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Episcopi Vagantes is a Latin term that means, "wandering bishops."
Since the time of the original apostles [Gr.=messenger, envoy], duly consecrated bishops carried full authority with them. This was prior to the age of dogma and doctrine; therefore those bishops were at liberty to function independently and to adapt their theological and liturgical forms to suit the native cultures.
The early apostles blossomed into a diversity of churches and traditions. In 325 The Roman Emperor Constantine convened the First Council of Nicaea in an attempt to bring the diverse Christian groups into a uniform order. The Empire no longer allowed the pluralism of the early churches that followed Jesus' teachings, and the churches became the Church. Those who did not conform were silenced or persecuted as heretics.
"If a bishop were found to hold unorthodox opinions, he might be excommunicated from the rest of the Church and driven into exile." 1
"Thus from earliest times valid lines of Apostolic Succession were maintained outside of the Roman jurisdiction, and to this day many churches have retained their unique traditions and theological independence. It is largely through their lines of succession that the contemporary Wandering Bishops have arisen—still anathematized as heretics, but respected as possessing valid
apostolic orders." 2
My own consecrator in the traditional lines of apostolic succession, Gnostic bishop Dr. Stephan Hoeller, is prominent among these apostles of New Spirituality.
1 Wandering Bishops, by Lewis Keizer.
2 For more extensive reading on this subject, please read Bishop Lewis Keizer, Ph.D. in his excellent book Wandering Bishops. To order, see www.hometemple.org and scroll almost halfway down the screen. The book can also be read on line by clicking on the image.