A titular bishop is in the Roman Catholic Church and also in the Orthodox Church an ordained bishop , who in contrast to the diocesan bishop does not own diocese accepts forwards, but other tasks or functions.
The term titular bishop comes from the fact that, according to Catholic tradition, every bishop is ordained bishop of a diocese. A titular bishop is therefore a bishop of a historical but lost diocese. Can. 376 of the Codex Iuris Canonici differentiates: "Bishops who are entrusted with the care of a diocese are called diocesan bishops, the other titular bishops."
Depending on the task, a distinction is made between titular bishops (mostly auxiliary bishops ) and titular archbishops (mostly apostolic nuncios or curia bishops ). A titular bishop has no jurisdiction over a diocese, but has the same rank as a diocesan bishop . He can attend general councils of the Church and is usually a voting member of the local bishops' conference .
Equality of rank does not imply equality of authority in terms of the authority to teach and direct, since an auxiliary bishop is subordinate to his diocesan bishop. Before the Second Vatican Council , the position of the auxiliary bishop was made particularly clear by the fact that he always only had guest status in the diocese and was treated like the bishop of another diocese.
Dioceses in partibus
Since the 16th century, dioceses in areas conquered by non-believers were also referred to by the Roman Curia as in partibus infidelium (abbrev. I. P. I.), That is, "in the area of the unbelievers", or, for a shorter time, in partibus (abbrev. I. P.). Only when Catholics were living in these areas again in the late 19th century due to the mission in the Orient, was Pope Leo XIII. the name commonly used today titular bishopric or Episcopus titularis introduced; In many cases, however, the older language was still used well into the 20th century.
The Roman Catholic Church knows about 2000 titular dioceses. However, they are not all taken.
The Orthodox churches also know titular bishops. For ecumenical reasons, the title of titular bishop is given to bishops who are active in the Western European diaspora ; for the Orthodox churches generally do not ordain bishop of a city that was Catholic at the time of the split. Overseas (especially in North America), on the other hand, the names of the actual episcopal seats are mostly used today, even if there should already be Roman Catholic bishops there. The office of auxiliary bishop does not play an essential role in the Eastern Churches, especially since confirmation there can also be donated by priests .
In the Middle Ages , many bishops had to flee from their dioceses, especially from Asia Minor , the Middle East and North Africa , as these had fallen into the hands of people of different faiths due to the conquest of Muslims. The European bishops received these bishops in exile and delegated them to represent them in episcopal functions in their dioceses. The idea that the institution of the titular bishop developed from the replacement of these lost dioceses is not correct. Rather, the dioceses usually went out after the death of the exiled incumbent. However, there were (especially on the Iberian Peninsula ) still existing bishoprics on lost territory as a kind of title to claim that the hope of a re-Christianization of these countries was not given up, and that in the course of the Reconquista they actually regained their territories.
In the 13th century there was a need among the regular diocesan bishops for deputies who could represent them at episcopal ordinations. Bishops who could not yet take their episcopal seats in the Christianized Baltic States because of the incomplete conquest of these areas were therefore called in for official acts. Such activity by bishops outside their dioceses contradicted the established ecclesiastical legal order, but formed a preliminary form of the office of auxiliary bishops. There was even more demand for auxiliary bishops, since many diocesan bishops did not fulfill their residence obligation, either because they were prevented from fulfilling their actual tasks as bishops by positions at the papal curia or as advisors to their monarchs, or because they often had several dioceses due to the accumulation of offices presided over at the same time. Since the Council of Vienne in 1311/12, the Roman Curia therefore introduced the practice of raising auxiliary bishops and naming them after lost episcopal seats, some of which had not existed for centuries. Initially, lost episcopal seats in the area of the Eastern Church were primarily used as title donors. Only the Catholic dioceses established in the Crusader states in the course of the Crusades, especially Jerusalem, were continuously occupied after the loss of these areas, but these remained an exception. The bishoprics lost during the Reformation also became extinct after a certain time and were not converted into titular bishoprics. In addition, the decline of church discipline in the late Middle Ages, especially in the times of the Great Western Schism , often brought people to the rank of bishop who never seriously considered receiving episcopal ordination, but rather viewed this position as the basis for their careers. In all these cases it was therefore obvious to appoint titular bishops for the direction and administration of the diocese or for the administration of some sacraments. Until the middle of the 20th century, these titular dioceses were almost exclusively in North Africa , the Middle East or Southeastern Europe , but in the past few decades, submerged dioceses from other parts of Europe (especially Italy and the Iberian Peninsula ) and America have been added to the titular dioceses .
Due to the tightening of the residence obligation for diocesan bishops and the limitation of the cumulation of offices, which were decreed by the Council of Trent , there was a reduction in the number of titular bishops. On the other hand, the expansion of the missions from the 16th century onwards led to an increase in the number of missions, since the position of vicars apostolate , who in fact have the position of missionary bishop, is occupied by titular bishops. The prelatures erected in mission areas were also directed by titular bishops. Likewise, in the course of the 17th and 18th centuries, it became common to bind diocesan bishops who renounced their office for health or other reasons to a titular bishopric.
As a result of these circumstances, the number of titular bishops increased, so that the previous practice of lending only a limited number of the perished dioceses as titular seats was abandoned more and more from the beginning of the 20th century at the latest, and finally to the creation of a list of titular bishops that was as comprehensive as possible in order to have enough titles for the required functions this way. However, the strong expansion of the church hierarchy led to increasing bottlenecks from around 1960, in particular because, for ecumenical reasons, a large number of titular seats, which are also used as residential seats of the Orthodox churches, should no longer be allocated. In addition, the introduction of an age limit for diocesan bishops (75 years of age) led to an increasing number of old bishops.
Therefore, from 1971 onwards, some categories of titular bishops were eliminated in order to create vacancies again. First of all, the former bishops were urged to resign themselves to any titular seats that had already been awarded, and they were given the title Episcopus emeritus N. (sis) ("Old Bishop of N."). A few years later, the prelates of the territorial prelatures were also consecrated to their prelature title, and no longer to a titular seat as before. Since 1998 the military bishops - with the exception of Austria (see below) - are no longer titular bishops.
The currently only titular diocese in Germany is the Diocese of Chiemsee , in Austria there are five titular seats with the titular archbishoprics of Tiburnia and Lauriacum and the titular dioceses of Wiener Neustadt , Aguntum and Virunum . The titular diocese of Wiener Neustadt is traditionally assigned to the bishop of the Austrian military diocese.
In 2018, the Berlin historian Michael F. Feldkamp presented his research on the origins of the titular bishop. Accordingly, the titular dioceses only came into being on the basis of the resolutions of the Council of Vienne 1311/12 and not as a result of the Islamic wars of conquest of the 7th century. Feldkamp also contradicted the legend that emerged in the 19th century that the perished bishoprics lived on as titular bishoprics in order to maintain a claim by the Holy See. Rather, titular dioceses or archbishoprics were established as required and, according to Feldkamp's research, with a few exceptions were located in the territories that had become orthodox with the Oriental Schism (1054).
Johannes Dyba was appointed titular archbishop of Neapolis in Proconsulari while at the Roman Curia . Later he headed the diocese of Fulda as diocesan bishop . In the past, a titular archbishop kept his titular archbishopric next to his residential bishopric in such cases, but the title "Archbishop-Bishop of N." has been conferred in such cases since the middle of the 20th century.
In exceptional cases ( pro hac vice ) the assigned title of archbishop is not associated with a titular archbishopric (historically extinct archbishopric). Since every episcopal title must have a titular bishopric, the title is linked to an existing titular bishopric.
List of titular dioceses
- Günther Dickel : Article titular bishop ; in: EKL 1 3, col. 1450
- Heribert Schmitz: Titular Bishop . In: Walter Kasper (Ed.): Lexicon for Theology and Church . 3. Edition. tape 10 . Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2001, Sp. 57-58 .
- Michael F. Feldkamp : Why did the German dioceses, which were secularized in the confessional age, not give rise to titular dioceses? Observations on the development of the legal institute of the titular bishop. In: Andreas Gottsmann, Pierantonio Piatti, Andreas E. Rehberg (eds.): Incorrupta monumenta ecclesiam defendunt. Studi offerti a mons. Sergio Pagano, prefetto dell'archivio segreto vaticano. 1: La Chiesa nella storia. Religione, cultura, costume (= Collectanea Archivi Vaticani. 106). Volume 1. Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Citta del Vaticano 2018, ISBN 978-88-98638-08-6 , pp. 589-606.
- Günther Dickel: Article titular bishop ; in: EKL 1 3, col. 1450.
- Heribert Schmitz: Titular Bishop . In: Walter Kasper (Ed.): Lexicon for Theology and Church . 3. Edition. tape 10 . Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2001, Sp. 57 .
- Michael F. Feldkamp: Why did the German dioceses, which were secularized in the confessional age, not result in titular dioceses? Observations on the development of the legal institute of the titular bishop. In: Andreas Gottsmann, Pierantonio Piatti, Andreas E. Rehberg (eds.): Incorrupta monumenta ecclesiam defendunt. Studi offerti a mons. Sergio Pagano, prefetto dell'archivio segreto vaticano. 1: La Chiesa nella storia. Religione, cultura, costume (= Collectanea Archivi Vaticani. 106). Volume 1. Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Citta del Vaticano 2018, ISBN 978-88-98638-08-6 , pp. 589-606. See also Michael F. Feldkamp: Where did the temporary bishop borrow his diocese? In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Retrieved April 6, 2020 .