(31.) The 1888 Lambeth Quadrilateral had laid down as one of the four foundations of Anglicanism, "the Historic Episcopate
, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of his Church." In 1920 Lambeth changed the wording to state that the "visible unity of the church" involved the acceptance of a ministry accepted by the whole Church, with "the commission of Christ and the authority of the whole body." It concluded that the "Episcopate is the only means of providing such a ministry."
Not surprisingly, Locke frames the development of Anglican thought on the nature of the church as an ongoing dialectic between Reformation notions of the notae ecclesiae--"marks of the church" that include Word, sacrament, and discipline--and a more Catholic-Orthodox emphasis on the indispensability of the historic episcopate
. Anglicans have almost unanimously agreed on the rightness of an episcopal form of polity, but have disagreed considerably over the exact nature, authority, and even necessity of such a polity.
The 1982 World Council of Churches' Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry document described historic episcopate
as "a sign, though not a guarantee," of the continuity and unity of the church.
Will they embrace conservative, evangelical Anglicans or will they strive to recreate the historic episcopate
? The inaugural provincial assembly will face a true test of just how wide its conservative arms are when it considers its draft constitution and canons.
He added, "The Lambeth quadrilateral of scripture, creeds, sacraments and historic episcopate
are no longer sufficient credentials for being an Anglican.
The Methodist Church, which has said that it is willing in principle to embrace the historic episcopate
, is currently searching for concrete models of episcopal ministry that would be compatible with its connexional polity.
He shows the ecumenical ventures of the ELCA, its successes and struggles, such as disagreement by some on the historic episcopate
and the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.
Ecumenically, we continue to be confronted with issues of whether, for example, the historic episcopate
is necessary to further church unity.
The document affirms as the essential elements of faith and order in the quest for Christian unity: the Holy Scriptures, the Nicene Creed, the sacraments of baptism and eucharist, and the historic episcopate
A parallel and related bilateral between the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA) is also meeting periodically to resolve differing views of how the historic episcopate
may be expressed in either a personal and/or corporate manner, while fulfilling the desire of CUIC to embody this sign in a way that invites in the future the broadest possible recognition of its ordained ministries by the larger church.
"Of course we still have hard work to do, dealing with issues such as the historic episcopate
, but we do not think those issues are insurmountable."
Its stumbling block in 1997 was the insistence from ECUSA that this step, which would bring the "interim" sharing of pulpit and altar to fruition, required that bishops in the ELCA henceforth be ordained or installed into their offices as part of the peculiarly Anglican "historic episcopate
." According to this understanding, all bishops of the Anglican communion stand in a historic succession that the Reformation did not interrupt and that reaches back in time to the very earliest bishops in Latin Christendom.