An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church


In the Anglican tradition, the term indicates a bishop. The term “prelacy” has been used pejoratively to describe ecclesiastical governance by bishops. In Roman Catholicism, “prelate” has been applied to other ecclesiastical officials such as higher officials of the Roman curia, abbots, cardinals, and popes. Prelates with episcopal authority have been referred to as major prelates, and prelates with quasi-episcopal authority (such as abbots) have been referred to as minor prelates. The term is seldom used in the Episcopal Church.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.