Difference Between Bishop and Archbishop

Main Difference – Bishop vs Archbishop

Bishop and Archbishop are high ranks or offices among the Christian clergy. These two members are the ranks of deacons and priest. In fact, it is the bishop that has the power to ordain other bishops, priests, and deacons. The main difference between bishop and archbishop is that bishop oversees a diocese whereas archbishop oversees archdiocese.

Who is a Bishop

Bishop is an ordained member of the Christian clergy who is entrusted with authority and power. In the Catholic Church, the bishop is the third and fullest level of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Deacon is the first level and priest is the second level. Bishop is the overseer of a diocese, which is a collection of local parishes.  For example, Pope is the Bishop of the Diocese of Rome, and Bishop Loverde is the Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington.

A bishop has responsibilities like teaching the religion, governing the parishes, and sanctifying. A bishop must live in his dioceses most of the year. Each bishop must visit the Pop every five years to give a report on his particular diocese. Only a bishop can ordain deacons, priests or other bishops.

Difference Between Bishop and Archbishop

Who is an Archbishop

Archbishop is a bishop of higher rank or office. Archbishops can be elected or appointed by the Pope. Archbishops are the highest of the three traditional orders of deacon, priest, and bishop. Archbishop is in charge of an archdiocese. Archdiocese is a large diocese, sometimes a prestigious diocese with an important place in local church history. Miami, San Francisco, Denver, Newark, and Omaha are some examples of archdioceses.

An archbishop may also be granted a title or ordained as the chief pastor of a metropolitan see or an episcopal see to which the title is attached. He also supervises all other bishops in his province. An archbishop’s duties involve religious work, ecumenical work, administrative work as well as other work. In Catholic Church, archbishops preside over a provincial council with their bishops to discuss important religious and administrative matters.

Main Difference - Bishop vs Archbishop

Difference Between Bishop and Archbishop


Bishop is an ordained member of the Christian clergy who is entrusted with authority.

Archbishop is a bishop of higher rank or office.


Bishop governs a diocese.

Archbishop governs an archdiocese.


Bishops do not have the power to supervise archbishops.

Archbishop supervises all the bishops in his province.Difference Between Bishop and Archbishop - infographic

Image Courtesy:

“Archbishop” by James Bradley – IMG_6721Uploaded by gugganij,  via

by Archdiocese of St. Louis -,(CC0) via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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