If bishops are bishops by virtue of apostolic succession starting from the Apostles who consecrated the first bishops, it means the Apostles were bishops. However, there seems to have been just one ordination. Am I correct that it was one unique ordination for the only one unique Holy Order then available and later on they chose to ordain other Apostles, bishops, deacons and priests (in something like this chronological order) as they saw necessary?
Next, if there were apostoloi other than the initial 12 and episcopoi, does it mean that the former were somehow superior to the latter in terms of orders or was it the same Holy Order but lesser authority in governance?
If Saint Linus, Saint Peter’s aide, became the bishop of Rome after Saint Peter’s death, does it mean he also became the ecclesiastical superior of the surviving Apostles? Or was the Apostles’ authority (and potentially ordination) so high that it overrode the then Pope?
Next, if initially bishops were the only people to say mass (consecrate) and deacons were for the more secular aspects of ministry, who designed non-episcopal priestly orders, where and when? Was it like bishops without the power to ordain further and with lesser authority or were they specifically ordained for saying mass, hearing confessions etc?