Who is a Bishop?
In Christianity, A Bishop is an ordained minister responsible for overseeing a diocese, which is an area including several congregations. In Christianity, especially among Roman Catholics, and Orthodox, Bishops are considered the successors of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. A Bishop is responsible for holding the sacrament of holy order and teaching the authentic doctrine to the people in his jurisdiction. Popes, Cardinals, and Archbishops are of different degrees or levels of Bishops. Bishops have the responsibility to overlook that the rules and regulations of the Christian diocese are carried out. Bishops are also responsible for arranging clergy appointments and providing religious teachings to individual churches. These teachings help in setting the direction of the church according to changing times and re-establishing its purpose through missionaries across the world.
Selecting qualified Bishops is not an easy job. The diocese has a list of suitable and qualified priests to be appointed as bishops. This list is renewed every three years based on the activities and reputation of the priests. When an Archbishop is selected, the list is composed of currently serving bishops. Usually, congregation members discuss the list of candidates and choose one with the help of votes. Nominations of certain individuals are expected, but they are rarely considered for the position. Suitable candidates must have strong faith and good moral standing and should be at least 35 years old. The respective conference determines the minimum number of votes required to select Bishops. However, it is recommended that a candidate should win at least 60% of the votes to be qualified. After the voting, the currently serving Pope might decide to accept the candidate or enquire further about another candidate. The elected Bishops serve for four years before a new election. However, it is common that elected Bishops may serve a jurisdiction for as long as ten years.
Bishops are responsible for maintaining the spiritual well-being of the church members under their jurisdiction. He is also responsible for providing religious members counseling and advice during tough times. Bishops must ensure regular ward meetings are conducted. They are also responsible for interviewing and selecting appropriate members for sending them for missionary duties. One might think that Bishops only carry out spiritual teachings for their church members. However, this is not true. Bishops have a temporal responsibility towards the members of the particular jurisdiction they serve. He has to administer welfare programs and fast offerings in the area. They are responsible for accurately documenting and administering these offerings. Bishops are also responsible for maintaining and overseeing the Church business and the buildings that come under the diocese. These buildings include schools, hospitals, and other services. Bishops are responsible for conducting and overseeing tithing and use the contributions to support missionary activities and charity organizations.