How old are "ministries" in the Catholic Church?

I constantly hear about different Catholic ministries lately.
When I was younger I did not hear of any.
Is the use of the word ministry truly correct and ancient or is this a protestant influence?

I hope I have not asked a really dumb question.

min·is·try (mn-str)
n. pl. min·is·tries
a. The act of serving; ministration.
b. One that serves as a means; an instrumentality.
a. The profession, duties, and services of a minister.
b. The Christian clergy.
c. The period of service of a minister.
a. A governmental department presided over by a minister.
b. The building in which such a department is housed.
c. The duties, functions, or term of a governmental minister.
d. often Ministry Governmental ministers considered as a group.

I’m thinking that the idea of “ministry” is actually quite ancient and traditional, but that its present application to everything and the kitchen sink is more of a contemporary innovation. Therefore, what we have is something of a watered down notion of genuine “ministry.”

We cannot increase the communion and unity of the Church by ‘clericalizing’ the lay faithful or by ‘laicizing’ priests.

The pope (John Paul II) questioned the use of the term ministry for the work of the laity. “The language becomes doubtful, confused and hence not helpful for expressing the doctrine of the faith whenever the difference – of essence and not merely of degree – between the baptismal priesthood and the ordained priesthood is in any way obscured”, he said.

Only in virtue of sacred ordination does the word [ministry] obtain that full univocal meaning that tradition has attributed to it. There is an urgent pastoral need to clarify and purify terminology, because behind it there can lurk dangers far more treacherous than one may think. It is a short step from current language to conceptualization.

Sorry, but when I was growing up, the term minister was only used when refering to Protestant clergymen. What happened? Same with presbyters for priests. Now that word is popping up everywhere, like we’re all Presbyterians or something. I think the Presbyterians adopted that name to mean priesthood of all believers or something.

Why all of the changing language? Why are so many Protestant terms are entering the Catholic vocabulary? How about “Words of Institution” instead of “Words of Consecration”. Institution sounds like Lutheranism. Why did the Book of the Apocalypse get changed to the Book of Revelation? Aren’t we proud of our heritage and the sacred language terms that we Catholics have traditionally used?

I blame converts from Protestantism and their zealous influence on other Catholics, as well as…you know…the 60’s…and Vat II and whatever Malachi Martin’s warnings about post WWII ecumenism going too far ment…

Ironically the Eastern Orthodox whom I hold to higher standards in many ways also occassionaly use the word ministry when they have a congregation full of anglican converts. However it is far far more COMMON in the Western Catholic Church. It is a legitimate problem which should be fought vigoursly by educated laity like ourselves.

Type the word Catholic and Ministry into google and see how many organizations pop up. For me the word ministry relating to laity does nearly always bring out protestant connotations in my mind. I am extremely uncomfrtable with it, except when it relates to some specific clerical, monastic, friar involved Holy work.

Presbyter is a very ancient latin word used to mean priest. I like this word but I almost never use it to refer to priests.

Theophilus, humilis presbyter, servum servorum Dei, indignus nomine et professione monachi, omnibus mentis desidiam animique vagationem utili manuum occupatione, et delectabili novitatum meditatione declinare et calcare volentibus, retributionem coelestis praemii!

^a superb example of the most beautiful language spoken frequently within the ancient catholic church of the holy roman empire in 1120 A.D. We must return to this mentality of poetic beauty in our catechesis language. Not to mention the iconographical and sacred art techniques which he teaches us in this treatise.

Actually, no, it is the Greek term (and used by ST. Paul) for priests. It is a thoroughly Catholic word, just simply not used for centuries.

Yep. Borrowed from the Catholics.

Depends on what you mean by “traditionally”, because there is short traditions, and then there are longer traditions. It is not so much that Protestant terms are entering Catholic vocabulary, as Catholics are reclaiming their own vocabulary which the Protestants used.

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