This page relates specifically to the Council of Bishops as it was during the Archbishop-era. For the groups that followed, please refer to the Council of Bishops (Cardinal), and Northshire Communion.
The Council of Bishops is an advisory body composed of all Bishops within the Church of the Holy Light. The Council serves the dual purpose of acting as a official body of church governance. The group operates under the leadership of the Archbishop of the Holy Church.
- 1 General Information
- 2 Membership
- 3 Dioceses
- 4 Congregations and Dicasteries
- 5 The Archbishop
Meetings of the Council
Council meetings are held in Northshire Abbey. Each meeting has a preset docket for discussion. Bishops may submit items for discussion and voting to the Clerk prior to the meeting. Only material submitted for the docket at least a day before the meeting may be voted upon at a Council Meeting. Other topics for discussion may arise during a meeting but a vote may not be called on an item which was not present on the docket. The docket is to be published before midnight on the day preceding the meeting.
Application to Prior
Various orders may apply for a seated member on the Council of Bishops by submitting a request to the Clerk. Then, the bishops will deliberate and a decision will be made. A majority of the council's bishop of must agree in order for a seated member to be brought into the Council. If the vote is in favor of the order's request, a prior will be assigned. If the prior proves himself worthy over time a bishop may sponsor his cause for candidacy to the episcopacy.
The Council of Bishops is primarily composed of the several positions, each reserving its own degree of rights and privileges:
Priests, paladins, and members of the laity who are enlisted by the Council to serve in their capacity as individuals with special skills or abilities are considered Lay Experts. Lay Members aid and assist the Council, especially the Congregations, in whatever task they have stepped forward to bear and are thus invited to attend Council meetings and may, with the sponsorship of a Bishop, speak before the Council.
Bishops may invite persons to become Lay Members.
For a list of current and past priors, see List of Priors.
Priors are ordained and anointed ecclesiastics who either represent influential organizations on the council, or sit as persons whom the Council is considering for elevation. Priors have the privilege of speaking before the Council and may propose legislation or resolutions, provided they have at least one seated Bishop upon the Council to sponsor them. Priors may vote on some acts of the Council of Bishops.
Those seeking to represent their holy order as a Prior, or be considered for eventual elevation to Seated Bishop, must formally file their request for recognition with the Clerk of Council with at least one letter of support from a Seated Bishop attached (and preferably with a letter of support from one's guild leader). Upon the request's acceptance to the docket, the measure shall be proposed to the Council whereby, by unanimous decision and unanimous decision only, shall the person be recognized as a Prior.
A Prior serves in his position until either his health fails, his passage from life, or a unanimous vote of the Council of Bishops is passed to confirm his removal.
For a list of current and past bishops, see List of Bishops.
Seated Bishops are ecclesiastics within the Church of the Holy Light who hold the title of Bishop. Bishops are the only voting members of the Council and hold the responsibility of administering the church and guiding the dioceses and congregations under their charge.
Bishops allowed to vote upon matters brought before the Council, and the only persons allowed to propose legislation or resolutions of their own initiative. Bishops upon the Council also hold the responsibility of managing their own polity and may, upon unanimous vote, elect another Bishop previously having served as a Prior, to their ranks. Bishops thus elected serve in their positions for life unless relieved of their position by the Council, in accordance with Canon Law.
For a list of current dioceses, see List of Dioceses.
In addition to the formal meetings of the Council of Bishops, the members of the council are divided into several Congregations (sub-committees) which are each tasked with the overseeing of a specific aspect of the Church's work. Each Congregation is headed by a bishop and is composed of experts who are brought into the congregation by the head bishop (known as the Prefect). Non-bishop and Non-prior members of Congregations are considered un-seated member of the Council of Bishops. Voting in Congregations is done by majority vote.
Dicastery of Philosophy led by the Lord Vicar of the Church:
The Lord Vicar of the Church is vacant.
- Congregation for the Holy Rites & Scripture
The Prefect for Holy Rites and Scripture is currently vacant.
The Congregation for the Holy Rights and Scriptures (CHR) is tasked with the review and publication of liturgical texts and various rites of the Church. This includes the publication of the Codex of Rites, the Codex of Hours, and the Codex of Scripture.
The Prefect for the Novitiate is currently vacant.
The Congregation for the Novices of the Faith (CNF) is tasked with the management of the Seminary of the Council. The congregation manages and teaches the curriculum.
- Congregation for the Saintly Servants of the Light
The Prefect for the Sainthood
The Congregation for the Saintly Servants of the Light (CSS) is tasked with the exercise of the process of canonisation, for the recognition of saints and their celebrance.
Dicastery of Arms led by the Lord Chamberlain of the Church:
The Preceptor of the Congregation for the Military Orders of the Church is Sir Remus Thackeray.
The Congregation for the Military Orders of the Church (CMO) is responsible for the patronage, support and liaison between the Military Orders of the Church (e.g. Silver Hand, paladin guilds) and the Holy Church.
The Commandant of the Temple Guard is Sir Serell Greymoor.
The Congregation of the Temple Guard (CTG) is responsible for the protection of holdings of the Church, and of clergy members.
Dicastery of Law led by the Lord Chancellor of the Church:
The Grand Inquisitor of the Inquisition is Grand Inquistor Popohnia Crystalrose.
The Congregation of the Inquisition (CI) is tasked with seeking out and suppressing heresies which plague the faithful.
The Apostolic Secretary is vacant.
The Congregation of the Chancery (CC) is the chancery of the Curia, publishing and managing the edicts and decrees of the pontiff. In addition, the Chancery is tasks with the publication of documents of the Council of Bishops, including the minutes.
The Apostolic Treasurer of the Exchequer is Bishop Sabrina Dawnstrider.
The Congregation of the Treasury (CT) is the executive financial branch of the Council of Bishops.
The Grand Confessor of the Penitentiary is vacant.
The Congregation of the Penitentiary (CP) is responsible for overseeing the process of the forgiveness of sin, in protecting the rite of confession and seeing to its administration.
The Archbishop was the head of the body, and, by extension, the entirety of the Church of the Holy Light. His duties were extensive and the Archbishop acted as the spiritual as well was temporal leader of the bishops.
The Archbishop was an elected position from among the Council of Bishops and, unlike other voting matters, must be elected by unanimous decision twice before he may be elevated to the role, unless the three-fourths clause was invoked by the conclave.