What is Apostolic Succession?

tomgroeneman's picture

another aspect

There is another aspect of Apostolic succession that may shed some light on your question. That is, the line of succession from Jesus to the original twelve apostles to the bishops of the next generation in the early Church was carried out by the laying on of hands. This is how Paul imparted gifts to Timothy and confirmed his spiritual authority to govern the body of Christ. Along with other criteria, all ordinations to the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church, including the office of the Pope as the successor to Peter, are performed with the laying on of hands. There are a few other denominations that claim Apostolic succession, but the RCC is the only Church where the records and writings of the Early Church Fathers demonstrate this physical line of succession from the twelve to the bishops and clergy by the laying on of hands. Peter and Paul were both in Rome around the same time and would have laid hands on the deacons and bishops they appointed for service in the Church at Rome. This practice continues throughout the centuries and spreads from Rome to all parts of the world without interruption connecting the clergy to the original Church at Jerusalem. This is the organic unity of the body of Christ and from which the Church derives her legitimate spiritual authority.

submitted as a poster,

Tom Groeneman