Talk:Apostolic succession

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Revision: New Section on Early Church + Anglicanism[edit]

I have started a new section on the Early Church (it is at present hidden as a comment). When I have completed it, I will remove similar references in other sections unless they are vital to the argument at that particular point. The information on Anglicanism is inadequate, it even included contradictions and there is a certain amount of repetition. I have done a first round of tidying up but more remains to be done. I then intend to expand the Anglican section to cover the varying attitudes to A.S.Jpacobb (talk) 22:39, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Wesley and Praemunire[edit]

I have marked this as dubious since, whatever a couple of sources may say, it is hard to see how the Acts, passed in the second half of the 14th century, might be relevant since they were intended to limit legal appeals to the Bishop of Rome and the Vatican and Erasmas claimed to be a Greek Orthodox bishop. There is a reference in the 1393 act to "elsewhere"; but, even so, it would have been difficult for the Crown to prove that its justice or interests had been prejudiced within the meaning of the Act by the ordination of Wesley to the episcopate. Furthermore, as far as I can find out they had been dormant since the reign of James I. The most the historian can say, even if it is assumed the original source is correct, is that Wesley thought he might fall foul of the Praemunire Acts. Jpacobb (talk) 04:55, 16 May 2012 (UTC)


At least it's concise now, but I challenge anyone to support the 2nd sentence from the sources 1 & 2. And what does "indirectly through the initiative of an apostolic see" mean, anyway?

I'm not looking up sources 3 and 4 because I really believe the 3rd sentence is too questionable to be in the lede. Whether the sources said it or not, I am inclined to amend this section by adding a counter-claim, but I think it wd b better to have that discussion elsewhere in the article. Vikslen (talk) 00:33, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

The ODCC entry (I have the 3rd edition), in the 3rd sentence, states "These bishops have been regarded as succeeding the apostles because: (1) they perform the functions of the apostles; (2) their commission goes back to the apostles; (3) they succeed one another in the same sees ... and (4) by some writers because through their consecration ... they inherit from the apostles .. the Holy Spirit which empowers them."

However, "succeeding one another in the same sees" is not the most common understanding of apostolic succession. In the last several centuries it has usually been understood as a matter of succession from consecrating bishops (not usually or necessarily the predecessor in the same see) to the new bishop. This understanding is conveyed , I believe, by item 4 in the ODCC quote above, but is more clearly put in the Gonzalez reference (which may be viewed online). (I suspect the Catholic Encyclopedia states this as the main or only meaning....)

The sentence "Bishops are seen not as succeeding to the apostolic office" may be controverted and doesn't belong in this section. Item 1 from ODCC above appears to contradict it. comment added by Vikslen (talkcontribs) 18:34, 15 September 2012 (UTC)Vikslen (talk) 23:30, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Well-founded statements. I have made changes to reflect them. Esoglou (talk) 09:19, 16 September 2012 (UTC)


I leave it to Anupam to decide on second thoughts whether it was better to revert to duplicating the citation and quotation from Whalen, to giving the impression that British Methodists too petitioned to receive the sacraments from the local preachers who conducted worship services and revivals, to writing "Wesley assumed the power to ordained", "Holy Ghose" ... Esoglou (talk) 20:10, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Dear User:Esoglou, thanks for noticing these errors. I've made the corrections you've suggested. If there's anything else, feel free to let me know! God bless, AnupamTalk 03:50, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, I did think that, when you corrected the occurrences of the phrase "the power to ordained", you would have noticed the repetitions of Whalen's quotation and would have again combined them, as I did, by "ref name". In my opinion, it would have been better to let it be seen a little more clearly than now that there seem to be two opinions on whether John Wesley ordained as a bishop (insisted on by a first series of citations) or as a presbyter (insisted on by citing scriptural and historical arguments for ordination by presbyters and mentioning present Methodist practice). I remember also that I thought the text would be better without such repeated honorifics as "Rev", "Rt Rev" (sometimes placed before and after sentences set off unnecessarily as quotations of extreme importance). There may have been other changes too that I thought were improvements but that I don't remember now: the question does not interest me enough to go searching for them. Esoglou (talk) 08:23, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion to combine the references User:Esoglou; I made the edit to do so. I think that rest of the paragraphs read fine with the honorifics as they help distinguish between a bishop and a priest. I hope you have a nice day! God bless, AnupamTalk 17:45, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
I disagree, but will not pursue. I reciprocate your good wishes. May you have a nice day, and many of them. May God bless you. Esoglou (talk) 16:05, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Apostolic Founders[edit]

erm.. why 'claims'? smacks of skepticism if you ask me. something neutral would be better.. I changed this once before but someone changed back. can we get consensus please?

Dava4444 (talk) 20:43, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Well off hand, Apostolic succession#Apostolic Founders points out that Rome "claims to have been founded by Saint Peter" (the claim, early on, was to have been founded by Peter and Paul) but for the church in Rome to have been founded by Peter is almost impossible. Quoting from Early centers of Christianity:
Paul's Epistle to the Romans 16 (c 58) attests to a large Christian community already there[1] but does not mention Peter. The tradition that the See of Rome was founded as an organized Christian community by Peter and Paul and that its episcopate owes to them its origin can be traced as far back as second-century Irenaeus.[2] Irenaeus does not say that either Peter or Paul was "bishop" of the Church in Rome, and some historians have questioned whether Peter spent much time in Rome before his martyrdom.[3]
Oscar Cullmann sharply rejected the claim that Peter began the papal succession,[4] and concludes that while Peter was the original head of the apostles, Peter was not the founder of any visible church succession.[4][5]
I suppose many would feel it unfair to only say "claimed" for Rome and not others, when most of the the other sees have no real evidence either way. tahc chat 21:34, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
    • ^ The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article Rome (early Christian)
    • ^ "Irenaeus Against Heresies 3.3.2". "...[the] Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. ...The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate." 
    • ^ Brown, Raymond E. and Meier, John P. (1983). Antioch and Rome: New Testament Cradles of Christianity. Paulist Press. "As for Peter, we have no knowledge at all of when he came to Rome and what he did there before he was martyred. Certainly he was not the original missionary who brought Christianity to Rome (and therefore not the founder of the church of Rome in that sense). There is no serious proof that he was the bishop (or local ecclesiastical officer) of the Roman church—a claim not made till the third century. Most likely he did not spend any major time at Rome before 58 when Paul wrote to the Romans, and so it may have been only in the 60s and relatively shortly before his martyrdom that Peter came to the capital." 
    • ^ a b "In the life of Peter there is no starting point for a chain of succession to the leadership of the church at large." While Cullman believed the Matthew 16:18 text is entirely valid and is in no way spurious, he says it cannot be used as "warrant of the papal succession."— "Religion: Peter & the Rock." Time," December 7, 1953. Accessed October 8, 2009
    • ^ Cullman, Oscar "In the New Testament [Jerusalem] is the only church of which we hear that Peter stood at its head. Of other episcopates of Peter we know nothing certain. Concerning Antioch, indeed ... there is a tradition, first appearing in the course of the second century, according to which Peter was its bishop. The assertion that he was Bishop of Rome we first find at a much later time. From the second half of the second century we do possess texts that mention the apostolic foundation of Rome, and at this time, which is indeed rather late, this foundation is traced back to Peter and Paul, an assertion that cannot be supported historically. Even here, however, nothing is said as yet of an episcopal office of Peter."