The Apostolic Fathers



During the apostolic period, the same apostles were at the forefront of the church, feeding it and making it grow especially through their preaching. After the death of John, the last of the apostles, we have the successors of the apostles, who are known as Apostolic Fathers, because they knew the apostles, they embraced the Christian faith by the testimony and preaching of the apostles. The apostles themselves named them their successors (bishops). Among them, the following stand out:


Clement of Rome: He was the third successor of Saint Peter and Bishop of Rome (between the years 92 to 1010), as affirmed by Saint Irenaeus of Lyon. The first successors of Saint Peter were, according to Tradition, Lino (until the year 80) and Anacleto, also called Cleto (80-92). It seems that Clement personally knew Saint Peter and Saint Paul. We do not know exactly how he died. There are some unreliable traditions that affirm that he died a martyr.


Although several writings are attributed to him, the letter to the Corinth community is considered authentic, written to discipline the community that was going through a crisis by having the legitimately constituted priests removed from their positions. In addition, the epistle presents the oldest testimony that we have on the doctrine of apostolic succession: Jesus Christ, sent by God, sends the apostles in turn, and they establish bishops and deacons. The Corinthians had done wrong by appointing other people; the root of these discussions is envy, of which he gives many examples, especially biblical, and Clement exhorts them to harmony.

With fraternal affection,

Fr. Homero C.