When dioceses are granted the charge over a larger ecclesiastical territory, they develop into archdioceses. The bishop, who is actually the successor of the Apostles, will turn into archbishop, and his duties will change, as well. Do you know what is an archdiocese in the Catholic Church?
How can you tell it’s an archdiocese?
The archdiocese is defined as the district for which an archbishop is responsible. They continue the redemptive work of Jesus Christ and share His mission of priest, servant, and prophet. An archdiocese encompasses a few dioceses, which are also divided into several parishes. So, when the pastor is the shepherd of a parish, the bishop is responsible for the diocese. Then, it comes the archbishop, running over the archdiocese. They are all entrusted with positions of authority and oversight.
The Catholic Church of Christ truly exists and functions in dioceses and archdioceses. But the latter is larger and serves an increased number of inhabitants. The archbishop resides the ecclesiastical province, reason why he is often known as Metropolitan. His office is associated to an episcopal see, which is approved or determined by the Pope, the Holy Father.
What is the role of archbishops in the Catholic Church?
It is well-known that both bishops and archbishops rank below cardinals in the Catholic Church. The 3rd and fullest level of the Sacrament of Holy Orders is becoming a bishop. The 1st one is becoming a deacon, while the 2nd is the ordination of a priest. The Pope appoints bishops. As for the next level – of cardinals – it isn’t ordained, but handpicked by the Holy Father.
Archbishops must visit the Pope every five years; they give a report on the area they administer, as well as the bishops that they have to supervise. In numerous countries, the archbishops are regarded as the spiritual leader of the country, and their fundamental duty is to maintain the unity of the Christian flock and guide them.
You probably did not know by now, but archbishops are principal dispensers of the sacraments and the primary ministers of the sacred liturgy. It’s not uncommon for them to participate in confirmation in parish churches. Sometimes, the archbishops even perform the ordination of priests and deacons. They aim to improve relations among other faiths, the reason why they lead ecumenical Christian organizations and sponsor interfaith events.
The administrative duties in an archdiocese
In our days, the clerical members have a wide variety of supervisory and political duties. The archbishop has to coordinate and consult with archdeacons, lay bishops, and other diocesan offices. The Catholic archbishops collaborate with government authorities and other churches in formal diplomatic relationships.
It is explained here what is an archdiocese in the Catholic Church. The origins of the entire hierarchy can be traced in the centuries-old history of the Church. Furthermore, the phenomenon is visible in the modern administrative structure, as well. Long story short, the bishops who shepherd archdioceses are named archbishops. They perform the sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Orders, and they preach the Word of Lord together with other ordains within the archdiocese.