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Chapter 13: Apostles
   Apostles
      558. Where Did Thomas' Authority Come From?

{558.1} Q. The Church in India traces its history, via a strong and ancient tradition, to the apostle Thomas. Assuming this tradition to be true, were holy orders in the "Thomas Churches" ever challenged in history based on John 20:22, where Our Lord commits his apostolic charism to the Church? Since Thomas was not in the room that night, is it surmised that Our Lord breathed the Holy Spirit upon him the following week when he showed Thomas his wounds? Or is Thomas' apostolic authority perhaps thought to come from the other 10 apostles -- the first passing on of the charism via apostolic succession?

{558.2} A. The appointment of apostles as Jesus' successors is recorded in Matthew 10:1-14 and Mark 3:14-19. The Church teaches that Jesus conferred holy orders on the apostles at the Last Supper. Thomas' absence from the Upper Room (see Jn 20:24), when Jesus first appeared to the apostles after his resurrection, would not derogate from his apostolic commission. To the best of my knowledge no one has ever questioned Thomas' apostolic authority on the basis of that absence.

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