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Clergy (Christian)
Russian Orthodox Episcopal Ordination.jpg
Major orders
Bishop - Priest - Deacon
Minor orders
Subdeacon - Reader
Cantor - Acolyte
Other orders
Chorepiscopos - Exorcist
Doorkeeper - Deaconess
Episcopal titles
Pope - Patriarch - Cardinal - Catholicos
Archbishop - Metropolitan
Auxiliary bishop -

Chorbishop - Titular bishop
Major Archbishop

Priestly titles
Archimandrite - Protopresbyter
Archpriest - Protosyngellos
Diaconal titles
Archdeacon - Protodeacon - Hierodeacon
Minor titles
Monastic titles
Abbot - Igumen
Ordination - Vestments
Presbeia - Honorifics
Clergy awards - Exarch
Proistamenos - Vicar

In the broadest sense, a vicar (IPA: /ˈvɪkər/; from the Latin vicarius) is a representative, anyone acting "in the person of" or agent for a superior (compare "vicarious" in the sense of "at second hand"). In this sense, the title is comparable to lieutenant, literally the "place-holder". Usually the title appears in a number of Christian ecclesiastical contexts, but in the Holy Roman Empire a local representative of the emperor, perhaps an archduke, might be styled "vicar".

Vicar in the Orthodox church

Vicar usually refers to a representative of a bishop. This is usually a priest or another bishop, representing a bishop or a patriarch.

A vicar bishop usually bears in his title the names of both his titular see (usually a smaller town within the diocese in which he ministers) and the see to which he is subordinate. For example, Bishop Ignaty (Punin), the vicar bishop under the Diocese of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, is titled "The Rt. Rev. Ignaty, the bishop of Vyazemsk, the vicar of the Diocese of Smolensk," Vyazemsk being a smaller town inside the territory of the Diocese of Smolensk and Kaliningrad. Normally, only large dioceses have vicar bishops, sometimes more than one.

Usually, Russian Orthodox vicar bishops have no independent jurisdiction (even in their titular towns) and are subordinate to their diocesan bishops; though some of them de facto may have jurisdiction over some territories, especially when there is a need to avoid an overlapping jurisdiction. In the Russian Orthodox Church, some vicar bishops are styled "archbishops" or "metropolitans", but these titles are merely honorary. In some other Eastern Orthodox Churches the term "chorbishop" is used instead of "vicar bishop."

Another example is Metr. Alexios of Atlanta (GOARCH) who served as the Archepiscopal Vicar for the Diocese of Atlanta from the death of Bp. Philip until Alexios was elected as the new bishop of the diocese. The Metropolis of Atlanta likewise has several priests as vicars who assist His Eminence Alexios.[{{fullurl:{{wikipedia:FULLPAGENAME}}}}#endnote_1]

Vicar in the Anglican Communion

In the Church of England, vicar is the ordinary title given to certain parish priests. Historically, Anglican parish clergy were divided into rectors, vicars and perpetual curates. These were distinguished according to the way in which they were remunerated. The church was supported by tithes — taxes (traditionally, as the etymology of tithe suggests, of ten percent) levied on the agricultural output of the parish.

Vicar in the Catholic Church

In Catholic canon law, a vicar is the representative of any ecclesiastic entity. The Romans had used the term to describe officials subordinate to the praetorian prefects. In the early Christian churches, bishops likewise had their vicars, such as the archdeacons and archpriests, and also the rural priest, the curate who had the cure or care of all the souls outside the episcopal cities. The position of the Roman Catholic vicar as it evolved is sketched in the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908.

The Pope uses the title Vicarius Christi, meaning, the vicar of Jesus Christ. The papacy first used this title in the eighth century; earlier they used the title vicar of Saint Peter or vicarius principis apostolorum, the vicar of the chief of the apostles.

Vicars have various different titles based on what role they are performing. An apostolic vicar is a bishop or priest who heads a missionary particular church that is not yet ready to be a full diocese - he stands as the local representative of the Pope, in the Pope's role as bishop of all unorganized territories. A vicar capitular, who exercises authority in the place of the diocesan chapter, is a temporary ordinary of a diocese during a sede vacante period.

Vicars exercise authority as the agents of the bishop of the diocese. Most vicars, however, have ordinary power, which means that their agency is not by virtue of a delegation but is established by law. Vicars general, episcopal vicars, and judicial vicars exercise vicarious ordinary power; they each exercise a portion of the power of the diocesan bishop (judicial for the judicial vicar, executive for the others) by virtue of their office and not by virtue of a mandate.

A vicar forane, also known as an archpriest or dean, is a priest entrusted by the bishop with a certain degree of leadership in a territorial division of a diocese or a pastoral region known as a vicarate forane or a deanery.

A parochial vicar is a priest assigned to a parish in addition to, and in collaboration with, the pastor of the parish. He exercises his ministry as an agent of the parish's pastor, who is termed parochus in Latin.

Some papal legates are honoured by the title Vicar of the Apostolic See.

In Opus Dei, a regional vicar is a priest designated to fulfill responsibilies for an entire country or region, such as France or the United States.



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