FACTOID # 3: South Carolina has the highest rate of violent crimes and aggravated assaults per capita among US states.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Episcopal polity
It has been suggested that episcopal be merged into this article or section. (Discuss)
Neutrality dispute The neutrality of this article's title and/or subject matter is disputed.
This is a dispute over the neutrality of viewpoints implied by the title, or the subject matter within its scope, rather than the actual facts stated. Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page.

Episcopal polity is a form of ecclesiastical government which is hierarchical in structure with the chief authority over a local church resting in a bishop (Greek: episcopos). This episcopal structure is found most often in the various churches of either Orthodox or Catholic lineage. Some churches founded independently of these lineages also employ this form of church governance. Image File history File links Please see the file description page for further information. ... The word episcopal is derived from the Greek επίσκοπος, transliterated epískopos, which literally means overseer; the word, however, is used in religious contexts to refer to a bishop. ... Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... A bishop is an ordained member of the Christian clergy who, in certain Christian churches, holds a position of authority. ...


For most of the history of Christianity episcopal government has been the only form known to Christianity. Including all the independent Churches, the majority of Christian churches are organized by either congregational or presbyterian church polities, both descended from the writings of John Calvin, a Protestant reformer working and writing independently following Martin Luther's break with the Catholic Church. However, the majority of Christians are members of the historic churches of episcopal governance. Congregationalist church governance, often known as congregationalism, is a system of church governance in which every local congregation is independent. ... John Calvin (July 10, 1509 – May 27, 1564) was an important French Christian theologian during the Protestant Reformation and is the namesake of the system of Christian theology called Calvinism. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... For images related to Martin Luther, his life and times, see also Images of Martin Luther. ... The name Catholic Church can mean a visible organization that refers to itself as Catholic, or the invisible Christian Church, viz. ...


There are subtle differences in governmental principles, among episcopal churches at the present time. To some extent the separation of episcopal churches can be traced to these differences in eccesiology, that is, their theological understanding of church and church governance. The churches of Rome and Constantinople (the Catholic and Orthodox Churches in modern terms) have an episcopal government, as do the Oriental Orthodox churches. Separate articles treat Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Orthodox Judaism. ... The term Oriental Orthodoxy refers to the churches of Eastern Christian traditions that keeps the faith of only the first three ecumenical councils of the undivided Church - the councils of Nicea, Constantinople and Ephesus. ...

Contents


Before the Great Schism

Rome and Constantinople were a single Church with an episcopal government, that is, one Church under local bishops and regional Patriarchs. Writing between ca. 85 and 110 a.d., St. Ignatius of Antioch, Patriarch of Antioch, was the earliest of the Church fathers to define the importance of episcopal government . Assuming Ignatius' view was the Apostolic teaching and practice, the line of succession was unbroken and passed through the four ancient Patriarchal sees (those local churches known to be founded by apostles), Rome, Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria. Rome was the leading Patriarchate of the ancient four by virtue of its founding by Sts. Peter and Paul and their martyrdoms there. Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. ... Icon of Ignatius being eaten by lions St. ... According to tradition, Peter was crucified upside-down, as shown in this painting by Caravaggio. ... Saul, also known as Paul, Paulus, and Saint Paul the Apostle (c. ...


Shortly after the Roman Emporer Constantine legalized Christianity in 321, he also constructed an elaborate second capital of the Roman Empire located at Byzantium and renamed it Constantinople, in 324. The single Roman Empire was divided between these two autonomous administrative centers, Roman and Constantinopolitan, West and East, Latin speaking and Greek speaking. This remained the status quo through the fourth century. // Constantine is a common name derived from the Latin word constans, meaning constant or steadfast. ... Events Publication of the first blue law by Constantine I of the Roman Empire: trade is forbidden on Sundays; agriculture is allowed The Roman Catholic church is allowed to hold property Births Deaths Categories: 321 ... Byzantium was an ancient Greek city-state, founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas or Byzantas (Βύζας or Βύζαντας in Greek). ... Map of Constantinople. ... Events Constantine becomes the sole emperor of the Roman Empire. ...


In the fifth century, the Western Roman Empire declined and was overrun by German and Frankish peoples. Although the city of Rome was in ruins, distant from the seat of secular power, and constantly harassed by invaders, the Roman Patriarchate remained the center of the Western or Latin Church. And, claiming the ancient primacy of Peter and the title of "Apostolic See," remained the last court of episcopal appeal in serious matters for the whole Church, East and West. The primacy of the Roman pontiff is the monarchical authority of the bishop of Rome, from the Holy See, over the several Churches that compose the Catholic Church in the Latin and Eastern Rites. ... In the several centuries following the founding of Christianity, five particular cities and centers of Christianity were considered to be the Apostolic Sees. ...


However, the center of the civilized Roman world had shifted definitively to Constantinople, or New Rome, the capital of the Greek speaking Empire. Along with this shift, the effective administration of the Church in the Eastern Roman Empire also shifted. This practical eminence of Constantinople in the East is evident, first at the Council of Constantinople 381, and then ecumenically at the Council of Chalcedon in 451. New Rome is a term that can be applied to a city or a country. ... See: First Council of Constantinople (second ecumenical council); or Fifth Ecumenical Council (Second Council of Constantinople). ... Events First Council of Constantinople - second Ecumenical council of the Christian Church: The Nicene creed is affirmed and extended, Apollinarism is declared a heresy. ... The Council of Chalcedon was an ecumenical council that took place from October 8–November 1, 451 at Chalcedon, a city of Bithynia in Asia Minor. ... Events April 7 - The Huns sack Metz June 20 - Attila, king of the Huns is defeated at Troyes by Aëtius in the Battle of Chalons. ...


Beginning with John the Faster, the Bishop of Constantinople (John IV, 582-595) adopted as a formal title for himself the by-then-customary honorific, Ecumenical Patriarch ("pre-eminent father for the civilized world") over the strong objections of Rome: a title based on the political prestige of Constantinople and its economic and cultural centrality in the Empire. In the following years, Rome's appeals to the East were based on the unique authority of the Apostolic See and the primacy of Peter, over against the powers of councils as defended by the East (councils, for example, had endorsed that lofty title which Rome contested). John IV, also known as John Nesteutes or John the Faster was Patriarch of Constantinople from 582 to 595. ... The Patriarch of Constantinople is the Ecumenical Patriarch, the first among equals in the Eastern Orthodox Communion. ... In the several centuries following the founding of Christianity, five particular cities and centers of Christianity were considered to be the Apostolic Sees. ... The primacy of the Roman pontiff is the monarchical authority of the bishop of Rome, from the Holy See, over the several Churches that compose the Catholic Church in the Latin and Eastern Rites. ...


The sometimes subtle differences between Eastern and Western conceptions of authority and its exercise produced a gradually widening rift between the Churches which continued with some occasional relief throughout the following centuries until the final rupture of the Great Schism (marked by two dates: 16 July, 1054, and the Council of Florence in 1439). The term Great Schism refers to either of two splits in the history of Christianity: Most commonly, it refers to the great East-West Schism, the event that separated Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Roman Catholicism in the eleventh century (1054). ... Events Cardinal Humbertus, a representative of Pope Leo IX, and Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, decree each others excommunication. ... A decree of the Council of Constance (9 October 1417), sanctioned by Pope Martin V obliged the papacy to summon general councils periodically. ... Events Battle of Grotnik, which ended the hussite movement in Poland Eric of Pomerania, King of Sweden, Denmark and Norway is declared deposed in Sweden. ...


Roman Catholic Church

The Catholic Church has an episcopate, hierarchically centered on the Pope who is the Bishop of Rome. The Catholic Church teaches that juridical oversight over the Church is not a power that derives from human ambition, but strictly from the authority of Christ which was given to his twelve apostles. The See of Rome, as the sole unbroken line of apostolic authority, descending from St. Peter (whom they call "prince and head of the apostles"), is a visible sign and instrument of communion among the college of bishops and therefore also of the local churches around the world. In communion with the world-wide college of bishops the Pope has all legitimate juridical and teaching authority over the whole Church. This authority given by Christ to Peter and the apostles is transmitted from one generation to the next by the power of the Holy Spirit, through the laying on of hands, from the Apostles to the bishops, and from bishops to priests and deacons, in unbroken succession. The current Pope is Benedict XVI (born Joseph Alois Ratzinger), who was elected at the age of 78 on 19 April 2005. ... Christ Giving the Keys to Peter, fresco by Pietro Perugino, 1481–82, commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV, Sistine Chapel, Rome: the act upon which papal authority depends The Bishop of Rome is the bishop of the Holy See and is more commonly referred to as the Pope. ...


Orthodox Churches

The conciliar idea of episcopal government continues in the Eastern Orthodox Church. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the sixteen or so autocephalous primates are seen as collectively gathering around Christ, with other archbishops and bishops gathering around them, and so forth, in a model called "conciliar hierarchy". This is based in part on the vision in the book of Revelation of the 24 elders gathered around the throne of Christ, who are believed to represent the 12 patriarchs of Israel and the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ. There is no single patriarch with exclusive authority comparable to the Pope in Rome. Pentecost is considered in Eastern Orthodoxy to be the birth of the Church. ... In hierarchical Christian churches, especially Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, autocephaly is the status of a hierarchical church whose head bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop. ... Primate (from the Latin Primus, first) is a title or rank bestowed on some bishops in certain Christian churches. ... Visions of John the Evangelist, as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. ...


Oriental Orthodox Churches

In the fifth century, several of the Oriental Churches separated from Rome and Constantinople. These were the (Nestorian) and Egyptian Coptic Orthodox (formerly considered Monophysite). Differences concerning the theoligical language for describing the person of Christ at the Council of Chalcedon caused these Churches to break full communion with the rest of the ancient Church. These Churches also trace their epicopal lineages to the ancient apostolic succession. Christ - Coptic Art Coptic Orthodox Christianity is the indigenous form of Christianity that, according to tradition, the apostle Mark established in Egypt in the middle of the 1st century AD (approximately AD 60). ... The Council of Chalcedon was an ecumenical council that took place from October 8–November 1, 451 at Chalcedon, a city of Bithynia in Asia Minor. ... Full communion is completeness of that relationship between Christian individuals and groups which is known as communion. ...


Both the Greek and Coptic Orthodox churches have a bishop in Alexandria, both of whom trace their apostolic succession back to the Apostle Mark (the Coptic bishop claims the title of Pope). There are official ongoing efforts in recent times to heal this ancient breach. Already, the two recognize each other's baptisms, chrismations, and marriages, making intermarriage much easier. In Christianity, the doctrine of Apostolic Succession (or the belief that the Church is apostolic) maintains that the Christian Church today is the spiritual successor of the Church of the Apostles. ... The following is a list of all the Coptic Popes (or Popes of Egypt) who have led the Coptic Orthodox Church since the Council of Chalcedon. ... Baptism in early Christian art. ... Chrismation is the name given in Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern_rite Catholic churches to the sacrament known as confirmation in the Latin Rite Catholic churches. ... A marriage is a relationship between or among individuals, usually recognized by civil authority and/or bound by the religious beliefs of the participants. ...


Anglican Communion

Anglicanism is the most prominent of Christian traditions to lay claim to the historic episcopate through apostolic succession in terms comparable to the various Catholic and Orthodox Communions. Anglicans assert unbroken episcopal succession in and through the Church of England back to St. Augustine of Canterbury and to the first century Roman province of Britannia. The church's exact origins are a matter of debate, but the faith clearly was planted in Great Britain and Ireland independent of Rome and prior to Augustine (see Celtic Christianity). The term Anglican (from medieval Latin ecclesia Anglicana meaning the English church) is used to describe the people, institutions, and churches that adhere to the religious traditions developed by the established Church of England, the Anglican Communion and the Continuing Anglican Churches, a loosely affiliated group of independent churches which... The episcopate is the status of a bishop. ... In Christianity, the doctrine of Apostolic Succession (or the belief that the Church is apostolic) maintains that the Christian Church today is the spiritual successor of the Church of the Apostles. ... The Church of England is the officially established Christian church[1] in England, and acts as the mother and senior branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, as well as a founding member of the Porvoo Communion. ... Saint Augustine of Canterbury Augustine of Canterbury (birth unknown, died May 26, 604) was the first Archbishop of Canterbury, sent to Ethelbert of Kent, Bretwalda of England by Pope Gregory the Great in 597. ... Map of the Roman Empire, with the provinces, after 120. ... Octavian, widely known as Augustus, founder of the Roman empire The Roman Empire was a phase of the ancient Roman civilization characterized by an autocratic form of government. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


The legislation of Henry VIII effectively establishing the independence from Rome of the Church of England, did not alter its constitutional or pastoral structures. Royal supremacy was exercised through the extant legal structures of the church, whose leaders were bishops. Episcopacy was thus seen as a given of the Reformed Ecclesia Anglicana, and a foundation in the insitution's appeal to ancient and apostolic legitimacy. What did change was that bishops were now seen to be ministers of the Crown for the spiritual government of its subjects. The influence of Richard Hooker was crucial to an evolution in this understanding in which bishops came to be seen in their more traditional role as ones who delegate to the presbyterate inherited powers, act as pastors to presbyters, and holding a particular teaching office with respect to the wider church. Henry VIII (28 June 1491 – 28 January 1547) was King of England and Lord of Ireland (later King of Ireland) from 22 April 1509 until his death. ... The legal authority of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. ... Richard Hooker (March 1554 - November 3, 1600) was an influential Anglican theologian. ... The presbyterium of the Archdiocese of Chicago processed into Holy Name Cathedral to concelebrate the funeral Mass of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin. ...


Anglican opinion has differed as to the way in which episcopal government is de jure divino. On the one hand, the seventeeth century divine, John Cosin, held that episcopal authority is jure divino, but that it stemmed from "apostolic practice and the customs of the Church...[not] absolute precept that either Christ or His Apostles gave about it" (a view maintained also by Hooker)[1]. In contrast, Lancelot Andrewes and others held that episcopal government is derived from Christ via the apostles. Regardless, both parties viewed the episcopacy as bearing the apostolic function of oversight, which both includes, and derives from the power of ordination, and is normative for the governance of the church. The practice of apostolic succession both ensures the legitimacy of the church's mission and establishes the unity, communion, and continuity of the local church with the universal church. This formulation, in turn, laid the groundwork for an independent view of the church as a "sacred society" distinct from civil society, which was so crucial for the development of local churches as non-established entities outside England, and gave direct rise to the Catholic Revival and disestablishmentarianism within England. John Cosin (November 30, 1594 - January 15, 1672) was an English churchman. ... Lancelot Andrewes (1555 - September 25, 1626) was an English clergyman and scholar. ... The Oxford Movement was a loose affiliation of High Church Anglicans, most of them members of the University of Oxford, who sought to demonstrate that the Church of England was a direct descendant of the Christian church established by the Apostles. ... Disestablishmentarianism nowadays relates to the Church of England in the United Kingdom and related views on its establishment as an established church. ...


Functionally, Anglican episcopal authority is expressed synodically, although individual provinces may accord their primate with more or less authority to act independently. Called variously "synods," "councils," or "conventions," they meet under episcopal chairmanship. In many jurisdictions, conciliar resolutions that have been passed require episcopal assent and/or consent to take force. Seen in this way, Anglicans often speak of "the bishop-in-synod" as the force and authority of episcopal governance. Such conciliar authority extends to the standard areas of doctrine, discipline, and worship, but in these regards is limited by Anglicanism's tradition of the limits of authority. Those limits are expressed in Article XXI of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, ratified in 1571 (significantly, just as the Council of Trent was drawing to a close), which held that "General Councils...may err, and sometimes have erred...wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of holy Scripture." Hence, Anglican jurisdictions have traditionally been conservative in their approach to either innovative doctrinal development or in encompassing actions of the church as doctrinal (see lex orandi, lex credendi). A synod (also known as a council) is a council of a church, usually a Christian church, convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. ... Primate (from the Latin Primus, first) is a title or rank bestowed on some bishops in certain Christian churches. ... The Thirty-Nine Articles are the defining statements of Anglican doctrine. ... The Council of Trent is the Nineteenth Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. ... Lex orandi—lex credendi refers to the relationship between worship and belief which is a fundamental character of Anglicanism. ...


Anglican synodical government, though varied in expression, is characteristically representative. Provinces of the Anglican Communion, their ecclesiastical provinces and dioceses are governed by councils consisting not only of bishops, but also representatives of the presbyterate and laity. The spread of increasingly democratic forms of representative governance has its origin in the formation of the first General Conventions of the American Episcopal Church in the 1780s, which established a "House of Bishops" and a "House of Deputies." In many jursidictions, there is also a third, clerical House. Resolutions may be voted on jointly or by each House, in the latter case requiring passage in all Houses to be adopted by the particular council. The Anglican Communion uses the compass rose as its symbol, signifying its worldwide reach and decentralized nature. ... An ecclesiastical province is a unit of religious government existing in certain Christian churches. ... Pope Pius XI blesses Bishop Stephen Alencastre as fifth Apostolic Vicar of the Hawaiian Islands in a Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace window. ... The presbyterium of the Archdiocese of Chicago processed into Holy Name Cathedral to concelebrate the funeral Mass of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin. ... In religious organizations, the laity comprises all lay persons collectively. ... Democracy is, literally, rule by the people (from the Greek demos, people, and kratos, rule). The methods by which this rule is exercised, and indeed the composition of the people are central to various definitions of democracy, but useful contrasts can be made with oligarchies and autocracies, where political authority... The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Washington DC is the National Cathedral of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. ...


There is no international juridical authority in Anglicanism, although the tradition's common experience of episcopacy, symbolised by the historical link with the See of Canterbury, along with a common and complex liturgical tradition, has provided a measure of unity. This has been reinforced by the Lambeth Conferences of Anglican Communion bishops, which first met in 1867. These conferences, though they propose and pass resolutions, are strictly consultative, and the intent of the resolutions are to provide guideposts for Anglican jurisdictions - not direction. The Conferences also express the function of the episcopate to demonstrate the ecumenical and catholic nature of the church. A see (from the Latin word sedem, meaning seat) is the throne (cathedra) of a bishop. ... The Province of Canterbury consists of the following dioceses of the Church of England: Their archbishop is the Archbishop of Canterbury. ... The Lambeth Conferences was the name given to the periodical assemblies of bishops of the Anglican Communion (Pan-Anglican synods), which since 1867 have met at Lambeth Palace, the London residence of the archbishop of Canterbury. ...

This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ...

Episcopal government in other denominations

Some Protestant churches have adopted an episcopal form of government for practical, rather than historical, reasons. These include some Methodist churches and some of their offshoots. Methodists often use the term connectionalism or connectional polity in addition to "episcopal". Nevertheless, the powers of the Methodist episcopacy can be relatively strong and wide-reaching compared to traditional conceptions of episcopal polity. For example, in the United Methodist Church Bishops are elected for life, can serve up to two terms in a specific conference (three if special permission is given), are responsible for ordaining and appointing clergy to pastor churches, perform many administrative duties, preside at the annual sessions of the regional Conferences and at the quadrennial meeting of the world-wide General Conference, have authority for teaching and leading the church on matters of social and doctrinal import, and serve to represent the denomination in ecumenical gatherings. United Methodist bishops in the United States serve in their appointed conferences, being moved to a new "Episcopal Area" after 8 (or 12) years, until their mandated retirement at the end of the quadrenium following their sixty-sixth birthday.[1] Methodism or the Methodist movement is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity. ... The United Methodist Church is the largest Methodist, the largest mainline, and, after the Southern Baptist Convention, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States. ...


The Reformed Church of France, the Reformed Church of Hungary, and the Lutheran churches in mainland Europe may sometimes be called "episcopal". In these latter cases, the form of government is not radically different from the presbyterian form, except that their councils of bishops have hierarchical jurisdiction over the local ruling bodies to a greater extent than in most Presbyterian and other Reformed churches. As mentioned, the Lutheran Church in Sweden and Finland are exceptions, claiming apostolic succession in a pattern somewhat like the Anglican churches. Otherwise, forms of polity are not mandated in the Lutheran churches, as it is not regarded as having doctrinal significance. Old World Lutheranism, for historical reasons, has tended to adopt Erastian theories of episcopal authority (by which church authority is to a limited extent sanctioned by secular government). In the United States, the Lutheran churches tend to adopt a form of government more comparable to congregationalism. The Reformed Church of France (French: , ÉRF) is the Reformed, originally Calvinist, church of France. ... The Lutheran movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity by the original definition. ... Continental Europe refers to the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands and peninsulae. ... Presbyterianism is part of the Reformed churches family of denominations of Christian Protestantism based on the teachings of John Calvin which traces its institutional roots to the Scottish Reformation, especially as led by John Knox. ... In law, jurisdiction from the Latin jus, juris meaning law and dicere meaning to speak, is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted body or to a person to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility. ... Presbyterianism is part of the Reformed churches family of denominations of Christian Protestantism based on the teachings of John Calvin which traces its institutional roots to the Scottish Reformation, especially as led by John Knox. ... The Reformed churches are a group of Christian Protestant denominations historically related by a similar Calvinist system of doctrine, which first arose especially in the Swiss Reformation led by Huldrych Zwingli, but soon afterward appeared in nations throughout Western Europe. ... The Old World consists of those parts of Earth known to Europeans before the voyages of Christopher Columbus; it includes Europe, Asia, and Africa (collectively known as Africa-Eurasia), plus surrounding islands. ... Thomas Erastus (September 7, 1524 - December 31, 1583), German-Swiss theologian, whose surname was Liber, Lieber, or Liebler, was born of poor parents, probably at Baden, canton of Aargau, Switzerland. ... Congregational churches are Protestant Christian churches practicing congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation indepedently and autonomously runs its own affairs. ...


See also

And Congregationalist church governance, often known as congregationalism, is a system of church governance in which every local congregation is independent. ...

A bishop is an ordained member of the Christian clergy who, in certain Christian churches, holds a position of authority. ... The word episcopal is derived from the Greek επίσκοπος, transliterated epískopos, which literally means overseer; the word, however, is used in religious contexts to refer to a bishop. ... In hierarchical Christian churches, especially Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, autocephaly is the status of a hierarchical church whose head bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop. ...

External links

  • Vatican: The Holy See Official Website of the Papacy
  • Catholic Encyclopedia: Bishop Official Website of the Roman Catholic Church
  • The Website of the Archbishop of Canterbury Official Website of the Church of England
  • Episcopacy
  • An Argument for Lutheran Episcopacy from Reformation Today Online
  • United Methodist Council of Bishops Official Website of the United Methodist Church
  • Methodist Episcopacy: In Search of Holy Orders By Gregory S. Neal

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m