Episcopal see

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The episcopal see (Holy See) of the Pope in Basilica San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome

An episcopal see (Latin: episcopalis sedes) is, in the original sense, the official seat 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 a bishop's authority,[1] and the word see is thus often applied to the office or authority of the bishop, or 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] or "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]

In common English usage, the term Holy See most often refers to the episcopal see of the Bishop of Rome, commonly known as the Pope.

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