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apostolic succession

noun, Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, Anglican Church.
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for apostolic succession

Apostolic succession

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
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Contemporary definitions for apostolic succession

in Roman Catholicism, the doctrine maintaining that present-day successors to Jesus's apostles, i.e. the bishops, have the same spiritual authority, power, and responsibility conferred upon them as did the original apostles

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religion's 21st Century Lexicon
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