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Episcopate, Episcopacy, Episcopos 

The terms may refer to the collective role of the order or office of bishops in the church. 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" is one of the four points of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral. The 1886 General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Chicago identified the historic episcopate as an inherent part of the sacred deposit of Christian faith and order committed by Christ and his apostles to the church until the end of the world. The Convention accounted the historic episcopate to be one of four essentials for the restoration of unity among the divided branches of Christendom (BCP, p. 877). The Lambeth Conference of 1888 included the historic episcopate as one of the four points that supply a basis on which approach may be made towards Home Reunion (BCP, pp. 877-878). 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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