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  #1  
Old Nov 20, '10, 1:54 am
cristyd cristyd is offline
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Default What is the hierarchy in the Catholic Church?

Hello

I have a problem understanding the exact hierarchy of the Catholic Church. For example what is the difference between a Bishop and Archbishop? Which one is higher? What exaclty does the Cardinal do and is he higher then the Bishop?

How do you adress each one of them? What is the correct behavior when you meet each one of them: priest, bishop, archbishop, cardinal, pope?

Thank you.
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Old Nov 20, '10, 2:41 am
MarkThompson MarkThompson is offline
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Default Re: What is the hierarchy in the Catholic Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cristyd View Post
Hello

I have a problem understanding the exact hierarchy of the Catholic Church. For example what is the difference between a Bishop and Archbishop? Which one is higher? What exaclty does the Cardinal do and is he higher then the Bishop?

How do you adress each one of them? What is the correct behavior when you meet each one of them: priest, bishop, archbishop, cardinal, pope?

Thank you.
This article should give you a pretty good rundown on all the information you want to know. A couple of short answers on the specific questions you asked:

You would address the Pope as "Your Holiness," a Cardinal as "Your Eminence," a bishop or archbishop who is not a Cardinal as "Your Excellency."

An archbishop is a type of bishop, as are almost all Cardinals, and also the Pope (who is the Bishop of Rome). In general, the difference between an archbishop and a regular bishop is that an archbishop is the bishop of a particularly important diocese (New York, London, Buenos Aires) and he has certain (very few) powers over the other dioceses nearby. In other words, the archbishop is the metropolitan of an ecclesiastical province which is made up of his own archdiocese and a few other dioceses. However, the other bishops of his province (called suffragan bishops) are fully in charge of their own dioceses, report directly to the Pope, and cannot be given any orders by their metropolitan.

In practical terms, there is no appreciable difference between a bishop and an archbishop.
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Old Nov 20, '10, 2:50 am
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Default Re: What is the hierarchy in the Catholic Church?

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Originally Posted by MarkThompson View Post
This article should give you a pretty good rundown on all the information you want to know. A couple of short answers on the specific questions you asked:

You would address the Pope as "Your Holiness," a Cardinal as "Your Eminence," a bishop or archbishop who is not a Cardinal as "Your Excellency."

An archbishop is a type of bishop, as are almost all Cardinals, and also the Pope (who is the Bishop of Rome). In general, the difference between an archbishop and a regular bishop is that an archbishop is the bishop of a particularly important diocese (New York, London, Buenos Aires) and he has certain (very few) powers over the other dioceses nearby. In other words, the archbishop is the metropolitan of an ecclesiastical province which is made up of his own archdiocese and a few other dioceses. However, the other bishops of his province (called suffragan bishops) are fully in charge of their own dioceses, report directly to the Pope, and cannot be given any orders by their metropolitan.

In practical terms, there is no appreciable difference between a bishop and an archbishop.
Whoever put that article together is well informed. I'm surprised, because Wiki is not always right. I can tell that they did their homework, because they mention major superiors of men under Ordinaries.

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Br. JR, OSF
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  #4  
Old Nov 20, '10, 3:13 am
MarkThompson MarkThompson is offline
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Default Re: What is the hierarchy in the Catholic Church?

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Originally Posted by JReducation View Post
Whoever put that article together is well informed. I'm surprised, because Wiki is not always right. I can tell that they did their homework, because they mention major superiors of men under Ordinaries.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF
Wikipedia is usually pretty good on topics which a fair number of people are interested in but are not particularly controversial. An obscure Estonian minister from the 50's? Not enough people care. The Armenian genocide? Too political. Franklin Pierce, muons, the Battle of Gettysburg, the onion, the Earth's shadow? Generally better than any ordinary encyclopedpia.
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Old Nov 20, '10, 4:06 am
Aramis Aramis is offline
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Default Re: What is the hierarchy in the Catholic Church?

The Hierarchs are those bishops who have dioceses.

From the top down:

Roman Authority tree
Pope
{Consistories}
{National Conferences of Bishops}
Metropolitan Archbishops (including the Latin Patriarchs)
Bishops
Deans
Pastors

Roman Honor Tree
Pope
Cadinal-Patriarchs
Cardinal-Bishops
Cardinal-Priests
Cardinal-Deacons
Latin Patriarchs
Arcbishops
Bishops

The Pope is head of the Catholic Church, a communion of 23 separate churches united under the pope. He's also the head of one of them, the Roman.

A Consistory is a bureaucratic organization established by a pope to deal with some administrative tasks; most are headed by cardinals.

A National Conference is a conference comprised of all the bishops of a particular nation. It has, since 1984, certain authorities granted by the Pope. In includes both the Roman Church and the other Catholic Churches' bishops in one body.

Within the Roman Church

and by implication this differs from the other 22 Churches Sui Iuris

An Archbishop-Metropolitan heads an Ecclesiastical Province, sometimes called a metropolitan church or metropolia. He oversees and reports to Rome about his suffragan bishops and their sees, but has very limited authority in those sees. (Mostly, investigating abuses, and when the suffragan see lacks a bishop, appointing the administrator)

Not all Archbishops are metropolitans; those who are not are still ranked as archbishops, but do not have suffragan sees.

An Archdiocese is the diocese which has an Archbishop in charge.

A diocese is a "particular church" headed by a bishop. The bishop ordains priests and deacons, interprets Rome's directives for the priests, deacons, and people, may establish a seminary, marriage tribunal, and hire, fire, discipline, transfer and grant faculties to the priests and deacons of the diocese. It is the fundamental unit of the Catholic Church. All bishops, including Archbishops and Latin Patriarchs, are appointed by the Pope, but usually ordained by 2-3 other bishops. All bishops in the Roman Church are assigned by the Pope.

A dean is an assistant to a diocesan bishop, appointed by the bishop as a territorial vicar of part of the diocese. He acts in the bishop's stead, within certain defined limits. Most deans are priests, tho it's not uncommon for an auxiliary bishop to be assigned as a dean. A dean is not a hierarch in the ecclesiastical sense.

A pastor is a priest (or auxiliary bishop) assigned to oversee a particular parish. All other clergy assigned to a parish are answerable to the pastor. A pastor is not a hierarch.

Associate Pastor, Parochial Vicar: any priest assigned to serve under a pastor. Again, not a hierarch.

Note that Cardinals are NOT in the authority tree by virtue of being cardinals. Most are part of one or more consistories, and most are also diocesan bishops. A cardinal is a papal elector. Any other duties are incidental to their status as Cardinals. There are 4 grades of cardinal, which, except for Cardinals from the non-Roman churches, are not directly linked to their position in the hierarchy.

Titular Bishops
Certain bishops are not bishops of a diocese. They are ordained, and assigned a see that is no longer functional. Most are assigned as auxiliary bishops; others are assigned to various consistories in Rome.

Note that some auxiliary bishops are ranked as archbishops. They still are auxiliary bishops.

There are no titular patriarchs that I've ever seen referenced.

Titular bishops are not hierarchs, per se.

Bishop Emeritus
When a bishop retires, he retains his title, but not his authority.
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  #6  
Old Nov 20, '10, 5:15 am
laszlo laszlo is offline
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Default Re: What is the hierarchy in the Catholic Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cristyd View Post
Hello

I have a problem understanding the exact hierarchy of the Catholic Church. For example what is the difference between a Bishop and Archbishop? Which one is higher? What exaclty does the Cardinal do and is he higher then the Bishop?
.
The Cardinals are the advisory councils of the Pope, also eventually they elect the new pope. They have universal jurisdiction over the whole Church, and thus below the pope but above anyone else. Usually they head the offices of the Vatican

The Archbishops represent the immediate appeal court from the diocesan courts, thus they are above and have some jurisdiction over the bishops of their territory.

The bishops are the highest authority in their dioceses, but they are under the pope, the cardinals, the archbishop and recently under the National Conference of the Bishops in a country.

The lowest level of the hierarchy are the parish' pastors. They are organized into deaneries under a dean, but also the bishop have immediate authority over them.
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Old Nov 20, '10, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: What is the hierarchy in the Catholic Church?

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Originally Posted by laszlo View Post
The Cardinals are the advisory councils of the Pope, also eventually they elect the new pope. They have universal jurisdiction over the whole Church, and thus below the pope but above anyone else. Usually they head the offices of the Vatican
Actually, they don't have jurisdiction over anyone. Some cardinals are appointed to head certain departments and congregations in the curia, but this need not be the case. There are departments and conregations in the curia that are headed by Archbishops, bishops and even by Msgrs. Carindals are electors.

It cannot be assumed that cardinals have authority over others, because not all cardinals are bishops. For example: Cardinal Dulles and Bl. Cardinal John Newman were not bishops. The Jesuits have a tradition of not accpeting appointments to be bishops. It's against their statutes. But many have been cardinals. Franciscans have been cardinals, but not bishops. There have even ben lay cardinals.

Quote:
The Archbishops represent the immediate appeal court from the diocesan courts, thus they are above and have some jurisdiction over the bishops of their territory.
Archbishops are bishops of the primary see in a province. They have no authority inside the dioceses within their province. Their position is one of leadership, not authority.

Quote:
The bishops are the highest authority in their dioceses, but they are under the pope, the cardinals, the archbishop and recently under the National Conference of the Bishops in a country.
The Holy Father just clarified this last week. A bishop is the highest ranking authority in a diocese and answers only to the pope. He does not answer to the local metropolitan or to the conference of bishops. The conference of bishops is for the pupose of helping the bishops, not governing them. No conference of bishops can overrule a bishop. The conference also serves as a means for bishops to work together on common issues in their region. The conference has nor authority unless it is given to it through a vote by the member bishops. Even then, those bishops who disagree can go their own way.

Quote:
The lowest level of the hierarchy are the parish' pastors. They are organized into deaneries under a dean, but also the bishop have immediate authority over them.
The local bishop only has authority over those priests who work for him. He has no authority over priests who belong to religious communities working in the ministries of their own community. For example, the whole Notre Dame issue. Fr. Jenkins is a religious. Notre Dame is administered by the Holy Cross Congregation, not by the diocese. Therefore, the bishop and the Provincial Superior of the Holy Cross maintain an on-going communication, but the Provincial Superior is the Ordinary, not the local bishop. The priets assigned to Notre Dame U. answer to their Provincial Superior. The same is true for all priests who belong to religious communities and work for their religious communities.

Under Canon Law, there are some rights reserved to the local bishop regarding religious men. He has to give them permission to enter his diocese. He has to give them permission to reserve the Blessed Sacrament in their chapels. He has to give them faculties to hear confessions, preach and witness marriages outside of their religious houses, not inside. Though marriages do not take place inside religious houses. They must take place in a parish. The local bishop may erect a religious community of diocesan right.

He may not interfere in the affairs of the religious community once it has been erected, even if it's a community of priests. He may not supress the religious community. Only a pope can do that. He may not overrule the founder, the constitutions or the major superior. He may not require financial accountability to him. They have financial accountability to their superior. He may not decide who may be received. He can refuse to ordain a man who is presented to him by the major superior. However, the major superior is free to find any bishop to ordain his men. The religious who are ordained do not make a promise of obedience to the bishop during the ordination to the diaconate, which is the appropriate time to make such a promise. That part of the ritual is bypassed, because they have made a vow of obedience to their community. Nor may the ordaining bishop require a promise of celibacy at ordination. That part is also bypassed. The religious have made a vow of chastity prior to ordination.

Not all priests are under the jurisdiction of the local bishop. The local bishops has certain rights and the major superior has certain rights. Those regular priests who work in a diocesan ministry, such as a parish, must comply wiht diocesn policies and the requests of the bishop, as long as those requests are not in conflict with their rule and constitution.

I remember being in an elevator at a chancery. I was wearing my habit. A bishop got onto the elevator and asked me why I was not wearing my Roman collar. I told him that I do no like the Roman collar. He said that he liked it better than the habit. We smiled and went our way. I was working for him. But he cannot ask me to wear the Roman collar. The constitutions are very clear that the habit is the preferred form of dress and when not the habit, some other form of dress that is consistent with that of the poor man in the region.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF
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  #8  
Old Nov 21, '10, 2:39 am
diggerdomer diggerdomer is offline
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Default Re: What is the hierarchy in the Catholic Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JReducation View Post
Actually, they don't have jurisdiction over anyone. Some cardinals are appointed to head certain departments and congregations in the curia, but this need not be the case. There are departments and conregations in the curia that are headed by Archbishops, bishops and even by Msgrs. Carindals are electors.

It cannot be assumed that cardinals have authority over others, because not all cardinals are bishops. For example: Cardinal Dulles and Bl. Cardinal John Newman were not bishops. The Jesuits have a tradition of not accpeting appointments to be bishops. It's against their statutes. But many have been cardinals. Franciscans have been cardinals, but not bishops. There have even ben lay cardinals.



Archbishops are bishops of the primary see in a province. They have no authority inside the dioceses within their province. Their position is one of leadership, not authority.



The Holy Father just clarified this last week. A bishop is the highest ranking authority in a diocese and answers only to the pope. He does not answer to the local metropolitan or to the conference of bishops. The conference of bishops is for the pupose of helping the bishops, not governing them. No conference of bishops can overrule a bishop. The conference also serves as a means for bishops to work together on common issues in their region. The conference has nor authority unless it is given to it through a vote by the member bishops. Even then, those bishops who disagree can go their own way.



The local bishop only has authority over those priests who work for him. He has no authority over priests who belong to religious communities working in the ministries of their own community. For example, the whole Notre Dame issue. Fr. Jenkins is a religious. Notre Dame is administered by the Holy Cross Congregation, not by the diocese. Therefore, the bishop and the Provincial Superior of the Holy Cross maintain an on-going communication, but the Provincial Superior is the Ordinary, not the local bishop. The priets assigned to Notre Dame U. answer to their Provincial Superior. The same is true for all priests who belong to religious communities and work for their religious communities.

Under Canon Law, there are some rights reserved to the local bishop regarding religious men. He has to give them permission to enter his diocese. He has to give them permission to reserve the Blessed Sacrament in their chapels. He has to give them faculties to hear confessions, preach and witness marriages outside of their religious houses, not inside. Though marriages do not take place inside religious houses. They must take place in a parish. The local bishop may erect a religious community of diocesan right.

He may not interfere in the affairs of the religious community once it has been erected, even if it's a community of priests. He may not supress the religious community. Only a pope can do that. He may not overrule the founder, the constitutions or the major superior. He may not require financial accountability to him. They have financial accountability to their superior. He may not decide who may be received. He can refuse to ordain a man who is presented to him by the major superior. However, the major superior is free to find any bishop to ordain his men. The religious who are ordained do not make a promise of obedience to the bishop during the ordination to the diaconate, which is the appropriate time to make such a promise. That part of the ritual is bypassed, because they have made a vow of obedience to their community. Nor may the ordaining bishop require a promise of celibacy at ordination. That part is also bypassed. The religious have made a vow of chastity prior to ordination.

Not all priests are under the jurisdiction of the local bishop. The local bishops has certain rights and the major superior has certain rights. Those regular priests who work in a diocesan ministry, such as a parish, must comply wiht diocesn policies and the requests of the bishop, as long as those requests are not in conflict with their rule and constitution.

I remember being in an elevator at a chancery. I was wearing my habit. A bishop got onto the elevator and asked me why I was not wearing my Roman collar. I told him that I do no like the Roman collar. He said that he liked it better than the habit. We smiled and went our way. I was working for him. But he cannot ask me to wear the Roman collar. The constitutions are very clear that the habit is the preferred form of dress and when not the habit, some other form of dress that is consistent with that of the poor man in the region.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF
Great post, as always, thanks.

I think perhaps the idea that Cardinals have "jurisdiction" over everyone (as expressed) may be a reflection of the teaching that Cardinals enjoy certain privileges regarding sacramental celebrations that are otherwise limiting/binding on other priests.

As you note well, and so importantly, Cardinals are not "above" diocesan bishops. Quite the opposite.
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Old Nov 21, '10, 4:05 am
Aramis Aramis is offline
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Default Re: What is the hierarchy in the Catholic Church?

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Great post, as always, thanks.

I think perhaps the idea that Cardinals have "jurisdiction" over everyone (as expressed) may be a reflection of the teaching that Cardinals enjoy certain privileges regarding sacramental celebrations that are otherwise limiting/binding on other priests.

As you note well, and so importantly, Cardinals are not "above" diocesan bishops. Quite the opposite.
Those actually accrue from being bishops, not cardinals.

At present, all current cardinals are clerics, and last I checked, all were bishops.

One should note that a Roman Metropolitan's authority over a Roman suffragan diocese is investigative only so long as it has a bishop; in the absence of a bishop he has the authority to appoint the administrator for the interregnum.

Further still, the CIC allows the pope to grant additional authority, on a case by case basis, to a Roman Church metropolitan (CIC 436 3)
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Old Nov 21, '10, 4:45 am
laszlo laszlo is offline
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Actually, they don't have jurisdiction over anyone.
Ordinary jurisdiction is that which is permanently bound, by Divine or human law, with a permanent ecclesiastical office. Its possessor is called an ordinary judge. By Divine law the pope has such ordinary jurisdiction for the entire Church and a bishop for his diocese. By human law this jurisdiction is possessed by the cardinals, ....
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08567a.htm
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Old Nov 21, '10, 1:28 pm
MarkThompson MarkThompson is offline
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At present, all current cardinals are clerics, and last I checked, all were bishops.
The recently-appointed Domenico Cardinal Bartolucci, former director of the Sistine Chapel Choir, is not a bishop. I have read that he was offered consecration and declined.
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Old Nov 21, '10, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: What is the hierarchy in the Catholic Church?

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Those actually accrue from being bishops, not cardinals.

At present, all current cardinals are clerics, and last I checked, all were bishops.

One should note that a Roman Metropolitan's authority over a Roman suffragan diocese is investigative only so long as it has a bishop; in the absence of a bishop he has the authority to appoint the administrator for the interregnum.

Further still, the CIC allows the pope to grant additional authority, on a case by case basis, to a Roman Church metropolitan (CIC 436 3)
There are still a number of Cardinal Deacons, cardinals who are not bishops. The new code of Canon Law does say that cardinals must be bishops. However, not all of the Cardinal Deacons are dead yet. The Holy Father can and often does dispense with the law since he is the Law-Giver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laszlo View Post
Ordinary jurisdiction is that which is permanently bound, by Divine or human law, with a permanent ecclesiastical office. Its possessor is called an ordinary judge. By Divine law the pope has such ordinary jurisdiction for the entire Church and a bishop for his diocese. By human law this jurisdiction is possessed by the cardinals, ....
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08567a.htm
I read the article and I can see how it can be a little confusing. The article is trying to explain how jurisdiction works, not who has jurisdiction in what situations. The article does not reference Canon Law of 1983. My guess is because the focus is on jurisdiction and now on how current law assigns jurisdiction, which would be a whole other article.

Current law is pretty simple. The local bishop has jurisdiction over his diocese and major superiors of men have jurisdiction over their religious and their ministries. The Holy Father just reinforced this again last week. Current Canon Law tries to keep this matter very simple. Even cardinals who run the different departments in the Roma Curia only have jurisdiction delegated to them by the Apostolic See over the particular area that they serve. For example, the Prefect for the Sacred Congregation on the Bishops has not jurisdiction over religious. The Prefect for the Sacred Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life has no jurisdiction over liturgy and so forth. We don't assume that because one is a cardinal, one has jurisdiction.

However, there is a hierarchy of ranks and that's a whole other subject. Let's say that you have a mass with several bishops and one cardinal. The local bishop would usually be the presider. However, if he's not a cardinal, the visiting cardinal is the presider. Often, you will see a cardinal sitting on the side, not concelebrating, to allow the local bishop to preside.

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Old Nov 21, '10, 6:53 pm
MarkThompson MarkThompson is offline
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There are still a number of Cardinal Deacons, cardinals who are not bishops. The new code of Canon Law does say that cardinals must be bishops. However, not all of the Cardinal Deacons are dead yet. The Holy Father can and often does dispense with the law since he is the Law-Giver.
Most cardinal deacons are bishops, they're just bishops with curial positions rather than diocesan assignments. The newly-minted Cardinal Burke, once the Archbishop of St. Louis, is now a cardinal deacon, for instance.
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Old Nov 21, '10, 7:33 pm
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Most cardinal deacons are bishops, they're just bishops with curial positions rather than diocesan assignments. The newly-minted Cardinal Burke, once the Archbishop of St. Louis, is now a cardinal deacon, for instance.
You're right. I forgot about them. I was remembering some of the "old" cardinals who were in certain positions, but were not bishops. I guess, today, almost everyone in the curia is a bishop, with two exceptions that I can think of, both of them are women. Now there is a good question. What to call a woman with a curial title?

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Old Nov 22, '10, 2:50 am
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You're right. I forgot about them. I was remembering some of the "old" cardinals who were in certain positions, but were not bishops. I guess, today, almost everyone in the curia is a bishop, with two exceptions that I can think of, both of them are women. Now there is a good question. What to call a woman with a curial title?

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF
The Byzantine answer:
The same as any other woman in religious authority: mother.

An abbess or female schema-monk or deaconess is Mother, in the same way an abbot or a male schema-monk or deacon is father. (lesser monks are brother or sister, by gender)
The Roman Answer: Miss (or Mrs.) Lastname, or Sister Professedname if religious.
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