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Carol Pickering wrote:

Hi, guys —

I think the Catholic Church split in 1051 A.D.

Thank-you and may God bless you.


  { After the Great Schism of 1054 A.D., who ended up receiving Apostolic Succession? }

John replied:

Hi, Carol —

Thanks for the question.

All Churches who retained valid Holy Orders retained Apostolic Succession.

That includes the Nestorians and Monophysites that went into schism in 5th century as well as the Eastern Churches that went into Schism in 1054 A.D. This is also the case for the Old Catholic Church which rejected Vatican I in the 19th century and the Polish National Church which is actually in America. It went into schism in 20th century due to some unfortunate political and race-oriented disputes.

All these Churches have seven valid sacraments and their Bishops can be traced back to the Twelve Apostles. That doesn't mean that these churches are fully Catholic . . . obviously they are not.

The Churches that went into schism in the 5th century, fell into two different Christological heresies. The Eastern Orthodox, fell into an Ecclesiological heresy. Not only do they deny the full jurisdiction of Bishop of Rome, but they have nothing that prevents them from going into schism with each other.

All that said, the Catholic Church acknowledges that these are legitimate Churches with a valid priesthood and an intact Apostolic Succession. The things that divide us, while significant, are not greater than the things that unite us.


Mike replied:

Hi, Carol —

I would say:

Who had Apostolic Succession.

The Catholic Church along with the churches my colleague has mentioned had Apostolate Succession.

John said:
The things that divide us, while significant, are not greater than the things that unite us.

I would disagree with him. The Primacy of Peter is far greater then the other things that unite us. It gives the Catholic Christian the peace of mind of knowing that when the Church speaks on issues of faith and morals, through Peter, Jesus has spoken and the case is morally closed.

During this culturally immoral age we live in, this is very important.

That said, I don't mean to down play the many things that do unite us, as we work and pray toward a unity under Christ's appointed prime ministers. (Matthew 16:13-19 foretold in Isaiah 22:15-25)

Hope this helps,


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