I’m having a discussion on another forum, and I’m getting confused about certain terms. What, precisely, is apostolic succession? Does it apply only to the direct successors of the twelve apostles, or can it also apply to those Bishops they appointed? Are all Bishops in the church said to have apostolic succession?
The person I’m debating argues the following:
“Apostolic Succession argues for direct succession from the original apostles. This can really only be accomplished one of two ways: transference of office from one apostle to another or inheritance. Creating new office bearers is NOT the same thing as succession, and this is what the RCC tries to include under Apostolic Succession. They shouldn’t.”
How do I answer this?
Also, are priests considered to be “successors” of the apostles, in the sense that they can forgive sins and confect the Eucharist?
He also asks if we recognize the apostolic succession of Orthodox churches. I was going to answer, “yes”, but then I found the following passage in the Catholic Encylopedia:
So, do we reject their apostolic succession, but accept their sacramental orders?