Priesthood


#1

Hi, folks. New here - sorta… at least,it’s been so long I don’t even remember if I registered before! :slight_smile: Anyway… question… not sure how to form it, really. OK, I’m writing an article on Confession to a Priest, and I wanted some scriptures to back me up. Of course, I’ve got Jn 20:21-23, but I was trying to think of some others, so I came here and looked it up. I saw a link to Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth, which mentioned Lk 10:16: “He who listens to you listens to me, and he who rejects you rejects me.”

OK, this is where I’m not sure how to phrase my question, but that verse got me thinking. It refers to the 72 Disciples. Now, the “sending” part fits right in with my topic, because in my article I mention the issue of “sending” in light of Jn 20:21: “He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you.” (emphasis mine) But… not sure how to tie in the 72 with the whole idea of “priests,” since much of my argument has to do with the 12 Apostles as Jesus’ first priests; I had always thought that the passage in Jn 20:21-23 was directed at The Twelve. But maybe I’ve just got it all wrong. After all, I don’t think there were only the Apostles in that Upper Room after Jesus rose from the dead. I guess I’m just trying to reconcile the Priesthood of the 12 Apostles, and also their authority concerning the Sacrament of Reconciliation, with both the others present in the Upper Room and the 72 Disciples, who received a similar injunction from Jesus (Jn 20:23 reads: “Whose sins you shall forgive are forgiven, whose sins you retain are retained” and Lk 10:16 says: [FONT=Comic Sans MS]“He who listens to you listens to me, and he who rejects you rejects me.”)

So obviously I’ve confused myself. :shrug: Can someone help me sort out my thoughts? How do I put all this together to basically say that Jesus gave His 12 Apostles the authority to hear and absolve sins (or not)? Thanks ahead of time for any help! [/FONT]


#2

No help, huh? I really wanted to get this article out, but I’m confused now about these passages I mentioned (Jn 20:23: “Whose sins you shall forgive are forgiven, whose sins you retain are retained” and Lk 10:16: “He who listens to you listens to me, and he who rejects you rejects me.”). If the whole “sending” and “forgiving/retaining” thing refers to a special charism of the ordained priesthood (i.e. - representing Christ in the Sacrament of Reconciliation), are these passages referring just to the Apostles, which I always thought to be Jesus’ first priests (apparently at least the passage in Luke is not referring to [only] the Twelve), or were all the people in the Upper Room after Christ’s death, as well as the 72 Disciples who were sent to evangelize… “ordained” by Christ as His priests? I suppose that sounds like a weird question from a cradle Catholic who has actually studied Theology a little bit, but… I’d just never thought about it before in the light in which I’m looking at it now. I’m a little confused. Does anyone have any idea at all of what I’m trying to say? Can somebody please help me sort out the knots in my mind? I’d appreciate it. Thanks.


#3

1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity.” (DRA) In context, this is referring to Jesus (no mention of any ordained priests). Reading further, 1 John 2:1 says, “My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. But if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the just:” (DRA) Again, no mention of an ordained priest in connection with forgiveness of sin. In Eph 4:11, Paul writes, “And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors,” (DRA) Most translations have “teachers” instead of “doctors”. My point in all of this is there is no mention in Scripture of an ordained priesthood. Of course, Jesus is our High Priest, after the order of Melchisedech (Heb 5:6), and we (true Christians) are “kings and priests” (Rev 1:6). As such, it is our pleasure to offer our lives and praise as a sacrifice to God (Rom 12:1, Heb 13:5).

I know this isn’t exactly what you were looking for, but apparently there are more Scriptures against the priesthood (and hence, confession to a priest) than there are for it.


#4

From what I remember, John uses “disciples” sometimes to refer to the 12 instead of Apostles…so he uses them interchangibly.

This is what I would recommend instead:

Lord Have Mercy: the Healing power of Confession and Many Are Called-the Glory of the Priesthood

Both are authored by Scott Hahn. I have read both books (both a long while though)…and I think you will find the answers to your questions in both books.


#5

Thanks, Pablope, for the references. Yes, anything by Scott Hahn is usually a good resource. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to go out and buy or find those books. But thanks for the effort, and I will keep those books in mind. :slight_smile:

JMJ


#6

The priesthood of all believers certainly includes a ministerial component in the books of the New Testament.

It is demonstrated in the titles and roles of apostles and bishops that are subordinate under the high priest/Bishop.

(One bishop)1 Peter 2:25(Kjv)
For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

(One shepherd)John 10:16
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

(Judge)John 5:27
And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
(See mat19:28)

(Apostle)Hebrews 3:1
Chapter 3
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

(Forgiveness of sins) John 20:20-23
2 Corinthians 2:10
To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also:for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
James 5:14-15
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.


#7

Try the local library and try Dr. Scott Hahn’s website too. He may have free articles published before.

For more info on the ministerial priesthood…I think you will find this informative also:

ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/PRIEST3.HTM


#8

Cachonga,

Meant to respond last night, but my internet’s been whacko, and my isp or browser or something doesn’t seem to like this site…or maybe it’s just the site itself that has problems. It’s frustrating.

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to share your views. However, in light of my subject, I’m looking for a more “Catholic” answer. I don’t agree with what you say about the ordained priesthood for various reasons that I won’t go into for lack of time and priority. I have no problem with the priesthood, see… I just needed some clarification on the specific people Jesus chose to be priests and when. I had always thought that only the Apostles were His chosen priests during His ministry, but I’m just a little confused right now as to how to reconcile that with the Scriptures I’m looking at and trying to wrap my head around a certain concept. It may be that I’m looking askew at something…

Anyway… considering my own belief in the ordained priesthood, and that you seem to be against it altogether, I obviously can’t use what you’ve offered for my article. But thanks for the input. It never hurts to know what others think… challenges are good and make us study the issue more, which is my intention.

JMJ


#9

Actually, Luke 10:16 isn’t referring to priests at all. In this passage, Jesus is sending out a number of his followers to minister to Samaritans. In this way, Luke is drawing a correspondence not to ordained priestly ministry, but is looking backward to the seventy elders who assisted Moses.

So, sorry for the bad news, but I don’t think that the 72 are your best bet for a discussion of any sort of priestly ministry, let alone confession… :frowning:


#10

Actually, ὁμολογῶμεν here means ‘confess’ not in any way that speaks to particular sins (as in sacramental confession); rather, it speaks to acknowledgement of our sinful behavior in general. In this context, it is being contrasted to the assertions “we are without sin” and “we have not sinned”. So, this isn’t about the process of a particular confession, but instead, is about our willingness to profess that yes, we are sinners. (The result of this acknowledgement, of course, is that “he will forgive our sins”… this passage isn’t prescriptive, then, but rather, simply descriptive.) As such, it doesn’t speak to the “priest or no priest” question…

In context, this is referring to Jesus (no mention of any ordained priests). Reading further, 1 John 2:1 says, “My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. But if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the just:” (DRA) Again, no mention of an ordained priest in connection with forgiveness of sin.

That’s because he’s not talking about forgiveness, per se, but expiation (or propitiation). The difference is critical to understand: forgiveness comes from the aggrieved party (or his proxy); propitiation (or an atoning sacrifice) comes only from Jesus. Catholics do not believe that the forgiveness of sin that is found in the Sacrament of Reconciliation comes by virtue of an atoning sacrifice on the part of the priest; rather, Jesus is the source of that sacrifice. However, Jesus has given the command to the apostles to forgive sins on His behalf. Again, then, it makes sense that this passage doesn’t mention priests.

In Eph 4:11, Paul writes, “And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors,” (DRA) Most translations have “teachers” instead of “doctors”. My point in all of this is there is no mention in Scripture of an ordained priesthood.

That’s because, at the time that the Scriptures were being written, the apostles were the only priests. So, they’re already covered by the title ‘apostles.’

I know this isn’t exactly what you were looking for, but apparently there are more Scriptures against the priesthood (and hence, confession to a priest) than there are for it.

Not at all – more accuratly, there are more Scriptures that do to apply to the notion of the ordained priesthood; you cannot use these to prove that the priesthood and its sacramental ministry are un-Scriptural. :wink:


#11

Another pair of references, if not to confession, then to forgiveness of sins, is in Matthew. 9:1-8 shows that Jesus has authority to forgive sins; Matthew 16:13-20 gives Peter the power of loosing and binding (sins and excommunication), while 18:15-20 extends the authority to bind and loose to all the Twelve. “The Church,” in this last context, would include the leadership of the community–that is, the Clergy.


#12

As to ordained priesthood, the Letter of Jude mentions (1:11) that “Woe unto them, for they have gone in the way of Cain: and after the error of Balaam they have for reward poured out themselves, and have perished in the contradiction of Core.” Core is the man in the Old Testament (Numbers 16:1) who with others opposed the priesthood of Aaron and Moses, saying “Let it be enough for you, that all the multitude consisteth of holy ones, and the Lord is among them: Why lift you up yourselves above the people of the Lord?” Their end was a very unhappy one, being swallowed alive by the earth to hell. The Haydock Commentary takes the way of Core to be that of defying appointed ecclesiastical authority:

Heretics follow the way of Cain, by murdering the souls of their brethren; the way of Balaam by putting a scandal before the people of God, for their own private ends; and the way of Core or Korah, by their opposition to the church governors of divine appointment. Ch.


closed #13

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