COSTVNIE, ECCLESIASTICAL.) In eft,0 of the in capacity through age or infirmity of a diocesan prelate, an assistant or coadjutor bishop is ap pointed. who bears the title of some extinct see in part ibus in Jidclinm , it being contrary to an cient usage to consecrate a bishop with a roving commission. Sec BIsnors.
In the Greek Church the office of bishop is essentially the same, though the powers of the incumbent are somewhat more restricted. Greek bishops are practically always chosen from the monastic orders, and generally from the archi mandrites or abbots of those orders.
The episcopal office in its essentials has prac tically disappeared from the Protestant com munities of the Continent of Europe, although the title has been retained in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. The bishops of the two former countries, while they are. from the ecclesiastical standpoint, no more than the superintendents of other Lutheran churches, have retained some of their prerogatives, such as seats in Par liament, and still use the mitre, pallimn, and crosier. In Germany the title has occasionally appeared in modern times among the Protestant churches, having been conferred, for example, by Frederick I. and Frederick William III.
In no other Protestant country have the pre rogatives and revenues and functions of bish ops remained so little impaired as in England, where the Reformation was guided by the King's own hands, and, being propagated from above downward, was effected in a very conservative spirit. Episcopacy was abolished by law under the Commonwealth; hut at the Restoration the bishops were also restored, being connected closely in the thought of the time with monarchy, on James I's principle of "no bishop, no king•" and have since retained their position in Church and State. The mode of election and confirma tion is the same in the cases of bishops and arch bishops, for each archbishop is also :t diocesan prelate. They are elected by the chapter of each cathedral church by virtue of a license from the Crown; this is the theory. but actually the bish ops of the Church of England are appointed by the Crown on the advice of the Prime since no chapter ventures to disregard the nomination which accompanies the nor In early Christendom the laity used to take part in the election: but from the tumults that arose• the different sovereigns of Europe took the appointment, in some degree, into their own hands by reserving to themselves the right of confirming these elections, and of granting in vestiture to the temporalities which now began to he annexed to these dignities. This right was acknowledged as belonging to Charlemagne by Pope Adrian I., A.u. 772, and the Council of the Lateran. The right of appointing, to bishoprics is said to been in (lie Crown of England even in Saxon times. lint when, by length of time, the custom of electing by the clergy only was fully established, the Popes liegan to object to the usual method of granting these investi tures• which was per annulan, ct bacula by the prince delivering to the prelate a ring and pastoral staff or crosier. In the Eleventh Cen tury Pope Gregory VII. published a hull of ex eommunication against all princes who should dare to confer int estitures. There were long and eager contests occasioned by this Papal claim, but at length the matter was compromised, the Empe ror V. agreeing to confer investifures for
the future per sec ph ru m, while the kings of France and England consented to receive only the hom age for the temporalities, instead of investing them by the ring and crosier, the Pope keeping in his hands the power of confirmation and con secration. This concession was obtained from henry 1. of England; but King John, to obtain the Pope's protection against his barons. gave up, by a charter to all monasteries and cathedrals, the free right of electing their prelates. This grant was confirmed in :Magna Charta, and was again confirmed by Statute 25 Edward 111. But by Statute 25 1 lenry V t t I. the ancient. right of nomi nation was in effect restored to the Crown. The sovereign, on the vacancy being notified, sends to the dean and chapter a letter missive. or conyt: d'eli re. containing the name of the person to be elected; and if they do not elect in the manner appointed by the act, or if the archbishop or bishop appointed for the purpose refuse to con firm, invest, and consecrate the bishop-elect, the recusants incur the penalty of a pr(rtn nni re ( q.v.) A bishop cannot be deposed, as it is supposed that the order itself cannot absolutely be taken from him; he may, however, be dcpri red, ns was done to the Bishop of Clogher in 1822; lie may also resign his see; and he may be removed from one see to another, which is called translation ; but this practice is now less frequent than it used to be. 'Fhe Dean and Chapter of Canterbury claim it as an ancient right of that church that every bishop of the province is to he consecrated in it, or (lie archbishop to receive from them a license to consecrate elsewhere: and it is said that a long succession of licenses to that purpose are regularly entered in the registry of that church. Bishops. upon their election, become peers of the realm, and are summoned to Par liament as well as the other nobles; but the right under which they sit there, whether in respect of their banmies, or by usage and custom, is a matter of uncertainty. it appears, however, that the bishops sat in the Witenagemote• un de• the Saxon monarchs, as spiritual persons; for they were not barons until Willi:1 ni the Con queror turned their possessions into baronies, and subjected them to the tenure of knights' ser vice. The bishops created by Henry VI I L—viz., Bristol, Gloucester, Chester, Oxford, and Peter bo•ough, as also some lately created bishops— sit in Parliament, though they do not. hold their lands by baronial tenure. The bishops withdraw from the Douse (under protest, however) when any capital charge is to be decided. The bishops sit in Parliament next to the Archbishop of York: first. London; second, Durham: third, Winchester; and then the rest in the order of the foundation of their sees. In respect of their per sons, bishops are not peers with the nobility; and in ease of alleged crimes they are tried by it jury in the same manner as commoners, as was the case with Cr:miner and Fisher. When a see is vacant, the archbishop of the province is guar dian of the spiritualities; but he cannot as such consecrate or ordain or present to vacant bene fices. The sovereign has custody of the lay revenues during a vacancy. Queen Elizabeth kept the See of Ely vacant nineteen years.