Thursday, August 13, 2009

The two participations in the priesthood of Christ

The "ordained priesthood" (CCC 1120) is also called the "ministerial priesthood" (CCC 1545, 1552, 1553, 1592, 1596) and the "hierarchical priesthood" (CCC 1547).

The priesthood of all believers is known as the "royal priesthood" (CCC 782, 803, 1141, 1174, 1268), "baptismal priesthood" (CCC 1120, 1132, 1188, 1273, 1322, 1546, 1591, 1669), "common priesthood" (CCC 1141, 1143, 1268, 1305, 1535, 1547, 1592).

It should be noted that "common" does not mean "plebian" or "base". Rather, in the Latin term Sacerdotium commune, the word commune means "common, joint, public; general, universal; shared by all". Thus, it is "common" to all the baptized, "shared by all", "universal" among believers. It is a communal priesthood.

3 comments:

Gretchen said...

Jeff, I have another question for you. On Sunday, one of our priests sermonized on the Body and Blood of our Lord. He said Jesus was NOT physically present. He talked about a symbolic presence, a sacramental presence. He said that if one were to take a consecrated host and wine to a laboratory they would test out as bread and wine, not as Body and Blood. After the Mass our pastoral associate told a joke in parting. It involved talking about the hot weather and ended with the line, "It's so hot the Catholics are hoping that the wine can be turned back into water."

Anyway, my husband and I were quite upset. What recourse do I have in a diocese that is eminently progressive? We have a deacon as our pastoral administrator and I'm not sure he would be much help; however, I am willing to start there in order to do all things 'decently and in order.' Thanks for any counsel on this matter. I just feel that action must be taken, even though little or nothing will ultimately change.

Jeff Pinyan (japhy) said...

He said Jesus was NOT physically present. He talked about a symbolic presence, a sacramental presence.

The Real Presence is sacramental but not symbolic (as we understand "symbol" today). The Eucharist is not a symbol of Jesus Christ, but it IS him. I do not know if the Church has ever used the term "physical", but I will research that for you. It is a supernatural sacramental true presence.

He said that if one were to take a consecrated host and wine to a laboratory they would test out as bread and wine, not as Body and Blood.

That's true. We can only inspect the accidents (which are the characteristics of bread and wine), not the substance (which is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ). Eucharistic miracles are another story: look up the miracle of Lanciano.

After the Mass our pastoral associate told a joke in parting. It involved talking about the hot weather and ended with the line, "It's so hot the Catholics are hoping that the wine can be turned back into water."

That's silly and inappropriate, and it just makes people think that what's in the chalice is just wine. Wine with a "meaning", but wine nonetheless. Bad form. :(

I'll address your question later.

Jeff Pinyan (japhy) said...

Ok, here's a quote from Paul VI's Mysterium Fidei:

To avoid any misunderstanding of this type of presence, which goes beyond the laws of nature and constitutes the greatest miracle of its kind, we have to listen with docility to the voice of the teaching and praying Church. Her voice, which constantly echoes the voice of Christ, assures us that the way in which Christ becomes present in this Sacrament is through the conversion of the whole substance of the bread into His body and of the whole substance of the wine into His blood, a unique and truly wonderful conversion that the Catholic Church fittingly and properly calls transubstantiation. As a result of transubstantiation, the species of bread and wine undoubtedly take on a new signification and a new finality, for they are no longer ordinary bread and wine but instead a sign of something sacred and a sign of spiritual food; but they take on this new signification, this new finality, precisely because they contain a new "reality" which we can rightly call ontological. For what now lies beneath the aforementioned species is not what was there before, but something completely different; and not just in the estimation of Church belief but in reality, since once the substance or nature of the bread and wine has been changed into the body and blood of Christ, nothing remains of the bread and the wine except for the species — beneath which Christ is present whole and entire in His physical "reality," corporeally present, although not in the manner in which bodies are in a place. (MF 46)