Titular bishops

I have seen that there are many “titular bishops” and “titular sees” out there. These sees seem to be occupied by members of the Curia or by auxiliary bishops who work nowhere near their see. (Source: catholic-hierarchy.org). Some of these titular sees are in the United States (Alton, Allegheny, Kearny, Walla Walla).

 What is the purpose of these titular sees? Does a titular bishop have any rights or duties there? Could these someday be promoted to be a regular diocese?

Thanks.

-Illini

The Code of Canon Law says:

Can. 376 Bishops to whom the care of a given diocese is entrusted are called diocesan Bishops; the others are called titular Bishops.

Titular sees are given to those bishops who are not ordinaries of an active diocese (e.g., auxiliaries, coadjutors). These are dioceses that once existed but no longer have an active ordinary. In the case of titular sees in the United States, these areas may now be under the authority of a nearby diocese (e.g., Walla Walla is now part of the Diocese of Spokane). For more information on titular bishops, please see the Catholic Encyclopedia article Auxiliary Bishop.

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