The Church is Apostolic Founded on the Teachings of the Apostles Some Basic facts • Jesus sent his apostles to continue his Father’s mission and gave power and authority to them • The Church is indestructible • Christ governs the Church through the Pope and the bishops (Magisterium) • Pope and bishops are successors to Peter and the Apostles – Petrine Succesion**Peter as Bishop of Rome passes authority to Pope • Bishops receive the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders through the “laying on of hands” • Just as Jesus gave Peter authority, the Pope has full, supreme, and universal power over the Church. • Priests are helpers of the bishops, deacons are helpers of the priests and mediators between priest and people. • Laity are also called to spread the good news through the lifestyle to which they are called How is the Church Apostolic? • It is built on the foundation of the Apostles who were taught by Jesus • The Holy Spirit helps the Church preserve and hand on the teaching of the Apostles and their successors • The Church continues to be taught, made holy and led by the Apostles through their successors Who is an Apostle? • Literally means “one who is sent” • The twelve men Jesus chose to hand on the continuation of his mission • Those to whom the authority was given to heal, forgive sins, and celebrate Eucharist • Jesus relied on the power given to him by the Father, the Apostles rely on the authority passed to them by Jesus – – – – Proclaim the Kingdom of God (Mt. 10:7) Heal the sick and cast out evil spirits (Mk. 6:13) Raise the dead (Acts 9: 36-42) Forgive sins in Jesus’ name (Jn. 20:22-23) • Appointing successors – Apostle - Bishop – Peter - Pope Apostolic Tradition • The Faith of the Church – Personal- we receive it and we share it – Ecclesial – church has preserved the faith and passed it on to us • Passing down the Apostolic Tradition – Orally • Teaching of the Apostles on how to live and establishing institutions – Source: what Jesus taught them, what he did and what they learned from the Holy Spirit – Written • Sacred Scripture has divine authorship – Other • Canon of the bible • Trinity • Contemporary questions Holy Orders • One of the seven sacraments – Visible sign established by Jesus • Passes on the authority given to the apostles by Jesus to bishops, priests and deacons – Each office receives the authority needed to fulfill his own ministry – Only bishops have the fullness of the sacrament and they are the successors of the apostles Lay Apostolate • The whole Church is apostolic and is sent out into the world to spread the good news all over the earth – Essential nature is LOVE – Responsibility to be an apostle in whatever position you are at the time. • • • • • Student Athlete Professional Laborer Clerical worker Review Questions • In what three ways is the Church apostolic? • How did Jesus join the Apostles to the mission the Father on which the Father sent him? • How is faith both personal and ecclesial? • Who is a bishop? • What authority did Jesus give Peter as the head of the Apostles? • What vocation does every member of the church share? • Why is Christ the source of the apostolate? 1. In what three ways is the Church apostolic? The Church is apostolic in three ways. First, the Apostles—who lived with and were taught by Jesus—are at her foundation. Second, the Church preserves and passes on the Apostles’ teaching through the help of the Holy Spirit. Third, the Church continues to be taught, made holy, and led by the Apostles through their successors, the bishops, assisted by priests and in union with the Pope. 2. Describe how Jesus joined the Apostles to the mission the Father had sent him on. Jesus commissioned his Apostles: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21). That is, Jesus relied on the power of his Father, and the Apostles relied on the power and authority Jesus gave them to serve in his name and act in his person. 3. Define “Apostolic Succession.” Why is this Apostolic Succession necessary? Apostolic Succession is the process by which Christ commanded the Apostles to spread the Good News of salvation to all people, and the Apostles then chose their successors (the bishops) and passed on to them the authority to teach and interpret Scripture and Tradition. Apostolic Succession is therefore a source of unity in the Church, ensuring the handing on of the truths Christ taught. 4. How is faith both personal and ecclesial? Faith is a personal act, “the free response of the human person to the initiative of God” (CCC, 166). It is also ecclesial (relating to the Church), in that its source is the Church, who teaches each one of us and supports our faith. Without the Church’s careful preservation and teaching of the faith, we would lack a solid foundation for our personal faith. 5. Who is a bishop? A bishop is a priest who receives the fullness of the Sacrament of Holy Orders to become a successor of the Apostles and who is therefore responsible for the Apostolic Tradition. Bishops lead their own dioceses but also join with other bishops, in communion with the Pope, in global responsibility for the Church. 6. What specific authority did Jesus give Peter as the head of the Apostles? Jesus gave Peter the keys to the Kingdom of God, saying that whatever he does on earth—including absolution of sin, decisions about official doctrine, and disciplinary decisions— will be done in Heaven. The power of the keys confers special authority to govern the Church. 7. What is a vocation that every member of the Church shares? Every member of the Church shares a vocation to the apostolate, that is, activity in which a Christian fulfills the apostolic nature of the whole Church by working to extend the Kingdom of Christ to the world. 8. Why is Christ the source of the apostolate? Christ is the source of the apostolate because our ability to spread the Good News hinges on our relationship with Christ. Anyone who wants to engage in the apostolate must be in union with Christ, primarily through participation in the celebration of the Eucharist.