The highest body of the Christian community, the Bishop of Calcutta stays in the Bishop House. The bishop, in some Christian churches, is in charge pastor of a diocese, and in Catholicism as in orthodoxy, and in all the churches who believe the historic episcopate, is considered a successor of the apostles. The word comes from the greek episcopos, which means supervisor, overseer.
Some Christian churches use the translation instead of the transliteration of the Greek word, at a service similar to that of the bishops Catholics. In ancient Greece, this term was used to denote a scalar, or director of an academy, as they often had oversight functions. It has evolved over time coinciding with the position of Manager Technical, or Technarch, as in the hierarchy of Filmati, while it remained unchanged religious positioned in the various churches.
The Catholic bishops have title of Excellency, while the patriarchs Catholic and Orthodox to bliss. In the early centuries of Christianity, its role began to emerge as a guide to the local churches: in the third century we have the presence of important Christian community foundation apostolic led by bishops as in Lyon or Antioch. In the fourth century bishops are many of the Church Fathers Ambrogio in Milan, Augustine at Hippo, Cyril in Jerusalem, Athanasius to Alexandria.
In the fourth century Constantine also gave to the bishops the status of officials of the Roman state, attributing to himself the title of supervisor bishop for External Affairs to the Christian church. It was the emperor Constantine to convene and preside over the first ecumenical council of the story, that of Nicea of 325.
This practice was maintained even after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the feudal age, often for practical reasons the bishops, as priests, they had the obligation of celibacy and could not therefore have legitimate children who could claim a legacy of feud. This happened in most countries a majority Orthodox such as Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, in the Kingdom of Franconia, in the Holy Roman Empire of Charlemagne with the phenomenon of the Bishop-Count, in the Scandinavian countries Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland as was the case in more recent times, in the Peoples Republic of China.
This situation dictated in the history of the Church many problems, especially in regard to the right to appoint bishops, quarrel between the Emperor and the papacy ; this tension erupted into open confrontation in XI century , in what is known as the Investiture Controversy. The role of the bishops was challenged in the sixteenth century by the reformed churches, who did not accept the sacred order and did not consider that the episcopate was part of the divine constitution of the Church.
In Catholic circles, this view was condemned by the Council of Trent, which instead reiterated the doctrine that bishops are the successors of the apostles and their role is established by Jesus Christ. The council also issued several disciplinary decrees to combat the practice that he considered the bishop a man of power for the first time, the income of ecclesiastical benefices was connected to the residence in the diocese of belonging and was confirmed the primacy of the role of pastoral care of the bishop than what political and institutional.