An episcopal conference, sometimes called a conference of bishops, is an official assembly of the bishops of the Catholic Church in a given territory. Episcopal conferences have long existed as informal entities; the first assembly of bishops to meet with its own legal structure and ecclesial leadership function, is the Swiss Bishops' Conference, founded in 1863. More than forty episcopal conferences existed before the Second Vatican Council, their status was confirmed by the Second Vatican Council and further defined by Pope Paul VI's 1966 motu proprio, Ecclesiae sanctae. Episcopal conferences are defined by geographic borders national ones, with all the bishops in a given country belonging to the same conference, although they may include neighboring countries. Certain authority and tasks are assigned to episcopal conferences with regard to setting the liturgical norms for the Mass. Episcopal conferences receive their authority under particular mandates. In certain circumstances, as defined by canon law, the decisions of an episcopal conference are subject to ratification from the Holy See.
Individual bishops do not relinquish their immediate authority for the governance of their respective dioceses to the conference. The operation and responsibilities of episcopal conferences are governed by the 1983 Code of Canon Law In addition, there are assemblies of bishops which include the bishops of different rites in a nation, both Eastern Catholic and Latin Catholic; the nature of episcopal conferences, their magisterial authority in particular, was subsequently clarified by Pope John Paul II in his 1998 motu proprio, Apostolos suos, which stated that the declarations of such conferences "constitute authentic magisterium" when approved unanimously by the conference. In the 2013 apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis expressed his concern that the intent of the Second Vatican Council, which would give episcopal conferences "genuine doctrinal authority, has not yet been sufficiently elaborated." On September 9, 2017, Pope Francis modified canon law, granting episcopal conferences specific authority "to faithfully prepare … approve and publish the liturgical books for the regions for which they are responsible after the confirmation of the Apostolic See."
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, which had primary responsibility for translations, was ordered to "help the Episcopal Conferences to fulfil their task." On October 22, 2017, the Holy See released a letter that Pope Francis had sent to the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal Robert Sarah, clarifying that the Holy See and its departments would have only limited authority to confirm liturgical translations recognized by a local episcopal conference. In late February, 2018, the Council of Cardinals and Pope Francis undertook a consideration of the theological status of episcopal conferences, re-reading Pope John Paul II's Apostolos Suos in the light of Pope Francis's Evangelii Gaudium. Episcopal Conference of Angola and São Tomé Episcopal Conference of Benin Conference of Bishops of Burkina Faso and of Niger Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon Central African Episcopal Conference Episcopal Conference of Chad Episcopal Conference of the Congo Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Episcopal Conference of the Côte d'Ivoire Episcopal Conference of Equatorial Guinea Assembly of Catholic Hierarchs of Ethiopia and Eritrea Episcopal Conference of Gabon Inter-territorial Catholic Bishops' Conference of The Gambia and Sierra Leone Ghana Bishops' Conference Episcopal Conference of Guinea Episcopal Conference of the Indian Ocean Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops Lesotho Catholic Bishops' Conference Catholic Bishops' Conference of Liberia Episcopal Conference of Madagascar Episcopal Conference of Malawi Episcopal Conference of Mali Episcopal Conference of Mozambique Namibian Catholic Bishops' Conference Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria Regional Episcopal Conference of North Africa Conference of Catholic Bishops of Rwanda Conference of Bishops of Senegal, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference Tanzania Episcopal Conference Episcopal Conference of Togo Uganda Episcopal Conference Zambia Episcopal Conference Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference Conference of the Latin Bishops of the Arab Regions Catholic Bishops' Conference of Bangladesh Chinese Regional Bishops' Conference Conference of Catholic Bishops of India Bishops' Conference of Indonesia Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan Conference of Catholic Bishops of Kazakhstan Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea Episcopal Conference of Laos and Cambodia Bishops' Conference of Malaysia and Brunei Catholic Bishops' Conference of Myanmar Catholic Bishops' Conference of Pakistan Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines Catholic Bishops' Conference of Thailand Episcopal Conference of Turkey Catholic Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka Catholic Bishops' Conference of Vietnam Episcopal Conference of Albania Austrian Bishops' Conference Conference of Catholic Bishops of Belarus Episcopal Conference of Belgium Bishops' Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina Episcopal Conference of Bulgaria Croatian Bishops' Conference Czech Bishops' Conference Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
Pope Adrian IV
Pope Adrian IV known as Hadrian IV, was Pope from 4 December 1154 to his death in 1159. Adrian IV is both the only Englishman and the only denizen of the British Isles to have occupied the papal throne; as Pope, he crowned Frederick I Barbarossa, removed Arnold of Brescia, who had challenged Papal rule of Rome, to become "to all intents and purposes, master of the city". It is believed that he was born in Bedmond in the parish of Abbots Langley in Hertfordshire and received his early education at Merton Priory and the Abbey School, St Albans. Nicholas' father was Robert, who became a monk at St Albans, he was refused admission to his local monastery, so he went to Paris and became a canon regular of St Rufus monastery near Arles. He rose to be prior and was soon unanimously elected abbot, he gained a reputation as a formidably strict disciplinarian. His reforming zeal as abbot led to the lodging of complaints against him at Rome, it is reported that Nicholas' eloquence, ability and "his outstanding good looks" assisted with his selection.
From 1152 to 1154 Nicholas was in Scandinavia as papal legate, establishing an independent archepiscopal see for Norway at Trondheim, a place he chose chiefly in honour of St Olaf. This led him to create the Diocese at Hamar, according to tradition, to form cathedral schools in Norway's bishopric cities; these schools were to have Catholic spirituality in Norway. Nicholas made arrangements which resulted in the recognition of Gamla Uppsala as seat of the Swedish metropolitan in 1164; as compensation for territory thus withdrawn, the Danish archbishop of Lund was made legate and perpetual vicar and given the title of primate of Denmark and Sweden. Nicholas was accompanied to Scandinavia by another English-born priest, Bishop of Finland, venerated by Catholics and Anglicans as Saint Henry of Uppsala. On his return to Rome, Nicholas was received with great honour by Pope Anastasius IV. On the death of Anastasius, Nicholas was unanimously elected as Pope on 3 December 1154, taking the name Adrian IV.
He at once endeavoured to bring down Arnold of Brescia, the leader of the anti-papal faction in Rome. Disorder within the city led to the murder of a cardinal, prompting Adrian, shortly before Palm Sunday 1155, to take the unheard-of step of putting Rome under interdict closing all the churches in Rome; this act had a huge impact on daily life in Rome:Exceptions were made for the baptism of infants and the absolution of the dying: otherwise all sacraments and services were forbidden. No masses could be said, no masses solemnised: dead bodies might not be buried in consecrated grounds. In the days where religion still constituted an integral part of every man's life, the effect of such a moral blockade was immeasurable; this act had a huge potential economic impact: the interdict diminished the seasonal influx of pilgrims, thus damaging the local economy. Without Easter services the pilgrims would not visit. In 1155, Byzantine Emperor Manuel Comnenus reconquered southern Italy, landing his forces in the region of Apulia.
Making contact with local rebels who were hostile to the Sicilian crown, Greek forces overran the coastlands and began striking inland. Pope Adrian IV watched these developments with some satisfaction; the Papacy was never on good terms with the Normans of Sicily, except when under duress by the threat of direct military action. For Adrian, having the Eastern Roman Empire on its southern border was preferable to having to deal with the troublesome Normans. Therefore, negotiations were hurriedly carried out, an alliance was formed between Adrian and Manuel. Adrian undertook to raise a body of mercenary troops from Campania. Meanwhile, Manuel dreamed of restoration of the Roman Empire. Negotiations for union of the eastern and western churches, in a state of schism since 1054, soon got under way; the combined Papal-Byzantine forces joined with the rebels against the Normans in Southern Italy, achieving a string of rapid successes as a number of cities yielded either to the threat of force or to the lure of gold.
But just as the war seemed decided in the allies' favour, things started to go wrong. The Greek commander Michael Palaeologus alienated some of his allies by his arrogance, this stalled the campaign as rebel Count Robert of Loritello refused to speak to him. Although the two were reconciled, the campaign lost some of its momentum. Worse was to come: Michael was soon recalled to Constantinople. Although his arrogance had slowed the campaign, he was a brilliant general in the field, his loss was a major blow to the allied campaign; the turning point was the battle for Brindisi, where the Sicilians launched a major counterattack by both land and sea. At the approach of the enemy, the mercenaries who were serving in the allied armies demanded impossible increases in their pay; the local barons started to melt away, and
Roman Catholic Diocese of Nottingham
The Diocese of Nottingham, England, is a Roman Catholic diocese of the Latin Rite and a suffragan in the ecclesiastical province of the Metropolitan Diocese of Westminster. The diocese covers an area of 13,074 square kilometres, taking in the English counties of Nottinghamshire, most of Derbyshire and Lincolnshire; the episcopal seat is the Cathedral Church of St Barnabas in Nottingham. The Right Reverend Patrick McKinney is the 10th Bishop of Nottingham, it was one of twelve English dioceses created at the restoration of the hierarchy by Pius IX in 1850, embracing the counties of Nottingham, Derby and Rutland. These had comprised part of the Apostolic Vicariate of the Midland District, when at the request of King James II in 1685, the Holy See divided England into four vicariates: the London, the Northern, the Midland and the Western. Before 1840, when the number of vicars apostolic was increased from four to eight, the Midland District consisted of fifteen counties. In 1850 Nottingham had 24 permanent missions, many of these little better than villages.
For the most part they originated from chaplaincies which had through penal times been maintained by the Catholic nobility and gentry, or had been founded independently by them. Among these there existed foundations of several religious orders. In Derbyshire the Jesuits had missions at Chesterfield and Spinkhill, in Lincolnshire at Lincoln and Market Rasen; the Dominican Order was settled in Leicester and Fathers of Charity carried on several missions in Leicestershire. From the appearance of the Jesuits in England in 1580 at the special request of Dr William Allen, they had done much by their labours to keep alive the Catholic faith in the Nottingham diocese. Of their missions mentioned above some were among the earliest of the Society of Jesus in England dating back some three hundred years. Derby was included in the district or college of the Society called the "Immaculate Conception", founded by Father Richard Blount, about 1633, first provincial superior of the English Province. Extinct for many years, it was revived in 1842 as Mount St Mary's College, when the new college and convictus was established by the provincial, Father Randall Lythgoe.
After the Reformation, the English Province of the Friars Preachers ceased to exist, until resuscitated at Bornem in Flanders by Philip Howard cardinal, who became the first prior of the Dominicans in 1675. The first introduction of the English Dominicans from Bornem was at Hinckley, whence for many years Leicester was served by them at intervals, their mission at Leicester was put on a permanent basis in 1798 by the purchase of a house by Father Francis Xavier Choppelle. Holy Cross Priory, Leicester was begun by Father Benedict Caestryck in 1815 and was opened in 1819; the dedication under the title of Holy Cross was adopted on account of the celebrated relic of the Holy Cross brought from Bornem. After the lapse of three centuries a monastery of the Cistercian Order was resuscitated in England by the foundation of the Abbey of Mount St Bernard in Leicestershire, made possible by the assistance of Ambrose Phillips de Lisle of Grace Dieu Manor, who after his conversion in December 1825, devoted his energies to the spread of the Catholic faith in England by the re-establishment in the country of monastic institutions.
In 1835 he purchased about 227 acres of wild uncultivated land in Charnwood Forest and presented it to the Cistercians. Beginning with one brother who lived alone in a four-roomed cottage, the community increased, a larger building was erected as well as a small chapel, opened by Dr Walsh on 11 October 1837. In a short time this proved insufficient and John Talbot, 16th Earl of Shrewsbury offered them £2,000, on condition that a new monastery should be erected, choosing for that purpose the present site of the abbey, it was built from designs by Augustus Pugin. In 1848 by Papal Brief of Pius IX the monastery of Mount St Bernard was raised to the dignity of an abbey, Father Bernard, the first mitred abbot in England since the Reformation, was consecrated on 18 February 1849. In introducing the Cistercians into England, de Lisle had hoped that they would undertake missionary work and with this view he had built three chapels: at Grace-Dieu and the abbey. On the score of their rule, they declined to take charge permanently of the missions.
De Lisle decided to bring from Italy members of the Institute of Charity. After much negotiation with the head of the order, Father Gentili came to Grace Dieu as chaplain; this was the commencement of the settlement of the Rosminians in the diocese. In 1841 Dr Walsh made over to them the secular mission of Loughborough founded in 1832 by Father Benjamin Hulme; the buildings were too small to permit of a novitiate and a college of their own which they were desirous to establish. To carry out this twofold object, about 9 acres were purchased; the Sisters of Mercy had come to Nottingham in 1844, in 1846 entered their convent in close proximity to the cathedral. The first Bishop of Nottingham was the Rt Rev. Joseph William Hendren, O. S. F. Consecrated on 10 September 1848, as Vicar Apostolic of the Western District, transferred to the bishopric of Clifton on 29 September 1850, to Nottingham on 22 June 1851; the cathedral church of St Barnabas, of the lancet style of architecture, is considered one of the best specimens of the work of Pugin.
Owing to ill-health Dr Hendren resigned in 1853 and was succeeded by Dr Richard Roskell, born at Gateacre, near Liverpool, in 1817. He was sent to Ushaw Colle
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Great Britain
The Marthoma Nasrani Eparchy of Great Britain is the sole eparchy for Syro-Malabar Catholics in Great Britain, with see in Preston, Lancashire. This eparchy is not part of any ecclesiastical province and is subject to the Major Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Church and the Roman Congregation for the Oriental Churches, it has jurisdiction over Syro-Malabar Catholics in the entirety of Great Britain: England and Wales. The eparchy, established in 2016, is the fourth diocesan jurisdiction of the Syro-Malabar Church outside India. Syro Malabar Catholic Church have a Apostolic Visitor for Europe based in Rome, Bishop Mar Stephen Chirapanath who oversee and liaison the pastoral missions and mass centres in other parts of Europe including Northern Ireland, its episcopal see is the Syro-Malabar Cathedral of St. Alphonsa at Preston in England, it has chaplains in 22 British Roman Catholic dioceses, a national coordination council and eight diocesan departments: Liturgy, Catechism, Faith Formation, Lay Association, Resolution Committee and Youth Association.
Its first and present Eparch is Bishop Joseph Srampickal, born on 1967.05.30 in India, ordained priest 2000.08.12, consecrated bishop 2016.10.09. List of Catholic dioceses in Great Britain GCatholic.org diocesan website
Archbishop of Westminster
The Archbishop of Westminster heads the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster, in England. The incumbent is the Metropolitan of the Province of Westminster, Chief Metropolitan of England and Wales and, as a matter of custom, is elected President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, therefore de facto spokesman of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. All previous Archbishops of Westminster have become Cardinals. Although all the bishops of the restored diocesan episcopacy took new titles, like that of Westminster, they saw themselves in continuity with the pre-Reformation Church and post-Reformation Vicars Apostolic and Titular Bishops. Westminster, in particular, saw itself as the continuity of Canterbury, hence the similarity of the coat of arms of the two Sees, with Westminster believing it has more right to it since it features the pallium, a distinctly Catholic symbol of communion with the Holy See. With the gradual abolition of the legal restrictions on the activities of Catholics in England and Wales in the early 19th century, Rome on its own decided to fill the partial vacuum, which Queen Elizabeth I had created, by restoring Catholic dioceses on a regular historical pattern and replacing existing titular bishops or Vicars Apostolic with diocesan ones.
Thus Pope Pius IX issued the Bull Universalis Ecclesiae of 29 September 1850 by which thirteen new dioceses were created. Although these dioceses could not formally claim pre-Elizabethan territorial dioceses, they did claim validity and continuity with the pre-Elizabethan Church. Historian and descendant of recusants, Paul Johnson, claims that as early as 1718, only 30 years after the Glorious Revolution, Catholics could take heart when Parliament repealed the Schism Act, the Occasional Conformity Act and the Act for Quieting and Establishing Corporations, which allowed Dissenters to hold certain offices. Although these repeals at the time only benefited Dissenters, their rescission and abolition suggested reform was in the air and on Parliament's mind. In 1727, in the wake of the repeal of the annual Indemnity Acts, which relieved Dissenters of most of their civil disabilities, Catholics non-aristocratic Catholics, could start to creep out into the open again, long before the Catholic Emancipation of 1832.
As a result of the 1727 Act, Christianity in England ceased to be a "compulsory society". Still, Catholics had to wait another 95 years before being given full religious rights; the gains of the Dissenters a century earlier were a significant step towards eliminating Catholic disabilities later. The Ecclesiastical Titles Act had been proposed by the British Parliament and was passed in 1851 as an anti-Catholic measure to prevent any newly created Catholic dioceses from taking existing Anglican diocesan names, forbidding the wearing of clerical dress or setting bells in Catholic places of worship, it was repealed by Gladstone in 1871. One of these newly restored dioceses was the Diocese of Westminster, the sole Metropolitan See at that time. However, under Pope Pius X, on 28 October 1911, two new Provinces of Liverpool and Birmingham were created, Westminster retained as suffragan dioceses only Northampton, Nottingham and Southwark; these increased when under Pope Benedict XV a Bull of 20 July 1917, fixed the seat of a new diocese corresponding to the County of Essex, detached now from Westminster, at Brentwood, making it a suffragan of Westminster.
During the pontificate of Pope Paul VI, on 28 May 1965, a new Province of Southwark was erected, with as its suffragans Portsmouth, detached from Westminster, detached from Birmingham, a new diocese of Arundel and Brighton erected in the Counties of Sussex and Surrey with territory taken from the diocese of Southwark. Westminster retained as suffragan dioceses only Northampton and Brentwood. Subsequently these were joined by a new diocese of East Anglia, elected with territory from the Northampton diocese in the Counties of Cambridge and Suffolk by Paul VI on 13 March 1976; the previous Catholic jurisdiction of the London area was headed by the Vicar Apostolic of the London District or Titular Bishop, appointed by the pope. The diocese presently covers an area of 3,634 km² of the London Boroughs north of the River Thames excluding Barking & Dagenham, Newham and Waltham Forest together with the districts of Staines-upon-Thames and Sunbury-on-Thames and the County of Hertfordshire; the see is in the City of Westminster, the Archbishop's cathedra or seat is located at the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of the "Most Precious Holy Blood, Saint Mary, Saint Joseph and Saint Peter" referred to as Westminster Cathedral, set back from Victoria Street.
The Archbishop's residence is Ambrosden Avenue, London. Cardinal Vincent Nichols was installed as the 11th Archbishop on 21 May 2009, he was elevated to cardinal on 22 February 2014, becoming the 43rd English cardinal since the 12th century. Among the old European Catholic Sees, the Archbishop of Westminster is referred to as the Primate of England and Wales. However, in the United Kingdom, this is not correct, since the title is formally claimed only by the archbishops of the established Church of England, is applied to the Archbishop of York as "Primate of England", the Archbishop of Canterbury, as "Primate of All England". In global Catholicism, the last time there was an elected Catholic Primate of England in the
The word diocese is derived from the Greek term dioikesis meaning "administration". Today, when used in an ecclesiastical sense, it refers to the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. In the organization of the Roman Empire, the subdivided provinces were administratively associated in a larger unit, the diocese. After Christianity was given legal status in 313, the Churches began to organize themselves into dioceses based on provinces, not on the larger regional imperial districts; the dioceses were smaller than the provinces since there were more bishops than governors. Christianity was declared the Empire's official religion by Theodosius I in 380. Constantine I in 318 gave litigants the right to have court cases transferred from the civil courts to the bishops; this situation must have hardly survived Julian, 361-363. Episcopal courts are not heard of again in the East until 398 and in the West in 408; the quality of these courts were low, not above suspicion as the bishop of Alexandria Troas found out that clergy were making a corrupt profit.
Nonetheless, these courts were popular. Bishops had no part in the civil administration until the town councils, in decline, lost much authority to a group of'notables' made up of the richest councilors and rich persons exempted from serving on the councils, retired military, bishops post-450 A. D; as the Western Empire collapsed in the 5th century, bishops in Western Europe assumed a larger part of the role of the former Roman governors. A similar, though less pronounced, development occurred in the East, where the Roman administrative apparatus was retained by the Byzantine Empire. In modern times, many dioceses, though subdivided, have preserved the boundaries of a long-vanished Roman administrative division. For Gaul, Bruce Eagles has observed that "it has long been an academic commonplace in France that the medieval dioceses, their constituent pagi, were the direct territorial successors of the Roman civitates."Modern usage of'diocese' tends to refer to the sphere of a bishop's jurisdiction.
This became commonplace during the self-conscious "classicizing" structural evolution of the Carolingian Empire in the 9th century, but this usage had itself been evolving from the much earlier parochia, dating from the formalized Christian authority structure in the 4th century. Most archdioceses are metropolitan sees. A few are suffragans of a metropolitan are directly subject to the Holy See. While the terms "diocese" and "episcopal see" are applicable to the area under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of any bishop, a bishop in charge of an archdiocese thereby holds the rank of archbishop. If the title of archbishop is granted on personal grounds to a diocesan bishop, his diocese does not thereby become an archdiocese; as of January 2019, in the Catholic Church there are 2,886 regular dioceses: 1 papal see, 645 archdioceses and 2,240 dioceses in the world. In the Eastern rites in communion with the Pope, the equivalent unit is called an eparchy; the Eastern Orthodox Church calls dioceses episkopē in the Greek tradition and eparchies in the Slavic tradition.
After the English Reformation, the Church of England retained the existing diocesan structure which remains throughout the Anglican Communion. The one change is that the areas administered under the Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop of York are properly referred to as dioceses, not archdioceses: they are the metropolitan bishops of their respective provinces and bishops of their own diocese and have the position of archbishop. Certain Lutheran denominations such as the Church of Sweden do have individual dioceses similar to Roman Catholics; these dioceses and archdioceses are under the government of a bishop. Other Lutheran bodies and synods that have dioceses and bishops include the Church of Denmark, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, the Evangelical Church in Germany, the Church of Norway. From about the 13th century until the German mediatization of 1803, the majority of the bishops of the Holy Roman Empire were prince-bishops, as such exercised political authority over a principality, their so-called Hochstift, distinct, considerably smaller than their diocese, over which they only exercised the usual authority of a bishop.
Some American Lutheran church bodies such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have a bishop acting as the head of the synod, but the synod does not have dioceses and archdioceses as the churches listed above. Rather, it is divided into a middle judicatory; the Lutheran Church - International, based in Springfield, presently uses a traditional diocesan structure, with four dioceses in North America. Its current president is Archbishop Robert W. Hotes; the Church of God in Christ has dioceses throughout the United States. In the COGIC, most states are divided into at least three or more dioceses that are each led by a bishop; these dioceses are called "jurisdictions" within COGIC. In the Latter Day Saint movement, the term "bishopric" is used to describe the bishop himself, together with his two counselors, not the ward or congregation of which a bishop has charge. In the United Methodist Church, a bishop is given oversight over a geographical area called an episcopal area; each episcopal area contains one or more an