1 of or pertaining to or characteristic of the Episcopal church; "the Episcopal hierarachy"; "married by an Episcopalian minister" [syn: Episcopalian]
2 denoting or governed by or relating to a bishop or bishops [syn: pontifical]
EtymologyFrom episcopus < sc=polytonic
- SAMPA: /@"pIsk@p=l/
- Of or relating to the affairs of a bishop in various Christian churches.
Episcopal in principle means "of bishops", from the Latin for bishop, episcopus, itself from the ancient Greek επίσκοπος.
It may therefore refer to:
- Anything pertaining to bishops, e.g. An Episcopal Conference in the Catholic Church
- An Episcopal Church, an alternative term for a church of the Anglican Communion, since Anglican churches are based on the concept of church governance by the bishops collectively (as an "Episcopal polity"). The term Episcopal is in several churches considered preferable to the term Anglican, which originates in ecclesia anglicana, a Medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 meaning "the English Church". Some feel that this might imply that there is an English ecclesiastical or nationalistic superiority, which is disputed. A member of an Episcopal church is an Episcopalian.
- A number of minor churches which broke with the Anglican Communion use the title Episcopal Church in reference to their preservation of episcopal polity (i.e., governed by bishops).
- Any denomination that has bishops even if they may not be directly related to an Anglican Church such as the United Methodist Church, which was originally the Methodist Episcopal Church and was an offshoot of the Church of England, or the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which was not an offshoot.
episcopal in Simple English: Episcopalian