[quote=Reformed Rob]However, as I was looking around, I quickly noticed something quite astonishing. I looked at the following Dioceses in USA, and their current Bishops:
And on every single one of them, I’m serious, every single one, the lineage went back to one single man, in the 16th century, named “Scipione Cardinal Rebiba.” So, he was a Cardinal, and there is no date given for him, but you can tell by the others that it’s in the early to mid 16th century.
I clicked on some in Africa, got the same Scipione Rebiba.
I clicked on some in Germany, got the same man, Scipione Rebiba.
It seems like sooooo many Bishops today, according to that site’s information, go back to Scipione Rebiba.
Anyone have any information on "why that is?
Also, where could we find Card. Scipione’s previous lineage?
You need to consider two terms Apostolic Succession” and “episcopal lineage” which, though related, are not interchangeable.
Apostolic Succession, as it applies to the Papal claim (from the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 ed.):
…“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.
Episcopal Lineage effectively 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 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, it is virtually impossible to document the names of all bishops in an episcopal lineage 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 episcopal lineage can be traced to Scipione Cardinal Rebiba, Bishop of Sabina, of blessed memory, who was born in 1504, elected bishop 16 March 1541, and reposed on 23 July 1577.
That isn’t 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.
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.