Apostolic Succession still happens! It’s crazy because when I think about it I think back to the days of the early Church, but Jesus instituted a Church that would be one and “the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” So of course it makes sense that that would continue! Check out this video of Pope Benedict installing 22 new Cardinals today in Rome:
In the ceremony, Pope Benedict called the new Cardinals, just like the rest of the faithful, to the life of Christ, even to martyrdom, following the examples of Saints Peter and Paul:
Dear Brothers who are to be enrolled in the College of Cardinals, may Christ’s total gift of self on the Cross be for you the foundation, stimulus and strength of a faith operative in charity. May your mission in the Church and the world always be “in Christ” alone, responding to his logic and not that of the world, and may it be illumined by faith and animated by charity which comes to us from the glorious Cross of the Lord. On the ring which I will soon place on your finger, are represented Saints Peter and Paul, and in the middle a star which evokes the Mother of God. Wearing this ring, you are reminded each day to remember the witness which these two Apostles gave to Christ even unto martyrdom here in Rome, their blood making the Church fruitful. The example of the Virgin Mother will always be for you an invitation to follow her who was strong in faith and a humble servant of the Lord.
It is beautiful that 2000 years later, Apostolic Succession continues the same way that St. Titus, St. Timothy, St. Ignatius of Antioch, and St. Linus were successors of the Apostles. May we always keep these men in our prayers that they may strive to be like a “slave to all” as Jesus said after washing His Apostles’ feet. May the Church be one always, as Jesus prayed in the garden.