BISHOP'S RANK 413
ormation and the quarrel incident to Gallicanism have led it to look with disfavour upon any movement that might pave the way for a national Church organization.
The garb of bishops and all high prelates is similar to that of the cardinals excepting that violet is the sole and basic colour. On solemn religious occasions the mitre and the staff symbolize the power of the presiding shepherd. The pectoral cross and the ring are always worn. If a bishop requires an assistant because his diocese is large or because he is aged or infirm, this titular or coadjutor bishop has all the rights of his rank except the jurisdiction. This is exercised by the diocesan bishop or by his vicar-general, whom the cathedral chapter serves as a senate and administrative agency. The smallest jurisdicrional terri- tory is the parish. There the pyramidal structure of the hierarchy is sunk into the supporting soil of the faithful.
Most of the higher prelates of the Curia are titular bishops. All these non-resident bishops wear the title of a diocese which is fictitious in character. In the language of the Curia, these sees are in partibus infidelium (in the realm of the unbelievers). The titles of a few primitive Christian bishoprics still exist today, though nothing may remain of the old Christian cities excepting a few Mohammedan huts or half-concealed ruins.
As a result of historical development some monastic districts have acquired the character of dioceses. The "abbots nullius" (nullius dioceseos belonging to no diocese) have the same rank as a bishop and administer their office in the same way. Episcopal authority, though without a territorial foundation, is likewise exercised by the provincial and general superiors of the exempt Orders: that is, the Orders directly under Rome, the best known of which are the Francis- can, Dominican and Jesuit. In the case of the very old Orders such as the Benedictines, Cistercians, etc., the highest superiors are called abbot-primates, or arch-abbots. They are invested in the same way as bishops, that is with mitre and staff, and share in all essential epis- copal rights.
The great majority of Papal court officials and the administrators of Papal offices are so-called lower prelates who may be divided ac- cording to their most important article of clothing into mantelletta and