Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/426

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spiritual sovereign possessing the fullness of powers, the Pope has as commissioners and subordinate participators in his authority a group of prelates the "Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops and Bishops'* to whom his encyclicals are directed. In all cases the episcopal office is the source of the power of jurisdiction and consecration which is ex- ercised. Bishops are named in a Consistory after long and careful examination; and the solemn appointment which follows renders the bishop a supreme teacher, law-giver, judge and administrator of the territory assigned to him, and ministrant of all the Sacraments. Con- secrated a bishop through the imposition of hands by another bishop, he in turn can consecrate others. He is permitted to do so only when the Pope orders, but his act of consecration is always valid because the episcopal office is not handed down from the Pope but in direct suc- cession from the Apostles. Therefore schismatics like the Dutch Jansenists also have bishops who are validly, though illegally, conse- crated. In the hierarchy of divine law, the office and the dignity of the bishop rank immediately after the primacy of the Pope; and in so far as certain rights are concerned, a bishop takes precedence over a cardinal who is not a bishop. The archbishop or metropolitan is the foremost among the bishops of a Church province, but he has no more power than they. In processions he walks before his "suffragan bishops." He presides over common conferences, he acts in a very few cases as intermediary between a bishop and Rome, but he does not exercise a really higher authority. The primates, as the foremost bishop in a number of Church provinces (generally in one country) and the patriarchs once possessed a real part in the exercise of Papal authority in so far as their territories were concerned. They installed bishops and established dioceses. Today they are merely bearers of especial tides bishops to whom greater honours are paid, and who take precedence in public appearances. Only the patriarchs of the Uniat Churches of the East still enjoy a part of their ancient rights. In Europe a struggle many centuries old is over. Every form of State- Church establishment has given way to the absolutism of the Papacy and its Roman organization. Every bishop is direcdy subordinate to Rome and must pay a personal visit to the Pontiff at least every five years. The Curia does not even favour a closer national union of the bishops, such as has sometimes been attempted. * The English Re-