Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/702

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APOSTLES
APOSTLES
628

preaches the doctrine of Jesus as an authentic witness, and administers the sacred rites. In order to fill such an office, it seeing necessary to have been instructed by Jesus, to have seen the risen Lord. And these are, clearly, the conditions required by the Apostles in the candidate for the place of Judas Iscariot. "Of the men, therefore, who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John unto the day He was received up from us, of these must one become a intness with us of His Res- urrection" (.Acts, i, 21, 22). This narrative, which seems to come from an Aramaic Palestinian source, lilce many other details given in the earlier chapters of Acts, is ancient and cannot be set aside. It is further strengthened by an objection made to St. Paul: because he was called in an extraordinary way to the Apostolate, he was obliged often to vindicate Ills Apostolic authority and proclaim that he had seen the Lord (I Cor., ix, 1). Instruction and ap- pointment by Jesus were, therefore, the regular con- ditions for the Apostolate. By way of exception, an extraordinary vocation, as in the case of Paul, or a choice by the Apostolic College, as in the case of Matthias, could suffice. Such an extraordinarily called or elected ApostJe could preach Christ's doc- trine and the Resurrection of the Lord as an author- itative witness.

V. Authority and Prerog.\tives of the Apos- tles. — The authority of the Apostles proceeds from the office imposed upon them by Our Lord and is based on the very explicit sayings of Christ Himself. He will be with them all days to the end of ages (.Matthew, xxviii, 20), give a sanction to their preach- ing (Mark, xvi, 16), send them the "promise of the Father", "virtue from above" (Luke, xxiv, 49). The Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of the New Testament show us the exercise of this authority. The Apostle makes laws (Acts, xv, 29; I Cor., vii, 12 sq.), teaches (Acts, ii, 37 f.), claims for his teaching tliat it should be received as the word of God (I Thes., ii, 13), punishes (Acts, v, 1-11; I Cor., v, 1-5), ad- ministers the sacred rites (Acts, vi, 1 sq.; xvi, 33; XX, 11), provides successors (II Tim., i, 6; Acts, xiv, 22). In the modern theological terms the Apostle, besides the power of order, has a general power of jurisdiction and mafjistcrium (teaching). The former embraces the power of making laws, judging on religious matters, and enforcing obligations by means of suitable penalties. The latter includes the jiower of setting forth with authority Christ's doc- trine. It is necessary to add here that an Apostle could receive new revealed trutlis in order to pro- )K)se them to the Church. This, however, is some- thing wholly personal to the Apostles. (See Revela- tion; Inspiration.)

Catholic theologians rightly speak in their treatises of some personal prerogatives of the Apostles; a brief account of them may not be superfluous, (a) A first prerogative, not clearly inferred from the texts of the New Testament nor demonstrated by solid reasons, is their confirmation in grace. Most mod- ern theologians admit that the Apostles received so abundant an infusion of grace that they could avoid every mortal fault and every fully deliberate venial sin- — (b) Another personal prerogative is the univer- sality of their jurisdiction. The words of the Gospel on Apostolic office are very general; for the most part, the A]5ostles preached and travelled as if they were not bound by territorial limits, as we read in the Acts and the ICpistles. This did not hinder the Apostles from taking practical measures to properly organize the preaching of the Gospel in the various countries they visited. — (c) Among these preroga- tives i.s reckoned personal infallibility, of course in mat tern of faith and morals, and only when they taught and ini|x>sed some doctrine as obligatory. In


other matters they could err, as Peter, in the question of practical intercour.se with the converted heathens; they might also accept certain current opinions, as Paul seems to have done with regard to the time of the Parousia, or Second Coming of the Lord. (See Jesus Christ.) It is not easy to find a stringent scripturistic demonstration for this prerogative, but reasonable arguments suggest it, e. g. the impossibil- ity for all his hearers to verify and try the doctrine preached to them by an Apostle, (d) It is a more disputed question whether an Apostle writing on religious matters would have, merely by his Apos- tolic office, the prerogatives of an inspired author. This was asserted by the Catholic theologian. Dr. Paul Schanz of Tubingen (Apologie des Christen- thums, II) and by some others, e. g. Jouon in "Etudes religieuses" (1904). Catholic theologians almost unanimously deny it, e. g. Father Pesch (De Inspira- tione SacnT Scripturae, 1906, pp. 611-634). (See Inspiration; New Testament.)

VI. Apostolate and Episcopate. — Since the au- thority with which the Lord endowed the Apostles was given them for the entire Church, it is natural that this authority should endure after their death, in other words, pass to successors established by the Apostles. In the oldest Christian documents con- cerning the primitive Churches we find ministers es- tablished, some of them, at least, by the usual rite of the imposition of hands. They bear various names: priests (jrpe<r/3i5rcpoi. Acts, xi, 30; xiv, 22; XV, 2, 4, 6, 22, 23; xvi, 4; xx, 17; xxi, 18; I Tun., V, 17. 19; Titus, i. 5); bishops (irrinKoxoi, Acts, xx, 28; Phil, i, 1; I Tim., iii, 2; Titus, i. 7); presidents (Trpoio-To/iei-oi. I Thes., v, 12; Rom., xii. S. etc.); heads (17701/Mfi'oi, Hebrews, xiii, 7, 17, 24, etc.); shepherds (iroiju^i/es, Eph., iv, 11); teachers (SiSianakoi., Acts, xiii, 1; I Cor., xii, 28 sq. etc ); prophets {irpocpTJTai, Acts, xiii, 1; XV, 32; I Cor., xii, 28, 29, etc.), and some others. Besides them, there are Apostolic delegates, such as Timothy and Titus. The most frequent terms are priests and bishops; they were destined to become the technical names for the "authorities" of the Christian community. All other names are less important; the deacons are out of the ques- tion, being of an inferior order. It seems clear that amid so great a variety of terms for eccle- siastical authorities in Apostolic times several must have expressed only transitory functions. From the beginning of the second centurj' in Asia Minor, and somewhat later elsewhere, we find only three titles: bishops, priests, and deacons; the last charged with inferior duties. The authority of the bishop is different from the authority of priests, as is evident on every page of the letters of the martyr Ignatius of Antioch. The bishop — and there is but one in each to^Ti — governs his church, appoints priests who have a subordinate rank to him, and are, as it were, his counsellors, presides over the Euchar- istic assemblies, teaches his people, etc. He has, therefore, a general power of governing and teaching, quite the same as the modern Catholic bishop; this power is substantially identical with the general au- thority of the Apostles, without, however, tTie personal prerogatives ascribed to the latter. St. Ignatius of Antiocli declares that this ministry holds legitimately its authority from God through Christ (Letter to the Philadelphians, i). Clement of Rome, in his Letter to the Church of Corinth (about 96), defends with energy the legitimacy of the ministry of bishops and priests, and ])roclaims that the .\postles establisliod successors to govern the churches (xlii-xliv). Wc may conclude with confidence that, about the end of the second century, the ministers of the churches were everywhere regarded as legitimate successors of the Apostles; this common persuasion is of pri- mary importance.

Another and more difficult question arises as tr