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.
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
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.
He added, "The Lambeth quadrilateral of scripture, creeds, sacraments and historic episcopate
are no longer sufficient credentials for being an Anglican.
As stated in the Lambeth Quadrilateral (1888), Anglicans hold to four pillars of faith and practice as essential for church unity: scripture; the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds; baptism and Eucharist; and the historic episcopate
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 Lambeth Quadrilateral (1888) states that acceptance of the following articles supplies a basis for union: the Scriptures, the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, the sacraments of baptism and communion, and the historic episcopate
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.