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Old 2nd August 2018, 03:26 PM
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God is our Father (the One source of all fatherhood) and Head, he guides and takes care of us by His Providence in the Spirit, but He wishes for us to have a visible Father for us on earth, just as the case with St. Joseph and the Holy Family of Nazareth. As St. Joseph was the visible head of the Holy Family, so is the Pope the visible head of the Universal Church.

As shown above, when Jesus gave Peter the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and says “And whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound, even in heaven. And whatever you shall release on earth shall be released, even in heaven.” this echoes Isaiah 22:22 “And I will place the key of the house of David upon his shoulder. And when he opens, no one will close. And when he closes, no one will open.” where Eliakim is being appointed as the successor of Shebna (22:15), so we see that this Fatherly position (22:21) has succession.

So, if positions as the one that Moses had, then Judges, Kings and even “prime-ministers” had succession among God’s chosen people in their earthy kingdom, how can God’s principal representative of His on earth in the Kingdom of Heaven would not? As a matter of fact, the Apostolic position had succession as we can see when Matthias was appointed as the replacement of Judas Iscariot:

{1:24} And praying, they said: “May you, O Lord, who knows the heart of everyone, reveal which one of these two you have chosen,
{1:25} to take a place in this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas prevaricated, so that he might go to his own place.”

Therefore, Peter knowing that he would die, even more so, as they were being persecuted in the Roman Empire, just as Moses had appointed his successor by the imposition of his hands to Joshua by God’s will, Peter too had appointed his successor, Linus (as we’ll see later), and from then on to this very day the current valid Pope is the legitimate successor of Peter the Apostle.

We also know that each of the twelve Apostles had to have successors because Jesus told them “behold, I am with you always, even to the consummation of the age.” (Matt 28:20). All of the Apostles died and how is that Jesus was going to be WITH THEM until the consummation of the age? – it is because each and every one of them had to have successors until the end of this world. Some may say “Yeah, but ‘consummation of the age’ really means’ consummation of their time on earth, or just a determined time, not until the end of this world”. Are they suggesting that Jesus was going to leave us as “sheep without shepherd”, the very thing that distressed Him (Matt 9:36) ? NO. “Until the consummation of the age” or “end of age” means end of this world:

{13:49} So shall it be at the consummation of the age. The Angels shall go forth and separate the bad from the midst of the just.

Jesus is talking regarding Judgement Day here, at the end of this world when the Angels separates the bad from the good.

St. Paul says to the elders of the Church:

{20:27} For I have not turned aside in the least from announcing every counsel of God to you.
{20:28} Take care of yourselves and of the entire flock, over which the Holy Spirit has stationed you as Bishops to rule the Church of God, which he has purchased by his own blood.
{20:29} I know that after my departure ravenous wolves will enter among you, not sparing the flock.
{20:30} And from among yourselves, men will rise up, speaking perverse things in order to entice disciples after them.
{20:31} Because of this, be vigilant, retaining in memory that throughout three years I did not cease, night and day, with tears, to admonish each and every one of you.

So Jesus has not left his Church abandoned spiritually, but not also physically for He has appointed some to be Bishops (“Overseers”) of His flock, to take care of them, to feed them announcing them the Good News so they do not fall pray of the wolfs, and none of them by “appointed by themselves”, but through Apostolic succession. The expression “Apostolic Succession” means that the Apostles knowing that they would not be living always, designated other people called by God to be their successors (Acts 1:15-26) (Acts 6:2-6).

Here we see how the ordained priestly ministry was transmitted to others:

“Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.” (Acts 14:23).

“Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders *laid their hands on you*.” (1 Timothy 4:14).

It is by the imposition of hands on the man that he becomes an ordained priest.

“Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.” (1 Timothy 5:22).

St. Paul tells Timothy not to be hasty in laying on hands for this particular ministry is not for everyone, he has to be careful and prayerfully discern to whom he transmits this authority.

“The reason I left you in Crete was that *you might put in order* what was left unfinished *and appoint elders* in every town, as I directed you.” (Titus 1:5).

“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:1-2).

Authority transmitted by the imposition of hands 2 Tim 1:6
1 Tim 5:22
Titus 1:5
1 Tim 4:14
Acts 6:6 . 13:3

Jesus who is God reveals truths to whom He chooses (Matt 11:28 ) but that choosing is made manifest visible by the unbroken chain of the imposition of the hands (Apostolic Succession), as shown above, so that everyone knows to whom real authority has been passed on to and who does not have it.

God becomes visible to mankind (John 1:14) and so He also makes His Church visible (Matt 5:15) (Matt 16:18 ) (John 17:21) for us to reach salvation through Her.
John 3:27; John 15:5; Matthew 19:26
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