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Late Latin hierarcha, Greek ἱεράρχης, hierarchēs; sacred (akin to Sanskrit ishiras vigorous, fresh, blooming) + leader, ruler, from to lead, rule: compare French hiérarque


hierarch ‎(plural hierarchs)

  1. (religion) One who has high and controlling authority in sacred things; the chief of a sacred order
  2. (Eastern Orthodoxy) A title of bishops in their role as ordinaries (arbiters of canon law) over their respective dioceses.
    • 2016 October 11, Peter Jesserer Smith, “Pope’s Canon-Law Change Strengthens East and West”, in (Please provide the title of the work)[1], National Catholic Register:
      The law states that the local ordinary can give to any Catholic priest the faculty to bless the marriages of non-Catholic Eastern Christians if the faithful voluntarily ask for it and the priest prudently informs the appropriate hierarch.