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Apostolic Succession

(2,883 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph | Wohlmuth, Josef | Felmy, Karl C. | Campenhausen, Axel Frhr. von | Neuner, Peter
[German Version] I. Terminology Ecumenical discussion (Ecumenicalism), in particular, assumes that the term “apostolic succession” refers to an original and clearly defined characteristic of the church office. However, the notion that the notae ecclesiae indicate an unbroken chain, going back to the apostles, of officeholders who have each come into office through the laying-on of hands by another legitimate officeholder, appeared only relatively late and is not the original meaning of the underlying Greek and Latin semantic field. The Greek and Latin terms διαδοχή/ diadochḗ/…