AskDefine | Define suffragan

Dictionary Definition

suffragan n : an assistant or subordinate bishop of a diocese [syn: suffragan bishop]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

Latin suffragium, '(political) support'.

Noun

  1. A purely descriptive term for a bishop in charge of a diocese which is part of a larger archdiocese or metropolitan province; the archbishop or metropolitan has no power over such a bishop, but has some authority over the diocese if the see is vacant.
  2. An auxiliary bishop.

Adjective

suffragan
  1. Of or pertaining to a suffragan.

Extensive Definition

A suffragan bishop is a bishop subordinate to a metropolitan bishop.

Catholic Church

In the Catholic Church this term is applied to all non-metropolitan bishops (that is, diocesan bishops of dioceses within a metropolitan's province, and auxiliary bishops).

Anglican Churches

In the Anglican Churches, the term applies to a bishop who is a full-time assistant to a diocesan bishop, for example, the Bishop of Jarrow is suffragan to the Bishop of Durham (the diocesan). Some Anglican suffragans are given the responsibility for a geographical area within the diocese (for example, the Bishop of Selby is an area bishop within the Diocese of York). The practice of appointing such bishops can be traced to the Suffragan Bishops Act 1534.
The Church of Ireland has no Suffragan Bishops, not even in the geographically large dioceses or in the two archdioceses.
In the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, Suffragan Bishops are fairly common in larger dioceses, but usually have no specific region of responsibility within a diocese, and so are not given the title of a particular city. Thus Barbara Clementine Harris was titled simply "Suffragan Bishop of Massachusetts".

See also

suffragan in German: Suffraganbischof
suffragan in Dutch: Suffragane bisschop
suffragan in Polish: Biskup sufragan
suffragan in Russian: Викарий
suffragan in Chinese: 副主教
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