Q:

Who are some religious leaders of Christianity?

A:

Quick Answer

Examples of religious leaders in Christianity include the pope and bishops for Roman Catholicism and the Archbishop of Canterbury for Anglicanism. The title "religious leader" can also have an extended non-juridical meaning to include those religious icons who have influenced the masses, such as Billy Graham or Fulton J. Sheen.

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Full Answer

The pope is the supreme head of the Roman Catholic Church, with the authority to define church doctrine and moral practice, establish regulations and policy, appoint or dispose bishops, canonize saints and excommunicate heretics and schismatic individuals. He is also the primary teacher of the Catholic faith. Roman Catholic teaching ascribes to the pope the charism of infallibility, meaning that he does not err when officially defining faith and morals for the entire Church. Roman Catholic bishops are under the authority of the pope, but make use of their own juridical power within their individual dioceses.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the chief bishop and symbolic head of the Anglican communion, though he is technically not the supreme head. It is England's ruling monarch who is known as "Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England." In this case, political and religious authority coincide in the same individual.

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