Sacramentum Mundi Online

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Apostolic Succession
(2,642 words)

1. The present issue. The notion of Apostolic Succession presents the office of the Church (hierarchical ministry) as the authority which succeeds the office of the apostles. It is constituted through sacramental admission into ecclesiastical office by means of the visible sign of the laying on of hands. According to the prevalent view, the sacramental laying on of hands is the primary prerequisite for the legitimacy of the office-holder as administrator of (most of) the sacraments. In the era of t…

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Wilhelm Brenning, “Apostolic Succession”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 05 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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