July 6, 2022

Priest is the title given to the religious minister in the Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican Churches. The ministerial orders of the Roman Catholic Church include the Orders of Bishops, Priests and Deacons. The Ordained Priesthood and the common priesthood (or priesthood of all the baptized) are different in function and essence. The Priesthood in the Catholic Church includes the priests of both the Latin Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches. In May 2007, the Vatican website stated that there were around 406,411 priests serving the Church worldwide. Consecrated persons, who may be laymen or clerics, are usually grouped together in institutes of religious life (congregations and religious orders) or in secular institutes, although there are those who live alone or even in an open community, together with other lay people who do not consecrated.


The Old Testament describes how God made his people "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." Among the twelve tribes of Israel, the tribe of Levi was chosen to perform the liturgical service of offering the sacrifice as priests. The priest represented a mediator between God and human beings, the one who offers sacrifices and intercedes for the people. The New Testament describes Jesus as the "great high priest" of the New Covenant who, instead of offering the rituals of animal sacrifice prescribed by Jewish law, offers himself on the cross as the true and perfect sacrifice. The Catholic priesthood is a participation in this priesthood of Christ and therefore traces its origins to Jesus himself. Thus, the New Testament says that as high priest, Jesus made the Church, "a kingdom of priests unto God the Father." All who are baptized receive a share in the priesthood of Christ, that is, they are confirmed with Christ and enabled to offer true worship and praise to God as Christians. The entire community of those who believe and are duly baptized share in the priesthood of Christ. The Priestly Ministry of Bishops has a distinct history. This ministerial priesthood is at the service of the priesthood of all believers and involves the direct consecration of a man to Christ through the Sacrament of Orders, so that he can act in the person of Christ for the good of the faithful, especially in the dispensation of the Sacraments. It is understood to have begun at the Last Supper, when Jesus Christ instituted the Eucharist in the presence of the Twelve Apostles, commanding them, "Do this in remembrance of me". The Ordained Priesthood, therefore, is a participation in the priesthood of Christ and traces its historical origins to the Twelve Apostles appointed by Christ. The apostles, in turn, selected other men to succeed them, such as the Bishops ("episkopoi", Greek word for "bishops") of the Christian communities, with whom priests were associated ("presbyteroi", Greek word for "elders"). ") and deacons ("diakonoi", Greek for "servants"). As communities multiplied and grew in size, Bishops began to ordain presbyters to preside over the Eucharist in their places in communities in each region. Deacons evolved as the liturgical assistants to the Bishop and his representatives in the administration of Church funds and programs to help the poor.

Priesthood Theology

Easter and Christ

Catholic priesthood theology is rooted in the priesthood of Christ and shares some elements of the ancient Hebrew priesthood. A priest is one who presides over a sacrifice and offers it along with prayers to God on behalf of the faithful. The ancient Jewish priesthood functioned in the temple in Jerusalem, animals were offered in sacrifice at various times throughout the year for various reasons. In Christian theology, Jesus is the lamb provided by God himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. Before his death on the cross, Jesus