Apostolic Succession
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,546
    I am going to make up a flow chart of apostolic succession based on the Roman Catholic Church as handed down to us (I don't even know if one exists.)

    Attached is a graphic I found online, but I want to make it as accurate as possible based on FACTS!

    If you have comments, suggestions, critiques, let them fly! I don't know if it is even possible to errect such a chart, but let's give it a go. I don't see the Old Believers on here, so let me know where that fits in.

    Thanks in advance.
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,225
    Apostolic succession in the east is only through bishops. The priests act as representatives of the bishop and only have valid succession when in union with their bishop. Old Believers would fall under the east.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,546
    This chart is weak because it does not give inception dates of which I will include in the newer version. So please include beginning and ending dates (if a practice has terminated)
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 8,023
    This is provoking question.
    I have been told by several (non-Catholic) scholars that the apostolic succession doesn't exist.
    I believe that it does - in spite of some serious doubts on behalf of some.
  • Chaswjd
    Posts: 144
    It depends on how you define apostolic succession. If you trace the succession as Bishop Z was consecrated by Bishop Y who was consecrated by Bishop X, your trail is likely to end with Scipione Cardinal Rebiba who died in 1577. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scipione_Rebiba

    Actually, the work has already been done for you:

    http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/

    There is another way to trace apostolic succession. That is by the bishop of each diocese. So taking Chicago for example, Blaise Cupich succeeded Francis George who was the seventh successor of William Quarter. (I am too lazy at this moment to do the complete list). Chicago was erected as a church from, in part, the Archdiocese of St. Louis. At that time St. Louis had a line of bishops extending back to when it which was erected out of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Baltimore had a line of bishops back to its founding by Pius VI. Pius VI succeeded Clement XIV who is the nth successor of St. Peter. This appears to be the way St. Ireneaus of Lyons traced the succession of the popes in his day.
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  • MarkB
    Posts: 672
    Apostolic succession is variously interpreted:

    a) imposition of hands in an unbroken chain of episcopal ordination from Christ to the Apostles, to their bishop successors, to their successors, to the present day, all the while preserving (or returning to) union with the one, true Church founded by Christ

    b) imposition of hands in an unbroken chain of episcopal ordination from Christ to the Apostles, to their bishop successors, to their successors, to the present day, without preserving union with the one, true Church

    c) preservation of (most of) the true apostolic faith, without of an unbroken chain of imposition of hands that goes back to Christ

    d) preservation of (or returning to) union with the one, true Church as well as preservation of the true apostolic faith, regardless of a chain of imposition of hands

    I've read and heard Catholic theologians argue that both (a) and (d) are compatible with Catholic faith and would result in full communion with Rome. Option (b) is incompatible with Catholic faith and would result in churches not in union with Rome. Option (c) is not compatible with Catholic faith and generates ecclesial communities, not churches, in Catholic understanding.

    Catholic theologians who favor (d) maintain that an unbroken chain of imposition of hands is an historical fiction. Theologians who favor (a) maintain that an unbroken chain of imposition of hands is a truth of history even though historical records can't verify it.