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Which office is higher in rank?

On the office of Bishop

As the Pope is the successor of Christ, bishops are the successors of the Apostles, pastors of souls. In order to teach and care for souls, the Holy Spirit CONSECRATES a bishop for each soul. A bishop is SENT to continue the work that God was pleased to begin through Christ Jesus.

An amazing way to grasp the depth of this power and responsibility is to consider a titular bishop. A titular bishop is not in charge of a diocese so he is free to assist a bishop of a large diocese. Nonetheless, the titular bishop is responsible for the souls of an entitled place, usually a historic land that no longer exists, but the souls of the faithful do and so they too have a bishop of their own.

We most often know the pastor of the parish. The very best pastors of parishes will make sure that we well know the pastor of the local church. We belong to the whole church not simply a parish or congregation. This in fact is what makes us catholic; we belong to the church without walls, beyond space and time, on earth and in heaven.

When the prayers OF THE CHURCH go up, they are lifted by intention and intercession of the bishop, into the hands of the Lord to Our Heavenly Father. The blessings come down the same way. Yes I can pray to and work for Jesus individually and on my own, but Christ organized us to pray and work as a church, making the Office of Bishop necessary. Christ did this thinking about each and every soul that makes whole the Body of Christ.

This is why the BISHOP of the LOCAL CHURCH is prayed for in every Mass that is celebrated in the area entrusted to him and more intentionally, by every soul that is entrusted to him.

As an Archbishop one has some administrative responsibilities to neighboring dioceses. As a Cardinal one has some administrative responsibilities to the church in the world.

As a bishop one has responsibility for souls entrusted to him.

In discussion of church, we often ask which office is higher in rank? We might do better to more frequently ask, “which office is supposed to help my soul?”

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