Day #231: Presbyterorum Ordinis 4

In today’s reading from the Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, we start Chapter 2 on “The Ministry of Priests”.  Chapter 3 (naturally in considering the English title of the decree) is on “The Life of Priests.”  These two chapters make up the bulk of the document.

Chapter 2 is divided into three sections.  Article 4 starts off the first section on “Priests’ functions.”  First up is the “ministry of the word.”  That is, the priests’ “primary duty of proclaiming the Gospel of God to all.”

Here are the Scripture citations:

Mk 16:15

Rom 10:17

And the footnotes:

1. Cf. 1 Pt 1:23; Acts 6:7; 12:24. “(The apostles) preached the word of truth and founded Churches.” (St. Augustine, On Psalms, 44, 23; PL 36, 508).

2. Cf. Mal 2:7; 1 Tim 4:11-13; 1 Tim 1:9.

3. Cf. Mk 16:16.

4. Cf. 2 Cor 11:7. All that has been said regarding bishops also applies to priests inasmuch as they are cooperators of the bishops. Cf. Statuta Ecclesiae Antiqua, c. 3 (ed. Ch. Munier, Paris 1960, p 79); Decree of Gracian, c. 6, D.88 (ed. Friedberg, 1, 307); Council of Trent, Decree De Reform., Session 5, c. 2, n 9 (Ecumenical Council Decrees, ed. Herder, Rome 1963, p 645); Session 24, c. 4 (p 739); Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, Nov. 21, 1964, n 25: AAS 57 (1965), pp 29-31.

5. Cf. Constitutiones Apostolorum II, 26, 7: “(Priests) are teachers of sacred science as the Lord himself commanded when he said: ‘Going, therefore, teach, etc.'” (ed. F.X. Funk, Didascalia et Constitutiones Apostolorum, I, Paderborn 1905, p 105); Leonine Sacramentary and other sacramentaries up to the Roman Pontifical, preface of the ordination of priests: “By this providence, Lord, you have added to the apostles of your Son fellow teachers of the faith through whom the apostles have filled the whole world with their teaching.” Ordo Book of the Mozarabic Liturgy, preface to the ordination of priests: “Teacher of peoples and ruler of subjects, he keeps intact the Catholic faith and announces true salvation to all.” (ed. M. Ferotin, Paris, 1904, col. 55).

6. Cf. Gal 2:5.

7. Cf. 1 Pt 2:12.

8. Cf. Rite of priestly ordination in the Alexandrian Jocobite Church: “…Gather your people to the word of doctrine like a foster-mother who nourishes her children” (H. Denzinger, Oriental Rites, Book II, Wurzburg 1863, p 14).

9. Cf. Mt 28:19; Mk 16:16; Tertullian, On Baptism, 14, 2 (The Body of Christians, Latin Series, I p 289, 11-13); St. Athanasius, Against the Arians, 2, 42 (PG 26, 237); St. Jerome, On Matthew, 28, 19 (PL 26, 218 BC): “First let them teach all nations, and then pour water on those who have learned. It cannot be that the body receive the sacrament of baptism unless the soul first has received the truth of faith;” St. Thomas, “Exposition of the first decretal,” n 1: “Sending his disciples to preach, our Savior enjoined on them three things: first, that they teach the faith; second, that they confer the sacraments on believers…. (ed. Marietti, Opuscula Theologica, Taurini-Rome 1954, 1138).

10. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Dec. 4, 1963, n 35, 2: AAS 56 (1964), p 109.

11. Cf. ibid, nn 33, 35, 48, 52 (pp 108-109, 113, 114).


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