Help explaning validity of apostolic succession


#1

I am helping a friend who raised this question. I know I have read the answer, but I cannot seem to find it this morning, and neither of us can remember the scripture it is from!

here is the ? “Why should I believe that those church leaders who took over after the Apostles passed away have the same powers (forgive sins, infallibility) when they don’t preform miracles/heal.”


#2

Well, you could ask your friends just where in the Bible it states that miracles and such powers are pre-requisites for church leaders.

You could also tell them that “infallibility” does not mean, as they too often seem to think, “impeccability” or sinlessness, nor is it a charism of ALL church leaders at all times, but limited solely to the Pope when speaking either ex cathedra on a matter of faith or morals, or to the deposit of teaching of the Magesterium (i.e., the Apostles’ Creed, etc.).

You could also note that miracles still take place today. (Pope JP 2 for example canonized–noted the sainthood–of over 1000 people. Part of the pre-requisite for them to be known as saints was that at least one–in most cases two–known, documented, proven miracles were attributed to them directly).

You could also note that just because something was “written down” in the NT (please remind them that between 33 A.D. and 382 A.D. there was no WRITTEN NT in the form we know it), such as a miracle done by St. Peter, or by St. Paul (and you know there is absolutely nothing that states that say Andrew, James the Lesser, or Jude, among others, performed a “specific miracle”–yet they were certainly “church leaders”) does not mean that such miracles were going to CONTINUE. Readings of the OT note that there were periods where “signs” were widespread, yet FAR MORE PERIODS where there were NO MIRACLES, NO SIGNS, NO PROPHETS, etc. Yet both periods produced good people and good leaders as much as they produced bad people and bad leaders.

I’d just like to see the chapter and verse from Jesus that says, “You can forgive sins, but only so long as you keep up with having people rise from the dead, or multiply those loaves and fishes. Anybody in later years who comes along and claims to forgive sins based simply on being ordained by someone who was ordained by someone who was ordained. . .yadda back to one of my apostles, who abides by My Creed, seeks to do My Commandments, eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood, but DOESN’T DO A MIRACLE. . .well, don’t bother. If he doesn’t slay 'em in the spirit or do miraculous healing, he isn’t a REAL PRIEST.”

I haven’t found that verse in my Bible yet. . .so perhaps your friends could oblige?


#3

The biblical passage at the end of Acts 1, where Peter calls the election where Matthias is chosen to take the place of Judas, citing the Psalms: “For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it'; andHis office let another take.’” That chapter closes with the words: “and he was enrolled with the eleven Apostles.”


#4

Some fo the succeeding Bishops and priests have performed miracles. But miracles, like the “signs” the Jews kept asking of Jesus, are not the most important validation of apostolic succession. One could argue that holiness and wisdom, both of which come from God alone, are the best indicators that a successor to the apostolic office is genuine.

There is also the tradition in scripture of the laying on of the hands…

“And Josue the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, because Moses had laid his hands upon him. And the children of the Lord obeyed him, and did as they Lord commanded Moses.” (Deut. 31:9)

This tradition is kept in the NT as Paul and the apostles laid hands upon their successors. This tradition is unbroken in the RCC for almost 2,000 years.

Thal59


#5

[quote=alyssa]I am helping a friend who raised this question. I know I have read the answer, but I cannot seem to find it this morning, and neither of us can remember the scripture it is from!

here is the ? “Why should I believe that those church leaders who took over after the Apostles passed away have the same powers (forgive sins, infallibility) when they don’t preform miracles/heal.”
[/quote]

Because Jesus said so. He said "I will build by Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, and “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven” and “Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth it shall have bound in heaven, whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”, and “I will be with you all days, even to the end of the world.” Jesus always keeps his word and would not have said these things without providing a means of fulfulling them. That means if Apostolic Succession.


#6

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