By the Apostolicity of the Church is meant that the true Church must go back in an unbroken succession to the Apostles. It must teach all the doctrines and only the doctrines that the Apostles taught, that they themselves received from Christ. It must have the same authority to teach that they possessed. It must administer the same sacraments they administered. It must exercise the same authority to govern the faithful they administered. This in itself is a striking proof that the Catholic Church is the only true Church for the Catholic Church is the only Church that does go back in an unbroken line to Christ. It was to the Apostle Peter alone and to his successors that Christ said: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Through Peter then and his successors, the Bishops of Rome, Christ's Church comes down to you.
This was the Church Christ commanded all men to listen to. To the Apostles under Peter, He gave the direct command to teach; to the faithful He gave the equally direct command to listen and accept their teachings. "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, going forth out of that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Amen I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment than for that city." (Matt. 10; 14, 15) And in the Gospel of St. Luke we read: "And He said to them, go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved but he that believeth not, shall be condemned." (Luke 16; 15, 16)
What is it then that Christ commands us to accept? It is to receive Baptism at the hands of the Apostles and their successors and to believe the doctrines they would teach the faithful, the very same doctrines Christ taught His Apostles, the same doctrines the Catholic Church teaches today. "Going therefore," He said, "teach ye all nations, teaching them to observe whatsoever I have commanded thee." (Matt. 28; 20) The Catholic Church alone goes back directly to Jesus Christ in doctrine, in sacrament, in authority. The Catholic Church alone then can be the true Church of Christ.
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