Redemptionis Sacramentum 29

This and the four sections that follow (29-33) mainly review the role of the priest in the liturgy. But first, let’s look at how the priest functions in relation to his bishop and the Universal Church.

The CDWDS cites Vatican II’s document on the life of priests, as well as the Tridentine and Roman rites for ordination:

[29.] Priests, as capable, prudent and indispensable co-workers of the order of  Bishops,[Cf. Presbyterorum Ordinis 7; Roman Pontifical, 1962:  Ordo consecrationis sacerdotalis, in Praefatione; Roman Pontifical: De Ordinatione Episcopi,  presbyterorum et diaconorum, editio typica altera, 1989, Praenotanda 101.] called to the service of the People of God, constitute one presbyterate  with their Bishop,[St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Philad., 4: ed. F.X. Funk, I, p. 266; Pope St. Cornelius I,  cited by St. Cyprian, Letter 48,2: ed. G. Hartel, III,2, p. 610] though charged with differing offices. “In each local congregation of the  faithful, in a certain way, they make present the Bishop with whom they are  associated in trust and in generosity of heart; according to their rank, they  take upon themselves his duties and his solicitude, and they carry these out in  their daily work”. And “because of this participation in the Priesthood and  mission, Priests should recognize the Bishop as truly their father and obey him  reverently”[Lumen Gentium 28].  Furthermore, “ever intent upon the good of God’s children, they should seek to contribute to the pastoral mission of the whole diocese, and indeed of the whole Church”[Lumen Gentium 28].

A hierarchy we know: priests represent the bishop. But clergy also are to keep a larger perspective than their parishes or even their familial relationship with the bishop.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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