The bishopric is the official seat of a bishop in the pre-Reformation as well as some Protestant churches . In the tradition of the old church, it forms the purpose and prerequisite for the office of bishop, which is always linked to a jurisdiction for the faithful of the episcopal city and the surrounding territory ( diocese ).
The name goes back to the cathedra , the chair from which the bishop exercises his office and represents an early Christian symbol of episcopal authority. In a broader sense, the cathedral ( bishop's church ), in which the cathedra and thus the official seat is located, are also referred to as the bishop's seat , as is the city , which as the episcopal city is the capital and usually namesake of a diocese . Sometimes the entire diocese is referred to as the episcopal seat, with the surrounding areas of the episcopal territory actually being administered from the main town.
The office of bishop is always derived from the ordination of the bishop to a bishopric on which the apostolic authority is based. For this reason, bishops who are de facto not entrusted with the management of a diocese have a titular bishopric as the bishopric, whose territory and jurisdiction no longer exist, and exercise their office as bishop of this titular seat . Most titular bishops support a diocesan bishop as auxiliary bishop in the management of his diocese. Other titular bishops have duties in the Roman Curia or in the diplomatic service of the Holy See .
The term episcopal see ( Latin sedes episcopalis ) is also derived from the function of the cathedra and has the transferred meaning as a representation of the episcopal office (hence also sedis vacancy ) and as an independent legal entity and asset holder.