western church it was little known before the 7th century, and it did not become common until the Carolingian emperors revived the right of metropolitans to summon provincial synods. The metropolitans then commonly assumed the title of archbishop to mark their preeminence over the other bishops. The Council of Trent (Trent, Council of) (1545–63) reduced the powers of the archbishop, which had been quite extensive in the European Middle Ages. In the modern Roman Catholic church (Roman Catholicism) the title is also used occasionally as an honorary title for certain bishops who are not metropolitans.

      In the Orthodox and other churches of the East, the title of archbishop is far more common than in the West, and it is less consistently associated with metropolitan functions. In the Orthodox church there are autocephalous archbishops who rank between bishops and metropolitans.

      In the Protestant churches of continental Europe, the title of archbishop is rarely used. It has been retained by the Lutheran bishop of Uppsala, who is metropolitan of Sweden, and by the Lutheran bishop of Turku in Finland.

      In the Church of England (England, Church of) the ecclesiastical government is divided between two archbishops: the archbishop of Canterbury, who is called the “primate of all England” and metropolitan of the province of Canterbury, and the archbishop of York, who is called the “primate of England” and metropolitan of York. See also metropolitan.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Archbishop — • An archbishop or metropolitan, in the present sense of the term, is a bishop who governs a diocese strictly his own, while he presides at the same time over the bishops of a well defined district composed of simple dioceses but not of provinces …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Archbishop — Arch bish op, n. [AS. arcebisceop, arcebiscop, L. archiepiscopus, fr. Gr. archiepi skopos. See {Bishop}.] A chief bishop; a church dignitary of the first class (often called a metropolitan or primate) who superintends the conduct of the suffragan …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • archbishop — (n.) O.E. ærcebiscop, from L.L. archiepiscopus, from Gk. arkhi chief (see ARCHON (Cf. archon)) + episkopos bishop, lit. overseer. Replaced earlier O.E. heah biscop (see BISHOP (Cf. bishop)). The spelling conformed to Latin from 12c …   Etymology dictionary

  • archbishop — ► NOUN ▪ the chief bishop responsible for a large district …   English terms dictionary

  • archbishop — [ärch′bish′əp] n. [ME archebishop < OE arcebisceop < LL(Ec) archiepiscopus < LGr(Ec) archiepiskopos < Gr archos (see ARCH ) + episkopos, overseer: see BISHOP] a bishop of the highest rank, who presides over an archbishopric or… …   English World dictionary

  • Archbishop — 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… …   Wikipedia

  • archbishop — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ Anglican, Roman Catholic ▪ cardinal (AmE) VERB + ARCHBISHOP ▪ be appointed (as), be consecrated, become, be ent …   Collocations dictionary

  • archbishop — [[t]ɑ͟ː(r)tʃbɪ̱ʃəp[/t]] archbishops N COUNT; N TITLE In the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican Churches, an archbishop is a bishop of the highest rank, who is in charge of all the bishops and priests in a particular country or region. ...the… …   English dictionary

  • archbishop — UK [ɑː(r)tʃˈbɪʃəp] / US [ɑrtʃˈbɪʃəp] noun [countable] Word forms archbishop : singular archbishop plural archbishops a priest of the highest rank in some Christian churches who is responsible for all the churches in a particular area …   English dictionary

  • archbishop —    An Anglican archbishop is normally addressed in this way: a Roman Catholic archbishop is addressed formally as ‘your Grace’ …   A dictionary of epithets and terms of address


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