apostolic succession


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apostolic succession,

in Christian theology, the doctrine asserting that the chosen successors of the apostles enjoyed through God's grace the same authority, power, and responsibility as was conferred upon the apostles by Jesus. Therefore present-day bishops, as the successors of previous bishops, going back to the apostles, have this power by virtue of this unbroken chain. For the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Anglican churches, this link with the apostles is what guarantees for them their authority in matters of faith, morals, and the valid administration of sacraments. Essential to maintaining the apostolic succession is the right consecration of bishops. Apostolic succession is to be distinguished from the Petrine supremacy (see papacypapacy
, office of the pope, head of the Roman Catholic Church. He is pope by reason of being bishop of Rome and thus, according to Roman Catholic belief, successor in the see of Rome (the Holy See) to its first bishop, St. Peter.
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). Protestants (other than Anglican) see the authority given to the apostles as unique, proper to them alone, and hence reject any doctrine of a succession of their power. The Protestant view of ecclesiastical authority differs accordingly. See orders, holyorders, holy
[Lat. ordo,=rank], in Christianity, the traditional degrees of the clergy, conferred by the Sacrament of Holy Order. The episcopacy, priesthood or presbyterate, and diaconate were in general use in Christian churches in the 2d cent.
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; churchchurch
[probably Gr.,=divine], aggregation of Christian believers. The traditional belief has the church the community of believers, living and dead, headed by Jesus, who founded it in the apostles. This is the doctrine of the mystical body of Christ (Eph. 1.22–23).
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.

succession, apostolic:

see apostolic successionapostolic succession,
in Christian theology, the doctrine asserting that the chosen successors of the apostles enjoyed through God's grace the same authority, power, and responsibility as was conferred upon the apostles by Jesus.
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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hindus, who believe that God has taken on creaturely form numerous times throughout history, have problems with the doctrine of the one Mediator -- not to mention that the unyielding assertion that there is no church in the proper sense, and no valid eucharist (that is, the genuine and total eucharistic reality), without apostolic succession in a community gathered around a bishop who has received the sacrament of orders, appears to dismiss lightly large sections of Protestantism.
It amounts to a simple and positive assertion of an important element of Catholic faith: Catholic bishops are ordained in apostolic succession, and the sacrament of confirmation is the ordinary means for baptized men and women to participate in the apostolicity of the Church.
Perhaps most importantly, the attempt by the Porvoo common statement to find a solution to the problem of the apostolic succession may turn out as most fruitful with regard to other partners as well.
In proposing the reform of structures within the churches of the Protestant Reformation, the Groupe des Dombes observed that by its insistence that "the apostolic succession is founded upon the conformity of preaching to the witness of the apostles," which functions as "the rule of all preaching and sacramental life in the church" (no.
After detailing many cases of hierarchs who mismanaged money and concealed abusers, I argued that apostolic succession carries a warped de facto immunity, that the meaning of Judas is erased from historical memory: "A cardinal or a bishop can be removed from his position under canon law, but in reality, only the pope as supreme authority can render such justice.
33) More recently, theologians such as then Bishop Walter Kasper and David Power have suggested that full ecclesial and ministerial reality is dependent, not on apostolic succession considered by itself, but on integrating a given church into the communion of all the local churches.
By apostolic succession we mean "a succession in the presiding ministry of a church, which stands in the continuity of apostolic faith.
This mark is intrinsically related to the understanding of apostolic succession.
Now those directly in the line of apostolic succession are forbidden to speak freely.
Roman interference betrays a practical denial of apostolic succession in the office of bishop, as do frequent appeals to Rome against the local bishop.
Tertullian gladly used apostolic succession against the Gnostics but found himself in a bind when the successors of the apostles opposed the Montanist prophets.
This is the context in which the themes of ministry and apostolic succession were discussed.