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apostolic succession

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noun Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, Anglican Church.
  1. the unbroken line of succession beginning with the apostles and perpetuated through bishops, considered essential for orders and sacraments to be valid.

Origin of apostolic succession

First recorded in 1830–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for apostolic succession

Apostolic succession

noun
  1. the doctrine that the authority of Christian bishops derives from the Apostles through an unbroken line of consecration
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012