See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is[administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude[of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. (Letter to Smyrna)
Fish on Friday #1
It’s Friday, and that means fish, the idea being to take a break from reading the Ante-Nicene Fathers on the nature of the episcopate and go out and catch some dinner. But as you await that exciting installment in the varied life of LSPland, here’s an excerpt from St. Ignatius of Antioch:
Note that, for Ignatius, bishops are seen as the successors of Christ and the presbyters or priests, as successors of the apostles. The bishop, surrounded by his priests, is the image of Christ in the midst of the apostles.
We can only wonder what the martyr bishop, who was a disciple of the Apostle John, would say about his, ahem, successors in the episcopal college today.