Apostolic Succession is used for?

Some Protestants say that the Catholic sacraments like confessing to the priest, celebrating Catholic holidays, moving the sabbath to Sunday and the likes are man-made by the Catholic church.

How do you refute it? Could we say that it’s because the Roman Catholic church has apostolic succession? That’s why it’s they’re right. Is it like the succession of RCC leaders is like being the 12 apostles themselves.

All churches have man-made features. If we did everything exactly as in New Testament times, we would all be worshiping in homes and caves, men and women would be kept separate, and the ministers would be unpaid, and probably a thousand other differences.:stuck_out_tongue:

All seven of the Catholic sacraments can be found in the New Testament: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders, Confession, and Anointing of the sick, although they are called by different names in the Bible. The names we use today are modern names for old rites, but they are all in the bible, nothing “man made” about it.

Catholic holidays (feast days) are days we celebrate the memory a particular event in the life of Jesus or Mary, such as the Feast of the Annunciation, Easter, Nativity of our Lord - (Christmas) etc. There are also feasts for heroic saints and martyrs of the Church. These holidays aren’t in the bible, true, but neither is Labor Day, Fourth of July, Cinco de Mayo and the Superbowl but we all celebrate those don’t we?

Moving the Sabbath to Sunday was a no-brainer for the early church. It’s the Lord’s Day. The Day He rose from the dead. Why on earth would a Christian NOT want to celebrate that day? The Saturday Sabbath was part of the old covenant of Abraham and Moses, which Christians are no longer under, along with circumcision.

Peter was given the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and the authority of “binding and loosing” as well as charge over the Lord’s flock, so yes, the Pope, because of his succession from Peter can dictate our cultural practices and doctrines in the Church.

I hope this helps. I’m not an expert on these subjects. Perhaps someone else can explain further. Just curious - are you atheist or leaning towards Catholic or something else? I can’t quite tell. :smiley: Peace!

I believe that this is problematic for the Eastern Orthodox (another Church with apostolic succession), because they believe that their Eastern culture and rituals are their heritage and that they would not want the Pope to dictate to them what their cultural practices should be.

Thanks anyway. I’m just an atheist. But I have support for the RCC, for it’s authenticity like it’s supported by scholastic history, teaches people to be good, doesn’t focus on tribulations of the Revelation, looks and sounds sacred. But I don’t believe in any god.

Sure, that’s why we are separated. The Pope only speaks for us Catholics.

nothing is invented. see ‘catholic inventions’ and ‘more catholic inventions’ in this site.

see “catholic inventions” and “more catholic inventions” at catholic.com

The sacraments are given to us by Christ. The sacrament of confession is explicitly mentioned in the bible.

Certainly the days chosen are chosen by the Church, and the celebrations are celebrations of events in Christ’s life. So what?

The Church did not move the Sabbath to Sunday. The Sabbath is right where it’s always been on Saturday. The Church celebrates the Lord’s Day, the day of Resurrection, which is in fact on Sunday-- the first day of the week.

And to that I say “so what”.

Why do you need to?

Yes, one could make that argument, it is certainly true. I don’t know that it would be an effective one with Protestants, however, since most of them would reject that argument.


Shouldn’t Christianity, following Jesus and the apostles? Not man-made traditions, it makes it false and shouldn’t be followed doesn’t it? It’s unbiblical.

Read post #6 of myself and #7 of 1ke

What’s 100% manmade invention is protestantism no matter the stripe. We know who and when each sect of protestantism was invented.

Name any group…and look them up.

For example.

when you point out “moving the Sabbath to Sunday”. That’s a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) issue. Who started that sect? William Miller ~1844. And they spill buckets of ink trying to convince people they are ligitimate.

Jesus started the Catholic Church #[FONT=Arial]34 and gave all his promises to His one and only Church. And He does NOT accept division. In that link, be sure and open up all the internal links. [/FONT]

I thought the Apostles were men? And yet they were given authority by Jesus. They used that authority to determine that under the New Covenant, Christians would celebrate on the Lord’s Day, Sunday, instead of the Sabbath (Saturday) which was celebrated under the Old Covenant.

Confession wasn’t man-made, Jesus explicitly created that sacrament, and we see it in Scripture.

BTW, Jesus never condemned man-made traditions. He condemned them when they negated the law of God. Of course, none of Sacred Tradition, nor the traditions of the Church negate the law of God. They support and work towards spreading the law of God.

The burden is upon the accuser to demonstrate their case.

There are a number of ways to address the questions you mention, and one of them is based upon the authority claimed by the Catholic Church. This authority could be explained in several ways, but try this approach which is easily supported from scripture:

*]Christians believe that Jesus is a king because he inherited the throne of David.
*]Kings establish their royal court which may include a queen and a royal steward.
*]The royal steward had unlimited authority to act on behalf of the king in his absence.
*]Since Jesus is an eternal king, the office of His Royal Steward is also eternal.
*]Jesus named Peter as His first Royal Steward, and Peter’s successors, the popes, have continued to hold that office in perpetuity.
*]The queens of the Davidic kings were not the wives of the kings but their mothers since a king may have had many wives but only one mother.
*]Thus, Mary is the Queen Heaven reigning with her Son, Jesus.

We embrace the doctrines you listed because, among other reasons, the popes, the royal stewards of the kings, have taught them to us. Since the popes teach and act on behalf of the king, they must never be allowed to lead His subjects into error. Therefore, they are protected by God from teaching false doctrine. This is known as infallibility.

The Eastern Churches, E. Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox, don’t seem to accept the jurisdiction of the Roman Pope, and yet they have apostolic succession.

Neither do atheists. The point here is that the Eastern Patriarchs recognize the Bishop of Rome as a brother Bishop.

So? How does their objection invalidate the jurisdiction given by God?

Some Protestants ignore one glaring fact: The Apostles didn’t have a Bible… There wasn’t a closed Canon of Scriptures either. There was a “consensus” of Hebrew and Greek writings that were considered Scriptures.

Confessing to a Priest was developed to avoid people confessing their sins out loud in the presence of others. Good practice if you ask me, :o.

Catholic Holidays are that: Catholic Holidays. Just like American Holidays. They are days that are set apart to remember/commemorate a significant event.

The Sabbath is still the Sabbath. We worship on Sundays because that is the day that Jesus resurrected from the dead. There are plenty of references to support this (The first day of the week, the day for the “sun”, etc.).

The Sacraments, I don’t think I can explain it any better than our Catechism.


*1113 The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments.29 There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation or Chrismation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.30 This article will discuss what is common to the Church’s seven sacraments from a doctrinal point of view. What is common to them in terms of their celebration will be presented in the second chapter, and what is distinctive about each will be the topic of the Section Two.


1114 “Adhering to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures, to the apostolic traditions, and to the consensus . . . of the Fathers,” we profess that "the sacraments of the new law were . . . all instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord."31

1115 Jesus’ words and actions during his hidden life and public ministry were already salvific, for they anticipated the power of his Paschal mystery. They announced and prepared what he was going to give the Church when all was accomplished. The mysteries of Christ’s life are the foundations of what he would henceforth dispense in the sacraments, through the ministers of his Church, for "what was visible in our Savior has passed over into his mysteries."32

1116 Sacraments are “powers that comes forth” from the Body of Christ,33 which is ever-living and life-giving. They are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in his Body, the Church. They are “the masterworks of God” in the new and everlasting covenant.*

As for Apostolic Succession, yes. We (And the Orthodox) have a direct line of succession to Christ and His Apostles. Even the New Testament will witness on how this teaching authority is passed on.

If you would like to read more, I would recommend An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine by John Henry Cardinal Newman.

So, those who obediently follow the human dictates of Jean Cauvin, Huldrych Zwingli, Menno Simons, Martin Luther, John Knox or various other MEN accuse the Catholic Church of man-made practices? :rotfl: Sadly, division in the Body of Christ is no laughing matter.

Has none read Acts 1:12-26? I thought the bible was the sole rule of faith? :confused:

If only bible Christians would actually read and follow the bible. :shrug:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.