"He that presumes to doeth aught without the knowledge of the bishop risks rendering service to the Great Dark."
A Bishop is an ordained and consecrated member of the Church of the Holy Light appointed to a place of teaching authority and ministerial oversight. The Bishops of the Church of the Holy Light claim a direct historical lineage passing the great teachers of the sacred philosophy, from which their teaching authority derives from. They are generally participants in the Council of Bishops, the body by which the Church is governed.
If you wish to become a bishop of the Council of Bishops, please read the guide.
The difference between a Priest and a BishopEdit
The difference between is Priest and a Bishop is a key part of the Church of the Holy Light's unique structure. A Priest and a Bishop, though both ministers of the Holy Light, are configured by the Light in different ways. A Priest is a delegate of a Bishop and shares in his ministry. A Bishop is entrusted with the care of souls and then delegates that to his priests. A Bishop is the only office of the Church of the Holy Light which may anoint paladins, ordain priests, or consecrate other Bishops. Other reservations are kept for Bishops by particular organizations.
Types of BishopsEdit
Said to have ordinary power, the traditional role of a bishop is the governance of a see, or diocese. Though an Ordinary can be many things, the most common use of the word is to distinguish a bishop as someone who governs a set territory.
An official of a see. Generally not an ordained bishop, they function as aides to Bishops with certain honorary priviledges. When a person is consecrated to the episcopal office and serves a similar function, they are considered Suffragans. Alternative title: High Priest(ess)
An auxiliary bishop who is given almost equal authority in a see with the Ordinary, and the automatic right to succeed the incumbent Ordinary. The appointment of coadjutors is often seen as a means of providing for continuity of church leadership in key areas.
These titles are usually applied to retired bishops who are given a general license to minister as episcopal pastors under an Ordinary's oversight.
The vestments of a Bishop somewhat depend on their native dioceses, but the most common and distinctive attribute of a bishop's wear is their mitre. A mitre is worn on the head as a hat, and it is often shown on a bishop's coat of arms as well. The wearing of the mitre is traditional for Archbishops and Ordinary Bishops. Special exceptions are given to Emeritus Bishops, and are allowed to wear them. Coadjutor Bishops and Chorbishops are typically not allowed to wear them unless given permission otherwise.
You can see the typically dress of a bishop here.
Address and TitlesEdit
An Archbishop is most commonly addressed as His Holiness, X, Archbishop of the Church of the Light. An Archbishop will also commonly be the Bishop of a diocese, but because the title of Archbishop is higher in precedence, Archbishop is used. Emeritus Archbishops are also given this privilege. Specific to Archbishops, they are given a sort of regal name once they assume their position. Example: Johannes Moorwhelp becoming Alonsus II upon becoming Archbishop.
A Bishop is most commonly addressed as His Grace, X, Bishop of (Diocese, See, etc). If the Bishop is manages two sees, which is extremely rare, a bishop will often point out his preferred see by which to be called by. Emeritus Bishops are also given this privilege, but because they lack ordainary powers over a see, Bishop of X is often excluded.
Chorbishops are not ordained bishops in the technical sense, and areoften not afforded the honorific of normal bishops. Coadjutor Bishops often share the honorifics of Ordainary Bishops, but this is not a rule.
Role in Civil GovernmentEdit
Often, bishops are afforded representation in certain kingdoms, as kingdoms often draw the borders for certain sees. Most notably in the case of the Kingdom of Stormwind, and it's associated legislature, where the Bishop of Stormwind is given a seat, along with other "lords spiritual".