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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An episcopal see is, in the original sense, the official seat (in Latin, sedes) of a bishop. This seat, which is also referred to as the bishop's cathedra, is placed in the bishop's principal church, which is therefore called the bishop's cathedral.[1] The seat is also called the bishop's throne, especially in the Eastern Orthodox Church.[2]

The term is also used of the town or place where the cathedral is located,[1] giving rise to expressions such as "the episcopal see of Gibraltar".[3]

The bishop's seat is the earliest symbol of bishop's authority,[1] and the word "see" is thus often applied to the area over which the bishop exercises authority. This usually corresponds to a diocese, as in the expression "within the see of Ebbsfleet"[4] and "built within the see of the bishop of Worcester".[5] But it is sometimes given a wider significance, referring for instance to an area under patriarchal authority.[6]

A particular episcopal see is the Holy See, presided over by the Bishop of Rome.

See also


  1. ^ a b c The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005, ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), s.v. see
  2. ^ For instance, Communiqué of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
  3. ^ Hansard report
  4. ^ The Lay Council and Congress of the See of Ebbsfleet
  5. ^ Priory of Little Malvern
  6. ^ Christianity in Crete (to 827)


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