Quotation of the Day from “Reflections on the ‘Functional’ Nature of the Priesthood”

 Footnote  #2  from

“Reflections  on  the  ‘Functional’  Nature of the Priesthood”

by Donald J. Keefe, S.J.

 [ii]  The  mistake  is  at  least  as  old  as  St.  Thomas’  application  of  the  Aristotelian  category  of  the  “perfect  society”  to  the  Church.  Within  the  past  few  decades,  sociology  has  displaced  theology  in  many  fields  of  formerly  theological  interest,  particularly  sacramental  theology  and  ecclesiology.  EDWARD Schillebeeckx  did  not  invent  this  dissent,  but  his  willingness,  even  eagerness,  to  reduce  the  priesthood  to  a  variety  of  “leadership”  in  Ministry:  Leadership  in  the  Community  of  Jesus  Christ;  tr.  John  Bowden  (New  York:  Crossroad,  1981)  paved  the  way  for  a  widespread  rejection  of  the  sacramental  reality  of  Orders:  e.g.,  John  Coleman —  the  author  of  “The  Future  of  Ministry,”  America  144  (March  28,  1981),  243-49;  and  “Ministry  in  the  80′s,”  Call  to  Growth/  Ministry  9/2  (Winter,  1982)  24-31 — teaches  sacramental  theology…  at  Berkeley.

“Reflections on the ‘Functional’ Nature of the Priesthood,”

Faith, 32/ 2, March-April, 2000.

Even better, see Footnote #1:

[1] Gregory Baum, whose article in The Ecumenist (November-December, 1965) announced the passage, supposedly warranted by Lumen Gentium, §28, from a “cultic” priesthood, defined by the offering of the Sacrifice of the Mass, to a “ministerial” priesthood specified by the “making present” of Jesus’ salvific work, was a bell-wether in the ecumenical/liturgical effort to persuade Catholics that Vatican II had underwritten the merely functional priesthood, one resulting from Christ’s gift of ministry to his people, in such wise that it became impossible to distinguish the universal priesthood which is given in baptism from that priesthood which is given in ordination, since the latter is no longer specified by the authority to offer the One Sacrifice in persona Christi.  Baum contrasts a priest who thinks his ordination to have given him a distinct ontological reality, with the post-conciliar “ministerial” priest who has no such illusions. However, over the intervening thirty years, Baum failed to persuade the Magisterium: Pope John Paul II, in Ordinatio sacerdotalis, closed the door on the functional priesthood.

Ed. note: Gregory Baum left the priesthood in 1976.


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