Excerpt from The Permanent Episcopal Fund: Address by Rev. J. H. McIlvaine, D.D., At the Dinner of the Church Club of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, November 14, 1911
The Episcopate is the organ and instru ment of the Catholic Church. Consecrating with its touch all human life, continuous throughout the ages, the Catholic Church gathers up the accumulated treasures of the past, and holds them in trust for the future. Of this trusteeship the Episcopate is the organ. It voices the authority of the whole Church, which may be resolved into Catholic consent. It is not invested with authority which is personal and arbitrary, but is the mouth piece oi the authority of the whole Church. It is a bond of unity and catholicity, linking the Church of today with the Church of the past, and the Church throughout the world, carrying us back through all the Christian centuries to the days of the Apostles them selves. Our unity lies not in our relation to a common creed or theological system, but to a living line of living men.
It is the organ and instrument of the Church in its larger aspect, its more generalfunctions, as distinguished from its local and parochial ministries. The tendency of our Church is towards parochialism. Each parish is a little world in itself, and the thought, the interest, the effort of its clergy are concentrated upon it. This is necessarily so, for concentration is the condition of success to-day in every department of labor, and the cares, the duties, the demands of the parish are so various and exacting as to absorb the life and strength of its ministry. In the Episcopate we have a body of men chosen for their intelligence, experience and devotion, relieved from the cares of a parish, raised to an exalted position that they may have the wider outlook, may devote their thought and energy to the larger interests, may supervise and guide the broader move ment of the Church as a whole. In so far as they make their Cathedrals their cures, or burden themselves with the cares of a parish, they defeat this purpose of their office.
About the Publisher
Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com
This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.show more