Question about the Apostles' ordination(s) and early bishops, priests and papacy


#1

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?


#2

That is a good question. Actually the apostles were not bishops of local churches persay but overseers of the churches they founded. Once the churches under their missionary effort were founded the apostles appointed either a local bishop or a group of elders to lead the local church. The apostles were in fact missionaries who traveled extensively. It was not just Peter who visited Rome, but Paul as well. Peter appointed Linus as the local bishop. Both Peter and Paul were executed by the Roman emperor in Rome before they could die natural deaths. So Linus presided over the church in Rome, but **not **the entire Christian world of the West and the East.

So during the time of Linus, he did not reign over the churches of the East. They all had their own appointed bishops who presided. It is my opinion that it wasn’t until several bishops later in Rome that the one bishop Lorded over all the bishops throughout the entire Christian world. I suspect this occurred sometime after Constantine incorporated Christianity into a state religion. Once again, it is true that Rome had a succession of bishops before Constantine, but these Roman bishops did not Lord over the bishops of the East at all. Only in their own providence.


#3

[quote=gladtobe]That is a good question. Actually the apostles were not bishops of local churches persay but overseers of the churches they founded. Once the churches under their missionary effort were founded the apostles appointed either a local bishop or a group of elders to lead the local church. The apostles were in fact missionaries who traveled extensively. It was not just Peter who visited Rome, but Paul as well. Peter appointed Linus as the local bishop. Both Peter and Paul were executed by the Roman emperor in Rome before they could die natural deaths. So Linus presided over the church in Rome, but **not **the entire Christian world of the West and the East.

So during the time of Linus, he did not reign over the churches of the East. They all had their own appointed bishops who presided. It is my opinion that it wasn’t until several bishops later in Rome that the one bishop Lorded over all the bishops throughout the entire Christian world. I suspect this occurred sometime after Constantine incorporated Christianity into a state religion. Once again, it is true that Rome had a succession of bishops before Constantine, but these Roman bishops did not Lord over the bishops of the East at all. Only in their own providence.
[/quote]

Glad,
Your profile says you are Catholic. Come clean. You’re not, are you?


#4

Oh but I am. You overlook the fact that there were churches in the **east **as well as the west.I also am a student of church history. I recommend to you a reading of JND Kelly’s book “Early Christian Doctrines”


#5

Sorry, Glad. I was reacting to your phrase “lord it over.” That’s one of the catch-phrases of anti-Catholicism, and it raises alarms among those of us who have earned a few stripes in the apologetics arena. Does Kelly use it?


#6

No, Kelly doesn’t.He has no drum to beat on, but simply presents the true historical facts. You are wrong with the Lording over facts. When the Roman bishop did come into holding full power, many Popes used their office to excommunicate those who disagreed with them. Popes once **ruled **the whole civilized world.


#7

Come to think about it, wouldn’t it be better if John Paul II ruled the world? But that’s not his job, anyway. Just arguing the concept isn’t so bad as it may seem.


#8

[quote=gladtobe]No, Kelly doesn’t.He has no drum to beat on, but simply presents the true historical facts. You are wrong with the Lording over facts. When the Roman bishop did come into holding full power, many Popes used their office to excommunicate those who disagreed with them. Popes once **ruled **the whole civilized world.
[/quote]

When was that?


#9

All you need to do is get yourself a good history book and read of the era between 1000 ad and the 16th century ad and read how Kings and Queens were subject to the authority of the Popes.


#10

[quote=gladtobe]All you need to do is get yourself a good history book and read of the era between 1000 ad and the 16th century ad and read how Kings and Queens were subject to the authority of the Popes.
[/quote]

Can you be a little more specific?


#11

Go to your public library and ask for a librarian. She will assist you in your search.


#12

[quote=chevalier]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?

[/quote]

We have to remember that the bible states that not everything is that happened when Jesus was on earth is recorded…so he may have ordained them more than just once and explained further how the Church would function and pass down but what is written in the Gospels is to help people BELIEVE in Jesus first and as a complement to how the Church ran.

Same orders…The apostles gave special missions to themselves (founding new Churches in new areas) but also to other. They would be superior in being first but that would be all in terms of Holy Orders. A bishop assigned a particular task would have the same authority (today it may be more well-defined).

I am stretching back 11 years here but if I remember correctly that in Corinth a question arose about an issue and instead of going around the corner to the apostle John they went to Rome for the answer. St. Irenaus has some good quotes I could look up or I am certain someone here could provide.

I am unsure who was the first ‘priest’ as we know it today. I will have to read a little on that however, it is clearly distinct in function and responsible to the Bishop for power and faculties and represents the Bishop to a local community (aka parish)

Under the Mercy,

Matthew


#13

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