Catholic bishops and Lutheran Biahops?

Okay I do basically know the difference between the two, but my question is, is there any difference in the style of clothing they wear?

I mean could you tell one apart from the other if both of them wore their official garments?

From the Lutheran side, I suspect it might depend on the synod and/or location. Pardon the pun, but the Lutheran practice may not be as uniform as the Catholic practice. :o


Well here’s a pic of Lutheran bishops

And of course a Catholic bishop,%20Archbishop%20Edward%20Joseph%202.jpg

With the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, some Lutheran Bishops (Presidents) retain the beautiful and respectful traditional garments:

Others prefer to wear a bit more humble attire, even for special occasions such as ordinations:

In Lutheranism, what matters is what that Bishop does - preach Christ crucified and administer the Sacraments to the faithful.

We don’t use the word “bishop”. That’s a Catholic word. Please don’t use it around me.

But the person that would normally be called “bishop” in our synod, usually wears like a polo shirt and slacks. On formal occasions a suit and tie. On all religious celebrations an alb and stole the color of the liturgical season.

  1. The title bishop appears in Sacred Scripture and certainly was used as the distinct title of the head of the local Church, as testified to by St. Ignatius of Antioch, as early as AD 107 (approximately).

  2. Many Lutheran bodies do indeed use the title “bishop” - see the post by your fellow Lutheran steido01 for example.

I thought that the ELCA and the Lutheran church that Per Crucem belongs to are the only ones to have bishops, and not LCMS and WELLS?

  1. The word “bishop” appears nowhere in the bible, or in old Ignatius’ writing.

  2. All REAL Lutherans reject the title.

House are you serious about the term ‘Bishop?’ :confused:

In Lutheranism, every pastor effectively is the local bishop (in the RC understanding) because we do not understand any theological division to exist within the office of Ordained Public Ministry. For the sake of order, we do acknowledge a sort of hierarchy and we call our leaders “bishops” or, more commonly, “presidents.” The terms are interchangeable, frankly.

I am cool with that.

Nearly all Lutherans worldwide follow the episcopal tradition/ apostolic succession. Some Lutherans such as the Missouri Synod and Wisconsin Synod in the U.S.[representing less than 10% of all Lutherans] reject the historic holy orders.

Lutheran bishops don essentially the same vestments as Catholic bishops [cope, miter, crosier] but Catholic bishops have many other vestments that Lutherans, in general don’t use, such as the zucchetto. I did find a photo of a Lutheran bishop wearing the zucchetto and some Anglican bishops also wear the skull cap.

I don’t think it’s accurate to say we Confessional Lutherans reject holy orders. Do you mean that we tend to use presbyter ordination for our pastors? That’d be accurate. But then again, all Lutherans teach this, yes? Even the ELCA, which has now moved almost entirely to the “traditional” AS form, still acknowledges presbyter ordinations to be valid, yes?

We tend to call our bishops ‘presidents’ but that’s about all that has changed. The laying on of hands still occurs at president’s installations and the concept of a pastor to pastors is maintained. We do not believe that a difference exists between the holiness of a call to lead a congregation or that of an entire Synod other than the scope, true – but nor does the ELCA, yes? Your bishops serve terms, just as ours do, and when they have completed their time they are no longer a bishop, yes?

I think that it has been adequately demonstrated that within Lutheranism there is a long standing debate on this issue. Some churches, such as the Church of Sweden have had bishops since the Reformation, others have not. And yes, we have fought about it. In the ELCA, my denomination, we spawned an offshoot, the LCMC (Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ) due to our agreement with the Episcopal Church to place our bishops under Episcopal succession. I would say that there are three camps in Lutheranism. Those who oppose bishops, those who are indifferent, and those who actively campaign for them. Such divisions are generalizations and have a great degree of internal difference.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit