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Succession, Apostolic

(3,002 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph | Wohlmuth, Josef | Felmy, Karl Christian | Campenhausen, Axel Frhr. v. | Neuner, Peter
[German Version] I. Terminology Especially in ecumenical discussion (Ecumene), there is a widespread assumption that the expression apostolic succession denotes a primitive and clearly defined attribute of ecclesiastical office. However, the notion that the marks of the church (Notae ecclesiae) include an unbroken chain of office holders going back to the apostles and that each of these office holders was placed in office through the laying-on of hands of another legitimate office holder appeared on the scene rel…