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§ 48. The Pseudo-Clementine Episcopacy.


Besides this orthodox or catholic formation of the episcopate, the kindred monarchical hierarchy of the Ebionitic sect deserves attention, as it meets us in the pseudo-Clementine Homilies. Chronologically this falls in the middle of the second century, between Ignatius and Irenaeus, and forms a sort of transition from the former to the latter; though it cannot exactly be said to have influenced the Catholic church. It is rather a heretical counterpart of the orthodox episcopate. The organization which consolidated the Catholic church answered the same purpose for a sect. The author of the pseudo-Clementine, like Ignatius, represents the bishop as the vicar of Christ,212212    Hom. iii. 60, 62, 66, 70. Ep. Clem. ad Jac. 17. Comp. Recogn. iii. 66.11 and at the same time, according to the view of Irenaeus, as the vicar and successor of the apostles;213213    Hom. xi. 36; Recogn. iii. 66; vi. 15.12 but outstrips both in his high hierarchical expressions, such as κάθεδρα θρόνος τοῦ ἐπισκόπου, and in his idea of the primacy, or of a universal church monarchy, which he finds, however, not as Irenaeus suggests and Cyprian more distinctly states, in Peter and the Roman see, but, agreeably to his Judaistic turn, in James of, Jerusalem, the "bishop of bishops."214214    Ἐπίσκοπος ἐπισκόπων , Hom. xi. 35; Recogn. iv. 35.13

The Manichaeans had likewise a hierarchical organization (as the Mormons in modern times).

Montanism, on the other hand, was a democratic reaction against the episcopal hierarchy in favor of the general priesthood, and the liberty of teaching and prophesying, but it was excommunicated and died out, till it reappeared under a different form in Quakerism.



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