Sanctuary of the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral, Valaam Monastery, Russia: the Antimension is open on the Holy Table (altar) for the bishop's visit; at the rear is the Kathedra (bishop's throne)
A bishop is the
successor to the
Apostles in the service and government of the Church. The bishop thus serves εις τόπον και τύπον Χριστού (in place and as a type of
Christ) in the Church. No bishop in Orthodoxy is considered
infallible, even the
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople who is considered to be
'First-among-equals'. None has any authority over or apart from his priests, deacons, and people or the other bishops. A bishop holds the responsibility of maintaining the unity of the Church throughout the world by ensuring the truth and unity of the faith and practice of their diocese. The bishop represents his particular diocese to the other churches or dioceses, and represents the Universal Church to his own particular
deacons, and people.
Church Law, bishops of an area must meet in
councils. When doing so, the metropolitan or patriarch presides administratively.