Why does Catholicism have priests?

“you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

As it says here, all christians are priests. In the OT, what was the job of the priest? It was to offer up the sacrifices to God. But, as it says here, we, christians, are to offer spiritual sacrifices.

So, what is the job of a Catholic priest? And, what scriptures do you have to prove this?

Your title is a little against your thinking - You said **all ** Christians are priests, but then you asked us why we have priests. :smiley:

Let me ask you these questions:

  1. Do you believe the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist?

  2. Do you believe in the Sacrament of Reconciliation?

  3. Do you believe in the communion of Saints?

Because of those disbeliefs, one hardly understands the real meaning of the Sacrifice of the Mass; hence, he thinks only OT should have special priest, but not the nowadays.

I can point you to this page for you to read as I see that you like to read about Virgin Mary. :slight_smile:

go to Part III. The Christian Priesthood

God bless.


thank you for the links on priesthood, thistle! :thumbsup:

Through Scripture and Tradition, we know that there have always been three kinds of priests within the holy priesthood. In the Old Testament, we see the rank of High Priest (Aaron—Ex. 28:3), the rank of the ministerial priest (Aaron’s sons—Ex. 28:21, Ex.30:30), and the universal priesthood of all believers (Ex. 19:6). This is the model for the New Testament Christian priesthood, too. Jesus Christ, the Apostle and High Priest (Heb. 3:1), has set apart certain men as ministers to be “partners of Christ” (Heb. 3:14) through the ministry of Holy Orders and we, the Church, serve as the priesthood of believers.

In the gospels, we read that Jesus chose certain men to carry out his ministry in special ways. He prepared them, formed them, and instructed them for the mission they were called to do. He gave them the authority to forgive sins (John 20:23), to preside over the breaking of the bread (Matt. 26:26-28, Mk. 14:22-24, and Lk. 22:19-20), to baptize (Matt. 28:19), and to make new disciples (Matt. 4:19, Matt. 28:19). These are some of Jesus’ “holy orders” to his ministers.

The apostles understood this ministry to be one of special ordination. Certainly, they recognized as St. Peter instructed them that all Christians are made into “a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 2:5). But, this universal call to all does not discredit the special calling of some. The Bible also said the same thing about the Israelites (Ex. 19:6), yet this did not prevent there from being a separate, ministerial priesthood in the Old Testament.

The New Jerusalem, then, fulfills the types we see in the Old Jerusalem through the work of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Cause the whole Catholicism-thingy was set forth by the Apostles.

Why does your religion not have priests?

Yes, and it said it of the Jews in the Old Testament passage that Peter was quoting. Clearly, the Jews, despite having a universal priesthood, still had a ministerial priesthood. In the same way, though we are all priests, the ministerial priesthood still exists in the New Covenant.

In the OT, what was the job of the priest? It was to offer up the sacrifices to God. But, as it says here, we, christians, are to offer spiritual sacrifices.

Absolutely. And the ministerial priests offer up another sacrifice: Jesus Christ Himself, crucified for our sins.

If you’re actually interested in learning why we believe what we do, and not just interested in the debate in the hopes that you’ll “convert” us, then this link is the one of the best, most thorough explanations of the ministerial priesthood that I’ve read.

Back in the day (Numbers 16) there was a group of people who used the “we’re all priests” argument with Moses. Korah was their leader, “and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said to them, ‘You have gone too far! For all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them; why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?’” Then Korah and his followers tried to offer sacrifices to God, in the manner that only the levitical priesthood was permitted to do, and ended up getting swallowed up by the earth for their insolence.

That might just be a minor occurence in the Old Testament if not for the fact that we Christians are warned against the very same thing in Jude.


In 1 Corinthians 10:14-22, St. Paul contrasts the Eucharistic sacrifice of the New Covenant with the sacrifices made by pagan on their altars/tables to their idols (demons). The “cup of the Lord” and “the table of the Lord” that he mentions in this passage refer to the drink and food items offered in sacrifice to the Lord on the altar/table of the Lord, namely “the [wine] cup of blessing which we bless” (i.e., “the blood of Christ”) and “the bread we break” (i.e., “the body of Christ”), which are then partaken of by those who wish to become partners with the Lord. These things imply a ministerial priesthood in the New Covenant.

Cause we are all priests. :wink:

Would it be more accurate to ask…

Why does Catholicism have ordained priest(elders) as the Bible describes them?

This is all tied to the one Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross and worshipping God requires priests. I would be happy to explain why it is necessary to have priests as true worship of God requires that priests be there. Or else it is just a Bible study with some singing and praying, which isn’t worship just obedience. This does some of God’s will, but isn’t worship.

God Bless

Why not?:confused:

Best answer ever!

"I eat spiritual food to grow in spirit. So, I will not eat spiritual poison, lest I die in spirit."
I do not need to hear your “Catholic” answers. And, plz don’t start with the whole,“Your title said this, but you said this and you contradict yourself.” because I’m not up for it. Just put the word priests in parentheses.

  1. No, I don’t believe he is present in the sense you are using.
  2. I’m not clear on what this is.(You all have made so many things up, I get lost in all the man made traditions.)
  3. Yes.

Yes, set forth, but not continued. And, the Apostles were not priests. They were part of the holy “priesthood” as are all christians. By the way, I’m Catholic, in the true meaning of the word.

Yes, set forth, but not continued. And, the Apostles were not priests. They were part of the holy “priesthood” as are all christians. By the way, I’m Catholic, in the true meaning of the word.

As I said, I am a priest. So, my “religion” has priests.

By “Elders” I assume you mean the “Overseers” or “Pastors” which, my church has. We also have deacons and ministers, As the first century church had. And all were chosen according to the scriptures as laid out by Paul. “5The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint[a] elders in every town, as I directed you. 6An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7Since an overseer** is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”

Are the priests the elders of Catholic churches?**

Let’s see. They serve no purpose would be a good reason. Nor are they biblical.(in the catholic sense the the term “priest”)

Hm, well Todd, let’s get this passage in it’s full context.

14Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
18Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? 19Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. 22Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

The word “participation” in context is,“in close association with or a sort of friendship.” The partaking of the Lord’s Supper is simply a memorial, in memory, of what was given. “When you drink this cup, do it in rememborance of me.” “When you eat this bread, do it in rememborance of me.” This act is also to unite us in that, we all eat from the same loaf.

Paul, in this passage, is stating that, the Lord’s Supper is in rememborance of the sacrifice that was made. When we partake of the communion, it shows a friendship between us and God. A closeness. These ppl were making sacrifices to idols! Paul is pleeding to the reasoning as logical ppl. Can you partake of the Lord’s supper, showing the friendship you share with God, then turn and make sacrifices to idols? Absolutely not! He was not making a parallel, but a contrast, as you stated. So I’m not sure where you are going with this?

Even better question you may want to ponder on: Why does the Catholic and Orthodox have priests? Even some of the high-protestant churches like Anglicans?

Do these faiths know something that Christian churches without “holy orders” don’t???

Your definition of “participation” is partial at best.

“Participation” in this context and in the ordinary sense of the word indicates action as well as association.

The action being described by Paul is actual, not figurative. The early Christians actually drank from a Cup and actually broke bread. Likewise, the Israelites actually ate the sacrifices offered on the altar. And historically speaking, some early Christians actually found themselves in a position of actually participating in pagan ritual (see Paul’s instruction to the Gentiles at Corinth). This is the context of Paul’s warning. He tells them to watch their actions. . .to guard their actual participation.

The full context is not as you suggest, just “a close association. . .or friendship.” The FULL context is an active participation AND communal spiritual experience.

The partaking of the Lord’s Supper is simply a memorial, in memory, of what was given.

I have no idea how you would come to this conclusion, especially as you tout interest in Scriptural context.

Where in Scripture do you find Jesus ever giving his Body and Blood as a symbol, which is your ultimate contention, is it not? No one agrues that we celebrate the Eucharist as a memorial sacrifice, but the doctrine of symbolism is a new man made tradition that had no place in the early Church.

I just don’t see your symbolism. I know that it is his real Body and Blood that suffered and died for me on the cross. I also take Jesus at face value when he tells us: “Take, this is my body” (Mk. 14:22) and “This is my blood” (Mk. 14:24). I just don’t see how we can understand ANY offering of his Body and Blood as symbolic memorial. Jesus is God. God’s word does not return to him without accomplishing that for which he sent it (Is. 55:11). When God created the world, he did it out of nothing. His word accomplished everything—He said it, it was. So it is with Christ, when he says “This is my body.” It is.

“When you drink this cup, do it in rememborance of me.” “When you eat this bread, do it in rememborance of me.”

Contextually speaking, you need to do some serious research regarding the meaning of the word “remembrance.”

Eucharist is the memorial sacrifice of Christ’s Passover. The priest, in offering the Eucharist, is acting as a minister of Christ, in the priesthood of the New Covenant. There is a difference between the ministerial priesthood and the priesthood of all believers. It has not gone unnoticed that you have avoided this discussion as it only serves to blow your “we don’t need priests” position out of the water.

This idea of memorial sacrifice has deep roots in Sacred Scripture. We look to the Passover of the Israelites. When they continued the celebration of the Passover meal, they did it in remembrance of God’s mighty works wrought for them in the Exodus. This is not merely symbolic. Their participation in the timeless effects of God’s power was real and actual.

In fact, the Jews believed that by eating of the Passover Lamb they were active participants in the Exodus events. When we celebrate the Eucharist, Christ’s eternal work through the offering of his Body and Blood is made present and real to us today just as it was 2000 years ago. It is not happening again and again. . .it is happening eternally, never ending, from sun rise to sun set (Mal 1:11).

As Christians, we believe Christ’s work is powerful to transcend time and even our understanding. This is how ancient Israel understood the Passover, too. “Every time Passover is celebrated, the Exodus events are made present to the memory of believers so that they may conform their lives to them” (CCC 1363). Through the Eucharist, the sacrifice of Christ remains ever present to us so that we may be humbled and conform our lives to Him.

Your understanding of “remembrance” as a simple memory or happy reminder is unScriptural and has no place in the Apostolic tradition to which the Catholic church adheres.

This act is also to unite us in that, we all eat from the same loaf.

We actually eat the Body and Blood of our Savior. We are actually united as members of His Body. Christ redeemed us body and spirit, and so we recognize Him in His offering of Eucharis–Body and Spirit. It is actual. It is participatory. It is not just symbolic or just spiritual. He gives us His everything and expects the same of us in our participation–Body AND Spirit.

What was the significance of replacing Judas? If there are not those who are supposed to serve others in this special way, why was Judas replaced? Why were directions laid out about who and how to choose the “faithful men” who the teachings are entrusted to?

Or are you just claiming that priests are not those men that are plainly seen in scripture as those who are called to a special mission?

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