BASIC R.C. BELIEF
"Christ gave His Spirit to the Apostles; they, in turn laid their hands on
those who should succeed them and these again on others, and so the sacred
gift has been handed down to our present bishops" (Cardinal Newman).
Scripture "proofs": Matthew 28:20; John 20:22,23; Acts 1:8, 2:4, 6:2-6,
14:23, 20:17,28; Philipians 1:1; Colossians 4:11; I Thessalonians 5:12,13;
I Timothy 4:14, 5:22; II Timothy 1:6
POST VATICAN II
From Vatican II document CONSTITUTION ON DIVINE REVELATION, Ch II, 7, para.
2: "But in order to keep the gospel forever whole and alive in the church,
the apostles left bishops as their successors, handing over to them the
authority to teach in their place."
A recent meeting of Roman Catholic theologians claimed that the statement
from the Vatican II document LUMEN GENTIUM, "Because their divine mission
was destined to last until the end of time, the apostles were careful to
appoint successors to this hierachically constituted society" is "a
simplistic notion that should be dropped for the sake of church unity."
Cardinal William Baum (Washington, D.C.) strongly objected and said that
Apostolic Succession was necessary for church unity. The theologians
claimed that there is no New Testament evidence that the original Apostles
ordained a single bishop to be a church leader in a given geographical
The basis for ordination has always been Divine selection (Acts 13:2).
Apostolic Succession was not instituted in scripture, and is a false
foundation for Roman Catholic claims of Divine Sanction for a hierarchical
system condemned by Jesus (Mark 10:42,43).
In the cases where Roman Catholics claim that the Apostles were singled out
to receive a special enduement which they would pass on to others (John
20:22,23; Acts 2:4), in one case, only ten were present; in the other 120
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