The word diocese (/ˈdəsɪs, -ss, -sz/) is derived from the Greek term διοίκησις meaning "administration". When now used in an ecclesiastical sense, it refers to an administrative territorial entity. In the Western Church, the district is under the supervision of a bishop (who may have assistant bishops to help him or her) and is divided into parishes under the care of priests; but in the Eastern Church, the word denotes the area under the jurisdiction of a patriarch and the bishops under his jurisdiction administer parishes. This structure of church governance is known as episcopal polity.

The word diocesan means relating or pertaining to a diocese. It can also be used as a noun meaning the bishop who has the principal supervision of a diocese. A diocese also may be referred to as a bishopric or episcopal see, though strictly the term episcopal see refers to the domain of ecclesiastical authority officially held by the bishop, and the term bishopric to the post of being bishop.

An archdiocese (or archiepiscopal see or archbishopric) is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or have had importance due to size or historical significance. The archbishop may have metropolitan authority over any other suffragan bishops and their dioceses within his ecclesiastical province.

In the Latter Day Saint movement, the term "bishopric" is used to describe the bishop himself, together with his two counselors, not the ward or congregation of which a bishop has charge.

Especially in the Middle Ages, some bishops (e.g. prince-bishops) held political as well as religious authority within their dioceses, which in practice were thus independent or semi-independent states. Two vestiges of this remain: the Catholic Pope is, ex officio, the monarch of the State of Vatican City and the (Catholic) Bishop of Urgell, Spain, is, ex officio, the Spanish Co-Prince of the Co-Principality of Andorra, which is located entirely within his diocese. (The French Co-Prince of the Co-Principality of Andorra is, ex officio, the President of France.)

In the later organization of the Roman Empire, the increasingly subdivided provinces were administratively associated in a larger unit, the diocese (Latin dioecesis, from the Greek term διοίκησις, meaning "administration").

This page was last edited on 18 May 2018, at 12:21.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diocese under CC BY-SA license.

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