Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/723

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649

APOSTOLICUM


649


APOSTOLICUM


sent?" (x, 15). In lii.s Icttei-s to liis disciples Tiino- tliy :iiiil Titus, St. Paul speaks of the obligation of presi'in iiig Apostolic doctrine, and of ordainnig other ihsiipU's to continue the work entrusted to the Apostles. "Hold the form of sound words, which thou luust heard from me in faith and in the love which is in Christ Jesus" (II Tim., i, 13). "And the things which thou hast lieard from nie by many witnesses, the same conunend to faithful men, who shall Ik; fit to teach others also" (II Tim., ii, 2). " Kor this cause left I thee in Crete, that tliou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting and shouldst ordain priests in every city, as I al.so appointi'd tliee" (Titus, i, .5). Just luj the Apostles transmitted their mission by lawfully appointing others to the work of the ministry, so their successors were to ordain priests to perpetuate the same mission given by .lesus Christ, i. e. an Apostolic mission must always be maintained in the Cnurch.

The writings of the I'^ithers constantly refer to the .\lX)stolic character of the doctrine and mission of the Church. See St. Polycarp, St. Ignatius, (Kpist. ad Smyrn., n. S), St. Clement of Ale.\., St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Athanasius (History of Arianism), TertuUian (Lib. de l'ra?scipt, n. 32, etc.). We quote a few examples w-hich are typical of the testimony of the Fathers. St. Irenieus (.\dv Hares. IV, xxvi, n. 2): "Wherefore we must obey the priests of the Church, who have succession from the Apostles," etc. — quoted above. St. Clement (Ep. I, ad. Cor., ■12-44): "Christ was sent by God, and the Apostles by Christ. . . . They appointeil the above-named and then gave them command that when they came to die other approved men should succeed to their ministry." St. Cyprian (Ep. 76, Ad Magnum): " Novatianus is not in the Church, nor can he be considered a bishop, because in contempt of Apos- tolic tradition he Wiis ordained by himself without succeeding anyone." Hence authoritative trans- mission of [xjwer, i. e. Ajxistolicity, is essential. In all theological works the same explanation of Apos- tolicity is found, based on the Scriptural and patristic testimony just cited. Billuart (III, 306) concludes his remarks on Apostolicity in the words of St. Je- rome. "We must abide in that Church, which was founded by the Apostles, and endures to this day." Mazella (De Reli^. et EccL, 3.'j9), after speaking of Apostolic succession as an uninterrupted substitu- tion of persons in the place of the Apostles, insists upon the necessity of jurisdiction or authoritative transmission, thus excluding the hypothesis that a new mi.ssion could ever be originated by anyone in the i)lace of the mission bestowed by Christ and transmitted in the manner described. Billot (De Eccl. Christi, I, 243-275) emphasizes the idea that the Church, which is Apostolic, must be presided over by bishops, who derive their ministrj' and their governing (xiwer from the Apostles. Apostolicity, then, is that .\postolic succession by which the Church of to-day is one with the Church of the Apostles in origin, doctrine, and mission.

The history of the Catholic Church from St. Peter, the first Pontiff, to Pius X, the present Head of the Church, is an evident proof of its Apostolicity, for no break can be shown in the line of succession. Cardinal Newman (Diff. of Anglicans, 360) .says: "Say there is no church at all if you will, and at least I shall understand you; but do not meddle witli a fact attested by mankind." Again (393): "N'o other form of Christianity but this present Catholic Com- munion lias .-i pretence to resemble, even in the faint- est shadow, the Christianity of antiquity, viewed as a living religion on the stage of the world;" and again, (;J!)5): "The immutability and uninterrupted action of the laws in (luostion throughout the course of Church historj- is a plain note of identity between the Catholic Church of^ the first ages and that which


now goes by that name." If any break in the A|K>st<)lic succession had ever occurred, it could i>e e:isily shown, for no fact of such importance could hapiKMi in the historj' of the world without attracting universal notice. Regarding questioiLs and contests in the election of certain [Kjpes, there is no real diffi- culty. In the few cases in which controversies arose, the matter was always settled by a competent tribu- nal in the Church, the lawful Pope was proclaimed, and he, as the successor of St. Peter, recei\ed the Apostolic mission and jurisdiction in the Church. ('lanc(uery. III 446). Again, the heretics of the early ages and the sects of later times have attempted to justify their teaching and practices by appealing to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, or to their early communion with the Catholic Church. Their apixsal shows that the Catholic Church is regarded as Apostolic even by those who have separated from her communion.

Aiwstolicity is not found in any other Church. This is a necessary consequence of the unity of the Church. (See Church, Unity of thk.) If there is but one true Church, and if the Catholic Church, as hivs ju.st been shown, is Apostolic, the necessary infer- ence is that no other Church is Apostolic. (See above quotations from Newman, "Diff. of Angli- cans", 369, 393.) All sects that reject the Episco- pate, by the very fact, make Apostolic succession im- po.ssible, since they destroy the channel through which the Apostolic mission is transmitted. His- torically, the beginnings of all these Churches can be traced to a period long after the time of Christ and the Apostles. Regarding the (ireek Church, it is sufficient to note that it lost Apostolic succes- sion by withdrawing from the jurisdiction of the lawful successors of St. Peter in the See of Rome. The same is to be said of the Anglican claims to con- tinuity (MacLaughlin, "Divine Plan of the Church", 213; and, Newman, "Diff. of Angl.", Lecture xii.) for the very fact of separation destroys their jurisdic- diction. They have based their claims on the valid- ity of orders in the Anglican Church (see Anglican Ohdf.us). Anglican orders, however, have been declared invalid. But even if they were valid, the Anglican Church would not be Apostolic, for juris- diction is essential to Apostolicity of mission. A study of the organization of the Anglican Church shows it to l>e entirely different from the Church established by Jesus Christ.

Wn.HtLM AM) .ScANNri., Manual of Calh. Theol., 3cl o<l. (Lonilon ami N. Y.. 190(1), I, ii; II, v: Nkwman. Difl. of An{jlu:ans and Apologia: -MArl.ACGnLlN, The Dinne Plan of the Church (London, 1901); Smahii'm, Poinit of Conlrovrrtu (New York. isrw). Lecture IV; Hcntf.b, Oullinet of Dog- malic Theoloau, I. 3f..5-.370: Bii.i.or, De Eccl. ChnMi, I. 243; Mazzei,i.a, De licliffione el EccL, 550; Tanqi^ery, Theolog. Fund,, III. 442; iluiiTER, Theoloffitr Dogmatica Compendium \, 315; WiL.MEHs. De Chritti Eccl.. 570; Prani. Pro'lectiunrt Doamal., I, 239-242; Moork, Trarrtt of an Irish (Imlleman m Search of a Religion (London. 18.33); Milncr. The End of Religious Controversy (lx>ndon, 181.S, and many later editions).

TiioM.\s C. O'Reilly.

ApostoUcum Pascendi Mtmus, a Bull issued by Clement XIII, 12 January. 1765, in defence of the Society of Jesus again.st the attacks made upon it. It relates that both privately and publicly the So- ciety was the object of much calumny. On the other hanil, the Society w,is the subject of praise on the part of bishops for the useful work its members were doing in their dioce.ses. To confirm this approval, and to counteract the calumnies which had been spreading throughout different countries, the Pope confirms the Society as it was originally constituted, approves its end. its method of work, and whatever .sodalities its members have under their charge.

liuWirium Romanum (.continuation,. III, 38 .-uiq.; Uavignan, CUment XIII cl CU-ment .MV (Paris. 1S54>; The JesuiU. Their Foundation and History (Ixjndon. 1879). II, 210-12; De Villecoukt, Vit de Saint Liguori, II, 179. 180.

M. O'RiORDAN.