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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    the frailty of old age This grace is a gift of the Holy Spirit who renews trust and faith in God and strengthens against the temptations of the evil one the temptation to discouragement and anguish in the face of death 135 This assistance from the Lord by the power of his Spirit is meant to lead the sick person to healing of the soul but also of the body if such is God s will 136 Furthermore if he has committed sins he will be forgiven 137 1521 Union with the passion of Christ By the grace of this sacrament the sick person receives the strength and the gift of uniting himself more closely to Christ s Passion in a certain way he is consecrated to bear fruit by configuration to the Savior s redemptive Passion Suffering a consequence of original sin acquires a new meaning it becomes a participation in the saving work of Jesus 1522 An ecclesial grace The sick who receive this sacrament by freely uniting themselves to the passion and death of Christ contribute to the good of the People of God 138 By celebrating this sacrament the Church in the communion of saints intercedes for the benefit of the sick person and he for his part though the grace of this sacrament contributes to the sanctification of the Church and to the good of all men for whom the Church suffers and offers herself through Christ to God the Father 1523 A preparation for the final journey If the sacrament of anointing of the sick is given to all who suffer from serious illness and infirmity even more rightly is it given to those at the point of departing this life so it is also called sacramentum exeuntium the sacrament of those departing 139

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    absolution 7 2 Cor 5 20 8 Mt 5 24 9 I Cor 6 11 10 Gal 3 27 11 I Jn 1 8 12 Cf Lk 11 4 Mt 6 12 13 Eph 1 4 5 27 14 Cf Council of Trent 1546 DS 1515 15 Cf Council of Trent 1547 DS 1545 LG 40 16 Mk 1 15 17 Cf Acts 2 38 18 LG 8 3 19 Ps 51 17 cf Jn 6 44 12 32 I Jn 4 10 20 Cf Lk 22 61 Jn 21 15 17 21 Rev 2 5 16 22 St Ambrose ep 41 12 PL 16 1116 23 Cf Joel 2 12 13 Isa 1 16 17 Mt 6 1 6 16 18 24 Cf Council Of Trent 1551 DS 1676 1678 1705 Cf Roman Catechism II V 4 25 Cf Ezek 36 26 27 26 Lam 5 21 27 Cf Jn 19 37 Zech 12 10 28 St Clement Of Rome Ad Cor 7 4 PG 1 224 29 Cf Jn 16 8 9 30 Cf Jn 15 26 Acts 2 36 38 John Paul II DeV 27 48 31 Cf Tob 12 8 Mt 6 1 18 32 I Pet 4 8 Cf Jas 5 20 33 Cf Am 5 24 Isa 1 17 34 Cf Lk 9 23 35 Council of Trent 1551 DS 1638 36 Cf SC 109 110 CIC cann 1249 1253 CCEO Cann 880 883 37 Cf Lk 15 11 24 38 Cf LG 11 39 Cf Mk 2 7 40 Mk 2 5 10 Lk 7 48 41 Cf Jn 20 21 23 42 2 Cor 5 18 43 2 Cor 5 20 44 Cf Lk 15 19 9 45 Mt 16 19 cf Mt 18 18 28 16 20 46 LG 22 2 47 Tertullian De Paenit 4 2 PL 1 1343 cf Council of Trent 1547 DS 1542 48 OP 46 formula of absolution 49 Roman Catechism II V 21 cf Council of Trent 1551 DS 1673 50 Council of Trent 1551 DS 1676 51 Cf Council of Trent 1551 DS 1677 52 Cf Council of Trent 1551 DS 1678 1705 53 Cf Mt 5 7 Rom 12 15 I Cor 12 13 Gal 5 Eph 4 6 etc 54 Council of Trent 1551 DS 1680 ND 1626 cf Ex 20 17 Mt 5 28 55 Council of Trent 1551 DS 1680 ND 1626 cf St Jerome In Eccl 10 11 PL 23 1096 56 Cf CIC Can 989 Council of Trent 1551 DS 1683 DS 1708 57 Cf Council of Trent 1551 DS 1647 1661 CIC can 916 CCEO can 711 58 Cf CIC can 914 59 Cf Council of Trent DS 1680 CIC can 988 2 60 Cf Lk 6 36 61 St Augustine In Jo ev 12 13 PL 35 1491 62 Cf Council of Trent 1551 DS 1712 63 Rom 8 17 Rom 3 25 I Jn 2 1 2 cf Council of Trent 1551 DS 1690 64

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    and priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries above all the Eucharist in the distribution of Holy Communion in assisting at and blessing marriages in the proclamation of the Gospel and preaching in presiding over funerals and in dedicating themselves to the various ministries of charity 57 1571 Since the Second Vatican Council the Latin Church has restored the diaconate as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy 58 while the Churches of the East had always maintained it This permanent diaconate which can be conferred on married men constitutes an important enrichment for the Church s mission Indeed it is appropriate and useful that men who carry out a truly diaconal ministry in the Church whether in its liturgical and pastoral life or whether in its social and charitable works should be strengthened by the imposition of hands which has come down from the apostles They would be more closely bound to the altar and their ministry would be made more fruitful through the sacramental grace of the diaconate 59 IV THE CELEBRATION OF THIS SACRAMENT 1572 Given the importance that the ordination of a bishop a priest or a deacon has for the life of the particular Church its celebration calls for as many of the faithful as possible to take part It should take place preferably on Sunday in the cathedral with solemnity appropriate to the occasion All three ordinations of the bishop of the pRiest and of the deacon follow the same movement Their proper place is within the Eucharistic liturgy 1573 The essential rite of the sacrament of Holy Orders for all three degrees consists in the bishop s imposition of hands on the head of the ordinand and in the bishop s specific consecratory prayer asking God for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and his gifts proper to the ministry to which the candidate is being ordained 60 1574 As in all the sacraments additional rites surround the celebration Varying greatly among the different liturgical traditions these rites have in common the expression of the multiple aspects of sacramental grace Thus in the Latin Church the initial rites presentation and election of the ordinand instruction by the bishop examination of the candidate litany of the saints attest that the choice of the candidate is made in keeping with the practice of the Church and prepare for the solemn act of consecration after which several rites syrnbolically express and complete the mystery accomplished for bishop and priest an anointing with holy chrism a sign of the special anointing of the Holy Spirit who makes their ministry fruitful giving the book of the Gospels the ring the miter and the crosier to the bishop as the sign of his apostolic mission to proclaim the Word of God of his fidelity to the Church the bride of Christ and his office as shepherd of the Lord s flock presentation to the priest of the paten and chalice the offering of the holy people which he is called to present to God giving the book of the Gospels to the deacon who has just received the mission to proclaim the Gospel of Christ V WHO CAN CONFER THIS SACRAMENT 1575 Christ himself chose the apostles and gave them a share in his mission and authority Raised to the Father s right hand he has not forsaken his flock but he keeps it under his constant protection through the apostles and guides it still through these same pastors who continue his work today 61 Thus it is Christ whose gift it is that some be apostles others pastors He continues to act through the bishops 62 1576 Since the sacrament of Holy Orders is the sacrament of the apostolic ministry it is for the bishops as the successors of the apostles to hand on the gift of the Spirit 63 the apostolic line 64 Validly ordained bishops i e those who are in the line of apostolic succession validly confer the three degrees of the sacrament of Holy Orders 65 VI WHO CAN RECEIVE THIS SACRAMENT 1577 Only a baptized man vir validly receives sacred ordination 66 The Lord Jesus chose men viri to form the college of the twelve apostles and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry 67 The college of bishops with whom the priests are united in the priesthood makes the college of the twelve an ever present and ever active reality until Christ s return The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself For this reason the ordination of women is not possible 68 1578 No one has a right to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders Indeed no one claims this office for himself he is called to it by God 69 Anyone who thinks he recognizes the signs of God s call to the ordained ministry must humbly submit his desire to the authority of the Church who has the responsibility and right to call someone to receive orders Like every grace this sacrament can be received only as an unmerited gift 1579 All the ordained ministers of the Latin Church with the exception of permanent deacons are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate for the sake of the kingdom of heaven 70 Called to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the Lord and to the affairs of the Lord 71 they give themselves entirely to God and to men Celibacy is a sign of this new life to the service of which the Church s minister is consecrated accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the Reign of God 72 1580 In the Eastern Churches a different discipline has been in force for many centuries while bishops are chosen solely from among celibates married men can be ordained as deacons and priests This practice has long been considered legitimate these priests exercise a fruitful ministry within their communities 73 Moreover priestly celibacy is held in great honor in the Eastern Churches and many priests have freely chosen it for the sake of the Kingdom of God In the East as in the West a man who has already received the sacrament of Holy Orders can no longer marry VII THE EFFECTS OF THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS The indelible character 1581 This sacrament configures the recipient to Christ by a special grace of the Holy Spirit so that he may serve as Christ s instrument for his Church By ordination one is enabled to act as a representative of Christ Head of the Church in his triple office of priest prophet and king 1582 As in the case of Baptism and Confirmation this share in Christ s office is granted once for all The sacrament of Holy Orders like the other two confers an indelible spiritual character and cannot be repeated or conferred temporarily 74 1583 It is true that someone validly ordained can for grave reasons be discharged from the obligations and functions linked to ordination or can be forbidden to exercise them but he cannot become a layman again in the strict sense 75 because the character imprinted by ordination is for ever The vocation and mission received on the day of his ordination mark him permanently 1584 Since it is ultimately Christ who acts and effects salvation through the ordained minister the unworthiness of the latter does not prevent Christ from acting 76 St Augustine states this forcefully As for the proud minister he is to be ranked with the devil Christ s gift is not thereby profaned what flows through him keeps its purity and what passes through him remains dear and reaches the fertile earth The spiritual power of the sacrament is indeed comparable to light those to be enlightened receive it in its purity and if it should pass through defiled beings it is not itself defiled 77 The grace of the Holy Spirit 1585 The grace of the Holy Spirit proper to this sacrament is configuration to Christ as Priest Teacher and Pastor of whom the ordained is made a minister 1586 For the bishop this is first of all a grace of strength the governing spirit Prayer of Episcopal Consecration in the Latin rite 78 the grace to guide and defend his Church with strength and prudence as a father and pastor with gratuitous love for all and a preferential love for the poor the sick and the needy This grace impels him to proclaim the Gospel to all to be the model for his flock to go before it on the way of sanctification by identifying himself in the Eucharist with Christ the priest and victim not fearing to give his life for his sheep Father you know all hearts You have chosen your servant for the office of bishop May he be a shepherd to your holy flock and a high priest blameless in your sight ministering to you night and day may he always gain the blessing of your favor and offer the gifts of your holy Church Through the Spirit who gives the grace of high priesthood grant him the power to forgive sins as you have commanded to assign ministries as you have decreed and to loose from every bond by the authority which you gave to your apostles May he be pleasing to you by his gentleness and purity of heart presenting a fragrant offering to you through Jesus Christ your Son 79 1587 The spiritual gift conferred by presbyteral ordination is expressed by this prayer of the Byzantine Rite The bishop while laying on his hand says among other things Lord fill with the gift of the Holy Spirit him whom you have deigned to raise to the rank of the priesthood that he may be worthy to stand without reproach before your altar to proclaim the Gospel of your kingdom to fulfill the ministry of your word of truth to offer you spiritual gifts and sacrifices to renew your people by the bath of rebirth so that he may go out to meet our great God and Savior Jesus Christ your only Son on the day of his second coming and may receive from your vast goodness the recompense for a faithful administration of his order 80 1588 With regard to deacons strengthened by sacramental grace they are dedicated to the People of God in conjunction with the bishop and his body of priests in the service diakonia of the liturgy of the Gospel and of works of charity 81 1589 Before the grandeur of the priestly grace and office the holy doctors felt an urgent call to conversion in order to conform their whole lives to him whose sacrament had made them ministers Thus St Gregory of Nazianzus as a very young priest exclaimed We must begin by purifying ourselves before purifying others we must be instructed to be able to instruct become light to illuminate draw close to God to bring him close to others be sanctified to sanctify lead by the hand and counsel prudently I know whose ministers we are where we find ourselves and to where we strive I know God s greatness and man s weakness but also his potential Who then is the priest He is the defender of truth who stands with angels gives glory with archangels causes sacrifices to rise to the altar on high shares Christ s priesthood refashions creation restores it in God s image recreates it for the world on high and even greater is divinized and divinizes 82 And the holy Cure of Ars The priest continues the work of redemption on earth If we really understood the priest on earth we would die not of fright but of love The Priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus 83 IN BRIEF 1590 St Paul said to his disciple Timothy I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands 2 Tim 1 6 and If any one aspires to the office of bishop he desires a noble task 1 Tim 3 1 To Titus he said This is why I left you in Crete that you amend what was defective and appoint presbyters in every town as I directed you Titus 1 5 1591 The whole Church is a priestly people Through Baptism all the faithful share in the priesthood of Christ This participation is called the common priesthood of the faithful Based on this common priesthood and ordered to its service there exists another participation in the mission of Christ the ministry conferred by the sacrament of Holy Orders where the task is to serve in the name and in the person of Christ the Head in the midst of the community 1592 The ministerial priesthood differs in essence from the common priesthood of the faithful because it confers a sacred power for the service of the faithful The ordained ministers exercise their service for the People of God by teaching munus docendi divine worship munus liturgicum and pastoral governance munus regendi 1593 Since the beginning the ordained ministry has been conferred and exercised in three degrees that of bishops that of presbyters and that of deacons The ministries conferred by ordination are irreplaceable for the organic structure of the Church without the bishop presbyters and deacons one cannot speak of the Church cf St Ignatius of Antioch Ad Trall 3 1 1594 The bishop receives the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders which integrates him into the episcopal college and makes him the visible head of the particular Church entrusted to him As successors of the apostles and members of the college the bishops share in the apostolic responsibility and mission of the whole Church under the authority of the Pope successor of St Peter 1595 Priests are united with the bishops in sacerdotal dignity and at the same time depend on them in the exercise of their pastoral functions they are called to be the bishops prudent co workers They form around their bishop the presbyterium which bears responsibility with him for the particular Church They receive from the bishop the charge of a parish community or a determinate ecclesial office 1596 Deacons are ministers ordained for tasks of service of the Church they do not receive the ministerial priesthood but ordination confers on them important functions in the ministry of the word divine worship pastoral governance and the service of charity tasks which they must carry out under the pastoral authority of their bishop 1597 The sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred by the laying on of hands followed by a solemn prayer of consecration asking God to grant the ordinand the graces of the Holy Spirit required for his ministry Ordination imprints an indelible sacramental character 1598 The Church confers the sacrament of Holy Orders only on baptized men viri whose suitability for the exercise of the ministry has been duly recognized Church authority alone has the responsibility and right to call someone to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders 1599 In the Latin Church the sacrament of Holy Orders for the presbyterate is normally conferred only on candidates who are ready to embrace celibacy freely and who publicly manifest their intention of staying celibate for the love of God s kingdom and the service of men 1600 It is bishops who confer the sacrament of Holy Orders in the three degrees ARTICLE 7 THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY 1601 The matrimonial covenant by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament 84 MARRIAGE IN GOD S PLAN 1602 Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of the wedding feast of the Lamb 85 Scripture speaks throughout of marriage and its mystery its institution and the meaning God has given it its origin and its end its various realizations throughout the history of salvation the difficulties arising from sin and its renewal in the Lord in the New Covenant of Christ and the Church 86 Marriage in the order of creation 1603 The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws God himself is the author of marriage 87 The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures social structures and spiritual attitudes These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity 88 some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures The well being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life 89 1604 God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love 90 Since God created him man and woman their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man It is good very good in the Creator s eyes And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation And God blessed them and God said to them Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it 91 1605 Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another It is not good that the man should be alone 92 The woman flesh of his flesh his equal his nearest in all things is given to him by God as a helpmate she thus represents God from whom comes our help 93 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh 94 The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been in the beginning So they are no longer two but one flesh 95 Marriage under the regime of sin 1606 Every man experiences evil around him and within himself This experience makes itself felt in the relationships between man and woman Their union has always been threatened by discord a spirit of domination infidelity jealousy and conflicts that can escalate into hatred and separation This disorder can manifest itself more or less acutely and can be more or less overcome according to the circumstances of cultures eras and individuals but it does seem to have a universal character 1607 According to faith the disorder we notice so painfully does not stem from the nature of man and woman nor from the nature of their relations but from sin As a break with God the first sin had for its first consequence the rupture of the original communion between man and woman Their relations were distorted by mutual recriminations 96 their mutual attraction the Creator s own gift changed into a relationship of domination and lust 97 and the beautiful vocation of man and woman to be fruitful multiply and subdue the earth was burdened by the pain of childbirth and the toil of work 98 1608 Nevertheless the order of creation persists though seriously disturbed To heal the wounds of sin man and woman need the help of the grace that God in his infinite mercy never refuses them 99 Without his help man and woman cannot achieve the union of their lives for which God created them in the beginning Marriage under the pedagogy of the Law 1609 In his mercy God has not forsaken sinful man The punishments consequent upon sin pain in childbearing and toil in the sweat of your brow 100 also embody remedies that limit the damaging effects of sin After the fall marriage helps to overcome self absorption egoism pursuit of one s own pleasure and to open oneself to the other to mutual aid and to self giving 1610 Moral conscience concerning the unity and indissolubility of marriage developed under the pedagogy of the old law In the Old Testament the polygamy of patriarchs and kings is not yet explicitly rejected Nevertheless the law given to Moses aims at protecting the wife from arbitrary domination by the husband even though according to the Lord s words it still carries traces of man s hardness of heart which was the reason Moses permitted men to divorce their wives 101 1611 Seeing God s covenant with Israel in the image of exclusive and faithful married love the prophets prepared the Chosen People s conscience for a deepened understanding of the unity and indissolubility of marriage 102 The books of Ruth and Tobit bear moving witness to an elevated sense of marriage and to the fidelity and tenderness of spouses Tradition has always seen in the Song of Solomon a unique expression of human love insofar as it is a reflection of God s love a love strong as death that many waters cannot quench 103 Marriage in the Lord 1612 The nuptial covenant between God and his people Israel had prepared the way for the new and everlasting covenant in which the Son of God by becoming incarnate and giving his life has united to himself in a certain way all mankind saved by him thus preparing for the wedding feast of the Lamb 104 1613 On the threshold of his public life Jesus performs his first sign at his mother s request during a wedding feast 105 The Church attaches great importance to Jesus presence at the wedding at Cana She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ s presence 1614 In his preaching Jesus unequivocally taught the original meaning of the union of man and woman as the Creator willed it from the beginning permission given by Moses to divorce one s wife was a concession to the hardness of hearts 106 The matrimonial union of man and woman is indissoluble God himself has determined it what therefore God has joined together let no man put asunder 107 1615 This unequivocal insistence on the indissolubility of the marriage bond may have left some perplexed and could seem to be a demand impossible to realize However Jesus has not placed on spouses a burden impossible to bear or too heavy heavier than the Law of Moses 108 By coming to restore the original order of creation disturbed by sin he himself gives the strength and grace to live marriage in the new dimension of the Reign of God It is by following Christ renouncing themselves and taking up their crosses that spouses will be able to receive the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ 109 This grace of Christian marriage is a fruit of Christ s cross the source of all Christian life 1616 This is what the Apostle Paul makes clear when he says Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her that he might sanctify her adding at once For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one This is a great mystery and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church 110 1617 The entire Christian life bears the mark of the spousal love of Christ and the Church Already Baptism the entry into the People of God is a nuptial mystery it is so to speak the nuptial bath 111 which precedes the wedding feast the Eucharist Christian marriage in its turn becomes an efficacious sign the sacrament of the covenant of Christ and the Church Since it signifies and communicates grace marriage between baptized persons is a true sacrament of the New Covenant 112 Virginity for the sake of the Kingdom 1618 Christ is the center of all Christian life The bond with him takes precedence over all other bonds familial or social 113 From the very beginning of the Church there have been men and women who have renounced the great good of marriage to follow the Lamb wherever he goes to be intent on the things of the Lord to seek to please him and to go out to meet the Bridegroom who is coming 114 Christ himself has invited certain persons to follow him in this way of life of which he remains the model For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven He who is able to receive this let him receive it 115 1619 Virginity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven is an unfolding of baptismal grace a powerful sign of the supremacy of the bond with Christ and of the ardent expectation of his return a sign which also recalls that marriage is a reality of this present age which is passing away 116 1620 Both the sacrament of Matrimony and virginity for the Kingdom of God come from the Lord himself It is he who gives them meaning and grants them the grace which is indispensable for living them out in conformity with his will 117 Esteem of virginity for the sake of the kingdom 118 and the Christian understanding of marriage are inseparable and they reinforce each other Whoever denigrates marriage also diminishes the glory of virginity Whoever praises it makes virginity more admirable and resplendent What appears good only in comparison with evil would not be truly good The most excellent good is something even better than what is admitted to be good 119 II THE CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE 1621 In the Latin Rite the celebration of marriage between two Catholic faithful normally takes place during Holy Mass because of the connection of all the sacraments with the Paschal mystery of Christ 120 In the Eucharist the memorial of the New Covenant is realized the New Covenant in which Christ has united himself for ever to the Church his beloved bride for whom he gave himself up 121 It is therefore fitting that the spouses should seal their consent to give themselves to each other through the offering of their own lives by uniting it to the offering of Christ for his Church made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice and by receiving the Eucharist so that communicating in the same Body and the same Blood of Christ they may form but one body in Christ 122 1622 Inasmuch as it is a sacramental action of sanctification the liturgical celebration of marriage must be per se valid worthy and fruitful 123 It is therefore appropriate for the bride and groom to prepare themselves for the celebration of their marriage by receiving the sacrament of penance 1623 According to the Latin tradition the spouses as ministers of Christ s grace mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church In the tradition of the Eastern Churches the priests bishops or presbyters are witnesses to the mutual consent given by the spouses 124 but for the validity of the sacrament their blessing is also necessary 125 1624 The various liturgies abound in prayers of blessing and epiclesis asking God s grace and blessing on the new couple especially the bride In the epiclesis of this sacrament the spouses receive the Holy Spirit as the communion of love of Christ and the Church 126 The Holy Spirit is the seal of their covenant the ever available source of their love and the strength to renew their fidelity III MATRIMONIAL CONSENT 1625 The parties to a marriage covenant are a baptized man and woman free to contract marriage who freely express their consent to be free means not being under constraint not impeded by any natural or ecclesiastical law 1626 The Church holds the exchange of consent between the spouses to be the indispensable element that makes the marriage 127 If consent is lacking there is no marriage 1627 The consent consists in a human act by which the partners mutually give themselves to each other I take you to be my wife I take you to be my husband 128 This consent that binds the spouses to each other finds its fulfillment in the two becoming one flesh 129 1628 The consent must be an act of the will of each of the contracting parties free of coercion or grave external fear 130 No human power can substitute for this consent 131 If this freedom is lacking the marriage is invalid 1629 For this reason or for other reasons that render the marriage null and void the Church after an examination of the situation by the competent ecclesiastical tribunal can declare the nullity of a marriage i e that the marriage never existed 132 In this case the contracting parties are free to marry provided the natural obligations of a previous union are discharged 133 1630 The priest or deacon who assists at the celebration of a marriage receives the consent of the spouses in the name of the Church and gives the blessing of the Church The presence of the Church s minister and also of the witnesses visibly expresses the fact that marriage is an ecclesial reality 1631 This is the reason why the Church normally requires that the faithful contract marriage according to the ecclesiastical form Several reasons converge to explain this requirement 134 Sacramental marriage is a liturgical act It is therefore appropriate that it should be celebrated in the public liturgy of the Church Marriage introduces one into an ecclesial order and creates rights and duties in the Church between the spouses and towards their children Since marriage is a state of life in the Church certainty about it is necessary hence the obligation to have witnesses The public character of the consent protects the I do once given and helps the spouses remain faithful to it 1632 So that the I do of the spouses may be a free and responsible act and so that the marriage covenant may have solid and lasting human and Christian foundations preparation for marriage is of prime importance The example and teaching given by parents and families remain the special form of this preparation The role of pastors and of the Christian community as the family of God is indispensable for the transmission of the human and Christian values of marriage and family 135 and much more so in our era when many young people experience broken homes which no longer sufficiently assure this initiation It is imperative to give suitable and timely instruction to young people above all in the heart of their own families about the dignity of married love its role and its exercise so that having learned the value of chastity they will be able at a suitable age to engage in honorable courtship and enter upon a marriage of their own 136 Mixed marriages and disparity of cult 1633 In many countries the situation of a mixed marriage marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non Catholic often arises It requires particular attention on the part of couples and their pastors A case of marriage with disparity of cult between a Catholic and a nonbaptized person requires even greater circumspection 1634 Difference of confession between the spouses does not constitute an insurmountable obstacle for marriage when they succeed in placing in common what they have received from their respective communities and learn from each other the way in which each lives in fidelity to Christ But the difficulties of mixed marriages must not be underestimated They arise from the fact that the separation of Christians has not yet been overcome The spouses risk experiencing the tragedy of Christian disunity even in the heart of their own home Disparity of cult can further aggravate these difficulties Differences about faith and the very notion of marriage but also different religious mentalities can become sources of tension in marriage especially as regards the education of children The temptation to religious indifference can then arise 1635 According to the law in force in the Latin Church a mixed marriage needs for liceity the express permission of ecclesiastical authority 137 In case of disparity of cult an express dispensation from this impediment is required for the validity of the marriage 138 This permission or dispensation presupposes that both parties know and do not exclude the essential ends and properties of marriage and furthermore that the Catholic party confirms the obligations which have been made known to the non Catholic party of preserving his or her own faith and ensuring the baptism and education of the children in the Catholic Church 139 1636 Through ecumenical dialogue Christian communities in many regions have been able to put into effect a common pastoral practice for mixed marriages Its task is to help such couples live out their particular situation in the light of faith overcome the tensions between the couple s obligations to each other and towards their ecclesial communities and encourage the flowering of what is common to them in faith and respect for what separates them 1637 In marriages with disparity of cult the Catholic spouse has a particular task For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband 140 It is a great joy for the Christian spouse and for the Church if this consecration should lead to the free conversion of the other spouse to the Christian faith 141 Sincere married love the humble and patient practice of the family virtues and perseverance in prayer can prepare the non believing spouse to accept the grace of conversion IV THE EFFECTS OF THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY 1638 From a valid marriage arises a bond between the spouses which by its very nature is perpetual and exclusive furthermore in a Christian marriage the spouses are strengthened and as it were consecrated for the duties and the dignity of their state by a special sacrament 142 The marriage bond 1639 The consent by which the spouses mutually give and receive one another is sealed by God himself 143 From their covenant arises an institution confirmed by the divine law even in the eyes of society 144 The covenant between the spouses is integrated into God s covenant with man Authentic married love is caught up into divine love 145 1640 Thus the marriage bond has been established by God himself in such a way that a marriage concluded and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved This bond which results from the free human act of the spouses and their consummation of the marriage is a reality henceforth irrevocable and gives rise to a covenant guaranteed by God s fidelity The Church does not have the power to contravene this disposition of divine wisdom 146 The grace of the sacrament of Matrimony 1641 By reason of their state in life and of their order Christian

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    acts the minister leaves human traces that are not always signs of fidelity to the Gospel and consequently can harm the apostolic fruitfulness of the Church 1551 This priesthood is ministerial That office which the Lord committed to the pastors of his people is in the strict sense of the term a service 28 It is entirely related to Christ and to men It depends entirely on Christ and on his unique priesthood it has been instituted for the good of men and the communion of the Church The sacrament of Holy Orders communicates a sacred power which is none other than that of Christ The exercise of this authority must therefore be measured against the model of Christ who by love made himself the least and the servant of all 29 The Lord said clearly that concern for his flock was proof of love for him 30 in the name of the whole Church 1552 The ministerial priesthood has the task not only of representing Christ Head of the Church before the assembly of the faithful but also of acting in the name of the whole Church when presenting to God the prayer of the Church and above all when offering the Eucharistic sacrifice 31 1553 In the name of the whole Church does not mean that priests are the delegates of the community The prayer and offering of the Church are inseparable from the prayer and offering of Christ her head it is always the case that Christ worships in and through his Church The whole Church the Body of Christ prays and offers herself through him with him in him in the unity of the Holy Spirit to God the Father The whole Body caput et membra prays and offers itself and therefore those who in the Body are especially his ministers are called ministers not only of Christ but also of the Church It is because the ministerial priesthood represents Christ that it can represent the Church I THE THREE DEGREES OF THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS 1554 The divinely instituted ecclesiastical ministry is exercised in different degrees by those who even from ancient times have been called bishops priests and deacons 32 Catholic doctrine expressed in the liturgy the Magisterium and the constant practice of the Church recognizes that there are two degrees of ministerial participation in the priesthood of Christ the episcopacy and the presbyterate The diaconate is intended to help and serve them For this reason the term sacerdos in current usage denotes bishops and priests but not deacons Yet Catholic doctrine teaches that the degrees of priestly participation episcopate and presbyterate and the degree of service diaconate are all three conferred by a sacramental act called ordination that is by the sacrament of Holy Orders Let everyone revere the deacons as Jesus Christ the bishop as the image of the Father and the presbyters as the senate of God and the assembly of the apostles For without them one cannot speak of the Church 33 Episcopal ordination fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders 1555 Amongst those various offices which have been exercised in the Church from the earliest times the chief place according to the witness of tradition is held by the function of those who through their appointment to the dignity and responsibility of bishop and in virtue consequently of the unbroken succession going back to the beginning are regarded as transmitters of the apostolic line 34 1556 To fulfil their exalted mission the apostles were endowed by Christ with a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit coming upon them and by the imposition of hands they passed on to their auxiliaries the gift of the Spirit which is transmitted down to our day through episcopal consecration 35 1557 The Second Vatican Council teaches that the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred by episcopal consecration that fullness namely which both in the liturgical tradition of the Church and the language of the Fathers of the Church is called the high priesthood the acme summa of the sacred ministry 36 1558 Episcopal consecration confers together with the office of sanctifying also the offices of teaching and ruling In fact by the imposition of hands and through the words of the consecration the grace of the Holy Spirit is given and a sacred character is impressed in such wise that bishops in an eminent and visible manner take the place of Christ himself teacher shepherd and priest and act as his representative in Eius persona agant 37 By virtue therefore of the Holy Spirit who has been given to them bishops have been constituted true and authentic teachers of the faith and have been made pontiffs and pastors 38 1559 One is constituted a member of the episcopal body in virtue of the sacramental consecration and by the hierarchical communion with the head and members of the college 39 The character and collegial nature of the episcopal order are evidenced among other ways by the Church s ancient practice which calls for several bishops to participate in the consecration of a new bishop 40 In our day the lawful ordination of a bishop requires a special intervention of the Bishop of Rome because he is the supreme visible bond of the communion of the particular Churches in the one Church and the guarantor of their freedom 1560 As Christ s vicar each bishop has the pastoral care of the particular Church entrusted to him but at the same time he bears collegially with all his brothers in the episcopacy the solicitude for all the Churches Though each bishop is the lawful pastor only of the portion of the flock entrusted to his care as a legitimate successor of the apostles he is by divine institution and precept responsible with the other bishops for the apostolic mission of the Church 41 1561 The above considerations explain why the Eucharist celebrated by the bishop has a quite special significance as an expression of the Church gathered around the altar with the one who represents Christ the Good Shepherd and Head of his Church presiding 42 The ordination of priests co workers of the bishops 1562 Christ whom the Father hallowed and sent into the world has through his apostles made their successors the bishops namely sharers in his consecration and mission and these in their turn duly entrusted in varying degrees various members of the Church with the office of their ministry 43 The function of the bishops ministry was handed over in a subordinate degree to priests so that they might be appointed in the order of the priesthood and be co workers of the episcapal order for the proper fulfillment of the apostolic mission that had been entrusted to it by Christ 44 1563 Because it is joined with the episcopal order the office of priests shares in the authority by which Christ himself builds up and sanctifies and rules his Body Hence the priesthood of priests while presupposing the sacraments of initiation is nevertheless conferred by its own particular sacrament Through that sacrament priests by the anointing of the Holy Spirit are signed with a special character and so are configured to Christ the priest in such a way that they are able to act in the person of Christ the head 45 1564 Whilst not having the supreme degree of the pontifical office and notwithstanding the fact that they depend on the bishops in the exercise of their own proper power the priests are for all that associated with them by reason of their sacerdotal dignity and in virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders after the image of Christ the supreme and eternal priest they are consecrated in order to preach the Gospel and shepherd the faithful as well as to celebrate divine worship as true priests of the New Testament 46 1565 Through the sacrament of Holy Orders priests share in the universal dimensions of the mission that Christ entrusted to the apostles The spiritual gift they have received in ordination prepares them not for a limited and restricted mission but for the fullest in fact the universal mission of salvation to the end of the earth 47 prepared in spirit to preach the Gospel everywhere 48 1566 It is in the Eucharistic cult or in the Eucharistic assembly of the faithful synaxis that they exercise in a supreme degree their sacred office there acting in the person of Christ and proclaiming his mystery they unite the votive offerings of the faithful to the sacrifice of Christ their head and in the sacrifice of the Mass they make present again and apply until the coming of the Lord the unique sacrifice of the New Testament that namely of Christ offering himself once for all a spotless victim to the Father 49 From this unique sacrifice their whole priestly ministry draws its strength 50 1567 The priests prudent cooperators of the episcopal college and its support and instrument called to the service of the People of God constitute together with their bishop a unique sacerdotal college presbyterium dedicated it is true to a variety of distinct duties In each local assembly of the faithful they represent in a certain sense the bishop with whom they are associated in all trust and generosity in part they take upon themselves his duties and solicitude and in their daily toils discharge them 51 priests can exercise their ministry only in dependence on the bishop and in communion with him The promise of obedience they make to the bishop at the moment of ordination and the kiss of peace from him at the end of the ordination liturgy mean that the bishop considers them his co workers his sons his brothers and his friends and that they in return owe him love and obedience 1568 All priests who are constituted in the order of priesthood by the sacrament of Order are bound together by an intimate sacramental brotherhood but in a special way they form one priestly body in the diocese to which they are attached under their own bishop 52 The unity of the presbyterium finds liturgical expression in the custom of the presbyters imposing hands after the bishop during the Ate of ordination The ordination of deacons in order to serve 1569 At a lower level of the hierarchy are to be found deacons who receive the imposition of hands not unto the priesthood but unto the ministry 53 At an ordination to the diaconate only the bishop lays hands on the candidate thus signifying the deacon s special attachment to the bishop in the tasks of his diakonia 54 1570 Deacons share in Christ s mission and grace in a special way 55 The sacrament of Holy Orders marks them with an imprint character which cannot be removed and which configures them to Christ who made himself the deacon or servant of all 56 Among other tasks it is the task of deacons to assist the bishop and priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries above all the Eucharist in the distribution of Holy Communion in assisting at and blessing marriages in the proclamation of the Gospel and preaching in presiding over funerals and in dedicating themselves to the various ministries of charity 57 1571 Since the Second Vatican Council the Latin Church has restored the diaconate as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy 58 while the Churches of the East had always maintained it This permanent diaconate which can be conferred on married men constitutes an important enrichment for the Church s mission Indeed it is appropriate and useful that men who carry out a truly diaconal ministry in the Church whether in its liturgical and pastoral life or whether in its social and charitable works should be strengthened by the imposition of hands which has come down from the apostles They would be more closely bound to the altar and their ministry would be made more fruitful through the sacramental grace of the diaconate 59 IV THE CELEBRATION OF THIS SACRAMENT 1572 Given the importance that the ordination of a bishop a priest or a deacon has for the life of the particular Church its celebration calls for as many of the faithful as possible to take part It should take place preferably on Sunday in the cathedral with solemnity appropriate to the occasion All three ordinations of the bishop of the pRiest and of the deacon follow the same movement Their proper place is within the Eucharistic liturgy 1573 The essential rite of the sacrament of Holy Orders for all three degrees consists in the bishop s imposition of hands on the head of the ordinand and in the bishop s specific consecratory prayer asking God for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and his gifts proper to the ministry to which the candidate is being ordained 60 1574 As in all the sacraments additional rites surround the celebration Varying greatly among the different liturgical traditions these rites have in common the expression of the multiple aspects of sacramental grace Thus in the Latin Church the initial rites presentation and election of the ordinand instruction by the bishop examination of the candidate litany of the saints attest that the choice of the candidate is made in keeping with the practice of the Church and prepare for the solemn act of consecration after which several rites syrnbolically express and complete the mystery accomplished for bishop and priest an anointing with holy chrism a sign of the special anointing of the Holy Spirit who makes their ministry fruitful giving the book of the Gospels the ring the miter and the crosier to the bishop as the sign of his apostolic mission to proclaim the Word of God of his fidelity to the Church the bride of Christ and his office as shepherd of the Lord s flock presentation to the priest of the paten and chalice the offering of the holy people which he is called to present to God giving the book of the Gospels to the deacon who has just received the mission to proclaim the Gospel of Christ V WHO CAN CONFER THIS SACRAMENT 1575 Christ himself chose the apostles and gave them a share in his mission and authority Raised to the Father s right hand he has not forsaken his flock but he keeps it under his constant protection through the apostles and guides it still through these same pastors who continue his work today 61 Thus it is Christ whose gift it is that some be apostles others pastors He continues to act through the bishops 62 1576 Since the sacrament of Holy Orders is the sacrament of the apostolic ministry it is for the bishops as the successors of the apostles to hand on the gift of the Spirit 63 the apostolic line 64 Validly ordained bishops i e those who are in the line of apostolic succession validly confer the three degrees of the sacrament of Holy Orders 65 VI WHO CAN RECEIVE THIS SACRAMENT 1577 Only a baptized man vir validly receives sacred ordination 66 The Lord Jesus chose men viri to form the college of the twelve apostles and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry 67 The college of bishops with whom the priests are united in the priesthood makes the college of the twelve an ever present and ever active reality until Christ s return The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself For this reason the ordination of women is not possible 68 1578 No one has a right to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders Indeed no one claims this office for himself he is called to it by God 69 Anyone who thinks he recognizes the signs of God s call to the ordained ministry must humbly submit his desire to the authority of the Church who has the responsibility and right to call someone to receive orders Like every grace this sacrament can be received only as an unmerited gift 1579 All the ordained ministers of the Latin Church with the exception of permanent deacons are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate for the sake of the kingdom of heaven 70 Called to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the Lord and to the affairs of the Lord 71 they give themselves entirely to God and to men Celibacy is a sign of this new life to the service of which the Church s minister is consecrated accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the Reign of God 72 1580 In the Eastern Churches a different discipline has been in force for many centuries while bishops are chosen solely from among celibates married men can be ordained as deacons and priests This practice has long been considered legitimate these priests exercise a fruitful ministry within their communities 73 Moreover priestly celibacy is held in great honor in the Eastern Churches and many priests have freely chosen it for the sake of the Kingdom of God In the East as in the West a man who has already received the sacrament of Holy Orders can no longer marry VII THE EFFECTS OF THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS The indelible character 1581 This sacrament configures the recipient to Christ by a special grace of the Holy Spirit so that he may serve as Christ s instrument for his Church By ordination one is enabled to act as a representative of Christ Head of the Church in his triple office of priest prophet and king 1582 As in the case of Baptism and Confirmation this share in Christ s office is granted once for all The sacrament of Holy Orders like the other two confers an indelible spiritual character and cannot be

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    the pastoral care of the particular Church entrusted to him but at the same time he bears collegially with all his brothers in the episcopacy the solicitude for all the Churches Though each bishop is the lawful pastor only of the portion of the flock entrusted to his care as a legitimate successor of the apostles he is by divine institution and precept responsible with the other bishops for the apostolic mission of the Church 41 1561 The above considerations explain why the Eucharist celebrated by the bishop has a quite special significance as an expression of the Church gathered around the altar with the one who represents Christ the Good Shepherd and Head of his Church presiding 42 The ordination of priests co workers of the bishops 1562 Christ whom the Father hallowed and sent into the world has through his apostles made their successors the bishops namely sharers in his consecration and mission and these in their turn duly entrusted in varying degrees various members of the Church with the office of their ministry 43 The function of the bishops ministry was handed over in a subordinate degree to priests so that they might be appointed in the order of the priesthood and be co workers of the episcapal order for the proper fulfillment of the apostolic mission that had been entrusted to it by Christ 44 1563 Because it is joined with the episcopal order the office of priests shares in the authority by which Christ himself builds up and sanctifies and rules his Body Hence the priesthood of priests while presupposing the sacraments of initiation is nevertheless conferred by its own particular sacrament Through that sacrament priests by the anointing of the Holy Spirit are signed with a special character and so are configured to Christ the priest in such a way that they are able to act in the person of Christ the head 45 1564 Whilst not having the supreme degree of the pontifical office and notwithstanding the fact that they depend on the bishops in the exercise of their own proper power the priests are for all that associated with them by reason of their sacerdotal dignity and in virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders after the image of Christ the supreme and eternal priest they are consecrated in order to preach the Gospel and shepherd the faithful as well as to celebrate divine worship as true priests of the New Testament 46 1565 Through the sacrament of Holy Orders priests share in the universal dimensions of the mission that Christ entrusted to the apostles The spiritual gift they have received in ordination prepares them not for a limited and restricted mission but for the fullest in fact the universal mission of salvation to the end of the earth 47 prepared in spirit to preach the Gospel everywhere 48 1566 It is in the Eucharistic cult or in the Eucharistic assembly of the faithful synaxis that they exercise in a supreme degree

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    to their auxiliaries the gift of the Spirit which is transmitted down to our day through episcopal consecration 35 1557 The Second Vatican Council teaches that the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred by episcopal consecration that fullness namely which both in the liturgical tradition of the Church and the language of the Fathers of the Church is called the high priesthood the acme summa of the sacred ministry 36 1558 Episcopal consecration confers together with the office of sanctifying also the offices of teaching and ruling In fact by the imposition of hands and through the words of the consecration the grace of the Holy Spirit is given and a sacred character is impressed in such wise that bishops in an eminent and visible manner take the place of Christ himself teacher shepherd and priest and act as his representative in Eius persona agant 37 By virtue therefore of the Holy Spirit who has been given to them bishops have been constituted true and authentic teachers of the faith and have been made pontiffs and pastors 38 1559 One is constituted a member of the episcopal body in virtue of the sacramental consecration and by the hierarchical communion with the head and members of the college 39 The character and collegial nature of the episcopal order are evidenced among other ways by the Church s ancient practice which calls for several bishops to participate in the consecration of a new bishop 40 In our day the lawful ordination of a bishop requires a special intervention of the Bishop of Rome because he is the supreme visible bond of the communion of the particular Churches in the one Church and the guarantor of their freedom 1560 As Christ s vicar each bishop has the pastoral care of

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    pontifical office and notwithstanding the fact that they depend on the bishops in the exercise of their own proper power the priests are for all that associated with them by reason of their sacerdotal dignity and in virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders after the image of Christ the supreme and eternal priest they are consecrated in order to preach the Gospel and shepherd the faithful as well as to celebrate divine worship as true priests of the New Testament 46 1565 Through the sacrament of Holy Orders priests share in the universal dimensions of the mission that Christ entrusted to the apostles The spiritual gift they have received in ordination prepares them not for a limited and restricted mission but for the fullest in fact the universal mission of salvation to the end of the earth 47 prepared in spirit to preach the Gospel everywhere 48 1566 It is in the Eucharistic cult or in the Eucharistic assembly of the faithful synaxis that they exercise in a supreme degree their sacred office there acting in the person of Christ and proclaiming his mystery they unite the votive offerings of the faithful to the sacrifice of Christ their head and in the sacrifice of the Mass they make present again and apply until the coming of the Lord the unique sacrifice of the New Testament that namely of Christ offering himself once for all a spotless victim to the Father 49 From this unique sacrifice their whole priestly ministry draws its strength 50 1567 The priests prudent cooperators of the episcopal college and its support and instrument called to the service of the People of God constitute together with their bishop a unique sacerdotal college presbyterium dedicated it is true to a variety of distinct duties In each local

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    deacons in order to serve 1569 At a lower level of the hierarchy are to be found deacons who receive the imposition of hands not unto the priesthood but unto the ministry 53 At an ordination to the diaconate only the bishop lays hands on the candidate thus signifying the deacon s special attachment to the bishop in the tasks of his diakonia 54 1570 Deacons share in Christ s mission and grace in a special way 55 The sacrament of Holy Orders marks them with an imprint character which cannot be removed and which configures them to Christ who made himself the deacon or servant of all 56 Among other tasks it is the task of deacons to assist the bishop and priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries above all the Eucharist in the distribution of Holy Communion in assisting at and blessing marriages in the proclamation of the Gospel and preaching in presiding over funerals and in dedicating themselves to the various ministries of charity 57 1571 Since the Second Vatican Council the Latin Church has restored the diaconate as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy 58 while the Churches of the East had always maintained it This permanent diaconate which can be conferred on married men constitutes an important enrichment for the Church s mission Indeed it is appropriate and useful that men who carry out a truly diaconal ministry in the Church whether in its liturgical and pastoral life or whether in its social and charitable works should be strengthened by the imposition of hands which has come down from the apostles They would be more closely bound to the altar and their ministry would be made more fruitful through the sacramental grace of the diaconate 59 Notes 53 LG 29 cf

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