86 – When I have a clericalist in front of me I suddenly become anticlerical. Clericalism shouldn’t have any part in Christianity

By instituting ordained ministers in his Church, Our Lord Jesus Christ inaugurated “the most elevated dignity among all of the hierarchies of the earth”, a new category of men called to actuate in persona Christi, in order to dispense the treasures of the redemption to sinful humanity, as authentic mediators between heaven and earth. These men chosen by Christ himself are participants of the authority with which He forms, sanctifies and rules his Mystical Body, and their dignity is even greater than the angels.

The Christian faithful have always had a profound admiration toward the priest, due to the simple fact of him being who he is, and for presenting to God their intentions and obtaining the necessary assistance from Him. No one fails to see that a priest, like any other human being, also has his defects; but this religious respect cannot be lacking in any well intentioned Christian.

The terms “clericalism” and “anticlericalism” used by Pope Francis to manifest his estimation of the priestly rank are not recent. They were regularly employed by the members of diverse movements that were, in their majority, convinced enemies of religion. Here we are using them in the most authentic way possible, without the blemishes that were later added by the old political conservative or liberals; the latter always disposed to deride the priestly class and publically take position against it. It is even more important to understand the priesthood in conformity with the teachings of the Holy Mother Church, who cannot approve of theories minimizing the grandeur of the ordained ministry, one of the greatest glories of Catholicism and a true honor for humankind.

Regarding Pope Francis’ intentions in declaring himself anticlerical and labeling Saint Paul in the same way — imagine the latter’s surprise in hearing about this in heaven! — It’s difficult to correctly describe, and moreover, interpret his words as being amiably clerical. What is certain is that it’s a little optimistic to think that those who had heard them could perceive a benevolent meaning in them. And if there was such an insinuation, we would appreciate more clarity.

To assist our readers, we offer a study that might shed some light on the concerns that these declarations provoke among people of sincere faith: the most authorized Catholic doctrine which we may believe without fear or doubts, allowing us to reaffirm our clericalism, as faithful followers of Christ, the true High Priest.

Francis

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Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter in the various parts of our study

ContentsAuthors
I – Being clerical is simply recognizing two categories within the Church: the pastors and the flock
II –
Men who act in persona Christi capitis
III –
What does a Catholic owe to the priest?
IV –
The faithful should honor the priests due to their great dignity
V –
The aim of anticlericalism is to destroy the Church


I – Being clerical is simply recognizing two categories within the Church: the pastors and the flock


Vatican Council I (Ecumenical XX)

In the Church, some members are subordinate to others
Condemnation of those who affirm that the Church is a society of equals

Pius X

A society comprising two categories: the Pastors and the flock

John Paul II

The ministry of shepherding God’s flock

Pius XII

The fact that the faithful participate in the Eucharistic sacrifice does not mean that they are also endowed with priestly power
Priests alone have been marked with the indelible sign conforming them to Christ the Priest

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

The Lord established ministers to offer sacrifice, forgive sins and perform their priestly office

II – Men that act in persona Christi capitis


Pius X

The priestly ministry is exercised not in our own name, but in the name of Jesus Christ

Pius XII

The priest lends his tongue, and gives his hand to Christ

Pius XI

He is an instrument in the hands of the Divine Redeemer

Pius XII

The divine Redeemer willed that the priestly life, begun with the supplication and sacrifice of His mortal body, should continue in His Mystical Body

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

The office of priests shares the authority by which Christ builds up, sanctifies and rules his Body

John Paul II

The priest shares in the prophetic authority of Christ and the Church

Benedict XVI

The priest does something which no human being can do of his own power
God makes use of us poor men in order to be present to all men and women
The priest never acts in the name of someone who is absent, but in the very Person of the Risen Christ

Pius XII

The priest is like ‘another Christ’ - he is marked with an indelible character making him like a living image of our Saviour

Pius X

The cleric is one who has the Lord as his portion

III – What does a Catholic owe to the priest?


Pius XI

From the cradle to the grave the priest is ever beside the faithful

Pius X

The Lord God has placed in the priest’s hands all his treasures, his sacraments, his graces – even to open and close heaven to others
Priests must deliver souls from the bondage of sin – envoys of Christ to win the minds of men

Benedict XVI

The priest brings God himself to the world

Pius XII

Priests are the apostles of light, grace and pardon

Pius XI

Priests - unwearied heralds of the good tidings

John Paul II

Minister who leads believers to an increasing knowledge of the mystery of God

Benedict XVI

The priest is removed from worldly bonds and given over to God
The priest: a bridge that connects human beings to God

Pius XII

Priests represent Jesus Christ before their people, and are representatives of their people before God

Pius XI

Public and official intercessor of humanity before God

Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Public ambassador of the whole Church
Dispensers of divine graces, vigilant guardians to whom the Lord has confided the keys of the kingdom of heaven

IV – The faithful should honor the priests due to their great dignity


Saint Catherine of Siena

The reverence for priests should never diminish – due to the authority which Jesus gave them
“They are My anointed ones, and I call them My Christs”

Catechism of Trent

Empowered in God’s name to teach mankind the divine law and the rules of conduct

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

The Christian faithful should have filial love for the priests

Saint John Chrysostom

The priestly office is discharged on earth, but it ranks amongst heavenly ordinances
Adorned with a more excellent principality

Saint Alphonsus Liguori

The priesthood is the most sublime of all created dignities - he is inferior only to God

Pius XI

These august powers are stable and perpetual
A dignity so lofty that its splendor is cannot be dimmed even by unworthiness

Catechism of Saint Pius X

Two-fold power: over Christ’s real Body, and over His mystical body

Pius XI

Power over the very Body of Jesus Christ

Pius XII

The organs whereby this Mystical Body develops

John Paul II

Priests are at the very heart of the Church’s existence and her mission in history

Benedict XVI

Irreplaceable mission

V – The aim of anticlericalism is to destroy the Church


Pius XI

The enemies of the Church direct their first and fiercest blow against the priesthood

Leo XIII

The authentic declaration of Masonic writers is to lay clericalism waste in its foundations

John XXIII

Those who want to overthrow religion always try in their hatred to strike at priests first of all

Discover another innovation:

Can Catechism be equalled to Yoga or Zen?

 

 

 

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