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392

Part Two

1567

“The priests, prudent cooperators of the episcopal college

and its support and instrument, called to the service of the People

of God, constitute, together with their bishop, a unique sacerdotal

college (

presbyterium

) dedicated, it is true, to a variety of distinct

duties. In each local assembly of the faithful they represent, in a

certain sense, the bishop, with whom they are associated in all trust

and generosity; in part they take upon themselves his duties and

solicitude and in their daily toils discharge them.”

51

Priests can

exercise their ministry only in dependence on the bishop and in

communion with him. The promise of obedience they make to the

bishop at the moment of ordination and the kiss of peace from him

at the end of the ordination liturgy mean that the bishop considers

them his co-workers, his sons, his brothers and his friends, and that

they in return owe him love and obedience.

1568

“All priests, who are constituted in the order of priesthood

by the sacrament of Order, are bound together by an intimate

sacramental brotherhood, but in a special way they form one

priestly body in the diocese to which they are attached under their

own bishop. . . .”

52

The unity of the presbyterium finds liturgical

expression in the custom of the presbyters’ imposing hands, after

the bishop, during the rite of ordination.

The ordination of deacon —“in order to serve”

1569

“At a lower level of the hierarchy are to be found deacons,

who receive the imposition of hands ‘not unto the priesthood, but

unto the ministry.’”

53

At an ordination to the diaconate only the

bishop lays hands on the candidate, thus signifying the deacon’s

special attachment to the bishop in the tasks of his “diakonia.”

54

1570

Deacons share in Christ’s mission and grace in a special

way.

55

The sacrament of Holy Orders marks them with an

imprint

(“character”) which cannot be removed andwhich configures them

to Christ, who made himself the “deacon” or servant of all.

56

Among other tasks, it is the task of deacons to assist the bishop and

priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries, above all the

Eucharist, in the distribution of Holy Communion, in assisting at

and blessing marriages, in the proclamation of the Gospel and

51

LG

28 § 2.

52

PO

8.

53

LG

29; cf.

CD

15.

54 Cf. St. Hippolytus,

Trad. ap.

8: SCh 11, 58-62.

55 Cf.

LG

41;

AA

16.

56 Cf.

Mk

10:45;

Lk

22:27; St. Polycarp,

Ad Phil.

5, 2: SCh 10, 182.

1462

2179

1537

1121