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Canons on priesthood and reception of Eucharist


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#1 Reader Nektarios

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 09:31 AM

Concerning the Canons of the Church that bar people from Priesthood, is it wrong to say that if one is not worthy of the Priesthood and to be able to Consecrate the Holy Gifts, is it presumable that if one is not worthy to be Ordained and Consecrate the Gifts that one is not worthy to receive the Body and Blood of Christ as well?

In Christ
Nektarios

#2 Dcn Alexander Haig

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 12:40 PM

Short answer: no.

The canons on who can be ordained say nothing about whether a man will be saved or not but rather are to stop scandal in the Church and wider society. There is no theological reason not to ordain, for example, an adulterer but the Church sees the priesthood as something which needs to be kept to a higher standard.

If we take the example of politicians, one who campaigns against corruption and then is discovered to be corrupt himself would lose all moral authority. Should he repent completely and offer good service, yet his previous corruption would still taint his work.

Because of the authority given to priests, and because of the added temptations they have as well, it is considered that only certain persons be allowed to be ordained. All are capable of repentance (and to receive communion) but only some are chosen to be priests. Don't forget though, priests are sinners too.

In Xp

Alex

#3 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 02:57 PM

Concerning the Canons of the Church that bar people from Priesthood, is it wrong to say that if one is not worthy of the Priesthood and to be able to Consecrate the Holy Gifts, is it presumable that if one is not worthy to be Ordained and Consecrate the Gifts that one is not worthy to receive the Body and Blood of Christ as well?

In Christ
Nektarios


Slightly longer answer: Nooooooo!

First off, I have to take issue with the statement "unworthy of the priesthood". NOBODY is "worthy" of the priesthood in an ultimate sense, we are all "unworthy" but God can provide what is lacking to those who are ordained. Simply because one does not meet all the requirements does not mean one is more sinful than another. There are many ministries, not every male is destined to the priesthood and many saints were never ordained.

Thus one may not qualify for the specific requirements of the priesthood but still be a perfectly acceptable (even saintly) Christian. There are even perfectly justified reasons for LEAVING the priesthood without leaving the Faith or breaking communion.

Herman the non-ordained Pooh




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