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Encyclopedia > Episcopate

Episcopalian government in the church is rule by a hierarchy of bishops (Greek: episcopoi). A church building is a building used in Christian worship. ... A bishop is an ordained member of the Christian clergy who holds a specific position of authority in any of a number of Christian churches. ...

Episcopalian government is adopted by the majority of churches, and for most of the history of Christianity it has been the only form known to Christendom. There are subtle differences in governmental principles, among episcopalian churches at the present time. To some extent the separation of episcopal churches can be traced to these differences in episcopal theory. The Catholic churches of Rome and Byzantium (Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox in modern terms) are episcopalian, as are the Oriental Orthodox churches. 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. ...

Rome and Byzantium were, speaking generally, a single episcopalian government, one Church, until the Great Schism in 1054. Also, the non-Chalcedonian churches of the Orient (Nestorian) and Egyptian Coptic Orthodox (Monophysite), are episcopalian; however, differences concerning the person of Christ have caused these not to be in full communion with the Orthodox and the Catholics, ever since the Council of Chalcedon in the fifth century. Likewise, the Coptic Orthodox believe they have true apostolic succession; 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. The East-West Schism, known also as the Great Schism (though this latter term sometimes refers to the later Western Schism), was the event that divided Christianity into Western Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. ... Events Cardinal Humbertus, a representative of Pope Leo IX, and Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, decree each others excommunication. ... 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). ... Full communion is a kind of relationship between two or more organizations of Christians. ... The Council of Chalcedon was an ecumenical council that took place from October 8-November 1, 451 A.D at Chalcedon, a city of Bithynia in Asia Minor. ... In Christianity, the doctrine of apostolic succession maintains that the Christian Church is the spiritual successor of the Apostles. ... The following list contains all the Popes who have held sway over the Coptic Orthodox Church since the Council of Chalcedon. ...

Catholic episcopalian government

The Roman Catholic Church is episcopalian with a single hierarchy terminating at the top with the Bishop of Rome. The basis of the system is grounded in the assertion that jurisdictional oversight of 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. From this one authority, all legitimate, governmental representation of the authority of Christ on the earth is committed, by the Holy Spirit, through the laying on of hands, from the Apostles to the bishops, and from bishops to priests, in historical succession. In addition to the New Testament, one of the earliest of the Church fathers to define the importance of episcopalian government is Ignatius of Antioch. The unbroken line of the representation of Christ survived up to a certain historical point in four seats of Apostolic authority: Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome. The Roman Catholic church believes that it maintains this apostolic succession; the Eastern Orthodox Church makes the same claim. Both agree that apostolic succession means not only historical continuity, but that the church today preserves the same doctrines and practices that were taught by the original twelve apostles, who received them from Jesus Christ. In the Roman Catholic Church, Saint Peter, given the keys to heaven by Jesus, was the first Bishop of Rome. ... The New Testament, sometimes called the Greek Scriptures, is the name given to the part of the Christian Bible that was written after the birth of Jesus. ... Ignatius of Antioch (probably died somewhere around AD 107) was the third patriarch of Antioch, after Saint Peter and Euodius, who died around AD 68. ... In Christianity, the doctrine of apostolic succession maintains that the Christian Church is the spiritual successor of the Apostles. ... ...

Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to Constantinople, following the conquest of Licinius in 324. The seat of the Roman civilized world shifted to Greece and New Rome (Byzantium). Along with this shift, the effective administration of the Church also shifted. It was this practical eminence in the East that was acknowledged, first by the Council of Constantinople 381, and then ecumenically by the Council of Chalcedon in 451, so that the Patriarch (pre-eminent father) of the church under New Rome's domain was for all practical purposes the Bishop of Constantinople. Beginning with John the Faster, the Bishop of Constantinople adopted the title Ecumenical patriarch (pre-eminent father for the whole civilized world), to which the other Patriarchates assented, with the exception of one. This Patriarchate of Rome, by virtue of its succession from the Apostles Peter and Paul of Tarsus and although the city was ruined, distant from the seat of secular power, and constantly harassed by invaders, claimed primacy for itself, and the title of "Apostolic See" - the last court of episcopal appeal in very serious matters. Coin of Licinius For other Romans of this name, see Licinius (gens). ... Events Constantine becomes the sole emperor of the Roman Empire. ... New Rome is a term that can be applied to a city or a country. ... Byzantium was the original name of the modern city of Istanbul. ... Events First Council of Constantinople - second Ecumenical council of the Christian Church: The Nicene creed is affirmed and extended, Apollinarism is declared a heresy. ... For other uses, see number 451. ... 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. ... According to tradition, Peter was crucified upside-down, as shown in this painting by Caravaggio. ... Paul of Tarsus (originally Saul of Tarsus) or Saint Paul the Apostle (d. ...

Thus, two ideas of episcopalian succession competed, between Rome and Byzantium. In the East, the Apostolic authority speaking unitedly in episcopal council is primary; and through such a council the Bishop of Byzantium was granted primacy on par with Rome (which placed entire emphasis on episcopal succession from the Apostles). The differences, although subtle, produced a rift between the Bishop of Rome and the rest of Christendom, which continued with some occasional relief throughout much of the history of the Church until it finally ruptured with semi-finality in the Great Schism (marked by two dates: 16 July, 1054, and the Council of Florence in 1439). The conciliar idea of episcopal government continues in the Eastern Orthodox Church. 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. ... The Eastern Orthodox Church is a Christian body whose adherents are largely based in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, with a growing presence in the western world. ...

Today, the Roman Catholic Church sees the Roman Pope as the vicar of Christ on Earth and each bishop as the vicar of Christ for his particular 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 of Rome. The Pope is the Catholic Bishop and patriarch of Rome, and head of the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches. ... In Roman Catholic theology and canon law, a particular Church is any of the individual constituent ecclesial communities in full communion with the Church of Rome. ... 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. ... For the use of the word primate in biology, see primate (biology). ... Visions of John the Evangelist, as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. ...

Protestant episcopalian government

Among protestant churches, the Anglican Communion is the most prominent church which lays claim to episcopal succession in terms comparable to the Catholic system. Several of the Scandinavian Lutheran state churches also claim Apostolic Succession, never having abandoned their lines of succession during the Reformation. The Anglican Communion is a world-wide organisation of Anglican Churches. ... The episcopate is the status of a bishop. ...

Anglicans claim unbroken episcopal succession in and through the Church of England back to Saint Augustine and to first century Britain. The church's exact origins are a matter of debate, but the faith clearly was planted in the British Isles independent of Rome and prior to St. Augustine. The Church of England is the officially established Christian church 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. ... Augustine of Canterbury (birth unknown, died May 26, 604 (traditional) or 605 (Thorn)) was the first Archbishop of Canterbury, sent to Ethelbert of Kent, Bretwalda of England by Pope Gregory the Great in 597. ...

For more than five hundred years since the rejection of the primacy of Rome, the Anglican succession has given rise to episcopal churches around the world. Longstanding Catholic criticism of alleged irregularities in episcopal consecrations in England during the religious turmoil of the 16th century has led to the current state of non-recognition of parity of Anglican orders. However, rapprochements between the Anglican Communion, the Orthodox Churches and Roman Catholicism have given impetus to mutual discussions of the obstacle posed by differing interpretations of episcopal succession. (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ...

The Scottish Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Church in the USA, and some of their offshoots, are part of the Anglican Communion and use their names both to show their form of government and to distinguish themselves from other local churches. The Scottish Episcopal Church is a member of the Anglican Communion, formed in the 17th century after the national Church of Scotland adopted presbyterian government and reformed theology. ... The Episcopal Church may refer to several members of the Anglican Communion, including: Episcopal Church in the United States of America Scottish Episcopal Church Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East Episcopal Church of Cuba idk of the Sudan Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church ... The Anglican Communion is a world-wide organisation of Anglican Churches. ...

Other protestant churches have adopted an episcopal form of government for practical, rather than historical, reasons. These include the Methodist church and some of its offshoots, where the powers of the episcopacy can be rather strong and wide-reaching. For example, in the United Methodist Church Bishops are appointed 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 until their mandated retirement at the end of the quadrenium following their sixty-sixth birthday.[1] (http://www.umc.org/interior.asp?ptid=21&mid=5860) The Reformed Church of France, and the Reformed Church of Hungary, and the Lutheran churches on the continent may sometimes be called "episcopalian", but the more proper term is Synodical (see Synod). 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. 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), but church government is a matter without doctrinal significance. In America, the Lutheran churches tend to adopt a form of government more comparable to congregationalism. The Methodist movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity. ... The United Methodist Church is the largest Methodist denomination, and the second-largest Protestant one, in the United States. ... The Lutheran movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity by the original definition. ... A synod (also known as a council) is a council of a church, usually a Christian church, convened to decide an issue of doctrine or administration. ... 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. ... 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

Bishop, Episcopal, Presbyterian church governance, Congregationalist church governance, Autocephaly A bishop is an ordained member of the Christian clergy who holds a specific position of authority in any of a number of Christian churches. ... The word Episcopal is derived from the Greek επισκοπος epískopos, which literally means overseer; the word however is used in religious terms to mean bishop. ... Presbyterian governance of a church is typified by the rule of an assembly of presbyters, or elders. ... Congregationalist chuch governance, often known as congregationalism, is a system of church governance in which every local congregation is independent. ... 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. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Worldwide Marriage Encounter, Episcopal Expression (340 words)
An Episcopal Marriage Encounter Weekend begins on Friday at 8 PM and ends about 4:30 PM on Sunday.
The purpose of the Weekend is for a husband and wife to develop a better knowledge, understanding and acceptance of each other through the use of a communication technique which is taught on the Weekend.
The Weekend is presented from an Episcopal perspective, but the opportunities of the Weekend go far beyond the boundaries of any one faith expression.
Anglican News - Institute on Religion and Democracy (672 words)
The Windsor Report had asked the Episcopal Church to "explain, from within the sources of authority that we as Anglicans have received in scripture, the apostolic tradition and reasoned reflection, how a person living in a same gender union may be considered eligible to lead the flock of Christ" (para.
The Episcopal Church document does not offer a positive, coherent sexual ethic.  Instead it is focused on a negative task:  deflecting the biblical prohibitions of homosexuality, so as to open theological space for possible moral approval of the practice.  First, it argues that Scripture has often been misunderstood or wrong when it comes to ethics:
Note what this Episcopal Church document is demanding of Scripture.  This document is arguing that because Paul and other biblical writers had no experience of homosexuality "directly akin" to our experience today, therefore their proscriptions against homosexuality do not apply to us.
  More results at FactBites »



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