Primate (bishop)

Primate (English: /ˈpraɪmət/) is a title or rank bestowed on some archbishops in certain Christian churches. Depending on the particular tradition, it can denote either jurisdictional authority (title of authority) or (usually) ceremonial precedence (title of honour).

Roman Catholic Church

In the Western Church, a Primate is an Archbishop—or rarely a suffragan or exempt bishop—of a specific (mostly Metropolitan) episcopal see (called a primatial see) who has precedence over the bishoprics of one or more ecclesiastical provinces of a particular historical, political or cultural area. Historically, Primates of particular sees were granted privileges including the authority to call and preside at national synods, jurisdiction to hear appeals from metropolitan tribunals, the right to crown the sovereign of the nation, and presiding at the investiture (installation) of archbishops in their sees.[1]

Template-Patriarch (Latin Rite) - Primate
Catholic Primate (non-cardinal) coat of arms

The office is generally found only in older Catholic countries, and is now purely honorific, enjoying no effective powers under canon law—except for the Archbishop of Esztergom (Gran) in Hungary.[1] Thus, e.g., the Primate of Poland holds no jurisdictional authority over other Polish bishops or their dioceses, but is durante munere a member of the standing committee of the episcopal conference and has honorary precedence among Polish bishops (e.g., in liturgical ceremonies). The Holy See has also granted Polish primates the privilege of wearing cardinal's crimson attire, except for the skullcap and biretta, even if they have not been made cardinals.[2][3]

Where the title of primate exists, it may be vested in one of the oldest archdioceses in a country, often based in a city other than the present capital, but which was the capital when the country was first Christianized. The city may no longer have the prominence it had when the title was granted. The political area over which primacy was originally granted may no longer exist: for example, the Archbishop of Toledo was designated "Primate of the Visigothic Kingdom", and the Archbishop of Lyon is the "Primate of the Gauls".[1]

Some of the leadership functions once exercised by Primates, specifically presiding at meetings of the bishops of a nation or region, are now exercised by the president of the conference of bishops: "The president of the Conference or, when he is lawfully impeded, the vice-president, presides not only over the general meetings of the Conference but also over the permanent committee."[4] The president is generally elected by the conference, but by exception the President of the Italian Episcopal Conference is appointed by the Pope, and the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference has the Primate of All Ireland as President and the Primate of Ireland as Vice-President. Other former functions of primates, such as hearing appeals from metropolitan tribunals, were reserved to the Holy See by the early 20th century.[1] Soon after, by the norm of the Code of Canon Law of 1917, confirmed in the 1983 Code, the tribunal of second instance for appeals from a metropolitan tribunal is "the tribunal which the metropolitan has designated in a stable manner with the approval of the Apostolic See".[5]

The closest equivalent position in the Eastern Churches in 1911 was an Exarch.[1]

The Holy See has continued in modern times to grant the title of Primate. With the papal decree Sollicitae Romanis Pontificibus of 24 January 1956 it granted the title of Primate of Canada to the Archbishop of Quebec.[6] As stated above, this is merely an honorary title involving no additional power.[7]

A right of precedence over other bishops and similar privileges can be granted even to a bishop who is not a Primate. Thus, in 1858, the Holy See granted the Archbishop of Baltimore precedence in meetings of the United States bishops.[8] The Archbishop of Westminster has not been granted the title of Primate of England and Wales, which is sometimes applied to him, but his position has been described as that of "Chief Metropolitan" and as "similar to" that of the Archbishop of Canterbury.[9]

The title of Primate is sometimes applied loosely to the Archbishop of a country's capital, as in the case of the Archbishops of Seoul in South Korea and of Edinburgh in Scotland. Functions can sometimes be exercised in practice (de facto), as by a de facto government, without having been granted by law; but since "Primate" is today a title, not a function, there is no such thing as a "de facto" primate.

The pre-reformation Metropolitan Archbishop of Nidaros was sometimes referred to as Primate of Norway,[10] even though it is unlikely that this title ever was officially granted to him by the Holy See.

Catholic Primatial sees

The heads of certain sees have at times been referred to, at least by themselves,[11] as primates:

In Europe

Catholic Archbishops who figured as primates until the Protestant Reformation

Catholic Archbishops who figured as primates at the First Vatican Council


Regular clergy equivalent

In the modern confederation of the Benedictine Order, all the Black Monks of St. Benedict were united under the presidency of an Abbot Primate (Leo XIII, Summum semper, 12 July 1893); but the unification, fraternal in its nature, brought no modification to the abbatial dignity, and the various congregations preserved their autonomy intact. The loose structure of the Benedictine Confederation is claimed to have made Pope Leo XIII exclaim that the Benedictines were ordo sine ordine ("an order without order"). The powers of the Abbot Primate are specified, and his position defined, in a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Regulars dated 16 September 1893. The primacy is attached to the global Benedictine Confederation whose Primate resides at Sant'Anselmo in Rome. He takes precedence of all other abbots, is empowered to pronounce on all doubtful matters of discipline, to settle difficulties arising between monasteries, to hold a canonical visitation, if necessary, in any congregation of the order, and to exercise a general supervision for the regular observance of monastic discipline. The Primatial powers are only vested in the Abbot Primate to act by virtue of the proper law of its autonomous Benedictine congregation, which at the present is minimal to none. However, certain branches of the Benedictine Order seem to have lost their original autonomy to some extent.

In a similar way the Confederation of Canons Regular of St. Augustine, elects an Abbot Primate as figurehead of the Confederation and indeed the whole Canonical Order. The Abbots and Superiors General of the nine congregations of confederated congregations of Canons Regular elect a new Abbot Primate for a term of office lasting six years. The Current Abbot Primate is Rt Rev. Fr Jean-Michel Girard, CRB, Abbot General of the Canons Regular of the Grand St Bernard.


Anglican usage styles the bishop who heads an independent church as its "primate", though commonly they hold some other title (e.g. archbishop, presiding bishop, or moderator). The primates' authority within their churches varies considerably: some churches give the primate some executive authority, while in others they may do no more than preside over church councils and represent the church ceremonially.

Anglican Communion

In the context of the Anglican Communion Primates' Meeting, the chief bishop of each of the thirty-nine churches (also known as provinces) that compose the Anglican Communion acts as its primate, though this title may not necessarily be used within their own provinces. Thus the United Churches of Bangladesh, of North India, of Pakistan and of South India, which are united with other originally non-Anglican churches, are represented at the meetings by their moderators.[35]

In both the Church of England and the Church of Ireland, two bishops have the title of primate: the archbishops of Canterbury and York in England and of Armagh and Dublin in Ireland. Only the bishop of the senior primatial see of each of these two churches participates in the meetings.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, who is considered primus inter pares of all the participants, convokes the meetings and issues the invitations.[35]

Primates and archbishops are styled "The Most Reverend". All other bishops are styled "The Right Reverend".[35]

Traditional Anglican Communion

The head of the Traditional Anglican Communion's College of Bishops takes the title of Primate.[36]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Primate" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. ^ Joseph Lins, "Gniesen-Posen" in The Catholic Encyclopedia (New York 1909)
  3. ^ Aurelio Palmieri, "Archdiocese of Warsaw" in The Catholic Encyclopedia (New York, 1912)
  4. ^ John P. Beal, New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law (Paulist Press 2002 ISBN 978-0-80914066-4), p. 595
  5. ^ John P. Beal, New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law (Paulist Press 2002 ISBN 978-0-80914066-4), p. 1631
  6. ^ Template:Sollicitae Romanis Pontificibus, in Mandements, lettres pastorales et circulaires des évêques de Québec, vol. XVIII : Son Éminence le Cardinal Maurice Roy (1955-1966), Québec, Chancellerie de l'archevêché, 1967, pp. 44-46, suivi de la traduction en français du décret, (pp. 47-48) (page viewed February 14, 2014)
  7. ^ Paul A. Bramadat, David Seljak, Christianity and Ethnicity in Canada (University of Toronto Press 2008 ISBN 978-0-80209584-8), p. 131
  8. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Archdiocese of Baltimore" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  9. ^ " As Ordinary of the Diocese of Westminster his jurisdiction extends over much the same area as that of the Bishop of London. As chief Metropolitan, he occupies a position similar to that of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England" (Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Archdiocese of Westminster" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.). "By the grant in the Apostolic Constitution of 'certain new distinctions of preeminence', for the preservation of unity in government and policy, to the Archbishop of Westminster for the time being, comprised under the following three heads: He will be permanent chairman of the meetings of the Bishops of all England and Wales, and for this reason it will be for him to summon these meetings and to preside over them, according to the rules in force in Italy and elsewhere. (2) He will take rank above the other two Archbishops, and will throughout all England and Wales enjoy the privilege of wearing the Pallium, of occupying the throne, and of having the cross borne before him. (3) Lastly, in all dealings with the Supreme Civil Authority, he will in his person represent the entire Episcopate of England and Wales. Always, however, he is to take the opinion of all the Bishops, and to be guided by the votes of the major part of them'. Thus, though the Archbishop of Westminster was vested with more powers and privileges than Primates usually enjoy, unity of action has been safeguarded" (Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "ReorganizationoftheEnglishHierarchy" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.).
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b c d e f g François de Dainville. Cartes anciennes de l'église de France (Vrin 1958 ISBN 978-2-71168055-9), p. 275
  12. ^ a b Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Mechlin" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Hierarchy" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  14. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Archdiocese of Prague" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  15. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "ArchdioceseofAix" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  16. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Bordeaux" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  17. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Bourges" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  18. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Archdiocese of Rouen" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  19. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Sens" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  20. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Grenoble" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  21. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Mainz" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  22. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Armagh" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  23. ^ a b James Murray, Enforcing the English Reformation in Ireland (Cambridge University Press 2011 ISBN 978-0-52136994-7), pp. 41-43; MacGeoghegan, James, The History of Ireland, Ancient and Modern (1844), James Duffy, Dublin, p. 337
  24. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Archdiocese of Gnesen-Posen" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  25. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Archdiocese of Cagliari" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  26. ^ a b c By royal grant (Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Scotland" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.) but refused by the Holy See (G.W.S. Barrow, Kingship and Unity (Edinburgh University Press 1981 ISBN 978-0-74860104-2), p. 69)
  27. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Toledo" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  28. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Africa" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  29. ^ Episcopal Conference of Argentina: "Arquidiócesis de Buenos Aires".
  30. ^ Agencia Informativa Católica Argentina: "El nuevo arzobispo de Buenos Aires es Mons. Mario Poli"
  31. ^ Esquiu, 16 December 2012, p. 14
  32. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Canterbury" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  33. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Ancient See of York" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  34. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Archdiocese of Gran" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  35. ^ a b c Anglican Communion: "What Is a Primate?"
  36. ^ Traditional Anglican Communion primate resigns. December 12, 2011.

Sources and external links

2014 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 2014 in the United Kingdom.

Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil

The Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil (Portuguese: Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil – IEAB) is the 19th province of the Anglican Communion, covering the country of Brazil. It is composed of nine dioceses and one missionary district, each headed by a bishop, among whom one is elected as the Primate of Brazil. The current Primate is Francisco de Assis da Silva, from the South-West Diocese, elected in 2013. IEAB is the oldest non-Roman Catholic church in Brazil, originating from the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation signed in 1810 between Portugal and the United Kingdom which allowed the Church of England to establish chapels in the former Portuguese colony. In 1890 American missionaries from the Episcopal Church established themselves in the country aiming to create a national church; unlike the English chapels, they celebrated services in Portuguese and converted Brazilians. The Anglican community of Brazil was a missionary district of the Episcopal Church until 1965, when it gained its ecclesiastical independence and became a separate province of the Anglican Communion. Twenty years later, IEAB began to ordain women. It preaches a social gospel, being known for its commitment to fight against problems that affect vast portions of the Brazilian society, such as social inequality, land concentration, domestic violence, racism, homophobia and xenophobia. Its stance as an Inclusive Church has caused both schisms and the arrival of former Roman Catholics and Evangelicals in search of acceptance.

Anglican ministry

The Anglican ministry is both the leadership and agency of Christian service in the Anglican Communion. "Ministry" commonly refers to the office of ordained clergy: the threefold order of bishops, priests and deacons. More accurately, Anglican ministry includes many laypeople who devote themselves to the ministry of the church, either individually or in lower/assisting offices such as lector, acolyte, sub-deacon, Eucharistic minister, cantor, musicians, parish secretary or assistant, warden, vestry member, etc. Ultimately, all baptized members of the church are considered to partake in the ministry of the Body of Christ. "...[I]t might be useful if Anglicans dropped the word minister when referring to the clergy...In our tradition, ordained persons are either bishops, priests, or deacons, and should be referred to as such." Each of the provinces (usually corresponding to individual world nations) of the Anglican Communion has a high degree of independence from the other provinces, and each of them have slightly different structures for ministry, mission and governance. However, personal leadership is always vested in a member of the clergy (a bishop at provincial and diocesan levels, and a priest (often termed a rector or pastor at the parish level) and consensus derived by synodical government. At different levels of the church's structure, laity, clergy (priests/pastors and deacons) and bishops meet together with prayer to deliberate over church governance. These gatherings are variously called conferences, synods, general or church-wide conventions, convocations, councils, chapters and vestries.

Calendar of saints (Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil)

The calendar of saints of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil (Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil – IEAB) follows the tradition of The Episcopal Church (TEC), from whom it was a missionary district until 1965. TEC's calendar of saints, in turn, has its origins in the calendar of the Church of England and in the General Roman Calendar. As such, IEAB commemorates many of the figures present in the Roman Calendar, most of them on the same dates, but it also commemorates various notable Post-Reformation uncanonized Christians, especially those of Brazilian origin.

The only person canonized in a traditional sense since the English Reformation was Charles I in 1660 (commemorated on 30 January), although he is not widely venerated as a saint by most Anglicans. The Anglican Communion has no mechanism for canonizing saints, and unlike the Catholic Church it makes no claims regarding the heavenly status of those commemorated in its calendars. For this reason, IEAB avoides the use of the prenominal title "saint" with reference to uncanonized figures. In order not to imply degrees of sanctity or to discriminate between canonized and uncanonized persons, the title "saint" is not used at all in IEAB's calendar, even with reference to those who are generally known by that title, such as the Apostles or the early Christian saints.

There is no single, unified calendar for the various provinces of the Anglican Communion; each makes its own calendar suitable for its local situation. As a result, the following calendar contains some important figures in the history of Brazil, such as Black warrior Zumbi dos Palmares, Native warrior Sepé Tiaraju, and environmentalist Chico Mendes. At the same time, there are figures from other provinces as well as post-Reformation Catholics, such as nun Dulce Pontes. The most recent edition of the calendar, elaborated by IEAB's Liturgical Commission for the liturgical year which has started on Advent Sunday (30 November 2014), tried to balance the number of male and female figures. The holy days are divided in principal feasts, festivals and lesser festivals. To settle any doubts regarding the sanctity of post-Reformed, uncanonized figures, all of them are commemorated in lesser Festivals, whose celebration is optional. The typography shows the level of the observance: BOLD CAPITALS denote principal feasts, Bold denotes festivals, and roman denotes lesser festivals.

Diocese of Armavir

Diocese of Armavir (Armenian: Արմավիրի թեմ Armaviri t'em), is a diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church covering the Armavir Province of Armenia. The name is derived from the historic city of Armavir which served as the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Armenia between 331 and 210 BC.

The diocese was officially founded on May 30, 1996, by Catholicos Karekin I. The seat of the diocese is the Cathedral of Saint Gregory of Narek in the town of Armavir. Bishop Sion Adamyan is currently the primate of the diocese, serving since 2001.

Ecclesiastical capital

The religious capital or ecclesiastical capital of a region is a place considered pre-eminent by the adherents of a particular religion within that region. This is most often significant for the region's predominant religion or state religion, if any. The administrative headquarters of an organised religion may be centralised in a particular location; for example, Rome for the Catholic Church, or Salt Lake City for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In an episcopal church, the site of the cathedral of the primate bishop of an area may be considered its ecclesiastical capital; for example, Armagh is the seat of the primate of All Ireland in both the Catholic church and the Anglican church. Other places may be considered religious capitals by being centres of learning, such as Qom for Shia Islam in Iran; or places of pilgrimage, such as Varanasi for Hinduism.

Index of religion-related articles

Many Wikipedia articles on religious topics are not yet listed on this page. If you cannot find the topic you are interested in on this page, it still may already exist; you can try to find it using the "Search" box. If you find that it exists, you can edit this page to add a link to it.

If you click on "Related changes" at the side of this page, you will see a list of the most recent changes in articles to which this page links. This page links to itself and its talk page so that changes to them can be tracked by the same means.

Lajos Vető

Lajos Vető (1904–1989) was a Hungarian Lutheran bishop sympathetic to the communist leadership. The communist government replaced Bishop Lajos Ordass as head of Hungary's Lutherans with Lajos Vető following Ordnass' "anti-communist address" at the International Lutheran assembly in Minneapolis. Lajos Vető resigned his position after the Hungarian revolt, but returned to post in December 1957.

List of Anglican Communion dioceses

This is an alphabetical list of bishops and archbishops of the Anglican Communion, with links to articles about their dioceses or provinces where possible.

As of 2018 the Anglican Communion (as recognised by the Anglican Consultative Council) consists of 843 dioceses and 18 additional Ordinary jurisdictions (see list below) giving a total of 861 bishops; this total includes 72 archbishops (or equivalents, such as 'Presiding Bishop'), of whom 40 have the status of 'primate', and membership of the Primates' Meeting. There are, additionally, many suffragan or assistant bishops, as well as bishops of non-Anglican churches that are also in full communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury through arrangements such as the Porvoo Communion.

There is also a number of bishops in different denominations of the Continuing Anglican movement. Continuing Anglicanism is outside the Anglican Communion.

List of Lutheran dioceses and archdioceses

This is a List of Lutheran dioceses and archdioceses currently active, grouped by national (or regional) church, and showing the titles of the bishops of those dioceses. Where relevant, the Metropolitan bishop or Primate (bishop) is listed first. As in other Christian denominations, many Lutheran Metropolitan and Primate bishops bear the title Archbishop.

This list does not contain historical or defunct dioceses, although links are provided (at the end of the list) to former Lutheran dioceses of particular historical note.

This list is solely for dioceses of those Lutheran churches which have retained, or established, episcopal polity. There are also many Lutheran churches with congregational polity, which do not have bishops, or who use the title bishop for their presiding officer, but in a sense other than that of the historic episcopate.

Mathew Hale (bishop)

Mathew Blagden Hale (18 June 1811 – 3 April 1895), very frequently spelled "Matthew", was the first Bishop of Perth and then the Bishop of Brisbane.

Hale is recognised for seeking to empower the South Australian Aboriginals through his work in the Poonindie mission, establishing the Anglican Diocese of Perth and Hale School. Hale also served as Bishop of Perth and Brisbane.

Octavius Hadfield

Octavius Hadfield (6 October 1814 – 11 December 1904) was Archdeacon of Kapiti, Bishop of Wellington from 1870 to 1893 and Primate of New Zealand from 1890 to 1893. He was a member of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) for thirty years. He was recognised as an authority on Māori customs and language. His views on Māori rights, expressed in several books strongly criticised the actions of the New Zealand Government. Hadfield married Catherine (Kate) Williams (24 February 1831 – 8 January 1902) a daughter of the Rev. Henry Williams and Marianne Williams.

Outline of the Catholic Church

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Catholic Church:

Catholicism – largest denomination of Christianity. Catholicism encompasses the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole.


Pentarchy (from the Greek Πενταρχία, Pentarchía, from πέντε pénte, "five", and ἄρχειν archein, "to rule") is a model of Church organization historically championed in the Eastern Orthodox Church. It found its fullest expression in the laws of Emperor Justinian I of the Byzantine Empire. In the model, the Christian church is governed by the heads (patriarchs) of the five major episcopal sees of the Roman Empire: Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.The idea came about because of the political and ecclesiastical prominence of these five sees, but the concept of their universal and exclusive authority was firmly tied to the administrative structure of the Roman Empire. The pentarchy was first legally expressed in the legislation of Emperor Justinian I (527–565), particularly in Novella 131. The Quinisext Council of 692 gave it formal recognition and ranked the sees in order of preeminence. Especially following Quinisext, the pentarchy was at least philosophically accepted in Eastern Orthodoxy, but generally not in the West, which rejected the Council, and the concept of the pentarchy.The greater authority of these sees in relation to others was tied to their political and ecclesiastical prominence; all were located in important cities and regions of the Roman Empire and were important centers of the Christian Church. Rome, Alexandria and Antioch were prominent from the time of early Christianity, while Constantinople came to the fore upon becoming the imperial residence in the 4th century. Thereafter it was consistently ranked just after Rome. Jerusalem received a ceremonial place due to the city's importance in the early days of Christianity. Justinian and the Quinisext Council excluded from their pentarchical arrangement churches outside the empire, such as the then-flourishing Church of the East in Sassanid Persia, which they saw as heretical. Within the empire they recognized only the Chalcedonian (or Melchite) incumbents, regarding as illegitimate the non-Chalcedonian claimants of Alexandria and Antioch.

Infighting among the sees, and particularly the rivalry between Rome (which considered itself preeminent over all the church) and Constantinople (which came to hold sway over the other Eastern sees and which saw itself as equal to Rome, with Rome "first among equals"), prevented the pentarchy from ever becoming a functioning administrative reality. The Islamic conquests of Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Antioch in the 7th century left Constantinople the only practical authority in the East, and afterward the concept of a "pentarchy" retained little more than symbolic significance.

Tensions between East and West, which culminated in the East–West Schism, and the rise of powerful, largely independent metropolitan sees and patriarchates outside the Byzantine Empire in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Russia, eroded the importance of the old imperial sees. Today, only the sees of Rome and of Constantinople still hold authority over an entire major Christian church, the first being the head of the Roman Catholic Church and the second having symbolic hegemony over the Orthodox Church.

Presiding bishop

A presiding bishop is an ecclesiastical position in some denominations of Christianity.


Primacy may refer to:

Primate (bishop)

the supremacy of one bishop or archbishop over others, most notably:

Primacy of Canterbury, the supremacy of the Archbishop of Canterbury over the Archbishop of York

Primacy of the Roman Pontiff

Primacy of mind, a ubiquitous element in the history of ideas

Aramaic primacy

Primacy effect

Primacy (company), a digital marketing agency based in Connecticut, USA

Primacy, a suburb of Bangor, County Down

Primate (disambiguation)

A primate is any member of the biological order of Primates, including monkeys, apes, and humans.

Primate may also refer to:

PersonsPrimate (bishop), a title/rank bestowed on (arch)bishops within some Christian churches

Primates (journal), a scientific journal

Prince primate, a title formerly given in German and Hungarian nations

Primates or Kodjabashis, local Christian notables in parts of Ottoman Greece, especially the PeloponneseGeographyPrimate's Palace, a palace in Slovakia

Primate, Saskatchewan, a former village in CanadaOthersA documentary (1974) by Frederick Wiseman


Protothronos (Greek: πρωτόθρονος, "first-throned") is a Greek term used in the Eastern Orthodox Church to denote precedence among bishops (or rather their sees). Thus it can denote the first-ranked metropolitan bishop within a patriarchate, or the first among the suffragan bishops of a metropolitan see. Such bishoprics were in turn often raised to separate archbishoprics or metropolises.

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