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?