In the New Testament, our Lord established for His Church a particular hierarchy. It was a structure of leadership that had its basis on the apostles. Therefore, every leader in the Church has its own area of jurisdiction and responsibility. Together, the individual Churches known as dioceses make up the universal Church. But what are the church officials with authority over a diocese?
Differences between a diocese and an archdiocese
The diocese is given to the care of a single bishop, who is entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. On the other hand, the archdiocese is more significant than a diocese and is presided over by an archbishop. The archbishop has authority over suffragan bishops and their diocese, but only inside its ecclesiastical province. In their turn, dioceses encompass several parishes that are under the care of priests.
Bishops have a direct historical lineage that dates back to the Twelve Apostles. They can ordain clergy within their dioceses, where they possess the full priesthood. But they are assisted by priests, deacons, and lay ministers when shepherding the flock. Needless to say, our Lord has given bishops the responsibility to teach and sanctify the Body of Christ. A senior bishop may receive the title of archbishop or metropolitan when he takes care of a large ecclesiastical jurisdiction.
Facts about dioceses
In general terms, a Church encompasses several Ecclesiastical Provinces, which are also known as Metropolises. An Ecclesiastical Province is formed of a few Suffragan Dioceses and a Metropolitan Archdiocese. The bishops are faithful to their rite, and the jurisdiction is mutually exclusive, whether Latin-rite diocese or Byzantine-rite eparchy.
Administratively, the diocese follows the local boundaries, in most of the cases. They are limited to their counties and usually have the prominent city in the established territory. The idea of diocese comes from the New Testament, as well. How come? The apostles founded particular local churches. You’ve certainly read in the Bible about the Church at Corinth, the Church at Rome, the Church at Ephesus, and many others.
Church officials in a diocese
The Metropolitan Archbishop has a position of honor in the province. He runs over the bishops of the dioceses. The deacons and presbyters (priests) are under the jurisdiction of bishops. If deacons are offices in the Christian Church attached to the Diocesan Cathedrals, the presbyters are religious leaders who perform the sacred rituals. Priests are mediatory agents between God and humans. When the latter come to Church, the priests will offer them solace and holy advice. Other clergy positions include pastors, preachers, ministers, and the Pope. They all have the authority and preside over specific rituals.
Now you know the church officials who play important roles within a diocese. The establishment of a diocese is justified depending on the number of churches, chapels, and schools are included. Obviously, the Pope is the supreme power in the Church. When a diocese has too many faithful inhabitants, and the bishop cannot administer it properly, the Pope will ask the advice of the other clergy members whether the diocese should be divided.