To whom does a Bishop pledge obedience to in his Ordination?

I’ve attended deacon and priest Ordinations, but never an Episcopal Ordination.

For deacons and priests, the ordaining Bishop (assuming he is actually the candidate’s superior) asks if the candidate promises to obey him and his successors. (if the Bishop is ordaining on behalf of another See or Religious Order, he asks if the candidate promises to obey his Ordinary or Religious Superior).

When a Bishop is Ordained, to whom does he promise obedience? There are many “ranks” of Bishop (Auxiliary, Metropolitan, Primate, Cardinal (which itself has three ranks), etc). Yet, a Bishop is ordained (and takes Episcopal “vows”) only once. If he is to be an Auxiliary Bishop to an Archbishop, does he pledge obedience to this Archbishop and his successors? So if he is “promoted” to Archbishop, he has promised obedience to himself, and will never pledge obedience to any other authority. If he is “promoted” to Cardinal Deacon, is he still bound to obey the (lesser) Archbishop of his former See?

It seems to me that every Bishop should pledge obedience to the Pope (and his successors) alone. Is this the case? That would mean, of course, that a suffragan Bishop has never actually promised to obey his direct superior.

FWIW, I quoted “vows” because, technically, only Religious take vows - others make “sacred promises.” Though I have never understood the difference.

To whom does a Bishop candidate pledge obedience?

He pledges to obey the successor of St. Peter…the Pope.

I looked to find the pledge on the site, but wasn’t having any luck.

I found the ordination text on a college website…otherwise you have to buy the book. Literally.

Do you have a link?

It’s about halfway down under “Examination of the Candidate.”

Principal consecrator: Are you resolved to build up the Church as the body of Christ and to remain united to it within the order of bishops under the authority of the successor of the apostle Peter?

Bishop-elect: I am.

Principal consecrator: Are you resolved to be faithful in your obedience to the successor of the apostle Peter?

Bishop-elect: I am.

Thank you, Charleston! It as I suspected - a Bishop ought to pledge allegiance only to the Pope. And this seems to be the case.

Your city is a “sister city” to my hometown of Savannah. This is a difficult area of the country for Catholics (but, I suppose, not quite as difficult as Roman territory was for our pre-Constantine forefathers in the Faith).

I have to chuckle here…

The Catholic Church can only grow with a good Franciscan as Bishop. :wink:



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