In the middle ages a large number of rectories were held by religious houses, which drew the bulk of the tithes and appointed vicars to do the work.
At last, just as the kingdom had become the personal property of the king, so the officialsdukes, counts, royal vicars, tribunes, centenariiwho had for the most part bought their unpaid offices by means of presents to the monarch, came to look upon the public service rather as a mine of official wealth than as an administrative organization for furthering the interests, material or moral, of the whole nation.
The bishops constitute the episcopal synod, the supreme court of appeal, 1 During the long period of proscription, the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland survived in scattered groups; after the Reformation it was at first under the jurisdiction of the English arch-priest, but from 1653 to 1694 it was governed by prefects apostolic and from 1694 to 1878 by vicars apostolic appointed by the pope.
The bishops registers of the diocese of Norwich show that many parishes had three and some four successive vicars admitted in eighteen months.
The Colombian hierarchy consists of an archbishop, residing at Bogota, 10 bishops, 8 vicars-general, and 2170 priests.