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Document Details :

Title: Unity among Orthodox Churches
Subtitle: From the Theological Approach to the Historical Realities
Author(s): PAPASTHATIS, Charalambos K.
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 25    Issue: 2   Date: summer 2000   
Pages: 143-157
DOI: 10.2143/LS.25.2.889

Abstract :
Chronologically, the first core of the Church was the parish. The Apostles founded Christian communities, where followers gathered around the common altar. The formation of the clergy took place gradually. In chronological order, first came the higher clergy, which included, as it does today, the deacons, the presbyters and the bishops. This process of formation was completed by the first half of the second century. These persons were ordained by the Apostles, later by their successors and finally by the bishops. This is how the principle of “apostolic succession” came into being and, at the same time, the unity of the Church, based on two foundations: holy communion and the bishop.

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