The word means "overseer". First bishops received this authority from the apostles, who appointed them as heads and pastors to their subordinate communities or dioceses. Today, bishops serving in Holy Sees are called vicars, and the term bishop applies to heads of dioceses.
Bishops are the keepers of Orthodox faith, having the authority to convict and punish the erring. Bishops have the right to participate in national-ecclesiastical councils, advance to the ranks of Patriarch and Catholicos, consecrate churches and devotional items, as well as perform all the sacraments of the Church, including ordaining of priests.
Distinguishing features of pontifical vestments are omophorion wrapped around his shoulders, bishop's miter crowning his head instead of the miter of the ordinary priest, ring, decorating the little finger of the right hand, and Panagia worn on the chest.