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  #1  
Old Jul 8, '04, 9:47 am
Keith Cobb Keith Cobb is offline
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Default apostolic succession

I read in a tract on Catholic answers located at the following web address: http://www.catholic.com/library/apos...succession.asp, that “all Catholic bishops can have their lineage of predecessors traced back to the time of the apostles.” Does this mean that my priest could give me a list of the names of all the Bishops in his lineage all the way back to one of the original Apostles? If so, where would he get this information?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old Jul 8, '04, 10:22 am
GeorgeCooney GeorgeCooney is offline
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Religion: Roman Catholic from birth
Default Re: apostolic succession

JMJ

NO! It does not mean that your priest can give you a list of names traceable back to a particular Apostle. It means that every valid, Catholic bishop living today was consecrated by the "laying on of hands" by another bishop who was consecrated by a previous bishop, and so on, back to the Apostles without interruption of continuity. The continuity is back to the Apostles as a group and cannot be identified to any particular Apostle. A valid priest is one who has been ordained by one of these successors of the Apostles. You can get a list of all the Bishops of Rome back to St. Peter, however.
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  #3  
Old Jul 8, '04, 10:25 am
beng beng is offline
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Default Re: apostolic succession

No he can't. Because the only detil record keeping of bishop lineage is that of Peter Sucessor AKA the Pope.
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  #4  
Old Jul 11, '04, 6:01 am
Irish Melkite Irish Melkite is offline
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Religion: Melkite Greek Catholic
Post Re: apostolic succession

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Cobb
I read in a tract on Catholic Answers that “all Catholic bishops can have their lineage of predecessors traced back to the time of the apostles.” Does this mean that my priest could give me a list of the names of all the Bishops in his lineage all the way back to one of the original Apostles? If so, where would he get this information?
Keith,

Firstly, there is an error in the tract from which you quote. It says

Quote:
Apostolic succession is the line of bishops stretching back to the apostles. All over the world, all Catholic bishops can have their lineage of predecessors traced back to the time of the apostles
The terms “Apostolic Succession” and “lineage”, though related, are not interchangeable, as the tract seems to suggest.

Apostolic Succession, as it applies to the Papal claim (from the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 ed.):

Quote:
…"To succeed" is to be the successor of, especially to be the heir of, or to occupy an official position just after, … Now the Roman Pontiffs come immediately after, occupy the position, and perform the functions of St. Peter; they are, therefore, his successors. (This is proven by the fact) that St. Peter came to Rome, and ended there his pontificate; (and) that the Bishops of Rome who came after him held his official position in the Church.
The same points of proof apply to apostolic succession in any subordinate See.

George correctly defines the concept of “episcopal lineage” when he says:

Quote:
every valid, Catholic bishop living today was consecrated by the "laying on of hands" by another bishop who was consecrated by a previous bishop, and so on, back to the Apostles without interruption of continuity.
The existence of a list of Popes, from Peter through John Paul II, establishes Apostolic Succession in the Papacy. The list establishes that the Chair of Peter has been successively occupied since Peter's repose. That fact supports an arguable presumption for episcopal lineage, i.e., that each Pope was, during his tenure, in possession of valid episcopal orders, conferred on him by another bishop, who was himself in possession of valid episcopal orders, and so on, back to Saint Linus, Peter's immediate successor. If Popes personally consecrated their successors, Apostolic Succession and episcopal lineage would be coincident but, as we know, that’s not what is done.

That said, your priest could almost definitely could not provide you with the names of all the bishops in the episcopal lineage through which he claims valid priestly orders, at least not back to one of the twelve Apostles, because record-keeping at that level of detail is either not extant or does not consistently exist historically. It is highly likely, however, that the lineage could be traced to Scipione Cardinal Rebiba, Bishop of Sabina, of blessed memory, who was born in 1504, elected bishop 16 March 1541, and who reposed on 23 July 1577.

And doing so would not be all that remarkable; the episcopal lineage of more than 90% of the 4,300+ Latin bishops alive in 1998 was ultimately traceable to Scipione Rebiba. It isn’t that Cardinal Rebiba was so prolific as a consecrator, but that among the episcopal descendents of his consecration was Pope Benedict XIII (to whom Rebiba would have been the 6-times great grand-bishop, to further the analogy of episcopal descent). During his episcopacy and pontificate, Pope Benedict XIII was the principal consecrator of 139 bishops, many of whom were ordinaries of important dioceses and, in turn, ordained many bishops themselves.

(continued)
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  #5  
Old Jul 11, '04, 6:03 am
Irish Melkite Irish Melkite is offline
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Post Re: apostolic succession

Beng is incorrect when he states that the only detailed record-keeping with regard to bishops is that relative to the Pope. Since the early 20th century, investigation into and cataloguing of episcopal lineages has been ongoing, conducted by a small number of researchers, primarily laypersons, most of them doing it on their own time. They have documented the lineages of thousands of bishops, stretching back through several centuries; related endeavors have focused on the history of canonical jurisdictions.

The results of much of this research are viewable on the web.

A friend of mine, Charles Bransom, is presently the principal quasi-official recorder of episcopal lineages, a work in which he has been involved for 4 decades. He continues work begun in the 1930s by Father Albert Perbal, OMI, and Abbot Gabriel Tissot, OSB, and continued in the 1950s and 1960s by Fathers Andre Chapeau, OSB, Isidore Perraud, CSSp, and Fernand Combaluzier, CM, Msgr. Lamberto de Echeverria, and Mons. Jean Montier. Charles’ work documenting American episcopal lineages from 1790-1989 was published by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Annually, he issues Revue des Ordinations Episcopales, a monograph that, for the past 15 years, has documented the details of every Catholic episcopal ordination throughout the world, including the date, place, and names of the consecrator and principal co-consecrators, biographical data related to each new hierarch, and an abbreviated episcopal lineage for each. Those in the Boston area may have seen the lineage of Archbishop Sean O’Malley, OFM, prepared by Charles, that was printed in the Pilot, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston. See his documentation of the Pope’s episcopal lineage at:

Episcopal Lineage of HH John Paul II

David Cheney, another American Catholic layman, maintains an on-line database that documents current and historical information about both hierarchs and canonical jurisdictions. It is an ongoing work, with historical material being continually updated to incorporate newly available data, and information added whenever new hierarchs are named or changes made in any jurisdiction. David offers a free e-mail notification service to keep subscribers immediately abreast of changes. The site is at:

Catholic Hierarchy

Martin Wolters, a German Catholic layman, documents Catholic ecclesiastical jurisdictions and their ordinaries worldwide, as well as the Vatican diplomatic corps and officials of the Vatican dicasteries and other Curial entities. Both jurisdictional and personnel changes are recorded for all events occurring in or after 1917. The site, continuously being expanded, is available in both German and English at:

Die Apostolische Nachfolge (The Apostolic Sucession)

Professor Salvador Miranda, a Cuban-American Catholic layman, has devoted 50 years to collecting data on the cardinalate; the results of which are a very comprehensive and ever-growing on-line database that offers extraordinary detail about those on whom the red hat has been conferred:

Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

(continued)
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  #6  
Old Jul 11, '04, 6:04 am
Irish Melkite Irish Melkite is offline
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Post Re: apostolic succession

Three Norwegian Catholics, Father Claes Tande, Mr. Chris Nyborg, Notary of the Oslo Diocesan Tribunal, and Father Claes’ brother (whose name escapes me at the moment) operate a web-based database that seeks to document the chronological history of all Catholic canonical jurisdictions. Their site, offered in 6 languages, including English, is under continuous expansion. It is at:

Chronology of Erections of Catholic Dioceses Worldwide

Bob Hilkens, a Belgian Catholic layman, created and maintains a large on-line database in English on the history and administrative structures of the nations of the world. Originally limited to secular states, he expanded it some years ago to include the canonical structure of the Catholic Church. His site is at:

States and Regents of the World

The coordinated efforts of these people, who regularly exchange information among themselves, has resulted in extraordinary detail being available as to the canonical structure of the Church and its hierarchs.

Many years,

Neil
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  #7  
Old Aug 30, '04, 6:43 am
Fr Ambrose Fr Ambrose is offline
 
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Religion: Orthodox
Default Re: apostolic succession

Apologies if this has been mentioned already. Here is a site which provides the apostolic succession of the bishops of the Church of Rome.

http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/
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  #8  
Old Aug 30, '04, 6:55 am
Fr Ambrose Fr Ambrose is offline
 
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Religion: Orthodox
Default Re: apostolic succession

Quote:
Originally Posted by beng
No he can't. Because the only detil record keeping of bishop lineage is that of Peter Sucessor AKA the Pope.
Not quite right.

The oldest lineage of bishops which comes down to us in the 21st century who is a successor to St Peter is not actually the bishop (Pope) of the Church of Rome, but the bishop (Patriarch) of the Church of Antioch.

http://web.archive.org/web/200402091...patriarchs.htm
Alternative Tinyurl
http://tinyurl.com/6s6q2

So the Church of Antioch was also founded by Saint Peter and like Rome it has an unbroken apostolic succession which starts with Saint Peter.

Check this article, from a Catholic source
Peter’s First See
The evolution of the Patriarchate of Antioch

http://www.melkitecathedral.org/melkite/history3.htm

Last edited by Fr Ambrose; Aug 30, '04 at 7:00 am. Reason: fixed link
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