The Council of Bishops is the official governing body of the Church of the Holy Light. It is headed by the Archbishop of Stormwind who until recently was Archbishop Benedictus. The Archbishop's seat is currently vacant until the Council of Bishops elects a successor to govern the Church. While most of the members of the Council stand together in Church matters, a loud minority usually keeps discussions locked and prevents swift decisions. Some even claim that the Archbishop's greatest task is keeping individual members of the Council from schism.
The Council of Bishops is primarily composed of the several positions, each reserving its own degree of rights and priviledges:
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 Members. Lay Members aide and assist the Council, especially the Congregations, in whatever task they have stepped forward to bear and are thusly invited to attend Council meetings and may, with the sponsorship of a Seated Bishop, speak before the Council.
Bishops may invite persons to become Lay Members.
Piors are ordained / anointed men and women of ecclesiastical origin who either represent influential organizations on the council, or sit as persons who the Council is considering for elevation to the Council, and thus the title of Bishop. Piors have the priviledge 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.
Those seeking to represent their holy order as a Pior 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. Upon the request's acceptance to the docket, the measure shall be proposed to the Council whereby, by unanimous and unianimous 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.
The Clerk of CouncilEdit
The Clerk of Council or Council Clerk, is a non-episcopal functionary appointed by unanimous consent of the Council to serve as the Council recorder and secretary in charge of organizing the official docket of the Council. In addition, the Clerk is also responsible for the organization of Council functions and moderation of Council meetings.
The Clerk of Council serves in his position until either his health fails, his passage from life, or unanimous vote of the Council of Bishops is passed to confirm his removal.
Seated Bishops are recognized ordained men and women 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 under their charge. In regards to the Council, the bishops are the only official members, other than the Clerk of Council.
Bishops are also the only persons allowed to vote upon matters brought before the Council, and the only persons allowed to propose legislation or resolutions of their own iniative. 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 Pior, to their ranks. Bishops thusly elected serve in their positions for life unless relieved of their position by the Archbishop.
The Archbishop is the stated head of the body, and, by extension, the entirty of the Church of the Holy Light. His duties are extensive and the Archbishop acts as the spirtual as well was temporal leader of the bishops. He may vote as the other Bishops but holds the unique power to remove them from office.
The Archbishop is elected from amongst the Council of Bishops and, unlike other voting matters, must be elected by unanimous decision twice before he may be elevated to the role.
With the betrayel and subsequent death of Archbishop Benedictus, the position has since been left vacant.
Meetings of the CouncilEdit
Council meetings are held monthly at a location decided upon by the host bishop. The host of each council meeting is determined on rotation.
Application for PriorageEdit
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. All voting members of the council 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.
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.
Congregation for Sacred LiturgyEdit
The Congregation for Sacred Liturgy (CSL) 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 of the CSL is Bishop Servus.
Congregation for the Dwarven RiteEdit
The Congregation for the Dwarven Rite (CDR) is tasked with the review and publication of liturgical texts and various rites of the ancient Dwarven use. It is also tasked with the promotion of the Dwarven culture of the Light and the education of the priests and paladins of the Dwarven churches. The prefect of the CDR is the bishop of Ironforge.
Congregation for the Propagation of the FaithEdit
The Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith (CPF) is tasked with diplomatic and missionary work of the Council of Bishops. There is currently no prefect of the CPF.
Active Members (Non-Players)Edit
Bishop Hylan is the oldest bishop on the Council. His age alone gives him credibility among his fellow bishops. Still, there are some who disagree with his teachings on nonhuman members of the faithful. Hylan disagrees with the Alliance's moves to create fraternity between humans and nonhumans. He believes that the races should stay separate in order to prevent conflict. Hylan is also a devotee to traditional practices and beliefs of the faith.
Bishop Leander is devoted to the higher pleasures, namely, academic achievement. He is often found in the libraries of churches and teaches that the faithful would be best benefited by spending more time in lectures and libriaries than wars and public events. Still, unlike bishop Hylan, Leander preaches that the Light's blessing falls on all people--even those who are not faithful to the Church. Leander also feels that the Church has lost sight of the essential teachings of the faith and should return to a more simplistic way of living.
Bishop Neheri is the youngest member of the Council. While this leads to the other members doubting him, the younger members of the clergy tend to favor his methods. Neheri is active in the work of converting nonhumans to the faith. Understandably, Neheri and Hylan often clash in discussions surrounding this matter. Neheri is noted as a gifted fighter and feels the Church should spend less time studying and more time at war against the forces of darkness.
Bishop Farthing is the official diplomat of the Council of Bishops. Among his strongest diplomatic ties are the nation of Kul'Tiras and Dwarves of Ironforge. Farthing was noted as once of Archbishop Benedictus' favorced members of the council. He also has an expertise in the crafting of holy weapons.
Bishop DeLavey is the official liason of the Council to the King of Stormwind. He resides in the Stormwind Keep in order to better fulfil his duties. As such, DeLavey spends the majority of his time solving local problems. He was noted as playing a significant role in the investigation of crime circles in the region.
Bishop Ketodo is well known in the Council as a problem solver and an expert at executing the tasks the council gives to him. He is a skilled fighter and healer and much more prefers to be present in the fields of war than at council meetings.
Bishop Lazaril is well known in the Council as a diplomat to the Draenei people. She was also the council's liason to the Alliance military during the war against the Scourge. Much like Bishop Farthing, Lazaril is skilled in crafting holy weapons.
Active Members (Players)Edit
Bishop Servus is a proponent of traditional beliefs and practices of the faith. He is an academic, luxologian and an author. He heads the Council of Bishop's publishing of liturgical texts. In addition, Servus has diplomatic ties with the Night Elves of Darnassus. Though recently retired as Bishop of Stormwind, Servus is the Prior of the College of Canons.
Bishop Moorwhelp is the current Bishop of Stormwind and the head of the College of Canons. He holds a calm demeanor outside of his sermons and negotiations. He is an academic and philosopher and is known for having written books. He is well known on the Council for solving disputes between organization and combating heresy by word.
Bishop Whitewood is the Chor to the Holy See of Lordaeron under Bishop Ladekahn and has been attempting to fill his shoes in his absence. Since stepping down as Bishop of Gilneas, she has graciously accepted all responsibilities and limitations the Council has imposed upon her.
Bishop Sunwhisper recently stepped down as bishop of Quel'Thelas. She soon after stepped down from active duty and has not returned to meetings of the council of bishops. Bishop Sunwhisper is known for her will to seek unity and tolerance.
Inactive Members Edit
Bishop Ladekahn is the current bishop of Lordaeron. A former scarlet, he is known for his rigorous following of ecclesial law. He has diplomatic ties to members of the Argent Crusade.
Bishop Du'Fowl is the second oldest member of the Council of Bishops. He is proponent of traditional belief and practice in the Church. He recently was dispached on a mission to Kalimdor and has been missing in action since. It is unknown if he is alive.
Bishop Electus stepped down from the seat of the Bishop of Stormwind after his ancient thelogical ideas of the Light as a diety were rejected unanimously by the Council of Bishops. He has not since returned to Council meetings.