Holy Spirit - Baptism vs Laying of Hands

I know there is a major difference, but could someone explain the difference between receiving the Holy Spirit in baptism from receiving the Holy Spirit with laying on hands - as in the priesthood…

Is it a different level of the Holy Spirit? One is bringing us into the body of Christ(and washing away original sin) and the other is giving the gifts(don’t know another work for it) of the priesthood…

Again, I am not disputing the difference and not stating its false, as I am am 1000% Catholic and believe, I just don’t know how to explain it to a non-Catholic.

Thanks for any advise…
brian

As we know, non-Catholic clergy do not have apostolic succession and are not able to confect the Eucharist, offer the sacrifice of the Mass, hear confessions or minister any of the other sacraments instituted by Christ. All they have, usually, is baptism, which our Church does recognize as valid if the proper formula is used. That makes them, albeit imperfectly, a member of the Body of Christ.

The laying of hands in ordination is a special anointing consecrating the priest for life, and it imparts an indelible mark on their soul. The sign value is significant, demonstrating the imparting of the Spirit in a unique way proper only to the priesthood.

A valid Baptism also imparts an indelible mark, joining you to the Church. Once you are validly baptized, you cannot be un-baptized and the Church will not baptize you a second time.

It’s just a different kind of indelible mark from that of the priesthood. Receiving Holy Orders must come down through apostolic succession, which goes straight back to Jesus and the apostles. Baptism on the other hand is permitted to be done by laypeople and even non-Catholics because it was generally understood to be a requirement for salvation, and we did not want to create a bottleneck where people who wanted to be baptized could not receive the sacrament (and thus might not be saved) because there was no priest around. We want as many people joined to our church as possible.

But when it comes to Holy Orders, we want priests to be ordained in apostolic succession, so we don’t just want non-Catholics and lay people ordaining priests.

On a more general note, each Sacrament can be said to call down the Holy Spirit in a different way and for a different purpose.

1 Like

Thank you both, this makes more sense to me and easier to explain…

Brian

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.