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The '''Bishop''' is the first and highest degree of the [[clergy]]
in the [[Orthodox Church]] (''episkopos'' in Greek, which means overseer). He is the successor to the Apostles in the service and government of the Church. A bishop is responsible for and the head of all the parishes located in his diocese. All authority of the lower orders of clergy is derived from the bishop. No divine services may be served in any [[Orthodox]] temple without the authorization of a bishop.
== Episcopal Ministry ==
The title of '''archbishop''' or '''metropolitan''' may be granted to a senior bishop, usually one who is in charge of a large ecclesiastical jurisdiction or archdiocese. He may or may not have suffragan bishops assisting him. In the Slavic and Antiochian traditions, a metropolitan outranks an archbishop. The reverse is true in the Greek tradition.
The change in the Greek tradition came about because at one point in history, the [[diocese|diocesan]] bishops of ancient sees (which
in the Greek world are pretty much all of them) all came to be styled as metropolitans. Thus, while in the Slavic and Antiochian traditions, an archbishop is a senior bishop with an honorific title, a metropolitan is a bishop in charge of a major see and thus holding a territorial title. In the Greek tradition, all diocesan bishops (with a few exceptions) are metropolitans by default, and thus an archbishop is one who holds his title by reason of territory.
=== ''Patriarchs'' ===
The title '''[[patriarch]]''' is reserved for the [[primate]] of certain of the [[autocephalous]] Orthodox churches. The first hierarch of the other autocephalous churches are styled metropolitan
or archbishop (or some combination).
=== ''Special Forms'' ===