Universal Bishop a title assumed by the Roman prelates succeeding Gregory I (588-604). The patriarchs of the Eastern Church, particularly John Jejunator, had claimed the title of ecumenical patriarch. This Gregory denounced as arrogant and antichristian. The title, however, was adopted by the successors of Gregory in its original signification. See Trevor, Rome, p. 104; Schaff, Hist. of the Christian Church, 2, 328 sq. SEE AECUMENICAL BISHOP.