Ending the first part of his catechesis on the Apostles, the Holy Father summarizes and expands further on the importance of the Apostolic ministry. The Apostles were handed the authority to teach the truth, forgive sins and overcome evil which had God had given to the Son, and Jesus says, “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”

St. Irenaeus of Lyon affirms the necessity of Apostolic Succession as a guarantee of truth: “For it is a matter of necessity that every Churcyh should agree with this Church, on account of her pre eminent authority–that is, the faithful eveywhere–inasmuch as the Spotolic Tradition has been preserved continually.”

“Consequently,” the Pope writes, “through Apostolic Succession it is Christ who reaches us: in words of the apostles and their successors, it is he who speaks to us,; through their hands it is he who acts in the sacraments; in their gaze it is his gaze that embraces us and makes us feel loved and welcomed into the heart of God.”