People keep telling me that when a priest is ordained the soul is changed? Can someone explain this to me? Also that they will have some sort of mark in heaven to let everyone know that they were a priest on earth?
I do know that certain Saints were able to identify a priest even when they were not in clerical dress. One described it as having discerned the priesthood from the man’s soul. I will be interested in reading the more knowledgeable post to come.
When a priest is ordained, his hands are marked and consecrated with chrism, making him able to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This leaves a permanent mark on him. Even if a priest is laicized, he is still able to celebrate Mass, provided that it is an emergency. For this reason, when a priest is given Extreme Unction, when the sick’s palms would usually be anointed with oil, the backs of the priest’s hands are actually anointed, because his palms have already been consecrated.
I can’t remember whether this was from the Catechism or Code of Canon Law, but I believe the proper name is an “ontological change.” Basically, the man being ordained is no longer the same man. He undergoes a permanent, or ontological, change of his soul.
This is true as far as it goes, but I thought it was the ordination, the conferral of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, that conferred the Mark, not specifically the anointing of the hands. For this reason I had read that Deacons, too, undergo that “ontological change” and Mark on their soul.
Well, if the anointing of the hands were done outside of Holy Orders, it wouldn’t have the same consecrating effect. I don’t know about deacons, though. :shrug: