Definition of apostolic succession in English:

apostolic succession


  • (in Christian thought) the uninterrupted transmission of spiritual authority from the Apostles through successive popes and bishops, taught by the Roman Catholic Church but denied by most Protestants.

    • ‘How non-Methodists react to his innovations no doubt depends on their attachment to the ancient creeds and to the apostolic succession which they express.’
    • ‘To depart from what Christ has laid down in this matter of ordination would be to break the apostolic succession, to undermine the teaching authority and to deprive the sacraments of the life-giving power they have from Christ.’
    • ‘The same must be said with regard to the restriction of ‘church’ to those communities with apostolic succession and the genuine and total Eucharistic mystery.’
    • ‘After discovering it myself and being ordained in it and now a consecrated Catholic archbishop in valid apostolic succession like any Roman Catholic bishop, I have found true joy.’
    • ‘The Reformed churches would need to reconsider their rejection of apostolic succession, as Catholicism and Orthodoxy would need to reconsider the essential nature and exercise of this ‘power.’’
    • ‘That continuity is rooted in apostolic succession, by which the whole mystery of Christ is handed on through the bishops.’
    • ‘By denying that Christ devised a system of apostolic succession and infused it with divine authority that continued with the mystical ‘body’ of the Church, these ministers also denied the divine authority of the Church.’
    • ‘The intention of these authors is to avoid a split in the church over what are nonessential practices and to avoid making that which is indifferent - such as apostolic succession - necessary for unity.’
    • ‘In the effort to prove which form of religious expression was legitimate, Roman Catholics had long held the upper hand because of their claim of apostolic succession.’
    • ‘Opinions vary on the question of the apostolic succession.’
    • ‘There were questions about the papacy and apostolic succession, about sin and grace, about the authority of Scripture and tradition.’
    • ‘This fails to take into account the fact that the validity of Rome's own sacramental life is far from universally accepted by the Orthodox, nor is Rome's notion of what apostolic succession means.’
    • ‘The episcopate as a sign receives its significance from the historical dimension of its apostolic succession, yet also from the authenticity of its contemporary acts of service and proclamation.’
    • ‘The Church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets and there are no apostles and prophets today nor is there any such thing as an apostolic succession.’
    • ‘But his genius lay also in his ability to construct a coherent understanding of the creed, canon, and apostolic succession that was intellectually convincing and spiritually powerful.’
    • ‘Biblically, we must insist that apostolic succession does not consist in the continuing office of apostle, or some imaginary, unbroken line of descent and blessing from the Apostle Peter via bishops and popes.’
    • ‘This they affirmed to be the very body of Christ, the locus of holiness, the society of saints, guaranteed by the unquestioned apostolic succession of their bishops.’
    • ‘The office is handed down by apostolic succession.’
    • ‘Much of the present book is devoted to ministerial orders, with an essay on the diaconate and several extended discussions on the episcopal office and the meaning of apostolic succession.’
    • ‘I said, ‘So much for the doctrine of apostolic succession.’’