The word diocese (/ˈdaɪəsɪs, -siːs, -siːz/)[a] is derived from the Greek term dioikesis (διοίκησις) meaning "administration". Today, when used in an ecclesiastical sense, it refers to the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. Sometimes it is also called bishopric.
In the later organization of the Roman Empire, the increasingly subdivided provinces were administratively associated in a larger unit, the diocese (Latin dioecesis, from the Greek term διοίκησις, meaning "administration").
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 often 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, and not above suspicion as the bishop of Alexandria Troas found out that clergy were making a corrupt profit. Nonetheless, these courts were popular as people could get quick justice without being charged fees. 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, powerful and rich persons legally exempted from serving on the councils, retired military, and 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 largely retained by the Byzantine Empire. In modern times, many dioceses, though later 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, and 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 ("parish"), dating from the increasingly formalized Christian authority structure in the 4th century.
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 (including 9 patriarchates, 4 major archdioceses, 555 metropolitan archdioceses, 77 single archdioceses) and 2,240 dioceses in the world.
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.
Due to its unique three-tikanga (culture) system, New Zealand church's constitution uses the specific term "Episcopal Unit" for both dioceses and pīhopatanga. Pīhopatanga (bishoprics) are the tribal-based jurisdictions of Māori pīhopa (bishops) which overlap with the "New Zealand dioceses"; these function like dioceses, but are never called so.
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 (see Archbishop of Uppsala). 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 (partially), and 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, and as such exercised political authority over a principality, their so-called Hochstift, which was distinct, and usually 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, Illinois, 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 (COGIC) 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 (sometimes called a "state bishop"); some states have as many as ten dioceses. These dioceses are called "jurisdictions" within COGIC.
In the United Methodist Church (the United States and some other countries), a bishop is given oversight over a geographical area called an episcopal area. Each episcopal area contains one or more annual conferences, which is how the churches and clergy under the bishop's supervision are organized. Thus, the use of the term "diocese" referring to geography is the most equivalent in the United Methodist Church, whereas each annual conference is part of one episcopal area (though that area may contain more than one conference). The African Methodist Episcopal Church has a similar structure to the United Methodist Church, also using the Episcopal Area. Note that the bishops govern the church as a single bench.
In the British Methodist Church and Irish Methodist Church, the closest equivalent to a diocese is the 'circuit'. Each local church belongs to a circuit, and the circuit is overseen by a superintendent minister who has pastoral charge of all the circuit churches (though in practice he or she delegates such charge to other presbyters who each care for a section of the circuit and chair the local church meetings as deputies of the superintendent). This echoes the practice of the early church where the bishop was supported by a bench of presbyters. Circuits are grouped together to form Districts. All of these, combined with the local membership of the Church, are referred to as the "Connexion". This 18th-century term, endorsed by John Wesley, describes how people serving in different geographical centres are 'connected' to each other. Personal oversight of the Methodist Church is exercised by the President of the Conference, a presbyter elected to serve for a year by the Methodist Conference; such oversight is shared with the Vice-President, who is always a deacon or layperson. Each District is headed by a 'Chair', a presbyter who oversees the district. Although the district is similar in size to a diocese, and Chairs meet regularly with their partner bishops, the Methodist superintendent is closer to the bishop in function than is the Chair. The purpose of the district is to resource the circuits; it has no function otherwise.
Churches of Christ, being strictly non-denominational, are governed solely at the congregational level.
Most Baptists hold that no church or ecclesiastical organization has inherent authority over a Baptist church. Churches can properly relate to each other under this polity only through voluntary cooperation, never by any sort of coercion. Furthermore, this Baptist polity calls for freedom from governmental control. Most Baptists believe in "Two offices of the church"—pastor-elder and deacon—based on certain scriptures (1 Timothy 3:1–13; Titus 1–2).
Continental Reformed churches are ruled by assemblies of "elders" or ordained officers. This is usually called Synodal government by the continental Reformed, but is essentially the same as presbyterian polity.
The Anglican Diocese of Leeds (previously also known as the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales) is a diocese (administrative division) of the Church of England, in the Province of York. It is the largest diocese in England by area, comprising much of western Yorkshire: almost the whole of West Yorkshire, the western part of North Yorkshire, the town of Barnsley in South Yorkshire, and most of the parts of County Durham, Cumbria and Lancashire which lie within the historic boundaries of Yorkshire. It includes the cities of Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield and Ripon. It was created on 20 April 2014 following a review of the dioceses in Yorkshire and the dissolution of the dioceses of Bradford, Ripon and Leeds, and Wakefield.
The diocese is led by the Anglican Bishop of Leeds and has three cathedrals of equal status: Ripon, Wakefield, and Bradford. There are five episcopal areas within the diocese, each led by an area bishop: Leeds, Ripon, Wakefield, Bradford and Huddersfield.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, and 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.Archdiocese of Glasgow
The Archdiocese of Glasgow was one of the thirteen (after 1633 fourteen) dioceses of the Scottish church. It was the second largest diocese in the Kingdom of Scotland, including Clydesdale, Teviotdale, parts of Tweeddale, Liddesdale, Annandale, Nithsdale, Cunninghame, Kyle, and Strathgryfe, as well as Lennox, Carrick and the part of Galloway known as Desnes.
Glasgow became an archbishopric in 1492, eventually securing the dioceses of Galloway, Argyll and the Isles as suffragans. The Scottish church broke its allegiance to Rome in 1560, but bishops continued intermittently until 1689.Church of North India
The Church of North India (CNI), the dominant United denomination in northern India, is a united church established on 29 November 1970 by bringing together the Anglican and Protestant churches working in northern India; it is a province of the worldwide Anglican Communion. It is the successor of the Church of England in India along with the Church of Pakistan and the Church of South India. The merger, which had been in discussions since 1929, came eventually between the Churches of India, Pakistan, Burma and the Ceylon (Anglican), the United Church of Northern India (Congregationalist and Presbyterian), the Baptist Churches of Northern India (British Baptists), the Church of the Brethren in India, which withdrew in 2006, the Methodist Church (British and Australian Conferences) and the Disciples of Christ denominations.
The CNI's jurisdiction covers all states of the Indian Union with the exception of the four states in the south (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu) and has approximately 1,250,000 members (0.1% of India's population) in 3,000 pastorates.Diocese of Lincoln
The Diocese of Lincoln forms part of the Province of Canterbury in England. The present diocese covers the ceremonial county of Lincolnshire.Diocese of London
The Diocese of London forms part of the Church of England's Province of Canterbury in England.
Historically the diocese covered a large area north of the Thames and bordered the dioceses of Norwich and Lincoln to the north and west. The present diocese covers 177 square miles (460 km2) and 17 London boroughs, covering most of Greater London north of the River Thames and west of the River Lea. This area covers nearly all of the historic county of Middlesex. It includes the City of London in which lies its cathedral, St Paul's, and also encompasses Spelthorne which is in Middlesex but part of Surrey County Council.
Essex formed part of the diocese until 1846 when the county became part of the Diocese of Rochester (and later changed again to the Diocese of St Albans and is now in the Diocese of Chelmsford).Diocese of Rome
The Diocese of Rome (Latin: Dioecesis Urbis seu Romana; Italian: Diocesi di Roma) is a diocese of the Catholic Church in Rome. The Bishop of Rome or the Roman Bishop is the Pope, the Supreme Pontiff and leader of the Catholic Church. As the Holy See, the papacy is a sovereign entity with diplomatic relations, and civil jurisdiction over the Vatican City State located geographically within Rome. The Diocese of Rome is the metropolitan diocese of the Province of Rome, an ecclesiastical province in Italy. The first Bishop of Rome was Saint Peter in the first century. The incumbent since 13 March 2013 is Pope Francis.
Historically, many Rome-born men, as well as others born elsewhere on the Italian Peninsula have served as Bishops of Rome. Since 1900, however, there has been only one Rome-born Bishop of Rome, Pius XII (1939–1958). In addition, non-Italians have served as Bishops of Rome since John Paul II was elected Pope in 1978.
It is the metropolitan archdiocese of the Roman ecclesiastical province and primatial see of Italy. The cathedral is the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran. The Primate of Italy is the pope, holding primacy of honor over the Italian sees and also primacy of jurisdiction over all other episcopal sees by Catholic tradition.Diocese of Truro
The Diocese of Truro (established 1876) is a Church of England diocese in the Province of Canterbury which covers Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and a small part of Devon. The bishop's seat is at Truro Cathedral.Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (Greek: Οἰκουμενικόν Πατριαρχεῖον Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, Oikoumenikón Patriarkhíon Konstantinoupóleos, IPA: [ikumeniˈkon patriarˈçion konstandinuˈpoleos]; Latin: Patriarchatus Oecumenicus Constantinopolitanus; Turkish: Rum Ortodoks Patrikhanesi, "Roman Orthodox Patriarchate") is one of the fourteen to sixteen autocephalous churches (or "jurisdictions") that together compose the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is headed by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, currently Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople.
Because of its historical location as the capital of the former Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire and its role as the Mother Church of most modern Orthodox churches, Constantinople holds a special place of honor within Orthodoxy and serves as the seat for the Ecumenical Patriarch, who enjoys the status of primus inter pares (first among equals) among the world's Eastern Orthodox prelates and is regarded as the representative and spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians.The Ecumenical Patriarchate promotes the expansion of the Christian faith and Orthodox doctrine, and the Ecumenical Patriarchs are involved in ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, charitable work, and the defense of Orthodox Christian traditions. Prominent issues in the Ecumenical Patriarchate's policy in the 21st century include the safety of the believers in the Middle East, reconciliation of the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches, and the reopening of the Theological School of Halki which was closed down by the Turkish authorities in 1971.Hispania
Hispania (; Latin: [hɪsˈpaːnia]) was the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula and its provinces. Under the Republic, Hispania was divided into two provinces: Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior. During the Principate, Hispania Ulterior was divided into two new provinces, Baetica and Lusitania, while Hispania Citerior was renamed Hispania Tarraconensis. Subsequently, the western part of Tarraconensis was split off, first as Hispania Nova, later renamed "Callaecia" (or Gallaecia, whence modern Galicia). From Diocletian's Tetrarchy (AD 284) onwards, the south of remaining Tarraconensis was again split off as Carthaginensis, and probably then too the Balearic Islands and all the resulting provinces formed one civil diocese under the vicarius for the Hispaniae (that is, the Celtic provinces). The name Hispania was also used in the period of Visigothic rule.
The modern place names Spain and Hispaniola are both derived from Hispania.List of Catholic bishops in the United States
The following is a list of bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States, including its five overseas dependencies. The U.S. Catholic Church comprises 177 Latin Church dioceses and 18 Eastern Catholic eparchies (led by diocesan bishops or eparchs), the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter. (If the Personal Ordinary is not a bishop, he is the equivalent of a diocesan bishop in canon law.)
The 177 Latin dioceses are divided into 32 ecclesiastical provinces. Each province has a metropolitan archdiocese led by an archbishop, and at least one suffragan diocese. In some cases, a titular archbishop is named diocesan bishop of a diocese that is not a metropolitan archdiocese, for example, Archbishop Celestine Damiano, Bishop of Camden (New Jersey). In most archdioceses and some large dioceses, one or more auxiliary bishops serve in association with the diocesan bishop. There are also two Eastern Catholic metropoliae. The four Byzantine Catholic eparchies constitute one metropolia, with Pittsburgh as the metropolitan see, led by a metropolitan archbishop. Similarly, the four Ukrainian Catholic eparchies constitute one metropolia, with Philadelphia as the metropolitan see. (One archbishop—that of the Archdiocese for the Military Services—is not a metropolitan.) As of October 2018, five of these metropolitans are cardinals of the Catholic Church: Boston (Seán O'Malley), Chicago (Blase Cupich), Galveston-Houston (Daniel DiNardo), Newark (Joseph Tobin), and New York (Timothy Dolan). Four archdioceses have retired archbishops who served as cardinal-archbishop of their diocese: Detroit (Adam Maida), Los Angeles (Roger Mahony), Philadelphia (Justin Rigali), and Washington (Donald Wuerl). Four archdioceses have former archbishops who were created cardinal after they completed their tenure as diocesan archbishop: Baltimore (Edwin O'Brien), Denver (James Stafford), San Francisco (William Levada), and St. Louis (Raymond Burke).
All active and retired bishops in the United States and the Territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands—diocesan, coadjutor, and auxiliary—are members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
In addition to the 195 dioceses, one military archdiocese, and one personal ordinariate, there are several dioceses in the nation's other four overseas dependencies. In the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the bishops in the six dioceses (one metropolitan archdiocese and five suffragan dioceses) form their own episcopal conference, the Conferencia Episcopal Puertorriqueña. The bishops in U.S. insular areas in the Pacific Ocean—the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Territory of American Samoa, and the Territory of Guam—are members of the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific.List of Catholic dioceses (structured view)
As of May 31, 2018, the Catholic Church in its entirety comprises 3,160 ecclesiastical jurisdictions, including over 645 archdioceses and 2,236 dioceses, as well as apostolic vicariates, apostolic exarchates, apostolic administrations, apostolic prefectures, military ordinariates, personal ordinariates, personal prelatures, territorial prelatures, territorial abbacies and missions sui juris around the world.
In addition to these jurisdictions, there are 2,103 titular sees (bishoprics, archbishoprics and metropolitanates).
This is a structural list to show the relationships of each diocese to one another, grouped by ecclesiastical province, within each episcopal conference, within each continent or other geographical area.
The list needs regular updating and is incomplete, but as articles are written up, more will be added, and various aspects need to be regularly updated.List of Privy Council Orders
This is a list of orders made by the British Privy Council. The list is not complete.
A list of all Orders in Council and Orders of Council dating back to 1994 is held by the Privy Council Office on an Access database. The ID numbers used in this table is the number use in that database.Metropolis (religious jurisdiction)
A metropolis religious jurisdiction, or a metropolitan archdiocese, is an episcopal see whose bishop is the metropolitan bishop of an ecclesiastical province. Metropolises, historically, have been important cities in their provinces.Roman Britain
Roman Britain (Latin: Britannia or, later, Britanniae, "the Britains") was the area of the island of Great Britain that was governed by the Roman Empire, from 43 to 410 AD. It comprised almost the whole of England and Wales and, for a short period, southern Scotland.
Julius Caesar invaded Britain in 55 and 54 BC as part of his Gallic Wars. According to Caesar, the Britons had been overrun or culturally assimilated by other Celtic tribes during the British Iron Age and had been aiding Caesar's enemies. He received tribute, installed the friendly king Mandubracius over the Trinovantes, and returned to Gaul. Planned invasions under Augustus were called off in 34, 27, and 25 BC. In 40 AD, Caligula assembled 200,000 men at the Channel on the continent, only to have them gather seashells (musculi) according to Suetonius, perhaps as a symbolic gesture to proclaim Caligula's victory over the sea. Three years later, Claudius directed four legions to invade Britain and restore the exiled king Verica over the Atrebates. The Romans defeated the Catuvellauni, and then organized their conquests as the Province of Britain (Latin: Provincia Britannia). By the year 47, the Romans held the lands southeast of the Fosse Way. Control over Wales was delayed by reverses and the effects of Boudica's uprising, but the Romans expanded steadily northward.
The conquest of Britain continued under command of Gnaeus Julius Agricola (77–84), who expanded the Roman Empire as far as Caledonia. In the summer of 84, Agricola faced the armies of the Caledonians, led by Calgacus, at the Battle of Mons Graupius. Battle casualties were estimated by Tacitus to be around the 10,000's on the Caledonian side and about 360 on the Roman side. The bloodbath at Mons Graupius concluded the forty-year conquest of Britain, a period that saw between 100,000 and 250,000 Britons killed. In the context of pre-industrial warfare and of a total population of Britain of c.2 million, these are very high figures.Under the 2nd-century emperors Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, two walls were built to defend the Roman province from the Caledonians, whose realms in the Scottish Highlands were never controlled. Around 197, the Severan Reforms divided Britain into two provinces: Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior. During the Diocletian Reforms, at the end of the 3rd century, Britannia was divided into four provinces under the direction of a vicarius, who administered the Diocese of the Britains. A fifth province, Valentia, is attested in the later 4th century. For much of the later period of the Roman occupation, Britannia was subject to barbarian invasions and often came under the control of imperial usurpers and imperial pretenders. The final Roman withdrawal from Britain occurred around 410; the native kingdoms are considered to have formed Sub-Roman Britain after that.
Following the conquest of the Britons, a distinctive Romano-British culture emerged as the Romans introduced improved agriculture, urban planning, industrial production, and architecture. The Roman goddess Britannia became the female personification of Britain. After the initial invasions, Roman historians generally only mention Britain in passing. Thus, most present knowledge derives from archaeological investigations and occasional epigraphic evidence lauding the Britannic achievements of an emperor. Roman citizens settled in Britain from many parts of the Empire.Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York is a Latin Catholic archdiocese in New York State. It encompasses the boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island in New York City and the counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester in New York. The Archdiocese of New York is the second-largest diocese in the United States, encompassing 296 parishes that serve around 2.8 million Catholics in addition to hundreds of Catholic schools, hospitals and charities. The Archdiocese also operates the well-known St. Joseph's Seminary, commonly referred to as Dunwoodie. The Archdiocese of New York is the metropolitan see of the ecclesiastical province of New York which includes the suffragan dioceses of Albany, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Ogdensburg, Rochester, Rockville Centre and Syracuse.
The Latin name of the archdiocese is Archidioecesis Neo-Eboracensis (Eboracum being the Roman name of York, England), and the corporate name is Archdiocese of New York.
It publishes a bi-weekly newspaper, Catholic New York, the largest of its kind in the United States.Suffragan bishop
A suffragan bishop is a bishop subordinate to a metropolitan bishop or diocesan bishop (bishop ordinary) and, consequently, are not normally jurisdictional in their role. Suffragan bishops may be charged by a metropolitan to oversee a suffragan diocese. They may be assigned to an area which does not have a cathedral of its own.Suffragan diocese
A suffragan diocese is one of the dioceses other than the metropolitan archdiocese that constitute an ecclesiastical province. It exists in some Christian denominations, in particular the Catholic Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, and the Romanian Orthodox Church.
In the Catholic Church, although such a diocese is governed by its own bishop or ordinary, who is the suffragan bishop, the metropolitan archbishop has in its regard certain rights and duties of oversight. He has no power of governance within a suffragan diocese, but has some limited rights and duties to intervene in cases of neglect by the authorities of the diocese itself.Titular see
A titular see in various churches is an episcopal see of a former diocese that no longer functions, sometimes called a "dead diocese".
The ordinary or hierarch of such a see may be styled a "titular metropolitan" (highest rank), "titular archbishop" (intermediary rank) or "titular bishop" (lowest rank), which normally goes by the status conferred on the titular see.
The term is used to signify a diocese that no longer functionally exists, often because the diocese once flourished but the territory was conquered by Muslims or no longer functions because of a schism. The Greek–Turkish population exchange of 1923 also contributed to titular bishoprics. The see of Maximianoupolis along with the town that shared its name was destroyed by the Bulgarians under Emperor Kaloyan in 1207; the town and the see were under the control of the Latin Empire, which took Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade in 1204. Parthenia, in north Africa, was abandoned and swallowed by desert sand.