See this online text:

  • Catholic Teaching on Apostolic Succession, by the International Theological Commission (1973). Reprinted from the Tablet, 27 July, 3 August, and 10 August 1974. May be read online at the Holy See.

On the Feast of St. Matthias in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. From the text:

“Jesus Christ shows that he is the Son in that he proclaims that he comes from the Father. The Spirit shows that he is the Spirit of the Father and the Son, because he does not devise something of his own but reveals and recalls what comes from the Son (Jn 16:13). This prolongation of the work of Christ and of his Spirit gives apostolic succession its distinctive character and makes the Church’s Magisterium distinct from both the teaching authority of scholars and the rule of authoritarian power.

“If the teaching authority were to fall into the hands of professors, Faith would depend upon the lights of individuals and would be thereby exposed to influence from the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the age. And where Faith depends upon the despotic power of certain individuals or groups, who themselves would decide what the norm was, then truth is replaced by arbitrary power. The true Magisterium, on the contrary, is bound by the word of the Lord and thus ushers those who listen to it into the realm of liberty…

“No preacher of the Gospel has the right to proclaim the Gospel according to personal theories he may happen to have. He proclaims the Faith of the apostolic Church and not his own personality or his own religious experience.”