Sunday, October 7, 2018

Reason no. 5 why I remain Catholic: Apostolic Succession

So what is apostolic succession really? What is all the hoopla about?

Simply put, apostolic succession is the fact that all the Catholic bishops around the world come from the same lineage that traces all the way back to the apostles. The apostles were the twelve men chosen by Christ himself to found the Catholic Church.

Bishops are chosen to teach, govern and sanctify. They are there to preserve true doctrine. 

"[W]hat you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). " This is Paul speaking to Timothy.

So really the Catholic church traces it's roots all the way back to Christ himself. The word Catholic means "universal". Christ desired that "all men be saved." (1 Timothy 2:4) He founded the "universal" church so that God the Father would be known through His Son, Jesus Christ throughout all the ends of the earth.

Have you ever traced your lineage? Better yet, have you done one of those ancestry tests that tells you what percentage of you is this background or the other? How amazing is it to find out about your true roots?

Well for Catholics, we don't need one of those ancestry tests, we know that the Church can trace itself all the way to Jesus. How amazing is it to know that we can trace our Church all the way back to Jesus Christ Himself, who chose Peter as the first Pope. Christ said to Peter:

"And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it."  Matthew 16:18

Pope Francis, our current Pope is the two-hundred and sixty-sixth pope counting all the way from Peter. This is amazing.

This all explains why we believe in Scripture and Tradition unlike the Protestants who say "Sola Scriptura" which means scripture alone. This is one of our major differences as Christians. We rely on scripture and tradition to preserve it and help interpret it. This would not be possible without the unbroken line of Popes.

What a rich heritage we have as Catholics. I feel so blessed to be a part of something so great that has withstood the test of time. No matter what forces of evil have tried to bring the Church down from without or within, we know that our heritage and our Church will be preserved because it is Christ Himself who preserves her.

"...and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it."

Disclaimer: photo courtesy of tama66 @pixabay

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