The Celebration of the Christian Mystery
Church entrusted to him. As successors of the
apostles andmembers of the college, the bishops share
in the apostolic responsibility and mission of the
whole Church under the authority of the Pope, succes
sor of St. Peter.
Priests are united with the bishops in sacerdotal dig-
nity and at the same time depend on them in the
exercise of their pastoral functions; they are called to
be the bishops’ prudent co-workers. They form
around their bishop the presbyterium which bears
responsibility with him for the particular Church.
They receive from the bishop the charge of a parish
community or a determinate ecclesial office.
Deacons are ministers ordained for tasks of service of
the Church; they do not receive the ministerial priest-
hood, but ordination confers on them important func-
tions in the ministry of the word, divine worship,
pastoral governance, and the service of charity, tasks
which they must carry out under the pastoral author-
ity of their bishop.
The sacrament of HolyOrders is conferred by the laying
onof hands followedby a solemnprayer of consecration
asking God to grant the ordinand the graces of the Holy
Spirit required for his ministry. Ordination imprints an
indelible sacramental character.
The Church confers the sacrament of Holy Orders only
on baptized men (
), whose suitability for the exer-
cise of the ministry has been duly recognized. Church
authority alone has the responsibility and right to call
someone to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders.
In the LatinChurch the sacrament of HolyOrders for the
presbyterate is normally conferred only on candidates
who are ready to embrace celibacy freely and who pub-
licly manifest their intention of staying celibate for the
love of God’s kingdom and the service of men.
It is bishops who confer the sacrament of Holy Orders
in the three degrees.