Holy Orders is a sacrament in which men are approved or “ordained” by the Church to perform the other six ариун. The men may be deacons, priests or bishops.
Гэсэн хэдий ч, the sacrament of Holy Orders is performed only by bishops, and that follows directly from the Bible.
There is an established way in Scripture in which God’s call to the ministry is given and received. It flows from God to Jesus, from Jesus to the Apostles, and from the Apostles to their successors (харах Лукийн Сайн мэдээ 10:16 болон Иоханы Сайн мэдээ 13:20; 20:21). Тэгэхээр, the sacrament of Holy Orders can be performed only by an Apostle or only by one on whom apostolic authority has been conferred. Жишээ нь:, Paul writes in his Тимотод анхны захидал (4:14), “Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you” (харах 5:22, өөрийн Тимотод Хоёр дахь захидал, 1:6, мөн түүний Тит захидал 1:5). Тэгэхээр, the sacrament follows an unbroken chain from Jesus to today’s newest Catholic priest. (More on this below.)
In the early Church, a hierarchy developed that consisted of bishops, presbyters (or elders), and deacons, which corresponded to Israel’s three-tiered structure of high priest, тахилч нар, and Levites (Пол-ын уулзах Phillipians захидал, 1:1; Saint James’ захидал, 5:14; Тооллого Ном, 32; The Second Book of Chronicles 31:9-10).1 Израильд, the priest was seen as God’s unique emissary (харах Малахи 2:7), being set apart from the assembly by an anointing and the imposition of hands (харах Египетээс гарсан нь 30:30 буюу Дэд хууль 34:9).
Given that the Apostles were Jews, the Church adopted these Jewish customs for her rite of ordination.
Aren’t We all Priests?
Ямар ч, but sometimes people are confused by the Bible’s message that all believers are called to share in Christ’s priesthood. Жишээ нь:, Saint Peter’s Эхний захидал (2:9) улс, “You are a chosen race, хаант тахилч нар, ариун үндэстэн, God’s own people.” These words are a reference back to Египетээс гарсан нь 19:6, “You shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”
Reserving the authority to perform sacraments to a special group of individuals (тахилч нар) is known as sacerdotalism.
In the Old Covenant, a smaller, sacerdotal priesthood existed within the larger priestly nation of Israel. Бид тайлбарлах байдлаар, it is the same in the New Covenant.
The Bible reveals the sacerdotal priesthood to be a kind of spiritual fatherhood, which is why the Catholic Church teaches that priestly ordination is reserved for men alone. Жишээ нь:, in the Old Testament, The Book of Judges (18:19) улс: “Бидэнтэй хамт ирдэг, and be to us a father and a priest.”
Үүний нэгэн адил, Шинэ Гэрээн дэх, Paul writes in his Коринт Нэгдүгээр захидал (4:15) гэж “For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.” Paul elaborates more on this spiritual fatherhood or sacerdotal priesthood at the start of that same chapter, when he says, “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God” (4:1).2
At the start of His ministry, Jesus remarked that the crowds resembled “sheep without a shepherd,” хэмээн, “The harvest is plentiful, Харин ажилчид нь цөөн байна; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (харах Матай 9:36, 37-38). These remarks preface His selection of the Twelve Apostles, whom He empowered and sent out as His vicarious shepherds over the faithful (харах Иоханы Сайн мэдээ 21:15-17; The Төлөөлөгчийн Үйлс 20:28; Петр-ийн Эхний захидал 5:2). “You did not choose me,” He later reminded them, “but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit” (Жон 15:16). “How can men preach unless they are sent?” writes Paul in his Ром захидал, 10:15.
Nowhere in Scripture does a man assume the ministry for himself. “One does not take the honor upon himself, but is called by God, Аарон байсан юм шиг,” write Paul in his Еврей захидал 5:4 (түүнийх харах Колоссай руу захидал 1:25, мөн). When certain Jewish exorcists attempt to rebuke evil spirits “by the Jesus whom Paul preaches,” the spirits reply, “Jesus I know, Паул би мэднэ; but who are you?” (Төлөөлөгчийн Үйлс, 19:13, 15).
Тэгэхээр, a valid call to the ministry ordinarily involves the confirmation of the apostolic hierarchy. Жишээ нь:, нь Act of the Apostles (1:15), Matthias does not stand up and take his ministerial office by his own volition. He is elected according to the authority of Peter and the Apostles, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Neither does Paul, in spite of his dramatic conversion, set off on his own to preach the Gospel, claiming God’s anointing for himself. As mentioned in his Галат захидал (1:18), he goes first to Jerusalem to receive the approval of the Apostles, and later he returns to verify the gospel he is preaching is correct (2:2).
While all Christians are called to evangelize, the Apostles and their successors have the unique call of safeguarding the Deposit of Faith and teaching the faithful. Онд Матайн Сайн мэдээ (28:19-20) Jesus says to the Apostles, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, Эцэг нэрээр, Хүү, Ариун Сүнсний тэдэнд баптисм хүртээж, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
Үүний нэгэн адил, Түүний Тимотод Хоёр дахь захидал, Paul instructs: “Guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us,… What you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (шүлгийг үзнэ үү 1:14; 2:2; 1:13; болон Төлөөлөгчийн Үйлс 2:42).
Actually, when His ministers teach it is Christ Himself who teaches through them as He said: “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you, rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Лук 10:16). Elsewhere He declares, “Үнэхээр, Үнэхээр, Би та нарт хэлье, he who receives any one whom I send Намайг хүлээн авсан; and he who receives me receives him who sent me” (Жон 13:20; тодотгол нэмсэн).
The Apostles are given the authority of presiding over the Eucharistic celebration. Жишээ нь:, while instituting the Eucharist at the Last Supper, He bids them, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Лук 22:19 and Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, 11:23-24). The Apostles receive a unique share in His priesthood and with it the chief duty of offering the Eucharistic Sacrifice on behalf of the faithful (уд.харьц. байх. 5:1).3
The Apostles also receive from Jesus the power to forgive sins through the gift of the keys given to Peter and the authority to” bind and loose” conferred on them as a group (уд.харьц. Мэтт. 16:19; 18:18). “Эцэг Намайг илгээсний адил,” the Savior tells them, “Гэсэн хэдий ч I send you. … Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (Жон 20:21-23; тодотгол нэмсэн).
- Though the fullness of the apostolic office with all its prerogatives was not passed down, the bishops, as direct successors to the Apostles, remained at the head of the hierarchy. ↩
- The word “mystery,” Грекийн-д, mysterion, is translated in Latin as sacramentum буюу “sacrament.” The Greek Orthodox continue to this day to refer to the Sacraments as the sacred “Mysteries.” ↩
- The Biblical view of the Eucharist as a Sacrifice (уд.харьц. Mal. 1:11; 1 Кор. 10:1-5, 15-22; 11:23-30; байх. 10:25-26), Үнэндээ, further points to the existence of a sacerdotal priesthood–for the presence of a sacrifice necessitates a priesthood to offer it. Пап лам Гэгээнтэн Клемент, writing from Rome in about the year 96, clearly distinguished between the Eucharistic Sacrifice offered by the ministerial priesthood and the spiritual sacrifices offered by the priesthood of the laity (уд.харьц. Clement’s Letter to the Corinthians 40-41). Misunderstanding the Eucharistic Sacrifice, non-Catholics sometimes accuse Catholics of “re-sacrificing” Jesus at Mass. The Eucharistic Sacrifice is not a re-sacrificing, Гэсэн хэдий ч, but a re-presentation of the one Sacrifice of Calvary. Christ does not die again; His saving Flesh and Blood are made present on the altar under the appearances of Bread and Wine so that the faithful may “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” as Paul wrote in his Коринт Нэгдүгээр захидал (11:26). ↩