Until the coming of Emperor Alexius, the Patriarch was undisputedly the most powerful individual in the Known Worlds. Still, he wields a tremendous degree of personal power. In addition to the ability to excommunicate individuals or groups and to issue fixed-duration Patriarchal bulls, the Patriarch has the rarely-exercised ability to act as a theological final court of appeals, issuing a ruling on any disputed issue. The Patriarch can call a Holy Synod and has full veto power on any change of Church doctrine originating from a Synod or from lower in the Church hierarchy, and can himself issue decrees changing Church doctrine irreversibly with the approval of the College of Ethicals. Mindful of the possibilities of schism, Patriarchs have almost always ensured the acquiescence of their cardinals before issuing substantive bulls, but they do have a tremendous degree of influence nonetheless. The personal staff of the Patriarch includes a small group of Adepts of Mantius known as the Red Guard- each member of the Red Guard has sworn an oath of absolute loyalty to the Patriarch, and they will perform suicidal actions on behalf of their master at the blink of a Patriarchal eye. In recent years, the Red Guard has become increasingly distant from the rest of the Adepti Templi. In addition to the Red Guard, the Patriarch’s staff includes a rather extensive network of spies who are not formally acknowledged but whose existence is known.
The Patriarch also has the cardinals of the Patriarchal planetary sees (Holy Terra, Stigmata, Nowhere, and de Moley) report directly to him. De Moley is a special case, as the Grand Master of the Adepts of Mantius, the cardinal of De Moley, is also beholden to the Syneculla’s High Protector. The result of this is that the Grand Master does not consult directly with the Patriarch as often as the other Patriarchal cardinals.