Josemaría Escrivá Obras

In the sacrament of holy orders our Father God has made it possible for some members of the faithful, by virtue of a further and ineffable communication of the Holy Spirit, to receive an indelible character on their soul which configures them to Christ the priest so that they can act in the name of Jesus Christ, head of his mystical body. By virtue of this ministerial priesthood — which differs essentially and not only in degree from the common priesthood of the faithful — the sacred ministers can consecrate the body and blood of Christ, offering God the holy sacrifice. They can pardon sins in sacramental confession and carry out the ministry of teaching the peoples "about everything that refers to God" — and nothing more.

A priest should be exclusively a man of God. He should reject any desire to shine in areas where other Christians do not need him. A priest is not a psychologist or a sociologist or an anthropologist. He is another Christ, Christ himself, who has to look after the souls of his brothers. It would be a sad thing if a priest thought himself equipped to pontificate on dogmatic or moral theology on the basis of some human science — which if he were really dedicated to his priestly work he could only know as an amateur or an observer. This would only show his double ignorance — in human science and theological science — even though a superficial air of wisdom might deceive a few naive readers or listeners.

It is public knowledge that some ecclesiastics today seem to want to create a new Church. By doing so they betray Christ, for they change spiritual aims — the salvation of souls, one by one — into temporal aims. If they do not resist this temptation, they will leave their sacred ministry unfulfilled, lose the confidence and respect of the people, and create havoc in the Church. Moreover, by interfering intolerably with the political freedom of Christians and other men, they will sow confusion in civil society and make themselves dangerous. Holy orders is the sacrament of supernatural service of one's brothers in the faith; some seem to be trying to turn it into the earthly instrument of a new despotism.

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