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Archbishop


In Christianity, an elevated bishop or the supreme bishop.
The word comes from Greek, a combination of "archi" (first) and "episkopos" (overseer). A synonym term is Patriarch.
An archbishop is the leader of a diocese or an archdiocese. The archbishop usually governs other bishops in addition to the matters of his own diocese, a system known as metropolitan jurisdiction. There are examples of archbishops who do not have metropolitan jurisdiction, by which the title is nothing but an honorary title.
Eastern churches has a distinction between the archbishops and the metropolitans. The Greek Orthodox Church ranks an archbishops higher than a metropolitan, and a metropolitan higher than an ordinary bishop. Other Orthodox churches do the opposite, and rank metropolitan higher; this position is referred to as Metropolitan Archbishop.
In some churches, an archbishop wears a different robe from the bishop. In Western Christianity, the archbishop can use the archiepiscopal cross, which has two bars instead of one. But in most cases, the archbishop appears with similar dress and symbols as the bishop. A bishop appointed to archbishop does not receive Holy Orders again or any other sacrament.
The title archbishop is first used in Eastern churches in the 4th century.




By Tore Kjeilen