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The historical development of Holy Orders
Transcript of The historical development of Holy Orders
The ministerial priesthood is also called the hierarchical priesthood because by its very nature and its founding establishes an essential structure; the Church was made up of flock and pastors who were appointed to care for them. The first pastors were the apostles.
Jesus chose twelve apostles, a word that means "one sent" to be his emissaries or ambassadors to the world. The number twelve is significant because it represents the twelve tribes of Israel and the universality of the Church. The apostles were with Jesus throughout his life, hearing his teachings, his death, miracles, and his resurrection.
The ministry of the apostles and the age of the Church really begins at Pentecost with the coming of the Holy Spirit. The apostles also guided the Christian communities and help to settle any disputes that arose. It was the earthly gentile Christians who develop the more familiar structure with the episcopos, or bishop, who was to be the one chief administration in each community. The bishop was responsible for overseen the religious in moral life, for insuring that those in need were care for, and for safeguarding Church doctrine.
The Structure of the Ordained Ministry Emerges
The Church functions through the ministry of people with the variety of different gifts. The gifts of the minister were for the benefit of building up Christ's body and not the glory of the individual having the gifts. A clear hierarchical structure in the Church arose at the beginning of the second century. Presbyters were ordained by the bishop. Deacons were ordained by the bishop alone and were ordained specifically to assist the bishop in his ministry.
Events and Influences of the Priesthood
The edict conferred a civil authority, status and privilege on bishops and priest. The ordained came to be call clergy, and division arose between them and the laity. At these time the will of the people to choose an elect bishop was no longer enough to guarantee a man would become a bishop; the approval of the state was also necessary, and the state paid his salary
In the Middle Ages, priest took a role in the feudal system and were responsible for the collection of taxes. The bishop was anointed with holy chrism, presented with a crosier and ring, and enthroned. The ordination rite for priest was expanded with the anointing of the hands, the presentation of the gifts, of bread and wine, and a second lying of the hands for the absolution of the sins.
The growing monastic life of the Middle Ages also had a great influence of the priesthood. Though most monks were not ordained, there was a need for priests in the monasteries. Some monks were ordained an many priest of that period dictate the religious habit, prayers, study, and strict discipline of monasticism, including celibacy.
Reaffirming Holy Orders
The sixteenth century Council of Trent reaffirmed that Holy Orders was one of the seven Sacraments and that bishops ans priest depend on the graces of the Sacrament for their authority and power to celebrate Eucharist and forgive sins, not on a call from the Church. The second Vatican Council emphasized to teaching Holy Orders and Priesthood, first the mission of the common priesthood is to live the baptismal calling to be priest. Second, the role of the ordained minister was to be of service.