Necessity of apostolic succession and the purpose of the Roman Catholic Church

         Jesus sent Holy Ghost to help set up and continue the church (John 14:16).  In Acts of the apostles from the New Testament of the bible, the story of Matthias being selected to replace Judas (Acts 1:12-26) shows replacement of apostles, that is succession was expected.   Therefore, the succession of Peter, or the leader of the apostles, the so-called vicar of Christ, was expected as was the monarchical structure of the church.   Christ was the cornerstone which the builder rejected (Psalms 118:22, Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10-11, Luke 20:17), and is the true head, to guide it, through the Holy Ghost, until the end of time with the pope, the vicar of Christ to lead it (Matthew 16:18), until He returned at the end of time.

          The first apostles were given the Holy Ghost as mentioned above to help start the church. The apostles, practically all Christians believe, were given the special grace to interpret what Jesus Christ meant, infallibly.  But Acts 5:14-35 reads:

And Philip going down to the city of Samaria, preached Christ unto them.

And the people with one accord were attentive to those things which were said by Philip, hearing, and seeing the miracles which he did.

For many of them who had unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice went out.

And many, taken with the palsy, and that were lame were healed.

There was therefore great joy in the city. Now there was a certain man named Simon, who before had been a magician in that city, seducing the people of Samaria, giving out that he was some great one:

To whom they all gave ear, from the least to the greatest, saying: This man is the power of God, which is called great.

And they were attentive to him because, for a long time, he had bewitched them with his magical practices.

But when they had believed Philip preaching of the Kingdom of God, in the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

Then Simon himself believed also; then being baptized, he adhered to Philip. And being astonished, wondered to see the signs and exceeding great miracles which were done.

Now the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John.

Who when they were come, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost.

For he was not yet come upon any of them; but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

And when he saw that by the imposition of hands by the apostles, the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

Saying: Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I shall lay my hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.  But Peter said to him:

Keep thy money to thyself, to perish with thee, because thou has thought that the gift of God may be purchased by money.

Thou hast no part nor lot in this matter. For thy heart is not right in the sight of God.

Do penance therefore for this thy wickedness; and pray to God, that perhaps this thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee

For I see thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity.

Then Simon answering, said: Pray you for me to the Lord, that none of these things which you have spoken may come upon me.

And they indeed having testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem and preached the gospel to many countries of the Samaritans. 

Now and angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying: arise, go toward the South to the way that goeth down from Jerusalem into Gaza: this is desert.

And rising up he went. And behold a man of Ethiopia, an Eunuch, of great authority under Candace the Ethiopians, who had charge over all her treasures, had come to Jerusalem to adore.

And he was returning sitting in his chariot, and reading Isaias the prophet.

And the Spirit said to Philip: Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet Isaias.  And he said:  Thinkest thou that thou understandest what thou readest?

Who said: And how can I, unless some man shew me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.  

And the place of the scripture which he was reading was this: He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb without voice before his shearer, so openeth he not his mouth.

In humility his judgement was taken away, His generation who shall declare, for his life shall be taken from the earth?

And the eunuch answering Philip, said: I beseech thee, for whom doth the prophet speak this? Of himself, or of some other man?

Then Philip, opening his mouth, and beginning at this scripture, preached unto him Jesus.

           Many protestants posit that they are directly led by the Holy Ghost in their beliefs, but if that is so why are there at least 40,000 different protestant sects?  Logically there should only be one Christian religion with all the same beliefs, all the same dogmas and all the same doctrines all uniformly transmitted by the Holy Ghost. I think the above New Testament quote shows that the decision of who is influenced or given power through the Holy Ghost was, originally by Jesus Christ, meant to be completely determined by the apostles and who they passed these powers onto as Christ’s church the Roman Catholic Church indicated clearly by its head the bishop of Rome, Peter’s successor. It is no mistake that Peter is mentioned by name in this passage to demonstrate his clear authority in all things related to Christs church, the Roman Catholic Church.

          The gift of the Holy Ghost is not automatic, nor can it be given by anyone not selected by Christ through his church and neither can it be bought.  This power is passed from generation to generation through his church first through his first apostles and that is why the church must be apostolic and why there is no salvation outside of the Catholic (which means universal) church.  Mostly pride keeps other Christians from Joining the catholic church but also objections to restriction concerning the prohibition of contraception, prohibition of abortion, the prohibition against homosexual and premarital sex (not against same sex attraction only for actin on it) and the prohibition against divorces and remarriage. The spiritual “descendants” of the apostles, Catholic bishops (there are other non schismatic sects of the Catholic church other than Roman), are the only ones capable of expanding the churches special gifts as in the deaconate, the priesthood, and the episcopate as well as the gifts of the Holy Ghost through the sacrament of confirmation as shown in the passage from acts above. The virgin Mary and the apostles themselves were given these powers and gifts at the first Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4) through the Holy Ghost, sent by the Father as promised by the Son of God Jesus Christ (John 14-16).

          In this long passage that I have quoted from the bible it also talks about the Ethiopian who did not understand the bible passage by Isaias (the prophet) he was reading.  When Philip asked if he thought he understood the passage he replied: “and how can I, unless some man shew me?” Philip explains it is about Jesus Christ and speaks to him of Jesus Christ – the Truth.  To me this speaks of the fact that to learn the truth one must seek one who knows the Truth.  The Truth, most especially spiritual truth, is passed on through those that know the truth, the members of the catholic church.  It is the only place people can possibly learn the actual truth.  It may possibly be corrupted by various evil prelates, of all ecclesiastical rank, but the true knowledge in the church validated by long tradition and the magisterium is unchanging. Jesus Christ, yesterday, and to day; and the same forever (Hebrews 13:8).

          The purpose of the Church was never to just write a book like the bible and let everybody “figure it out,” but to teach the world the correct meaning of Christ’s words throughout the ages until his second coming, based on the recorded word, of which the first teacher, the apostles recorded to assist them. To assist in the transfer of grace and the gift of faith they were also to serve as priests to offer the sacrifice and minister to the church through the sacraments (Luke 24:19-53).

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