A term of Greek origin signifying “general,” “universal,” and used as a title given to high-ranking secular officials, and later as an honorary title for certain ecclesiastical dignitaries ranking below a patriarch but above a metropolitan.
On 25 June 1959, a protocol was issued in Cairo organizing the relationship between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Ethiopian church. Article 1 stipulates that the supreme spiritual head of the latter church is the pope of Alexandria and the patriarch of the see of Saint Mark, while article 4 provides for the elevation of the spiritual head of the Ethiopian church to the rank of catholicos patriarch.
- Neale, J. M. A History of the Holy Eastern Church, Vol. 1, p. 141. London, 1850.