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Metropolitan bishop

From Academic Kids

In hierarchical Christian churches, the rank of metropolitan bishop, whose incumbent is usually called simply a metropolitan, appertains to the bishop of a metropolis; that is, the chief city of an old Roman province, ecclesiastical province, or regional capital.

In the Western patriarchate of the Roman Catholic Church, metropolitan bishops have supervisory authority over the other bishops in their ecclesiastical province, called suffragan bishops. They also have authority over the dioceses in their province when there is a vacancy caused by the death or resignation of the suffragan bishop. Their insignia is the pallium, which they can wear in their diocese and the other suffragan dioceses in the province. All Latin rite metropolitan bishops are archbishops; however, some archbishops are not metropolitan bishops. See archbishop for the distinction.

In the Eastern Rite Catholic churches, the term metropolitan is used in a similar way to the Eastern Orthodox churches.

In the Anglican Communion, the metropolitan is generally the head of a national wing of the church.

In the Eastern Orthodox churches, the title is used variously. In the Hellenic Churches metropolitans are ranked below archbishops in precedence, and primates of local Churches below Patriarchal rank are generally designated archbishops. The reverse is true for the Slavic Churches, 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.

See also

fr:Mtropolite nl:Metropoliet ru:Митрополит

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