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The Bishopal Church is prominent in several nations throughout Terra, and as such as one of the larger Hosian groupings in the world. Although Bishopal Churches have some prominence in Alduria, Dorvik, Kalistan, Vorona, and Luthori, as well as a presence in numerous other nations, the Bishopal Church has little international infrastructure, other than infrequent meetings between heads of the various national Churches, some co-ordination in terms of charity and missionary work, and a thriving network of intellectual cooperation. Roughly 270 million Terrans belong to a Bishopal Church (As of Sept. 2333, world population equals 5.272 Billion).

The Bishopal Churches, although in full communion, belong to two major organisations: the Union of Nordland of Ancient Bishopal Churches and the Luthori Communion.

DoctrineEdit

Rather than theological disagreement, the origin of Bishopalism was based on questions of jurisdiction - namely, the belief that national churches should be autonomous. The effort to create a national church in continuity with its traditions, but inclusive of the doctrinal and liturgical insights of the Abjuration was joined by a real concern to make the institution as hospitable as possible to people of different theological inclinations, so as to maintain social peace and cohesion. Bishopal result has been a movement with a distinctive self-image among Hosian movements. The question often arises whether the Bishopal Communion should be identified as a Luthoran or Patriarchal church, or perhaps a distinct branch of Hosianism altogether.

Branch theory Edit

Originating in the Septentrine churches, the ecclesiology of Bishopal Churches is typically described as "branch theory". In line with the idea that the Church is the full body of Hosian believers, branch theory holds that the "Community of the Faithful, the one holy apostolic and ecumenical church" (as described in the Creed of Auroria) consists of various earthly "branches", of which the Aurorian Patriarchal Church, Septentrine Churches and Luthorian Churches (in fact all churches with orthodox Aurorian Hosian faith, valid Revelation and apostolic succession) are the visible expressions. The expression of this idea among both traditions is slightly different: the Septentrine tradition emphasises the ecumenical nature of the Church in apostolic succession as the defining idea, whereas the branch theory of the Luthorians derives from the idea of a priesthood of all believers distinct from the ministerial priesthood.

High Church - Low ChurchEdit

Luthorian Bishopals are broadly speaking split into two categories, High Church and Low Church - this is less of an issue in the Septentrine Communion which more clearly retained a Patriarchal liturgy. High Church Bishopals tend to be closer to Patriarchalism in doctrine, favouring ritualism and traditional liturgy. Low Church Bishopals are reformed in character and are clearly Luthoran. Although the Bishopal faith is regarded as a Reformed faith, it has been known for its ‘Via Media’ approach, seeking the middle ground. Generally speaking in most Bishopal Churches a ‘Broad Church’ movement governs, uniting the two wings of Bishopalism and ensuring that national Churches remain unified.

Major traditions Edit

The wider Bishopal Communion is a conflux of two separate communions, each with its distinct origins and identity: the Septentrine tradition of the Apostolic Union of Nordland and the Luthoran Communion. Though both share the distinct liturgical and sacrificial focus and bishopal polity that characterises the wider communion, their origin and identity are distinct: whereas the Septentrine tradition consists of national churches which broke with the concept of an Arch-Patriarchy but still consider themselves Ecumenical, the Luthorian tradition's members are heirs to the Luthoran Reformation and commonly products of missionary or more commonly colonial expansion of the Luthori Church, its mother church.

Septentrine tradition Edit

See also: Septentrine and Union of Nordland

The Septentrine tradition commonly identifies itself as "Ecumenical but not Patriarchal" or "Aurorian but not Patriarchal", claiming to be a restoration of early-apostolic church Aurorian Hosianism (that is, shortly after the Council of Auroria). Having rejected the Arch-Patriarchal hierarchy, commonly during the Dark Ages after the fall of the Holy Apostolic Hosian Church or during the era of the Patriarchal Schisms, these churches claim to be autocephalous national churches. This is reflected in the other names for the tradition, which include "Ancient Bishopalism", "Church of the Old Bishopal Hierarchy" and (albeit rarely) "Old Patriarchalism".

While Septentrine Churches reject the modern concept of the Archipatriarchate, they do not reject the Council of Auroria as such. Rather, their objection is over the way in which, contrary to their understanding of canon law, the primacy of the See of St. Michael evolved from a primacy of honour to a primacy of power, rejecting the doctrine of Archipatriarchal infallibility. Commonly, Septentrine Bishopal hierarchies maintain the assertion that not they but Auroria (or whichever successor see they broke from) broke communion first. This is particularly clear in the tradition's mother church, the Bishopal Church of Egelion, which broke away during the last years of the Apostolic Church over a conflict of investiture with Auroria, a state of schism not fully realised until much later.

Septentrine Churches outwardly maintain the Patriarchal faith, especially in their liturgy and understanding of the Seven Sacrifices, and can therefore best be characterised as High Church Bishopals, albeit with a Broad Church bend. Where Low Church elements prevail, it is in their theology or a more liberal application of the traditional liturgies. Septentrine liturgy is typically celebrated in the vernacular. Many Septentrine Churches have become decidedly more progressive in their outlook, often practicing open communion only regulated by requiring baptism.

Luthorian tradition Edit

The Luthorian tradition emerged from (or still consists of) the High Church adherents of the Luthoran Reformation, and thus typically characterises itself as "Patriarchal and Reformed". The membership of the Luthorian Communion overlaps to a great extent with the Confessional Luthoran Churches which even may have episcopal hierarchies of their own. The Luthorian tradition as it is generally understood, however, generally only includes the more Patriarchal body of the Luthoran faithful.

Luthorian Churches propagated as a result of Luthori mission or, more commonly of, Luthori colonization. They are almost exclusively found in former Luthori colonies such as Hulstria, Hutori or Alduria. The churches are autocephalous, headed by their national hierarchies, according a primacy to the See of Oalapo, the primate of the Church of Luthori, mother church of the communion.

The Luthorian tradition is much more diverse not just in churchmanship but also in theology - it is therefore generally considered to be the more conservative and traditional of the two. Luthorian Churches have, for example, generally had more trouble and debate over the Vocation of women.

List of Bishopal Churches Edit

Septentrine tradition (Union of Nordland) Edit

Luthorian tradition (Luthori Communion) Edit

Churches marked with * have no adherents in the latest version of the cultural protocols and are considered dormant or defunct, but are preserved here for possible revival.

National ChurchesEdit

Those listed below are prominent Bishopal Churches across Terra with at least five million members. This National Churches encompass a variety of Bishopal viewpoints, the The Church of Luthori being prominent in having a strong High and Low Church sections, whereas the Hosian Holiness Church is prominently Low Church, as it has rejected both Bishops and ritualism.

The Church of LuthoriEdit

Created as a compromise in 2132 between Luthoran and Patriarchal Churches in Luthori, coming together to form the The Church of Luthori. The majority of the Hosian population of Luthori belongs to this Church, giving it an estimated membership of 65 million. Jointly headed by the Archbishop of Oalapo (High) and the Moderator of the General Assembly (Low) under the Holy Luthori Emperor who is Supreme Governor of the Church.

Dorvik Bishopal ChurchEdit

Roughly 80% of the Dorvik population is Luthoran, with s slight majority of these being nominally Bishopal, giving a nominal membership of 37 million

Bishopal Church of KalistanEdit

Initially the sole Bishopal Church in Kalistan, the BCK has recently experienced a split with Low Church elements following a liberation theology set of beliefs, forming the Reformed Kalistani Church. Nominal membership of the Bishopal Church stands at 34 milliom (41%) of the total population. Led by the Archbishop of Kaliburg.

Church of AlduriaEdit

Formed as a break from the Terran Patriarchal Church, the Church of Alduria retains a strongly Low Church outlook. However a strong degree of ritualism remains, and High Church sections are notoriously politicised, supporting monarchist elements in the nation. Roughly one third of the population are nominal members, giving a membership of 33 million.

Reformed Kalistani ChurchEdit

Formed in Kalistan after Low Church elements of the Bishopal Church broke away. Nominal membership stands at 24 million (29%) of the total Kalistani population.

Church of MuzalkazEdit

With its proximity to Luthori, the Church of Muzalkaz has a small community of expatriates that function in the north. An estimated 5% of Hobrazian Hosians belong to the Church of Muzalkaz, with the great majority belonging to the Hobrazian Orthodox Church.

Pontesi Bishopal ChurchEdit

The largest Bishopal Church in Majatra, the Pontesi Episcopal Church accounts for Bishopals in Pontesi, Beiteynu and Barmenia, with roughly 15 million members in all three states, mostly in Pontesi proper. Disappeared after being forcibly merged into the Selucian Patriarchal Church by government decree, despite fierce protests from the latter church's Arch-Patriarch.

Bishopal Church of EgelionEdit

A union of the Bishopal Church with the Free Church in Egelion, this Reformed Church takes a Broad Church line, and has a nominal membership of 5 million.

Bishopal Church of HulstriaEdit

Formed by missionaries from the Bishopal Church of Kalistan in the early 2200’s. They were able to make some inroads into the largely Luthoran population nearly six million Hulstrians are nominally Bishopal.

Bishopal Church of KirlawaEdit

Perhaps the single largest Luthoran Church in Kirlawa. 21% of Kirlawans regards themselves as Luthorans, and 4% describe themselves as members of the BishopalChurch, bringing nominal membership to five million. Heavily influenced by the Dorvik Bishopal Church, indeed in some parts of Kirlawa the DEC is responsible for maintaining certain episcopal parishes.

Voronan ChurchEdit

Formed in 3010 as a merger of Terran Patriarchal and Luthoran Churches in Vorona, the Church retains the polytheistic elements of the Deltarian Church, worshiping the ancient Deltarian gods as "saints" under their Akigan names.

OtherEdit

Most nations in Terra have a small Bishopal Church, whether because of history, immigration or foreign embassy staff. The above list accounts for 249 of the estimated 270 million Episcopalians in Terra.

Former ChurchesEdit

Several churches across Terra were once Episcopal in nature, but have since departed from Episcopal organisation and beliefs.

Hosian Holiness ChurchEdit

Initially a part of the Bishopal Church of Kalistan, the HHC forms perhaps the most Luthoran of all the Churches, choosing to reject Bishops and ritualism. Nominally 12% of Valruzians claim membership, giving a figure of 10 million in Valruzia. However it has not associated with Bishopal groups for some time.