Why is there a need for a priest in the Catholic religion if Jesus is our High Priest?


#21

I hate it when people simply provide a link instead of answering the question…but in this case, there is a brief article which addresses your questions quite well.

The short answer is: we have priests because Jesus established the New Testament priesthood.

The slightly longer answer is here:

Did Jesus Give Priests to the Church?
By Kenneth J. Howell
http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2004/0404sbs.asp


#22

Latin was the language of the Roman Empire…the greatest on Earth in its day.

Later, the Church retained the Latin in order to make it more easy for people from different countries and languages to worship in common.

Since you don’t speak Latin (nor do I), I can understand how you might feel left out if you attended a Latin mass, but people attending mass in the “old days” generally knew enough of the language to follow the service since they heard the prayers, etc. repeated week afer week.

Today, of course, everything is in English here in the US, but I would still feel left out attending a Spanish mass.


#23

I don’t feel left out, since I realize the authority that Jesus gave to His Apostles rests now with the Bishops and priests today.
The Bible was always available to read. The problem was, nobody could read. On the other hand, everybody knew Latin well enough to understand the Mass. The priest didn’t face away from the people, he faced the same way as the people.


#24

Hmmm… Lets see… The priest places My Lord in my extended hand, then I place him in my mouth and swallow, he goes down my tummy and every molecule of His consecrated being becomes part of me… I do not know how much closer can I get!!

Why can’t we make our own sacrifices to God w/out a priest?

Jesus is the only one that makes the sacrifice the priest is there to unite us to that eternal moment in which this most pure sacrifice is offered. Without a priest there is not this connection.

(any biblical writings to support this?)

Many, start with Paul’s letter to the Corinthians’s. The very first words of Jesus ever recorded where the words on institution “this is my body” “This is my blood”

Are there any references to “priest” in the NT? I think of it as an OT only thing, but again, I’ve been non-Catholic Christian all my life. Thanks for your help.
Maya

Priest = presbyter

Also… Please accept my apologies… The other day I answered on of your other posts (about papal infallibility)and on hind site I realized my tone was a bit to harsh. I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me if I offended you.

In His love…


#25

I’ve been 4 times now. It’s getting easier and more comfortable each time.

This is a completely bogus anti-Catholic myth promulgated by Protestants unconcerned with truth.

Bibles were extremely expensive throughout most of Christian history. This didn’t change until a Catholic invented the printing press.

Well thanks for letting me know. You are right that I’ve been trained/taught by anti-Catholics. Since I don’t know many if any Catholics in person, I’m on this forum to help me learn the Catholic side of things. After hearing both sides, I will be able to discern the Truth better and make a decision on whether or not to join the Catholic church (since it claims to be the true church, unlike most Protestant churches I know of).

Unlike most Protestant services, the Scripture is read extensively at each Mass, which is why the 1st half of Mass is called the Liturgy of the Word.

That’s funny, I was thinking the oposite. I’m used to at least 30 minutes of scripture study in church, and was disapointed that there was only about 5 minutes of scripture reading and review done at Mass.

Every three years the whole Bible has been presented in Mass.

The entire Bible? Or do you mean the gospels and OT. I didn’t know Mass read from other NT books like Revelation, etc.

.

Reading your posts, which I’m afraid are nothing but the same old anti-Catholic stuff refuted thousands of times around here, you don’t seem to have given much thought to this at all. You don’t seem to have attended Mass; most of what you say is easily refuted with a Missal.

I recommend attending, following along with a Missal, and seeing for yourself rather than relying upon the bigotry of others to guide you

.

Again, try to understand where I’m coming from. I’m not trying to attack, I’m here to get answers from some knowledeable Catholics so I can make the right decision. Coming from my background, it is a very scary thing to convert since if it’s wrong, I could go to Hell.


#26

Hello!? I’m right here! You don’t need to be insulting. Don’t stereotype and don’t generalize. I’m asking questions, and you’re making accusations/blanket statements. There is a huge range of different beliefs/practices in the Protestant world. Not all believe in “saved by faith alone,” not all believe “once saved always saved,” not all believe/practice tithing, not all deny the real presence, etc. etc.


#27

I keep seeing people say “noone could read.” I believe many people could read and write. Afterall, someone wrote the Bible documents, and someone was there to read them. I’m sure there were many people that couldn’t read, especially the poorer folks, but there were also upperclass that could so I don’t think that’s a good argument. Also, after the Bible was put together, and there was a printing press, were routinly Catholics given Bibles or encouraged to read them? I’ve always been told “no” from ex-Catholics and Protestants, but I’d like to hear from history experts.


#28

I don’t remember specifically who posted what. I’m getting used to the attacks though and try not to take it personally or to hold it against the person. I too know what it’s like to get defensive when you feel like your beliefs are attacked. No hard feelings;)


#29

I understand your view, coming from your faith tradition. However, Priest is the modern English term for “Presbyter”, which certainly is in the NT. See 1 Timothy 4:14. (KJV)

Catholics only appear to others to keep God at a distance. We spend time in Christ’s presence and take his Body and Blood into our bodies, in the Eucharist. We carry Him with us and in us, as He intended. See Last Supper accounts, John 6 and 1 Corinthians 11:17-33.

The priest, as others have ably mentioned, makes the eternal one-time sacrifice of Christ present to us. In effect, during mass we are at Calvary. The Presbyter (priest) has his authority to make Calvary present by the laying on of hands. Each priest can trace his ordination back to one of the twelve. This Apostolic succession was begun with the Apostles, who laid hands on that the recently baptized might receive the Holy Spirit See Acts 6:6; Acts 8:15-17 and 1 Timothy 4:14 again.

Remember also that the Sacred Traditions which Paul kept have been handed on. Some are in scripture, some are not. All were begun either by Christ, or those He appointed, or their successors. See 2 Thessalonians 2:15 (KJV)

Christ’s peace be with you.


#30

The first reading is from the Old Testament. The second reading reading is from the New Testament other than the Gospels (Acts, Epistles or Revelation). Then comes the Gospel reading, which is when everyone stands.

That is the norm. Once in a while, depending on where we are in the liturgical calendar, both the first and second readings will be from the New Testatment, but the norm is one from the old, one from the new.


#31

Since this was not in response to you, you shouldn’t presume it was.

As for stereotyping and generalizing, we would never be able to discuss Protestantism at all if the requirement was we could only discuss what every Protestant agrees upon. There is simply too much disunity, which is rather our point. Wherever possible I target specific communities of belief within Protestantism; I have done that here.

If your community doesn’t tithe, then consider yourself excluded from this point. If it does, then apply your own logic to it.

You will also note that I specifically referenced dispensationalism in this remark—it presumes that those Protestants who do not hold to the dispensationalist view do not similarly have to account for why they cling to one aspect of OT law while claiming that the Ten Commandments are dead, for example.


#32

This is a nonsensical claim. Even the first printed Bibles were very, very expensive—the equivalent of a small house today or a very expensive car. It remained this way for quite some time.

In order to use the Bible, one had to be not only literate, but highly literate, in either one’s own language (presuming a translation was at hand) or in ecclesial Latin. Moreover, the Church NEVER allowed for private interpretation of Scripture—private interpretation being whence heretics came.

Literacy rates in the early modern period were tiny. We are used to an American society where the vast majority can read. You must project to a time and societies where the numbers were inverted—a tiny minority could read the Bible. The notion that everyone should have their own personal Bible in the 16th century or before is completely anachronistic.

Moreover, people hear the Bible every Mass. You claim above it’s “5 minutes” but that simply isn’t so in most parishes if you’re timekeeping is correct in your own. The Liturgy of the Word is more than half of my parish’s Mass, and the readings take up 15-20 min usually. I was a Protestant for 35 years bouncing around denominations and never saw this concentrated Scripture reading to this extent anywhere. Indeed, when I asked why not, the most common answer was, “Go to Bible Study for that.”

Mass has not gotten longer since the 16th century, but much shorter. People attending Mass heard an enormous amount of Scripture, repeatedly. Moreover, they lived in a culture where the oral took precedence over the written, a necessity given low literacy rates. Far from keeping the Bible from them, the Church insisted upon communicating Scripture to as many people as possible in accordance with Christ’s command in as wide a variety of means as possible (not only Scripture, but stained glass windows, statues, architecture, painting,etc). It is no coincidence that Catholic churches tend to be far more ornate and beautiful than Protestant ones—it is a function of the pre-literate tradition of the Church and the commitment that not being literate in a common tongue ought not be a barrier to worship.

See Eamon Duffy’s “The Stripping of the Altars” for an evocative description of what worship in the Church was like in the early modern period.


#33

Ask an anthropologist about literacy rates from the biblical days unto the modern period. Scribes are mentioned throughout the NT. They were an exalted class, being literate. We cannot use our modern glasses to view the ancient world, or even the world up to the modern age.

Early bibles were, of course, hand copied and, as others have mentioned, extremely expensive. The printing press slowly began to change that, but it was then close to the time of the great divide in the church. Bibles chained up? Of course, as they were expensive and rare. Remember, they were hand copied by dipping a quill into ink, one letter at a time. And, it was done painstakingly, since those who copied the scriptures feared God and thus, feared making error in His word.

Know also, that being Evangelical you have heard much anti-Catholic theology worked into your liturgy, as well as casual conversations. It is often explicit, but also implicit in Protestant theology. This anti-Catholic nature began with the rebellion, but has since blossomed into almost a lifestyle in a few churches.

Anti-Catholicism has to be at least a small part of every Protestant’s teaching and opinion, otherwise one would have to be Catholic in order to follow Christ, right? If there is nothing wrong with Catholicism, then there is no reason to be Protestant. This is part of your theology, and why you are here asking questions. This is good, as you are seeking the truth.

As to Catholics being “given” bibles, what time frame are you talking about? Bibles have been “given” only recently, as their cost has dropped with the modern production of paper and binding being mastered.

Also, know that Christ occasionally read from the scripture in the temple, but the majority of his teaching was strictly oral, a tradition begun by Him and passed on to the Apostles. “Handing out” bibles did, in fact, lead to much error in personal interpretation, which is prohibited by scripture. At any rate, church practice, in any age, must be separated from church teaching, since Christians are sinners. What does any of this have to do with the truth the church teaches? Nothing, actually, and we have the Sacrament of reconciliation for our sins of commission or omission.

However, keep asking questions. It’s good for you and for us. Always seek the truth.

Christ’s peace.


#34

That’s wonderful!

It gets a lot easier. The first time my wife and I attended we felt like new kids in school. “The How-To Book of the Mass” helped out a lot.

Well thanks for letting me know. You are right that I’ve been trained/taught by anti-Catholics. Since I don’t know many if any Catholics in person, I’m on this forum to help me learn the Catholic side of things. After hearing both sides, I will be able to discern the Truth better and make a decision on whether or not to join the Catholic church (since it claims to be the true church, unlike most Protestant churches I know of).

The Catechism is available online, is authoritative, and is a great resource to supplement your inquiry:

scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

I’d recommend separate threads for your major questions. Because anti-Catholic propaganda is so prevalent and so engrained, it is difficult to distinguish sincere seekers from those who simply throw a bunch of lies against the Church into one post, then disappear. One distinguishing characteristic is that sincere seekers such as yourself ask one question, then hang around for the answer, then move on to followups. It immediately separates the sincere from the bomb-throwers.

The entire Bible? Or do you mean the gospels and OT. I didn’t know Mass read from other NT books like Revelation, etc.

The whole thing. Mass is offered daily and readings change daily. If I’m recalling correctly we had a reading from Revelation in last Sunday’s Mass.

You can easily find the list of Mass readings for a given day online.

The nice thing about the readings in the Mass is that they’re not just a verse here and a verse there with a long sermon in between, but are big, meaty passages (often entire chapters) and thus context is clearer.

Again, try to understand where I’m coming from. I’m not trying to attack, I’m here to get answers from some knowledeable Catholics so I can make the right decision. Coming from my background, it is a very scary thing to convert since if it’s wrong, I could go to Hell.

I understand, having made the journey myself. Please also understand that in defending the Church and attacking lies about her, we are not attacking you. Per my prior post, I will refrain from further response lest this distinction not be sufficiently clear in my own responses. My brothers and sisters are better able to respond to your inquiries without offending you.

Go with God and by all means keep asking your questions!

May God bless you and yours.


#35

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