The Clergy in the Catholic Church... Why?

Hi all
Just wonderin if anyone can tell me why the catholic church uses the clergy system to connect to god, rather than going staight to him yourself? im not saying its good or bad im just wondering… as many answers as possible would be muchly appreciated

thanks

[quote=ryangs]Hi all
Just wonderin if anyone can tell me why the catholic church uses the clergy system to connect to god, rather than going staight to him yourself? im not saying its good or bad im just wondering… as many answers as possible would be muchly appreciated

thanks
[/quote]

Scripture shows the Church as having bishops, deacons and priests [presbyters is the Greek word]. Jesus organized the ministry of the Church on that apostolic model. The Catholic Church follows him.

I am puzzled that you seem to imply that Catholics do not approach God directly. Do you think we pray only in Church in the presence of a priest? We go “straight to him” ourselves all the time. Our “connecting to God” via the sacraments instituted by Christ, and ministered by the clergy, is not a barrier. It is rather like connecting Fort Lee, NJ to Manhattan via the George Washington Bridge. We have tangible and public means of “connecting” through the sacraments and intangible means via direct personal prayer.

[quote=ryangs]Hi all
Just wonderin if anyone can tell me why the catholic church uses the clergy system to connect to god, rather than going staight to him yourself? im not saying its good or bad im just wondering… as many answers as possible would be muchly appreciated

thanks
[/quote]

Priests are ministers.

The apostle Paul brings the point forward.

[size=3]Romans 15:15-16 (NASB)[/size]
15 But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God,

16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

Also, Paul, in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians speaks about the “ministry of reconciliation”, chapter 5, verse 18. In fact, he says Jesus gave us the ministry of reconciliation.

2 Cor 5:18 And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation

BTW, ministries are performed by ministers. Priests & bishops are ministers. Paul continues by saying that Christ entrusted us, meaning men…

2 Cor 5:19 namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

Finally, Paul calls himself and others “ambassadors”…

2 Cor 5:20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Put it all together and you get “We were given the ministry of reconciliation by Christ who entrusted us and made us ambassadors for Him.” Key - Christ gave it to us. It is a Christian Tradition by that alone, in both the east and the west.
Subrosa

Bishops (episcopoi) have the care of multiple congregations and appoint, ordain, and discipline priests and deacons. They sometimes appear to be called “evangelists” in the New Testament. Examples of first-century bishops include Timothy and Titus (1 Tim. 5:19–22; 2 Tim. 4:5; Titus 1:5).

Priests (presbuteroi) are also known as “presbyters” or “elders.” In fact, the English term “priest” is simply a contraction of the Greek word presbuteros. They have the responsibility of teaching, governing, and providing the sacraments in a given congregation (1 Tim. 5:17; Jas. 5:14–15).

Deacons (diakonoi) are the assistants of the bishops and are responsible for teaching and administering certain Church tasks, such as the distribution of food (Acts 6:1–6).

Bishop, Priest, and Deacon (Fathers*)

[quote=Genesis315]Bishops (episcopoi) have the care of multiple congregations and appoint, ordain, and discipline priests and deacons. They sometimes appear to be called “evangelists” in the New Testament. Examples of first-century bishops include Timothy and Titus (1 Tim. 5:19–22; 2 Tim. 4:5; Titus 1:5).

Priests (presbuteroi) are also known as “presbyters” or “elders.” In fact, the English term “priest” is simply a contraction of the Greek word presbuteros. They have the responsibility of teaching, governing, and providing the sacraments in a given congregation (1 Tim. 5:17; Jas. 5:14–15).

Deacons (diakonoi) are the assistants of the bishops and are responsible for teaching and administering certain Church tasks, such as the distribution of food (Acts 6:1–6).

Bishop, Priest, and Deacon (Fathers*)
[/quote]

Thanks for the tip. Here is something interesting. I checked out various translations (KJV, CJB, RSV, DRB) and only 2 of them rendered it as priest/priestly duty.

:slight_smile: Melissa

[quote=Truthseeker4]Thanks for the tip. Here is something interesting. I checked out various translations (KJV, CJB, RSV, DRB) and only 2 of them rendered it as priest/priestly duty.

:slight_smile: Melissa
[/quote]

The word underlying it, however, is, well, I’ve seen this around, for instance this one:

Simply the fact that the New Testament does not explicitly use the word “PRIEST” (Gr hiereus) for the office of Christian ministry (the Greek word PRESBUTEROS = Elder is used which is where we get the word PRIEST in English) does not mean that Jesus did not intend His Church to have a special sacramental or ministerial priesthood.

Paul does state that in his office as a minister or serving PRIEST (Gr leitourgos) of Christ he is in the “PRIESTLY SERVICE” (hierourgeo which is a hiereus cognate) of preaching the Gospel and the OFFERING (prosphero) up of the Gentiles (Rom 15:15-16 RSV). This is priestly-sacrificial language. More evidence for this later.
Also note, the NIV uses ‘priestly duty.’ I beiieve that the NAB uses a similar translation as well.

The Catholic Church has a ministerial priesthood, along with the priesthood of believers and a high priesthood (of Christ), as a continuation of the three-fold priesthood expressed in the Old Testament.

In the O.T., you had a High Priesthood (Melchizadek, Gen. 14:18), a “nation of priests” (Exod. 19:6), and a ministerial priesthood (Exod. 19:21-22).

In the N.T., you have Jesus described as “a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek” (Heb. 5:6, cf. Ps. 110:4). St. Peter describes christian believers as “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people set apart” (1 Pet. 2:9).

St. Paul describes his ministry as a “priestly service” (Rom. 15:15-16), and even considers himself a “father in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (1 Cor. 4:15) to those he preached to.

Even the greek term presbyter, which means elder, was the New testament term used to describe both the elders in the early Christian Church, and the elders in the synagogues.

A few valuable websites for further information are:
The Ministerial Priesthood
Ministry Potential Discerner
The Priesthood Debate - James Akins

Cool post muledog. I had never seen the threefold concept before. :thumbsup:

Priests also offer the Sacrifice of the Mass. It has to be done by a Priest, not the laity. See Jude 11 and the specifics of Korah’s rebellion in Numbers 16.

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