Priesthood: Catholic Church and Priests Essay

756 Words Sep 30th, 1999 4 Pages

The position of priesthood in the church has been evident since the earliest existence of the church. Jewish priests first were established in the seventh century BC performing religious ceremonies. They were even more established around 950 BC due to the establishment of the Temple in Jerusalem. The major role of the traditional Jewish priest was to perform sacrificial rituals. According to the Bible, the Temple was built as a place for
God to live with the people. It was the holiest building that existed, and needed to be kept holy by the priests. Their role of the priests was to perform animal sacrifices to God as an offering. The priests performed these sacrifices as specialists on behalf of a community or
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There exists among this tribe one High Priests who head of the other priests. He is the only priest who was allowed to view the holy Ark of the Covenant during the existence of the Temple in Jerusalem. These hereditary priests, unlike most priests in today's society, were allowed to marry in order to carry on the line of priesthood. The vocational priests are those which have been "called" to the ministry by God himself. A "calling" is an "impulse by God that attracts certain persons to a life of ministry"("Calling", 176). This area of priesthood is beneficial in that it has the "potential advantage of selectivity for devotional, intellectual, or moral qualities"("Priesthood", 530). The problem with hereditary priests was that there often existed priests which were not very holy men, but they were given the position due to their family name. Vocational priests are only men who became priests because the felt thats what God wanted them to do. There are certain requirements which must be kept by preists in order for them to be able to continue doing the work of God. One of these requirements is that he is of sound mind. "Apart from practical reasons of cumminity leadership, this requirement is frequetnly supported by a notion of perfection as appropriate to the sacrificial ritual. Just as a cacrificial animal is expected to be whole and without blemish, so should the sacrificer himself be. Traditional Roman Catholic custom has required in

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