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I have an ancestor who was a Bishop in a Midwest Diocese long ago.
.
Then the records say that he became the Titular Bishop of Derbe.
.What does that mean?  Did he actually move to some place called Derbe?  Was he given a special job that was different from being a bishop?  Was he in poor health and unable to fulfill his duties so he was politely retired (in his 50's)?  Was he not a very good bishop so they replaced him and gave him a nice title?
.
I have searched online and can't find an explanation of Titular Bishop except that they sometimes have a plethora of Bishops.
.
Can anyone help?  I have no family information.
A Titular Bishop is a Bishop, often a Coadjutor or Auxiliary, who is consecrated to the 'Title' of a former Diocese that no longer exists. The official term is Bishop In partibus infidelium, 'in the lands of the unbelievers'. Since they do not have a See of their own, but must have one legally, they are given one that is no longer in existence, often one that was conquered by the jihad or that simply was suppressed for some reason. In the case of Derbe, it was a suffragan See of Iconium in what is now Turkey from sometime between the 4th and 7th century, until the Seljuk jihadists captured the area after the Battle of Manzikert.

He probably was made a Titular Bishop when he retired. He could no longer be the Bishop of his previous Diocese since any Diocese can only have one Ordinary, so he was given a titular See. Venerable Archbishop Sheen, for example, was Auxiliary Bishop of Rochester, NY and Titular Bishop of Caesariana, which had been a Diocese in North Africa until it was conquered by the Muslims. He later became Bishop of Rochester, but when he resigned, he was made Titular Archbishop of Newport, Wales, which was a See lost to the Anglicans at the Deformation.
(05-09-2018, 01:20 AM)MaryTN Wrote: [ -> ]I have an ancestor who was a Bishop in a Midwest Diocese long ago.
.
Then the records say that he became the Titular Bishop of Derbe.
.What does that mean?  Did he actually move to some place called Derbe?  Was he given a special job that was different from being a bishop?  Was he in poor health and unable to fulfill his duties so he was politely retired (in his 50's)?  Was he not a very good bishop so they replaced him and gave him a nice title?
.
I have searched online and can't find an explanation of Titular Bishop except that they sometimes have a plethora of Bishops.
.
Can anyone help?  I have no family information.

Historically bishops were always assigned some territory (a bishop is a shepherd, but a shepherd has to have a flock), even if this territory was merely nominal.

A titular bishop is one who has the "title" of a bishop, but does not actually have a See over which he is a shepherd. He possess only the Order and Title of Bishop, but no real territory.

Still because the idea is that a bishop needs some See, those extra bishops (like a co-adjutor bishop or an auxiliary bishop) were given an historical territory or one that long ago was suppressed or is now in infidel territory.

For example, Bishop James Kazuo Koda, an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Tokyo, is give the titular see Sinnada in Mauretania (which is in Algeria).

Your ancestor was given the titular see of Derbe (which is in Turkey).

He probably was an auxiliary bishop of an Archdiocese (which means he was a helper bishop, not the actual bishop of the diocese, and thus would typically do Confirmations and Ordinations so the Bishop's work was not too taxing), or he was a co-adjutor (which means he was appointed a special helper bishop to the local bishop, but with the right of succession once the other bishop died or retired), or he retired and since he previously could not keep his title (since someone else would then become bishop of the diocese) he was given another titular see.

Perhaps this is the man of which you speak.

Now usually only auxiliary bishops receive a titular see. Typically co-adjutors are just called co-adjutor bishop of X diocese, and a retired bishop is called bishop emeritus of X diocese.
I wonder how many bishops pray for and consider the needs of the people in their titular dioceses.  Practically speaking, it's a ceremonial title, but it does carry with it some responsibility.  Somehow, I doubt the Church would retain something so superfluous, although I tend to see mostly Cardinals with titular sees, not so much bishops who are not cardinals anymore.  Usually, on the Church Hierarchy website, it just says "retired" when a bishop is retired, they are listed as Bishop Emeritus of a certain diocese, and that's it.

To us, titular sees are probably little more than ancient titles.  They may be interesting for historic purposes, but little more than that.  I wonder, however, if bishops with titular sees view their title as bearing a certain responsibility for the souls in a certain area.  They have the apostolic authority there, after all, even though it may be impossible to exercise a public ministry there or take up residence there.  I don't know...just the wandering thoughts of someone wide awake at 2:00 in the morning.
(05-09-2018, 03:00 AM)Credidi Propter Wrote: [ -> ]I wonder how many bishops pray for and consider the needs of the people in their titular dioceses.  Practically speaking, it's a ceremonial title, but it does carry with it some responsibility.  Somehow, I doubt the Church would retain something so superfluous, although I tend to see mostly Cardinals with titular sees, not so much bishops who are not cardinals anymore.  Usually, on the Church Hierarchy website, it just says "retired" when a bishop is retired, they are listed as Bishop Emeritus of a certain diocese, and that's it.

To us, titular sees are probably little more than ancient titles.  They may be interesting for historic purposes, but little more than that.  I wonder, however, if bishops with titular sees view their title as bearing a certain responsibility for the souls in a certain area.  They have the apostolic authority there, after all, even though it may be impossible to exercise a public ministry there or take up residence there.  I don't know...just the wandering thoughts of someone wide awake at 2:00 in the morning.

Many, if not most of the titular dioceses are now areas which are part of other dioceses, so in reality there is no strict duty in Justice toward the souls there. There certainly is some duty in Charity, of course.

For example in the US there is the titular see of Grass Valley, Calif. (Vallispratensis). This was suppressed in 1886 and its territory given to the Diocese of Sacramento. It was resurrected as a titular see in 1997, but the original territory is now part of several existing dioceses.

Even there, that Grass Valley was a diocese that used to be part of the Diocese of California, which itself was suppressed in 1849 and split into a Mexican portion (Baja) and an American portion (Monterey), the latter which was then again split several times one of which was to make Grass Valley. 

So in a sense Bp. William John Waltersheid (Titular Bishop of California), Bp. Christie Macaluso (Titular Bishop of Grass Valley), Bp. Jaime Soto (Bishop of Sacramento), Richard John Garcia (Bishop of Monterey in California), Bp. Sylvester Donovan Ryan (Bishop-Emeritus of Monterey) along with probably a handful of others all share at least some of the same "territory".

Another US titular see, Bardstown, Ky., is now part of four other dioceses : Cincinnati, Vincennes, Nashville, and Louisville.

Another US titular see, Kearney, Neb., is the exact same territory as the present diocese of Grand Island, Neb., the name was changed after the diocese moved its seat to a different city. So Bp. Joseph G. Hanefeldt (Bishop of Grand Island) and Bp. Mario Eduardo Dorsonville-Rodríguez (Titular Bishop of Kearney) have the exact same "territory".

So in reality no titular bishop has territory that doesn't already belong to another See, thus there is no duty in Justice towards the souls therein, because they already have an official (and non-titular) pastor.
(05-09-2018, 02:21 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-09-2018, 01:20 AM)MaryTN Wrote: [ -> ]I have an ancestor who was a Bishop in a Midwest Diocese long ago.
.
Then the records say that he became the Titular Bishop of Derbe.
.What does that mean?  Did he actually move to some place called Derbe?  Was he given a special job that was different from being a bishop?  Was he in poor health and unable to fulfill his duties so he was politely retired (in his 50's)?  Was he not a very good bishop so they replaced him and gave him a nice title?
.
I have searched online and can't find an explanation of Titular Bishop except that they sometimes have a plethora of Bishops.
.
Can anyone help?  I have no family information.

Historically bishops were always assigned some territory (a bishop is a shepherd, but a shepherd has to have a flock), even if this territory was merely nominal.

A titular bishop is one who has the "title" of a bishop, but does not actually have a See over which he is a shepherd. He possess only the Order and Title of Bishop, but no real territory.

Still because the idea is that a bishop needs some See, those extra bishops (like a co-adjutor bishop or an auxiliary bishop) were given an historical territory or one that long ago was suppressed or is now in infidel territory.

For example, Bishop James Kazuo Koda, an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Tokyo, is give the titular see Sinnada in Mauretania (which is in Algeria).

Your ancestor was given the titular see of Derbe (which is in Turkey).

He probably was an auxiliary bishop of an Archdiocese (which means he was a helper bishop, not the actual bishop of the diocese, and thus would typically do Confirmations and Ordinations so the Bishop's work was not too taxing), or he was a co-adjutor (which means he was appointed a special helper bishop to the local bishop, but with the right of succession once the other bishop died or retired), or he retired and since he previously could not keep his title (since someone else would then become bishop of the diocese) he was given another titular see.

Perhaps this is the man of which you speak.

Now usually only auxiliary bishops receive a titular see. Typically co-adjutors are just called co-adjutor bishop of X diocese, and a retired bishop is called bishop emeritus of X diocese.

Yep.  That's him.  Strange thing is, I never knew of him but that is where I grew up and our school was across the parking lot.  Also, he is from the Protestant side of the family......??  Not even sure my parents knew him, they never mentioned him, no one, not even the Sisters, mentioned the connection.