See this online text:
- “The Bishops of History and the Catholic Faith: A Reply to Brandon Addison” by Bryan Cross, June 8, 2014. May be read online and available in pdf format at Called to Communion. 168 pages with footnotes.
- [N.B., This is a very thorough essay on the hierarchy of the primitive Church that refutes non-Catholic arguments rejecting her historical monoepiscopate in favor of theories of presbyterial governance.]
On the Feast of Pope St. Clement I in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. For other texts and ebooks, you may access the List of Free eBooks (Arranged by Title), the List of Free eBooks (Grouped by Subject), the List of Worth-It Catholic Books & eBooks, and the main page of the Catholic eBooks Project.
“It is within the power of all… to contemplate clearly the tradition of the apostles manifested throughout the whole world; and… to reckon up those who were by the apostles instituted bishops in the Churches, and… the succession of these men to our own times… whom also they were leaving behind as their successors, delivering up their own place of government to these men; which men, if they discharged their functions honestly, would be a great boon… but if they should fall away, the direst calamity.
“[W]e do put to confusion all those who… assemble in unauthorized meetings… by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops…
“The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate… To him succeeded Anacletus… Clement… Evaristus. Alexander… Sixtus… Telephorus… Hyginus… Pius… Anicetus. Soter… Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate.
“In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth.” (Bishop St. Irenaeus of Lyon, Against Heresies, III, iii, ca. 180 AD)