Global organisation of the Catholic Church

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The Catholic Church is organized in a worldwide hierarchy under the Pope, the Bishop of Rome and the Roman Curia, based in Vatican City.

The Catholic Church is organized into local hierarchies within each nation, or group of smaller nations. National Conferences of bishops co-ordinate local policy within each nation.

Aside from the Latin Church, there are 22 churches of the Orthodox liturgical tradition in full communion with the Holy See, these are known as the Eastern Catholic Churches and are led by either a Major Archbishop or Patriarch. Patriarchal Churches have the privilege of electing their leader, only needing Papal ratification, and a Patriarch is accorded ceremonial precedence.

Four Latin Rite archbishops are also called Patriarchs, this is only titular but gives them precedence in papal processions, in the case of the Patriarch of Venice, he can wear the cardinalatial red vestments. Archbishops and Bishops administer individual dioceses as successors of the twelve apostles. As such they are responsible for the appointment and supervision of parish priests, and the oversight of all church affairs within their diocese. If the responsibility associated with a certain diocese is large, a Bishop may be assisted by an/or several Auxiliary Bishops, who are accorded a Titular see. A diocese may also have a Coadjutor bishop who is effectively the "co-ruler" of the diocese, and is also assigned a Titular see the bishop of the actual see only has ceremonial precedence.

As of 5 January 2015, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction statistics is as follows; 1 Papal See, 9 Patriarchates, 4 Major Archdioceses, 551 Metropolitan Archdioceses, 77 Archdioceses, 2,209 Dioceses, 42 Prelatures, 11 Territorial Abbeys, 16 Apostolic Exarchates, 8 Ordinariates, 36 Military Ordinariates, 3 Personal Ordinariates, 1 Personal prelature, 88 Apostolic Vicariates, 39 Apostolic Prefectures, 8 Apostolic Administrations, and 8 Missions 'sui juris'.

Catholicism by region[edit]



Central America[edit]


North America[edit]


South America[edit]

See also[edit]