Bishop, archbishop, cardinal ... what's the difference?

What’s the difference between a bishop and an archbishop other than a bishop runs a diocese while an archbishop runs an archdiocese?

(While we’re on the subject, what’s the difference between a diocese and an archdiocese?)

And since both Cardinals and Archbishops are called archbishops of their archdiocese, what is the difference between an archbishop and a cardinal other than a cardinal elects a future Pope and can himself be considered for that position.

A bishop is, typically, the head of a diocese. He is what is called the “ordinary”. An archbishop heads up a larger, more significant metropolitan archdiocese and traditionally has certain supervisory roles and powers over the “suffregan” bishops who are attached to him in the dioceses of his province. Even the word archdiocese, itself, tends to indicate this in how his role overreaches his own diocese.

An “auxilary bishop” is one who has full episcopal powers as a bishop, and is appointed to head up a historic (but no longer existing) diocese as it’s titular head, in order to be properly appointed as one with rightful episcopal authority. However, his practical role is to assist the ordinary to whose diocese he is assigned in essential episcopal ministry.

As regards the cardnialitae, I would recommend checking out this thread:

I will only add that the cardinals in dioceses are typically named such because of the importance of their diocese to the life of the universal Church, as well as their own notariety as a Church leader.

So, for example, Cardinal George is the metropolitan archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago. As such, he is ordinary head of this partticular archdiocese, but also head of the province which includes all of the dioceses in Illinois. Their ordinaries, while essentially independent in governance of their own dioceses, are attached to the cardinal as his suffregans. The auxiliary bishops of Chicago are titual heads of their own defunct historical dioceses while attached to the cardinal in carrying out his ministry here in Chicago. (As a practical matter, they are each charged with relating in a particular way to either a Vicariate - a subdivision of the archdiocese - or other appointed ministry).

The cardinal’s state as a cardinal comes uniquely (and unrelated to any of this, formally) from direct appointment by the pope. He is thus made a “priest of Rome” with special attachment to the pope along with the college of cardinals. In this way, the pope recognizes the special importance of the archdiocese to the life of the Church universal as well as having it’s archbishop’s counsel and support in his court.

Thanks for the replies.[LIST=1]

Does this apply to Archbishop as well as Cardinals? The reason why I ask is because the Cardinal of NY, before being made a Cardinal, was an Archbishop while in the same position.

What does that mean?[/LIST]

An Archbishop has a limited right to supervise and chastise his suffragan bishops, and their priests. One has the right to appeal to one’s bishop, then one’s archbishop, then to Rome, if need be.

In practical terms, it means little, besides commemoration in the liturgy, for the average Catholic.

Cardinal is a title assigned to those granted status as Electors of the Pope. It has nothing to do with the local diocese.
It is not restricted to priests (though almost always bishops, historically, priests and deacons have been made Cardinals with a vote), and they only vote if below a certain age (ISTR it being 75). Certain laymen are also granted the title Cardinal, usually for a life-long service as a layman-Theologian or layman-Cannon-lawyer, and never before being older than voting age (so they do not vote, and thus do not elect the Pope), though it is theoretically possible that some could be.

The Eastern Rite Catholic Patriarchs are usually granted cardinal title from the order of Cardinal-Bishops, when such a titular see becomes open. (See the CCEO)

A diocese is a defined geographical area headed by a bishop.
An Archdiocese is the diocese headed by an Archbishop.
An Ecclesiastical Province is an Archdiocese and its related suffragan Dioceses, and is headed by the Archbishop.

A Patriarchate is either:
A “super province” headed by a particular special Archbishop, whose title is Patriarch, and to whom there are suffragan Archdioceses/Provinces, (Eastern Rites) or
A title of special honor for certain historical dioceses’ Bishops (Western Rites).

The term “Ordinary” refers to a Diocese’s Bishop-in-charge; so for a diocese, it’s the Bishop, for the Archdiocese, it’s the Archbishop. Note that Eastern Patriarchs have “ordinary jurisdiction” over all their suffragan bishops; western ones do not. The Pope has “ordinary jurisdiction” over the whole of the Catholic Church.
Certain non-bishops also are sad to have Ordinary Jurisdiction in very limited cases, but are not themselves Ordinaries.

An Ordinary is allowed to ordain priests & deacons, set the rules for posture of the faithful during the liturgy (within their see), issue and relieve bans, supervise courts of canon law, and certain other duties.

Auxillary Bishops are bishops elevated to assist another bishop. They are not “ordinaries.” They hold title to a diocese that doesn’t exist anymore As a functioning diocese.

The term “Particular Church” is a reference to an Ordinary, his diocese or archdiocese, and all the faithful of that diocese.

With the Eastern Rites, there are some variations on this, but in general, they work the same way.

Hisotrically, it also took 2 archbishops or 4 bishops to enthrone a king.

His being a cardinal is seperate and distinct from his being an archbishop. So, yes, his being an archbishop is the primary reason for all I above described.

That said, he was made a cardinal precisely BECAUSE he is Archbishop of Chicago. Indeed, typically, any cardinal who happens to be a bishop or archbishop is first one who holds that episcopal position BEFORE he is elevated to cardinal. So, similarly, every Archbishop of Chicago who has eventually become a cardinal was first an Archbishop alone. (Cardinal George was first Archbishop George in Chicago, and before that Archbishop George in Portland, and before that Bishop George in Yakima).

An interesting illustration of this exists on the Archbishop’s heraldry. An archbishop has green heraldry. He also has 20 tassels on his gallero. A Cardinal’s color is red with an extra 10 tassels, making it 30. So the early heraldry of “Archbishop George of Chicago” was in green with a 20 tasseled hat whereas now, as “Cardinal George” it is red with a 30 tasselled hat.

There used to even be a tradition of sending out the archbishop’s throne at the cathedral and seminary to be reupholstered in the appropriate colors whenever a new archbishop was appointed or later elevated to cardinal.

You can still see an example of Cardinal Mundelein’s heraldry from the time before he was a cardinal in the exterior stonework of Quigley Seminary. It has only 20 tassels, indicating that at the time of the school’s institution he was an Archbishop but not yet a cardinal.

*]What does that mean?

A bishop who heads the diocese is called the “ordinary”. All appropriate governance in the diocese is essentially his. However, in his connection to the episcopal college he juridically functions under the limited authority of and relation to an Archdiocese and it’s Archbishop. Those dioceses which are attached to an Acrhdiocese in this way are called “suffragan” dioceses.

A diocese’s size (in terms of population or area) is not always a determining factor in the decision to confer the title of archdiocese.

The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. has about 560,000 Latin Rite Catholics. It encompasses the District of Columbia, and the Maryland counties of Montgomery, Prince George’s, Charles,Calvert and St. Mary’s. Reverend Donald Wuerl is the Archbishop of Washington.

Previously, Archbishop Wuerl was the Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Diocese has close to 800,000 Catholics in six Western Pennsylvania counties - it has more registered Catholics at this time than Washington. However, Pittsburgh is not an Archdiocese.

There are other factors, including geographic location and significance of city, which come into play.

Washington used to be part of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, for example, until a new Archdiocese was established in the 1950s, I believe.

Pittsburgh is a suffregan diocese of Philadelphia, which is the more significant and larger diocese in the ecclesiatical Province, despite the fact that it is quite a large diocese in and of itself.

The Diocese of Joliet is more significant than some Archdiocese’s, also (and much richer than most dioceses). But it is a suffregan to Chicago.

The Archdiocese of New York, of course, doesn’t include all of the City of New York. There is a distinct diocese of Brooklyn which is suffregan.

I noticed a lacuna that needs to be supplied in the explanations of an ordinary. While for laymen their ordinary will basically always be their diocesan bishop, one need not be a bishop to be an ordinary; religious, for instance, will have an abbot or superior as their ordinary, which means that they will be bound by the particular laws set by that priest, and not (necessarily or always) a diocesan bishop. It’s a jurisdictional term not strictly related to levels of orders.

Actually, Cardinals are not the only people eligible to be Pope. In theory, any Catholic male is- including yourself. While I don’t think that a layman would ever be elected Pope, perhaps an Archbishop who is not a Cardinal? Gives you something to think about…

Quite true… the cardinals are, however, the Electors, the ones who make the decision.

I think what you are looking for is difference in terms of Holy Orders. There is none. They are all bishops. The differences are purely honorary. There are certain resposibilities attached to the honors, but basically they are all bishops. Even the pope is just another bishop.

Which brings to mind a curiousity. If the sacrament of Holy Orders is received only once, why do we pretend that there is another administration of the sacrament when a person moves from deacon to priest or priest to bishop? Isn’t a letter from the appropriate level of authority sufficient to extend the faculties of the person in question? Curiouser and curiouser.


There are three ordinations: Deacon, Priest, and Bishop. Each imparts a different and permanent mark upon the soul.

Bishops who are elevated higher are merely enthroned, not reordained. For example, a sitting bishop being made an Archbishop is merely enthroned, not “Ordained” an Archbishop.

And not all cardinals are Bishops.

Pious VII created several; here’s one not even listed as having been ordained a priest.

[quote=]10. Mantica, Francesco
Born: 1727.09.14 (Italy)
Ordained Priest:
Created Cardinal: 1801.02.23
Died: 1802.04.13 († 74)
Cardinal-Priest of S. Prisca (1801.07.20 – 1802.04.13)

and another by Pios the X who was made a bishop AFTER being made a Cardinal:

[quote=]12. Lega, Michele
former Prefect of Sacred Congregation of Sacramental Discipline
former Cardinal Vice-Dean of Sacred College of Cardinals
Born: 1860.01.01 (Italy)
Ordained Priest: 1883.09.13
Consecrated Bishop: 1926.07.11
Created Cardinal: 1914.05.25
Died: 1935.12.16 († 75)
Cardinal-Deacon of S. Eustachio (1914.05.28 – 1924.12.18)
Prefect of Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (1914.12.15 – 1920.03.20)
Prefect of Sacred Congregation of Sacramental Discipline (1920.03.20 – 1935.12.16)
Cardinal-Priest of S. Eustachio pro hac vice (1924.12.18 – 1926.06.21)
Cardinal-Bishop of Frascati (1926.06.21 – 1935.12.16)
Cardinal Vice-Dean of Sacred College of Cardinals (1931.05.05 – 1935.12.16)

and by John Paul II:

[quote=]18. de Lubac, Henri-Marie, S.J.
Born: 1896.02.20 (France)
Ordained Priest: 1927.08.22
Created Cardinal: 1983.02.02
Died: 1991.09.04 († 95)

[quote=]28. Pavan, Pietro
Born: 1903.08.30 (Italy)
Ordained Priest: 1928.07.08
Created Cardinal: 1985.05.25
Died: 1994.12.26 († 91)
Cardinal-Deacon of S. Francesco di Paola ai Monti (1985.05.25 – 1994.12.26)

And another:

[quote=]22. Dezza, Paolo, S.J.
Born: 1901.12.13 (Italy)
Ordained Priest: 1928.03.25
Consecrated Bishop: 1991.06.28
Created Cardinal: 1991.06.28
Died: 1999.12.17 († 98)
Cardinal-Deacon of S. Ignazio di Loyola a Campo Marzio (1991.06.28 – 1999.12.17)

and three more from the class of 2001…

[quote=]40. CardinalTucci, Roberto, S.J. (86)
President emeritus of Vatican Radio
Born: 1921.04.19 (Italy)
Ordained Priest: 1950.08.24
Created Cardinal: 2001.02.21
President of Vatican Radio (1985 – 2001)
Cardinal-Deacon of S. Ignazio di Loyola a Campo Marzio (since 2001.02.21)

  1. Scheffczyk, Leo
    Born: 1920.02.21 (Germany)
    Ordained Priest: 1947.06.29
    Created Cardinal: 2001.02.21
    Died: 2005.12.08 († 85)
    Cardinal-Deacon of S. Francesco Saverio alla Garbatella (2001.02.21 – 2005.12.08)

  2. Retired Cardinal Dulles, Avery, S.J. (88)
    Born: 1918.08.24 (United States)
    Ordained Priest: 1956.06.16
    Created Cardinal: 2001.02.21
    Cardinal-Deacon of SS. Nomi di Gesù e Maria in Via Lata (since 2001.02.21)

And Benedict XVI has one he’s appointed:

[quote=]15. Retired Cardinal Vanhoye, Albert, S.J. (83)
Secretary emeritus of Pontifical Biblical Commission
Born: 1923.07.24 (France)
Ordained Priest: 1954.07.25
Created Cardinal: 2006.03.24
Secretary of Pontifical Biblical Commission (1990 – 2001)
Cardinal-Deacon of S. Maria della Mercede e S. Adriano a Villa Albani (since 2006.03.24)

What is the highest ranking Cardinal between pontificates?

I believe it’s the Cardinal-Dean of the College of Cardinals.

Does the Dean of the College of cardinals outrank the Camerlengo?

Which Cardinal can have stamps or is it coins produced with their name on them between pontificates?

It is as if Fr. Mayall anticipated your original question with this answer in the weekly cathedral bulletin:

What is a diocese? A diocese is a territorial area recognized by the Catholic Church and governed by a bishop, a man with the fullness of Holy Orders, a successor of the Apostles. What is an Archdiocese? An Archdiocese is an area governed by an Archbishop. Usually the Archdiocese is designated as such because of its size or historical importance. Chicago became a separate diocese in 1843, an archdiocese in 1880. Previously, Chicago came under the jurisdiction of Vincennes, Indiana. The closest Archdiocese was St. Louis. In 1843, the Diocese of Chicago included all of Illinois. Today, the Archdiocese consists of two crowded counties, Lake and Cook. Cardinal George is the 8th Archbishop of Chicago, the 13th Ordinary or governing Bishop of our local Church. Did Cardinal George’s nomination as a Cardinal trump his rank as Archbishop? No; he is still an Archbishop. The title of Cardinal refers to his status as a member of the clergy of Rome. A chief duty of the Cardinals is the election of a Bishop of Rome, the Pope. Chicago has known six Cardinal-Archbishops – George Mundelein, Samuel Stritch, Albert Meyer, John Cody, Joseph Bernardin, and Francis George. Two Chicago Archbishops preceded the line-up of Cardinals.

Patrick Feehan, an Irish native and the former bishop of Nashville who heroically had shepherded that Civil War-ravaged city in the Reconstruction era, was our first Archbishop when he was installed at Holy Name Cathedral on November 28, 1880. Feehan founded a record 140 Chicago parishes, 62 of ethnic character. He opened the doors of Chicago’s first black Catholic parish to Father Augustine Tolten, our first black priest. He founded Feehanville (later re-named Maryville), a home for needy children. Among the American bishops attending the Third Council of Baltimore, he helped write The Baltimore Catechism, for decades the prime textbook of Catholic religious education. Tension marked the last years of Feehan’s episcopacy as Irish-born clergy opposed the appointment of Bishop Peter Muldoon, an American-born Irish priest as the Archdiocese’s second Auxiliary Bishop. Father Patrick Crowley led a protest into Holy Name Cathedral itself during a Mass that was to have been celebrated by the Archbishop. Father Crowley eventually was excommunicated for his insubordination.

James Edward Quigley was installed at Holy Name on March 10, 1903, as Chicago’s second Archbishop. A Canadian native and former bishop of Buffalo, Quigley helped to establish the Catholic Extension Society which continues to serve the Church in rural, sparsely populated, remote, and even distinctively non-Catholic sections of the USA. He opened 97 parishes, 58 of them with ethnic flavors that welcomed Chicago’s early 20th century immigrants. Most importantly, Quigley founded Chicago’s modern seminary system when he began the Cathedral College of the Sacred Heart, a commuter high school that once stood diagonally across the street from today’s Cathedral rectory. Several incarnations of the high school seminary later bore Quigley’s name. Although St. Joseph College Seminary at Loyola University and the major Seminary in Mundelein continue to give witness to Quigley’s vision of a locally formed and educated clergy, the high school seminary finally closed its doors quietly just last month.

Archbishop Quigley died on July 10, 1915 – 92 years ago this Tuesday. Archbishop Feehan died on July 12, 1902 – 105 years ago Thursday. Both were buried from the Cathedral from which they had governed, the same Cathedral in which you prayed today. Remember Archbishops Feehan and Quigley in your prayers this week.

(Ya gotta love how Dan gets the Quigley Seminary tribute in there!)

Yes, you are semi-correct.

The Cardinal Camerlengo is the official administrator of the Roman Church during the period of sedevacancy. It is he who is also responsible for much of the official ceremonial. He is the public face of the diocese of Rome until the new pope is announced and the one under whose name such coins and stamps can be issued.

However, he is not automaticaaly the head of the General Congregation of the Cardinals. He is outranked by the Cardinal Dean and SubDean, unless he happens to hold this position, also. If, however, both Dean and Subdean are beyond the voting age of 80, then the college elects from it’s members one to serve as President of the General Council.

How long does it take sedevacanists to determine that sedevacancy continues to be a fact after the election of a new pope?

What does he have to do for them to pronounce that he is not a real pope?

These questions were just rhetorical–but they do show the ridiculousness and falsity of people who will not submit to the Bishop of Rome.

In short, the Cardinal-Dean runs the election (if able and/or under 80) of the new pope, whilst the Camerlengo runs the day to day of the Vatican.

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