Status Symbols

Mitres, pointed headdresses with two ribbons hanging at the back, are worn by bishops, archbishops, and abbots (p. 48). They are usually decorated with religious symbols or scenes. The mitre's tall shape is a sign of its wearer's status, the highest form of sacred ministry below that of the pope.


A bishop oversees the churches and priests in his diocese. He preaches, writes advisory letters to the local clergy, and directs the training of priests and the religious instruction given in Catholic schools. Bishops also belong to local or national groups called Bishops' Conferences, which meet to discuss collective policies.

Rosary with medals showing saints for contemplation

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