Titular bishop

A titular bishop in various churches is a bishop who is not in charge of a diocese. By definition, a bishop is an "overseer" of a community of the faithful, so when a priest is ordained a bishop, the tradition of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches is that he be ordained for a specific place. There are more bishops than there are functioning dioceses. Therefore, a priest appointed not to head a diocese as its diocesan bishop but to be an auxiliary bishop, a papal diplomat, or an official of the Roman Curia is appointed to a titular see.

Roman Catholic Church

In the Roman Catholic Church, a titular bishop is a bishop who is not in charge of a diocese.[1] Examples of bishops belonging to this category are coadjutor bishops, auxiliary bishops, bishops emeriti, vicars apostolic, nuncios, superiors of departments in the Roman Curia, and cardinal bishops of suburbicarian dioceses (since they are not in charge of the suburbicarian dioceses). Most titular bishops hold the title to a titular see. Assigning titular sees serves two purposes. Since part of being a bishop means being the head of a Christian Church, titular sees serve that purpose for bishops without a diocese. At the same time, the office of titular bishop memorializes ancient Churches, most of which were suppressed because they fell into the hands of non-Christian conquerors. For this reason the former terminology was not "titular bishop" but "bishop in infidel regions" (in partibus infidelium). In recent times the names of titular sees are drawn also in numerous cases from those of former dioceses which were absorbed into other dioceses or expanded and hence moved to larger towns and cities.

Since 1970, there are two more exceptions. Diocesan bishops who resign their see or are transferred to a non-diocesan appointment are no longer habitually transferred to a titular see. Instead, they take the title Bishop (or Archbishop) Emeritus of the last see. Also, coadjutors are no longer named to titular sees, instead taking the title Coadjutor Bishop (or Coadjutor Archbishop) of the see they will inherit. In other cases titular bishops still take a titular see.

When Francis Green[2] was named Coadjutor Bishop of Tucson, Arizona, in 1960, his official title remained "Titular Bishop of Serra" until he succeeded Daniel James Gercke later that same year. However, when Gerald Kicanas[3] became Coadjutor Bishop of Tucson in 2001, he ceased being Titular Bishop of Bela. He remained a titular bishop until he succeeded Manuel Moreno in 2003, but his official title changed from "Titular Bishop of Bela" to "Coadjutor Bishop of Tucson."

Cardinal Bishops of suburbicarian dioceses are also titular bishops, but they hold titles to existing dioceses, namely one or more of the suburbicarian sees, but while they do not govern their see they are obliged to give it their patronage. Angelo Sodano, as Cardinal Bishop of Albano,[4] is titular bishop of the see, while Bishop Marcello Semeraro is its actual diocesan bishop.[5] The Cardinal Dean is by tradition Cardinal Bishop of Ostia, in addition to the suburbicarian see he previously held.

Occasionally, the transfer of a diocesan bishop to a titular see has been used by the Holy See to strip of responsibilities a bishop whose behavior was disapproved. For instance, in 1995, Jacques Gaillot, known for his activism on Catholic-sensitive social and political topics (such as support for contraception and abortion), was transferred from the see of Évreux in France to Partenia, a titular see in Algeria.

Eastern Orthodox Church

Titular bishops and titular metropolitans are often appointed in the Eastern Orthodox Church. In Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, titular bishops and metropolitans are usually appointed with titles of former dioceses in the regions of Thrace, Asia Minor and Pontus (now Turkey), that were often active until the Greek-Turkish population exchange of 1923.[6] In Serbian Orthodox Church, titular bishops are usually appointed to serve as auxiliary bishops, assisting diocesan bishops in various fields of diocesan administration.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Code of Canon Law (1983), canon 376. Quote=Bishops to whom the care of some diocese is entrusted are called diocesan; others are called titular
  2. ^ "Bishop Francis Joseph Green". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Bishop Gerald Frederick Kicanas". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Angelo Cardinal Sodano". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Bishop Marcello Semeraro". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  6. ^ Kiminas 2009, pp. 6, 26-28, 49-50, 93, 140-143, 153, 163, 167, 172, 193, 215.
  7. ^ Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church



Abonoteichos (Greek: Ἀβώνου τεῖχος Avónou tíchos, demonym: Ἀβωνοτειχίτης Avonotichítis), later Ionopolis (Ἰωνόπολις Ionópolis; Turkish: İnebolu), was an ancient city in Asia Minor, on the site of modern İnebolu (in Asian Turkey) and remains a Latin Catholic titular see.

Apostolic Vicariate of the Northern District (England)

The Apostolic Vicariate of the Northern District was an ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales. It was led by a vicar apostolic who was a titular bishop. The Apostolic Vicariate of the Northern District was created in 1688 and dissolved in 1850 and was replaced by the Diocese of Hexham, which changed to the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle in 1861.


Arsuz (Arabic: أرسوز‎, Greek: Αρσούς), also known as Uluçınar is a city in Hatay Province, southern Anatolia (Asian Turkey), and under its Ancient name Rhosus (Ancient Greek: Ῥῶσός) a former bishopric and titular see.


Chalcedon ( or ;Greek: Χαλκηδών, sometimes transliterated as Chalkedon) was an ancient maritime town of Bithynia, in Asia Minor. It was located almost directly opposite Byzantium, south of Scutari (modern Üsküdar) and it is now a district of the city of Istanbul named Kadıköy. The name Chalcedon is a variant of Calchedon, found on all the coins of the town as well as in manuscripts of Herodotus's Histories, Xenophon's Hellenica, Arrian's Anabasis, and other works. Except for a tower, almost no above-ground vestiges of the ancient city survive in Kadıköy today; artifacts uncovered at Altıyol and other excavation sites are on display at the Istanbul Archaeological Museum.

The site of Chalcedon is located on a small peninsula on the north coast of the Sea of Marmara, near the mouth of the Bosphorus. A stream, called the Chalcis or Chalcedon in antiquity and now known as the Kurbağalıdere (Turkish: stream with frogs), flows into Fenerbahçe bay. There Greek colonists from Megara in Attica founded the settlement of Chalcedon in 685 BC, some seventeen years before Byzantium.

The Greek name of the ancient town is from its Phoenician name qart-ħadaʃt, meaning "New Town", whence Karkhēd(ōn), as similarly is the name of Carthage. The mineral chalcedony is named for where it came from outside Chalcedon.


Edirne [eˈdiɾne], historically known as Adrianople (Hadrianopolis in Latin or Adrianoupolis in Greek, founded by the Roman emperor Hadrian on the site of a previous Thracian settlement named Uskudama), is a city in the northwestern Turkish province of Edirne in the region of East Thrace, close to Turkey's borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Edirne served as the third capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1369 to 1453, before Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) became the empire's fourth and final capital between 1453 and 1922. The city's estimated population in 2014 was 165,979.


Eucarpia or Eukarpia (Ancient Greek: Εὐκαρπία) was a city in Phrygia and a bishopric in the late Roman province of Phrygia Salutaris, in Asia Minor.


Gabès (Arabic: قابس‎ Gābis), also spelled Cabès, Cabes, Kabes, Gabbs and Gaps, is the capital city of the Gabès Governorate in Tunisia. It is located on the coast of the Gulf of Gabès. With a population of 152,921, Gabès is the 6th largest Tunisian city.


Gafsa (Arabic: ڨفصة‎ Gafsˤa), originally called Capsa in Latin, is the capital of Gafsa Governorate of Tunisia. It lends its Latin name to the Mesolithic Capsian culture. With a population of 105,264, Gafsa is the 9th-largest Tunisian city.

Irenopolis, Isauria

Irenopolis (Greek: Ειρηνούπολις) was an ancient and medieval city in Roman and Byzantine era Isauria.


Lod (Hebrew: לוֹד; Arabic: اللُّدّ‎ al-Ludd; Latin: Lydda, Diospolis, Ancient Greek: Λύδδα / Διόσπολις - city of Zeus) is a city 15 km (9.3 mi) southeast of Tel Aviv in the Central District of Israel. In 2017 it had a population of 74,604.The name is derived from the Biblical city of Lod, and it was a significant Judean town from the Maccabean Period to the early Christian period. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War most of the city's Arab inhabitants were expelled in the 1948 Palestinian exodus from Lydda and Ramle. The town was resettled by Jewish immigrants, most of them from Arab countries, alongside 1,056 Arabs who remained.Israel's main international airport, Ben Gurion Airport (previously known as Lydda Airport, RAF Lydda, and Lod Airport) is located on the outskirts of the city.

Mallus (city)

Mallus (Greek: η Μαλλός Mallos; ethnonym: Μαλλώτης) was an ancient city of Cilicia Campestris (later Cilicia Prima) lying near the mouth of the Pyramus (now the Ceyhan Nehri) river, in Anatolia. In ancient times, the city was situated at the mouth of the Pyramus (which has changed course since), on a hill opposite Magarsus which served as its port. The district was called from it, Mallotis. The location of the site is currently inland a few km from the Mediterranean coast on an elevation in the Karataş Peninsula, Adana Province, Turkey, a few km from the city of Karataş.

Motta Montecorvino

Motta Montecorvino (Pugliese: A Mottè) is a town, comune (municipality), former bishopric and present Latin Catholic titular see in the province of Foggia, Apulia, southeast Italy.

The city was losing its population in the early 15th century, and then an earthquake on 5 December 1456 reduced it to rubble and ruins, apart from a guard tower. Even its cathedral was destroyed..

Myrina (Aeolis)

Myrina (Ancient Greek: Μυρίνα) was one of the Aeolian cities on the western coast of Mysia, about 40 stadia to the southwest of Gryneion. The former bishopric is now a Latin Catholic titular see.

Its site is believed to be occupied by the modern Sandarlik at the mouth of the Koca Çay, near the town of Aliağa in Izmir Province, in the Aegean Region of Turkey, near Kalavas(ar)i.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madrid

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madrid is one of Spain's fourteen Metropolitan Archbishoprics. Incumbent Archbishop of Madrid since 28 August 2014 is Carlos Osoro Sierra, until then Archbishop of Valencia.

Its cathedral archiepiscopal see is the Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena, in Spanish national capital Madrid. The metropolitan city area also has several Minor Basilicas: the Basílica Ex-Catedral de San Isidro Basílica (former Cathedral), the Basílica de San Lorenzo (World Heritage Site, in El Escorial), the Basílica de la Asunción de Nuestra Señora (dedicated to the Assumption, in Colmenar Viejo), the Basílica de la Concepción de Nuestra Señora the Basílica de Nuestro Padre Jesús de Medinaceli, the Basílica de San Vicente de Paul (Milagrosa), the Basílica de Santa Cruz (dedicated to the Holy Cross, in El Valle de los Caídos), the Basílica Pontificia de San Miguel, the Real Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Atocha (royal, a National Shrine), the Real Basílica de San Francisco el Grande (also royal).

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Prague

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Prague (Praha) (Czech: Arcidiecéze pražská, Latin: Archidioecesis Pragensis) is a Metropolitan Catholic archdiocese of the Latin Rite in Bohemia, in the Czech Republic.

The cathedral archiepiscopal see is St. Vitus Cathedral, in the Bohemian and Czech capital Prague, entirely situated inside the Prague Castle complex. Msgr Dominik Duka, O.P. is the current archbishop.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Strasbourg

The Archdiocese of Strasbourg (Latin: Archidioecesis Argentoratensis o Argentinensis; French: Archidiocèse de Strasbourg; German: Erzbistum Straßburg) is a non-metropolitan archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church in France, first mentioned in 343.

It is one of nine archbishoprics in France which have no (current) suffragans and the only one of those to be exempt, i.e. immediately subject to the Holy See in Rome, thus not part of any Metropolitan's province. It is currently headed by Archbishop Luc Ravel, in office since February 2017.


Rucuma is a former city and bishopric in Roman North Africa, which remains a Latin Catholic titular see.


Thapsus (Greek: Θάψος, Thápsos), also known as Tampsus and as Thapsus Minor to distinguish it from Thapsus in Sicily, was a Carthaginian and Roman port near present-day Bakalta, Tunisia.


Tubunae (or Thubunae) was a Roman-Berber city in Algeria. It is believed to have been in either ancient Mauretania Caesariensis and/or Numidia.

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