It is currently Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:35 am




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
 Apostolicity of the Church 
Author Message

Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 3:38 pm
Posts: 483
New post Lawful and authorized pastors of the Church
The following is an exact reproduction of Q and A, taken from "The Church of Christ is Apostolical," Rev. James J. McGovern, DD., The Manual of the Holy Catholic Church, Chicago, 1906., pgs 157-158. Imprimatur Aug 24, 1906, Most Reverend James Edward Quigley, Archbishop of Chicago.

Q. How does it appear that the Church of Christ is Apostolical?
A. By the word Apostolical is meant, that the Church of Christ is ruled by the apostles, and the doctrine of faith was taught by them as they received it from Christ, the powers of priesthood were exercised by them, and that she must continue to the end of the world in the profession of the same faith and doctrine, and in a continual uninterrupted succession of priesthood, so that the apostolic doctrine, priesthood, and mission remain with her forever. That the Church shall always preserve the apostolical doctrine, we have seen above, when explaining the rule of faith; and that she shall never want a succession of true pastors, inheriting the same priestly powers and mission which she received at first from the apostles, is manifest from these considerations: First, Because true pastors, properly empowered, and lawfully sent, are a necessary part of the Church, and instituted by Jesus Christ, “for the perfecting the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edification of the body of Christ,” Eph. iv.; consequently, such pastors will never be wanting in her, according to that of the prophet: “Upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all the day and al the night they shall never hold their peace,” Is. 1xii. 6.

Second, because the scripture assures us, that “no man taketh the honour of the priesthood upon himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was,” Heb. v. 4.; much less can any man possess the powers of the priesthood, unless they be given to him by those who have the power to give them. Thus St. Paul writes to Titus, “For this cause I left thee at Crete, that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldst ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee,” Tit. i, 5.

Third, that none who have these priestly powers can lawfully exercise them, unless they be authorized and commissioned to do so by being lawfully sent. Thus the apostles received their mission from Christ, who said to them, “As my Father sent me I also send you,” Jo. xx. In like manner they send others to succeed themselves, with power also to send others after them, as St. Paul and Barnabus were sent by the chief pastors of the Church at Antioch, and their doing so was declared to be the work of the Holy Ghost, “Then, they, fasting and praying, and imposing their hands upon them, sent them away. So they being sent by the Holy Ghost, went to Selucia,” Acts xiii. 3.

St. Paul himself sent Titus, as above, that is, authorized and commissioned him to govern the Church in Crete, and ordain pastors in it under him; and he says, in another place, “How can they preach unless the be sent?” Rom. x. 15. This, then, is the door by which the true pastors of Christ’s flock enter, to wit, when lawfully ordained and sent, or commissioned by chief pastors of the Church. For all who take that office upon themselves, without entering by the door are declared by Christ himself to be “thieves and robbers,” John x. 1. From all which it is manifest, that as true pastors are an essential part of the Church of Christ, and will never be wanting in her, therefore, there will be in the Church a continued uninterrupted succession, of the priestly powers and mission given at the beginning by Jesus Christ himself to his apostles, to the end of time.

_________________
Yours in JMJ,
Mike


Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:49 pm
Profile

Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 3:38 pm
Posts: 483
New post Apostolicity of the Church
Taken From Sermons Delivered Before Mixed Congregations, Henry B. Altemeyer, Imprimatur: Patrick J. Donahue, Bishop of Wheeling, 1911, pp. 136-142. Digitized text can be found at: http://books.google.com/books?id=0A4_AA ... ch&f=false

Note: This book was written as a compilation of apologetics directed mostly at those outside the Church, but it is also an excellent explanation of Catholic doctrine.


SERMON ON THE APOSTOLICITY OF THE CHURCH.


Preached In St. Joseph's Church, Huntington, W. Va.

My Dear Brethren and Christian Friends:—For the last few Sundays we have been discussing the marks of Christ's Church, and we have shown, I think conclusively, that unity, sanctity and catholicity are the first three marks stamped by God upon His Church; and that they are possessed by the Catholic Church alone. Today we are going to speak on the fourth, or last mark, the one from which the others flow, and consequently the most important—I mean apostolicity. And by apostolicity is meant that the Church must have been founded by Christ on His Apostles, must be governed'by their lawful successors and must teach and never cease to teach their doctrines.

To most Christians there can be no question that the Church of Christ must teach the doctrines of Christ and His Apostles. But how are the people to discover this? By apostolicity of succession. Few indeed are the men who in search for the Church, could discover which among the many Churches, teaches the doctrines of Christ and His Apostles. This would require learning and ability, leisure and years of study. Hence for most Christians apostolicity of succession is the touch-stone of apostolicity of doctrine. In other words to know whether a certain Church teaches the doctrines of Christ and His Apostles is to find out whether its ministers can trace their descent back through the ages to the Apostles and to Christ, and have received their commission from Him.

I think it will be admitted bj» all those who have read the "Gospels" and the "Acts" that Christ when He began His public life, called to Himself twelve men now known as Apostles. These He instructed in His doctrines for three years, and then sent them forth into the world to preach the truths which they had learned from Him. And He promised to send the Holy Ghost to assist them in their arduous work. After a while they too assembled around them other men whom they instructed, imposed hands upon and sent forth. These facts I believe will be admitted by all Christians. Let us now consult the Scriptures.

"And Jesus coming spoke to them, saying: 'All power is given to me in heaven and on earth. Going therefore teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world,'" (Matthew XXVIII, 18-19-20); "He said therefore to them again: 'Peace be to you. As the Father has sent Me I also send you,'" (John XX, 20); "And they were persevering in the doctrine of the Apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of bread and in prayer," (Acts II, 42) ; "And how shall they preach unless they be sent, as it is written: 'How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, of them that bring glad tidings of good things,'" (Eomans X, 15); "And He gave some Apostles and some Prophets and some others evangelists and some others pastors and doctors," (Ephesians IV, 22); "Neither doth any man take the honor to himself, but he that is called by God as Aaron was," (Hebrew V, 4); "And the things which thou hast heard of Me by many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men who shall be fit to teach others also," (II Tim. II, 2). I could go on multiplying texts, but I think these are sufficient. From them we learn that the Apostles are to have successors until the end of time; that the faithful continued in the doctrine of the Apostles; that no man must preach unless he be sent; that apostles, pastors and teachers receive their authority from God; that no man must take upon himself the honor of the apostleship, but must be called by God as Aaron was; and that the apostles did teach other men the things which they had been taught, and sent them forth as they had been sent.

My Brethren and Friends, what have the Fathers of the Church, the successors of the Apostles in the teaching office to say about this mark of the Church? I shall, as I have done with the other marks of the Church, quote a few words from one of the Fathers of each of the first Five Centuries during which time all non-Catholics admit that the doctrines of Christ were taught pure and undeflled. Clement of the I Century in an epistle to the Corinthians writes: "So also our apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ, that contention would arise on account of the episcopacy. And for this cause, having a perfect knowledge, they appointed the aforesaid (bishops and deacons) and then gave direction in what manner when they die, other approved men should succeed them in the ministry." Irenaeus of the II Century, writing against heresies says: "The blessed apostles then having founded and built up the Church, committed the sacred office of the episcopacy to Linus of whom Paul makes mention in his epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus, and after him—the third from the apostles who obtained that episcopacy—was Clement, who had seen and conferred with the blessed apostles, and who still had before his eyes the familiar preaching and tradition of the Apostles. But to this Clement succeeded Evaristus and to Evaristus, Alexander. Next to him,—thus the sixth from the apostles—Sixtus was appointed, and after him, Telesphorus, who suffered a glorious martrydom; next, Hyginus, then Pius, after whom was Anicetus. To Anicetus succeeded Soter; and to him—the twelfth in succession from the Apostles—succeeded Eleutherius, ivho now holds the episcopate." Origen of the III Century in a work on "Principles" wrote: "There being many who fancy that they think the things of Christ, and some of these think differently from those who had gone before, let there be preserved the ecclesiastical teaching which has been delivered by the order of succession from the Apostles and which remains even to the present time in the Churches; that alone is to be believed to be the truth which in nothing differs from the ecclesiastical and apostolical tradition." Gregory Nazianzen of the IV Century in an oration says: "What absurdity! These men (the Apollinarists) announce to us today wisdom that has been hidden since the time of Christ. This truly deserves our tears, for if faith took its rise but some thirty years ago, though it is nearly four hundred years since Christ appeared, onr gospel has been for so long a time void; our faith void; and in vain have the martyrs testified; in vain have so great prelates and so many presided over the people and grace is from the verses (of Apollinaris) and not from faith." And finally St. Augustine of the V. Century in an epistle against the Manicheans exclaims: "In the Catholic Church the agreement of people and nations keeps me secure; an authority begun with miracles; nourished with hope, increased with charity, strengthened by antiquity keeps me; the succession of priests from the very chair of the Apostle Peter,—to whom the Lord after His resurrection committed His sheep to be fed—down even to the present bishop keeps me. Nay, if all throughout the whole world were such as you, most idly slander them what has the chair of the Roman Church in which Peter sat, and in which Anastasius now sits done to thee? or( the chair) of the Church of Jerusalem in which James sat and in which John now sits done to thee? by which (chair or bishops) we are knit together in Catholic unity and from which with guilty frenzy you have separated. My Brethren and Friends, as regards apostolicity of succession, let me say first a word or two about the Greek Church. You all know that it is considered a schismatic body; that is, it is in revolt against ecclesiastical authority. The schism began in the year 867. The author of it was Photius, an intruder in the patriarchal See of Constantinople. Hence the day on which it separated from the Catholic Church, its apostolicity of succession was broken. Since then it has become heretical, as it denies the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son, the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and the Papal Infallibility. As regards apostolicity of succession of the Protestant sects, they have appeared, all of them, on the scene of history at least fifteen hundred years too late. I shall give you the names of the founders of the main branches of Protestantism, the countries in which the sects originated, and the year of their births. The Anabaptist Church was founded in Germany by Nicholas Stork, in the year 1521; the Lutheran, in Germany, by Martin Luther, in the year 1524; the Episcopalian, by Henry the Eighth, in England 1534; the Presbyterian, in Scotland, by General Assembly, in the year 1560; the Congregationalist, in England, by Kobert Browne, in the year 1583; the Baptist, in Rhode Island, by Roger Williams, in the year 1639; the Quakers, in England, by George Fox, in the year 1647; the Methodist, in England, by John Wesley, 1739, and the Campbellite or Christian Church in Virginia, by Alexander Campbell, in the year 1813. Therefore, as all the other sects are offshoots of these and like them, having men for their founders, originating in the modern world, coming into existence fifteen hundred years after Christ and the Apostles and their ministers not being able to trace their descent back to them, and not having the Holy Ghost abiding with them, the non-Catholic denominations do not possess the mark of Apostolicity.

On the other hand, my brethren and friends, the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ in the city of Jerusalem, in the year, 33. Her ministers can trace their descent back in an unbroken line to the very Apostles who emerged from out the upper room at Jerusalem to go forth into the whole world. Every minister of the Catholic Church, no matter where he is preaching and officiating, can trace back his commission through the ages to the Apostles, to Christ. It is a simple process. Allow me to illustrate this in my own case. I was ordained and sent forth by Bishop Donahue, who received his appointment from Leo XIII and was consecrated by Cardinal Gibbons. Leo the XIII, was the 258th successor in an unbroken line of St. Peter, the prince of the Apostles, the first bishop of Rome. No man in the Catholic Church is allowed to preach, offer sacrifice and administer the sacraments unless he has been ordained and commissioned by some Catholic Bishop who is in communion with the See of Rome, which has existed from the days of Peter and has been filled by his legitimate successors. As regards apostolicity of doctrine, wherever the true successors of the Apostles are found, there also is found the doctrine of the Apostles, for St. Matthew the Evangelist informs us: "And Jesus coming, spoke unto them saying: 'All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Going, therefore teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world;'" (Matthew XXVIII, 18-19-20).

In conclusion, my dear friends, I ask you to study the Catholic Church. She is worthy of the consideration of every serious student. The Church courts inquiry; she welcomes the light; she fears only ignorance. I ask you to study her doctrines and her history. Do not confine your investigation to what her enemies have to say of her. They have calumniated and misrepresented her during the past in every conceivable manner; in history, through the novel, on the stage and even through pictorial and art magazines. The English language, as one non-Catholic writer has said, for three hundred years has been in conspiracy against truth (meaning the Church). But the day is past; a brighter era has set in; the people want the truth; and bigoted, prejudiced writers or speakers cannot play any longer upon the credulity of the people.

Philosophy, in the mind of the Catholic Church, is the handmaid of religion. Philosophy as used by the Church leads souls to the very threshold of faith, when revelation steps in to complete and perfect the truths of reason and conscience. Hence the Church has her own philosophic system. Her philosophy supports her theology, and her theology steadies her philosophy, and has kept her skirts clean of the errors of pantheism, dualism, fatalism and materialism, with which all philosophical schools outside of her have been more or less tainted.

Catholic theology, as taught by the master theologians, gives an answer—a clear, reasonable answer to the deepest inquiries of the soul. In the "Summa" of Thomas Aquinas there is no question of God, heaven and the soul, which has not be-en treated in a masterly way. In this "Summa" reason has reached its limit, and when it can soar no higher on its own wings, it mounts revelation and is lost in the twilight of infinity.

The Catholic Church has been in the world for nineteen hundred years, and although hoary with age, she is not antiquated; she renews her strength and her youth like the eagle. She saw the Roman Empire in its palmiest days, and she witnessed its death. She saw the Republics of Athens and Venice rise, and she saw them fall. She assisted at the birth of all the modern governments of Europe. She civilized and christianized all nations. She has been during these nineteen hundred years the fostering mother of all the arts and sciences, and she comes before the Twentieth Century, the age of liberty and enlightenment, clothed in the panoply of divine power, and commands it to hear her and to heed her. She fits as well into the Twentieth Century as she did into the First. She is still young and beautiful and active. There are no wrinkles upon her brow, no halt in her step, no tremor in her hands. She is as vigorous and ambitious today as when she stepped out of the upper room at Jerusalem. All history has revolved around the Church since the coming of Christ, and all history shall revolve around her until the end of time. The study of the philosophy of history teaches us one great fact, that the world, for four thousand years or more was a preparation for the coming of Christ's kingdom, or the Church, and that its history until the consummation of the ages will be but a development of that kingdom, until we all meet in the perfect knowledge of Jesus, the Alpha and Omega of all things!

_________________
Yours in JMJ,
Mike


Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:24 pm
Profile

Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 3:38 pm
Posts: 483
New post Re: Apostolicity of the Church
Another excellent explanation of the teaching of the Church on Apostolicity can be found here:

Faith of Our Fathers, Being a Plain Exposition and Vindication of The Church Founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, Most Rev. James Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, 1879.

http://books.google.com/books?id=Q3hIAA ... ch&f=false

Also at: http://www.archive.org/details/thefaithofourfat27435gut

_________________
Yours in JMJ,
Mike


Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:27 am
Profile

Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 3:38 pm
Posts: 483
New post Re: Apostolicity of the Church
Taken From A Manual of Catholic Theology, Wilhelm and Scannell, 1908.

Digitized text found at: http://ia700301.us.archive.org/25/items ... heiala.pdf

Wilhelm and Scannell Volume II pg. 354-355

SECT. 244. The Apostolicity of the Church.

The fourth mark of the Church is Apostolicity, by
which we mean that the true Church must be the same
as the Church of the Apostles, holding the same doctrine
as the Apostles, and deriving her orders and mission
from them. If a Church teaches any doctrine other than
that taught by the Apostles, or if she has not a succession
of ministers coming down uninterruptedly from them, see CHAP. v.
cannot be the Church of Christ. We have already dealt
with this subject in Book I. (vol. i. p. 16 sqq.).

_________________
Yours in JMJ,
Mike


Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:33 am
Profile
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Apostolicity of the Church
Thanks Mike, the entire book is here: http://strobertbellarmine.net/wilhelm_s ... index.html

Also, extracts from the section referred to in your extract are here: viewtopic.php?p=10057#p10057

_________________
In Christ our King.


Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:21 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 5:32 pm
Posts: 136
Location: Spokane
New post Re: Apostolicity of the Church
Mike wrote:
Another excellent explanation of the teaching of the Church on Apostolicity can be found here:

Faith of Our Fathers, Being a Plain Exposition and Vindication of The Church Founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, Most Rev. James Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, 1879.

http://books.google.com/books?id=Q3hIAA ... ch&f=false

Also at: http://www.archive.org/details/thefaithofourfat27435gut


I happen to have this book; taking your advice I read the chapter on Apostolicity and the following chapter on Perpetuity of the Church. I found that one interesting as well, especially the part about "Her indestructibility is not due, as some suppose, to her wonderful organization, or to the far-reaching policy of her Pontiffs, or to the learning and wisdom of her teachers. etc.


Attachments:
Page52.jpg
Page52.jpg [ 161.93 KiB | Viewed 42099 times ]
page53.jpg
page53.jpg [ 102.61 KiB | Viewed 42099 times ]

_________________
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever and so is His Church.
Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:16 pm
Profile

Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 9:03 pm
Posts: 515
New post Re: Apostolicity of the Church
ELEMENTS OF ECCLESIASTICAL LAW, Rev. S. B. SMITH, D.D. 1887

ART. II.

Are Bishops the Successors of the Apostles-From whom do Bishops hold?

539. Q. In what sense are bishops the successors of the apostles?

A.-I. It is certain that in some sense, bishops are the successors of the apostles; but in what sense? Before answering we premise: Three powers must be distinguished in the apostles: I, the potestas sacerdotii, or the power to consecrate the body and blood of our Lord and forgive sins; I 2, the potestas ordinis episcopalis, or the plenitude of the priesthood-i.e., the power to ordain priests, confirm, etc.; 3, the potestas apostolatus-i.e., the power to forgive sins everywhere, appoint bishops all over the world, etc.: in a word, the power to exercise, subordinately to Peter jurisdiction without any limit as to place, persons, or matters (jurisdictio universalis). These three powers were given the apostles by Christ himself.

II. Having premised this, we reply: I. Bishops are, as a body, not as individuals, the successors of the apostles; in other words, the collegium episcoporum succeeded the collegium apostolorum. Hence, with the exception of the Roman Pontiff and perhaps the Bishop of Jerusalem, no individual bishop can claim to be the successor of the apostles in the sense that the see occupied by him had one of the apostles for its first bishop. It cannot be said, therefore, that this or that bishop is the successor, v.g., of Andrew or John. 2. Bishops are the successors of the apostles, as to the potestas ordinis. For bishops have, by virtue of their consecration, the same character episcopalis with the apostles, and hence the same power of order. 3. Bishops, moreover, are the successors of the apostles, quoad potestatem jurisdictionis, though not quoad aequalitatem, but only quoad similitudinem jurisdictionis. We say, only quoad similitudinem jurisdictionis, for the jurisdiction of the apostles, as we have shown, was universal; as such it was extraordinary, personal, and therefore lapsed with the apostles. The jurisdiction of bishops, on the other hand, is particular; what the apostles could do all the world over bishops can do only in their respective dioceses. Hence, the authority of bishops, as we have said, is similar, but not equal, to that of the apostles.


Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:41 pm
Profile

Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 3:38 pm
Posts: 483
New post Re: Apostolicity of the Church
Taken from: Catholic Belief, Very Reverend Joseph Faa di Bruno, D.D., Imprimatur: John Cardinal McCloskey, Archbishop of New York, June 5, 1884.

Digitized text found at: http://books.google.com/books?id=TJ8pAA ... ty&f=false

CHAPTER XXXI.
Fourth Mark—Apostolicity.


The true Church of Christ must be apostolic; that is, she must be a Church which did not spring up in modern times, or ever separate herself from any other Church, but is the very Church once founded by Jesus Christ and the apostles, although now become more unfolded, like a nobly spreading tree which was once but a small plant.

Apostolicity regards especially the clergy; hence it is deigned: an unbroken succession of -pastors, who, from the time of the apostles down to the present day, have been rightly ordained, lawfully sent, and who in succession have taught the same unchanging doctrines.

By this right ordination, legitimate mission, and pure apostolic doctrine, the Catholic Church of today is the continuation of the Church founded by Jesus Christ and the apostles; forms with it but one living identical body, which carries on and transmits the mission which the apostles had from Christ and is the only true abiding messenger sent by Christ for the guidance of men to eternal salvation.

The Roman Catholic Church alone is all this. She is not wanting in any of these conditions. 1st, In her the right of ordination has ever been preserved intact. 2d, She lawfully derived, transmitted, and transmits the mission received. 3d, Her doctrine has never changed; it has from time to time been unfolded and made more clear, especially when heresy or some other necessity has called for a solemn and precise definition; but there is no case of the Roman Catholic Church holding a doctrine which was previously declared heretical, or declaring heretical what was formerly defined by the Church as a dogma of faith; so true is this that it is a proverb even among Protestants that the Roman Church never changes.

In the Catholic Church alone, from the time of the apostles until now there has been an unbroken succession of pastors, lawfully ordained and sent* The Catholic Church never separated herself from any other church, and there never was a time from the foundation of Christianity when she did not exist. It is this wonderful fact, which ever made so great an impression on the minds of a number of distinguished scholars— conspicuous among them Hurter and Phillips—and brought them to make their submission to the Catholic Church. Such was the case with Cardinal Newman, whose testimony regarding himself is explicit. The study of ancient ecclesiastical history as exhibited in the writings of the Fathers, he tells us, was "the one intel

* The Greek schismatic Church, by separation from communion with the Roman See in the ninth century (879) under Phottus, who was Patriarch of Constantinople, and rejecting the lawful authority of the Church of Christ, though possessing rightful ordination, lost us lawful mission and continuity of the whole deposit of Catholic doctrine. That the Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Son as well as from the Father is a heresy anathematized by St. Cyril of Alexandria in Provincial Synod held in that city; and this condemnation of St. Cyril against Nestorius was confirmed by the general council of Ephesus in 431, an yet the Greek Church, since her separation from the Catholic Church in 879, adheres to this heresy. In the 2d general council of Lyons. 1274. the Greek Bishops retracted their error, and together with the Latin Bishops condemned it, and caused the words, " Who proceeds from the Father and the Son," to be inserted in the Nicene Creed, but they soon relapsed into their former error. Again, in the general council at Florence, held in 1439, which was attended also by the schismatical Greek Bishops, this heresy was condemned (Session xxv.), but on returning home they relapsed into their schism and heresy, and still adhere to it.


lectual cause" of his renouncing the religion in which he was born, and submitting himself to the Holy See. The identity of the Catholic Church of the nineteenth century with the Church of the Fathers was " the great manifest historical phenomenon," His Eminence bears witness, " which converted me."

Protestant denominations, on the contrary, are all modern, the oldest of them having only a few centuries of existence. They found no sect quite like themselves at the time of their separating from the Catholic Church, or probably they would have joined it. These sects, in fact, only began when their several founders gave them existence; hence they are often distinguished by the name of their founder or by some special feature of their new doctrine; and far from being apostolic, they reject apostolical tradition and the testimonies of the first successors of the apostles, either in profession or in practice, or in both. Cardinal Bellarmine has enumerated a score of Protestant doctrines, which are but old heresies, condemned in the early centuries of the Church (De Notts Ecclesiae, book iv., chap. 9).

The following historical series of all the Bishops of Rome, successors of St. Peter, to the present time, confirms the fact that this luminous Mark OF Apostolicity belongs to the Roman Catholic Church alone.

_________________
Yours in JMJ,
Mike


Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:55 am
Profile

Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 3:38 pm
Posts: 483
New post Re: Apostolicity of the Church
The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I, Imprimatur, John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York, 1907.

Digitized text found at: http://books.google.com/books?id=THEqAA ... ty&f=false


Apostolicity


Apostolicity is the mark by which the Church of to-day is recognized as identical with the Church founded by Jesus Christ upon the Apostles. It is of great importance because it is the surest indication of the true Church of Christ, it is most easily examined, and it virtually contains the other three marks, namely, Unity, Sanctity, and Catholicity. Either the word " Christian ", or " Apostolic ", might be used to express the identity between the Church of to-day and the primitive Church. The term '• Apostolic " is preferred because it indicates a correlation between Christ and the Apostles, showing the relation of the Church both to Christ, the founder, and to the Apostles, upon whom He founded it. "Apostle" is one sent, a messenger; in the present instance, Apostle is one sent by the authority of Jesus Christ to continue His Mission upon earth, especially a member of the original band of teachers known as the Twelve Apostles. Therefore the Church is called Apostolic, because it was founded by Jesus Christ upon the Apostles. Apostolicity of doctrine and mission is necessary.

Apostolicity of doctrine requires that the deposit ol faith committed to the Apostles shall remain unchanged. Since the Church is infallible in its teaching (see Infallibility), it follows that if the Church of Christ still exists it must be teaching His doctrine. Hence Apostolicity of mission is a guarantee of Apostolicity of doctrine. St. Irenaeus (Adv. Hares, IV, xxvi, n. 2) says: "Wherefore we must obey the priests of the Church who have succession from the Apostles, as we have shown, who, together with succession in the episcopate, have received the certain mark of truth according to the will of the Father; all others, however, are to be suspected, who separated themselves from the principal succession ", etc. In explaining the concept of Apostclicity, then, special attention must be given to Apostolicity of mission, or Apostolic succession.

Apostolicity of mission means that the Church is one moral body, possessing the mission entrusted by Jesus Christ to the Apostles, and transmitted through them and their lawful successors in an unbroken chain to the present representatives of Christ upon earth. This authoritative transmission of power in the Church constitutes Apostolic succession. This Apostolic succession must be both material and formal; the material consisting in the actual succession in the Church, through a series of persons from the Apostolic age to the present; the formal adding the element of authority in the transmission of power. It consists in the legitimate transmission* of the ministerial power conferred by Christ upon His Apostles. No one can give a power which he does not possess. Hence in tracing the mission of the Church back to the Apostles, no lacuna can be allowed, no new mission can arise; but the mission conferred by Christ must pass from generation to generation through an uninterrupted lawful succession. The Apostles received it from Christ and gave it in turn to those legitimately appointed by them, and these again selected others to continue the work of the ministry. Any break in this succession destroys Apostolicity, because the break means the beginning of a new series which is not Apostolic. "How shall they preach unless they be sent?" (Rom., x, 15). An authoritative mission to teach is absolutely necessary, a man-given mission is not authoritative. Hence any concept of Apostolicity that excludes authoritative union with the Apostolic mission robs the ministry of its Divine character. Apostolicity, or Apostolic succession, then, means that the mission conferred by Jesus Christ upon the Apostles must pass from them to their legitimate successors, in an unbroken line, until the end of the world. This notion of Apostolicity is evolved from the words of Christ Himself, the practice of the Apostles, and the teaching of the Fathers and theologians of the Church.

The intention of Christ is apparent from the passages of Holy Writ, which tell of the conferring of the mission upon the Apostles. "As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you" (John, xx, 21). The mission of the Apostles, like the mission of Christ, is a Divine mission; they are the Apostles, or ambassadors, of the Eternal Father. "All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth. Going, therefore, teach ye all nations; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world" (Matt., xxviii, 18). This Divine mission is always to continue the same, hence it must be transmitted with its Divine character until the end of time, i. e. there must be an unbroken lawful succession which is called Apostolicity. The Apostles understood their mission in this sense. St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans (x, 8;-19), insists upon the necessity of a Divinely established mission. "How shall they preach unless they be sent?" (x, 15). In his letters to his disciples Timothy and Titus, St. Paul speaks of the obligation of preserving Apostolic doctrine, and of ordaining other disciples to continue the work entrusted to the Apostles. "Hold the form of sound words, which thou hast heard from me in faith and in the love which is in Christ Jesus" (II Tim., i, 13). "And the things which thou hast heard from me by many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men, who shall be fit to teach others also" (II Tim., ii, 2). "For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting and shouldst ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee" (Titus, i, 5). Just as the Apostles transmitted their mission by lawfully appointing others to the work of the ministry, so their successors were to ordain priests to perpetuate the same mission given by Jesus Christ, i. e. an Apostolic mission must always be maintained in the Church.

The writings of the Fathers constantly refer to the Apostolic character of the doctrine and mission of the Church. See St. Polycarp, St. Ignatius, (Epist. ad Smyrn., n8), St. Clement of Alex., St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Athanasius (History of Arianism), Tertullian (Lib. de Prtescipt, n. 32, etc.). We quote a few examples which are typical of the testimony of the Fathers. St. Irenseus (Adv. Hseres, IV, xxvi, n. 2): "Wherefore we must obey the priests of the Church, who have succession from the Apostles," etc.—quoted above. St. Clement (Ep. I, ad. Cor., 42-44): "Christ was sent by God, and the Apostles by Christ. . . . They appointed the above-named and then gave them command that when they came to die other approved men should succeed to their ministry." St. Cyprian (Ep. 76, Ad Magnum): "Noyatianus is not in the Church, nor can he be considered a bishop, because in contempt of Apostolic tradition he was ordained by himself without succeeding anyone." Hence authoritative transmission of power, i. e. Apostolicity, is essential. In all theological works the same explanation of Apostolicity is found, based on the Scriptural and patristic testimony just cited. Billuart (III, 306) concludes his remarks on Apostolicity in the words of St. Jerome. "We must abide in that Church, which was founded by the Apostles, and endures to this day." Mazella (De Relig. et Eccl., 359), after speaking of Apostolic succession as an uninterrupted substitution of persons in the place of the Apostles, insists upon the necessity of jurisdiction or authoritative transmission, thus excluding the hypothesis that a new mission could ever be originated by anyone in the place of the mission bestowed by Christ and transmitted in the manner described. Billot (De Eccl. Christ!, I, 243r275) emphasizes the idea that the Church, which is Apostolic, must be presided over by bishops, who derive their ministry and their governing power from the Apostles. Apostolicity, then, is that Apostolic succession by which the Church of to-day is one with the Church of the Apostles in origin, doctrine, and mission.

The history of the Catholic Church from St. Peter, the first Pontiff, to Pius X, the present Head of the Church, is an evident proof of its Apostolicity, for no break can be shown in the line of succession. Cardinal Newman (Diff. of Anglicans, 369) says: "Say there is no church at all if you will, and at least I shall understand you; but do not meddle with a fact attested by mankind." Again (393): "No other form of Christianity but this present Catholic Communion has a pretence to resemble, even in the faintest shadow, the Christianity of antiquity, viewed as a living religion on the stage of the world;" and again, (395): "The immutability and uninterrupted action of the laws in question throughout the course of Church history is a plain note of identity between the Catholic Church of the first ages and that which

now goes by that name." If any break in the Apostolic succession had ever occurred, it could be easily shown, for no fact of such importance could happen in the history of the world without attracting universal notice. Regarding questions and contests in the election of certain popes, there is no real difficulty. In the few cases in which controversies arose, the matter was always settled by a competent tribunal in the Church, the lawful Pope was proclaimed, and he, as the successor of St. Peter, received the Apostolic mission and jurisdiction in the Church. (Tanquery, III. 446). Again, the heretics of the early ages and the sects of later times have attempted to justify their teaching and practices by appealing to the doctrine of the Catholic Church,_or to their early communion with the Catholic Church. Their appeal shows that the Catholic Church is regarded as Apostolic even by those who have separated from her communion.

Apostolicity is not found in any other Church. This is a necessary consequence of the unity of the Church. (See Church, Unity Op The.) If there is but one true Church, and if the Catholic Church, as has just been shown, is Apostolic, the necessary inference is that no other Church is Apostolic. (See above quotations from Newman, "Diff. of Anglicans", 369, 393.) All sects that reject the Episcopate, by the very fact, make Apostolic succession impossible, since they destroy the channel through which the Apostolic mission is transmitted. Historically, the beginnings of all these Churches can be traced to a period long after the time of Christ and the Apostles. Regarding the Greek Church, it is sufficient to note that it lost Apostolic succession by withdrawing from the jurisdiction of the lawful successors of St. Peter in the See of Rome. The same is to be said of the Anglican claims to continuity (MacLaughlin, "Divine Plan of the Church", 213; and, Newman, "Diff. of Angl.", Lecture xii.) for the very fact of separation destroys their jurisdiction. They have based their claims on the validity of orders in the Anglican Church (see Anglican Orders). Anglican orders, however, have been declared invalid. But even if they were valid; the Anglican Church would not be Apostolic, for jurisdiction is essential to Apostolicity of mission. A study of the organization of the Anglican Church shows it to be entirely different from the Church established by Jesus Christ.

Wilhelm and Scannel, Manual of Cath. Theol., 3d ed (London and N. Y., 1906), I, ii; II, v; Newman. Diff. of Anglicans and Apologia; Maclaughlin, The Divine Plan of the Church (London, 1901); Smarius, Points of Controversy (New York, 1885), Lecture IV; Hunter, Outlines of Dogmatic Theology, I, 3&5-370; Billot, De Eccl. Christi, I, 243; Mazzella, De Reliaione et Eccl., 556; Tanquery, Theolog. Fund., Ill, 442; Hurter, Theologies Dogmatical Compendium I, 315; Wilmerh, De Christi Eccl., 576; Pksch, Pralectiones Dogmat., I, 239-242; Moore, Trartls of an Irish Gentleman in Search of a Religion (London, 1833); Milner, The End of Religious Controversy (London, 1818, and many later editions).

Thomas C. O'reilly.

_________________
Yours in JMJ,
Mike


Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:18 am
Profile

Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 3:38 pm
Posts: 483
New post Re: Apostolicity of the Church
Taken from The Teaching of the Catholic Church A Summary of Catholic Doctrine, ed. Canon George D. Smith, D.D., Ph.D.; Dom Aelred Graham, O.S.B, S.T.L., 1949. 705-706. Imprimatur: E. Morrogh Bernard, Vicarivs Generalis, Westmonasterii: Die X IVNII MCMXLVII. Nihil Obstat: Edvardvs Can. Mahoney, S.T.D., Censor Depvtatvs. (the following is an exact reproduction of the text.)

APOSTOLICITY


As a consequence of this Apostolic mission there follows, as a property, and a distinguishing characteristic of Christ's Mystical Body, its identity and continuity with the Church of the Apostles. In express words he built it upon the rock-foundation of the twelve, (7) and pre-eminently of Peter. (8) Whence there is to be looked for in the Church a legitimate, public and uninterrupted succession of pastors, heirs, as it were, of the Apostles, and with agreement with them in faith, worship, and Church government. This condition of things is implicit in our Lord's manifest desire that his Church should remain substantially as he had founded it "even to the consummation of the world." (9) Indeed such a continuity is demanded by the Church's oneness. To have departed from its original constitution would mean that the unity of the Mystical Body had been broken; that which St. Paul regarded as an impossibility - the "division" of Christ(1) - would have come about.

footnotes page 705:
7. Matt. xviii 18; John xx 21.
8. Matt. xvi 18; John xxi 15-17.
9. Matt. xxviii 20.

footnotes page 706:
1. I Cor i 13.

_________________
Yours in JMJ,
Mike


Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:18 am
Profile

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:08 pm
Posts: 48
New post Re: Apostolicity of the Church
Hello friends, I don't mean to unnecessarily resurrect an old thread, but something that was posted in this thread had me looking for answers which I was unable to find. It's a concern about this passage from Canon Smith:

Quote:
Whence there is to be looked for in the Church a legitimate, public and uninterrupted succession of pastors, heirs, as it were, of the Apostles, and with agreement with them in faith, worship, and Church government.


The first question, must apostolicity be public? I don't see publicity mentioned explicitly as a requirement in any of the other sources on this page, though it can probably be easily assumed that the other writers would have taken it for granted.

And then, second question: what is public? Does the bishop in Asia that Mr Lane talked about 9 months ago qualify as public? Could a bishop who only one other person in the world knows where he stands be considered public? Or, is the very fact that these bishops exist enough for them to be public? For example, all their names are on catholic-hierarchy.com. Is their being named on that site sufficient enough for the requirement to be public?

It seems that public must mean something quite different than what we usually mean when we use the word. There certainly isn't public knowledge of any prelate who has ordinary jurisdiction. It is public knowledge that there are some who may have it, but there is no public evidence that they do.

I probably butchered a few terms in this post. Many thanks in advance for helping me understand this.


Fri May 03, 2013 1:46 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:18 pm
Posts: 73
Location: New England
New post Re: Apostolicity of the Church
Mithrandylan, I believe the author of this book is merely speaking descriptively to the laity. The word "public" there is not a special word that needs a theologian or canon lawyer to understand.

Before the Protestant revolts, Christianity was publicly identical with Catholicism, that is, if you were a Christian, it meant you were Catholic (barring the Eastern Schismatics, of course). One of the major novel tenets of the Protestants was their murky and ambiguous claim that somehow Christianity got corrupt at some point. They cannot tell you when, and they cannot point to any particular people by name who were Christians after it supposedly got corrupted. They brought Christianity into something private and secret, and ministers whose mission came out of nowhere but their own hearts.

So, "public" is opposed to all this. When the Jews had the true religion, they were carefully exacting in who were their priests based upon documented genealogy. Likewise, with Christianity, in any age the priests were sent by ordination. All the traditional priests today did not spring up out of nowhere but had public ordination and a lineage it came from.

_________________
It prays to poofread!


Sat May 04, 2013 1:43 am
Profile E-mail
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forums/DivisionCore.