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In Personal Christi Capitis

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Stormy, Jan 21, 2003.

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  1. Stormy

    Stormy Senior Contributor

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    In persona Christi Capitis


    NO!

    This came up on another thread. I always knew that the Pope and the priest represent Jesus to the faithful of the Church. But my understanding was limited. I thought this was merely in their words that they spoke through the Spirit. Now I see that much more has been bestowed upon their person.

    I can never accept this.

    I very seldom use a sentence with "never" in it... but this time it is a very accurate term to us.

    I can not change who I am for the Church and we all know that the Church is not about to change for me. :)

    There was another statement within this article that made me sad for you... if you believe it... for it is not true.

    I will not allow anyone to come between myself and God. Jesus has bridged the gap by his ultimate sacrifice.

    I want to tell all of you how much I appreciate the Love that you have shown to me. I will never be the same from having known you. Love has increased within my soul.

    May God Bless you and keep you.
     
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  2. Subtilis

    Subtilis Fides et ratio

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    I am sorry to hear that.  Perhaps I can explain in a way that reconciles this concept with what you believe previously.  You mentioned that you believe for Scriptural reasons that the bread and wine become the real Body and Blood of the Savior in the Eucharist.  Certainly, a priest cannot change bread and wine into the substance of God; it must be Christ acting.  So even though it appears that the priest is acting, it must be God.  Similarly, a priest does not have the power to cause God to look past our sins; instead, Christ must be forgiving them directly in the Sacrament of Penance.  If you think otherwise, then it would be like the priest beckoning and pointing God around, rather than God voluntarily doing His own work.

    That's what in persona Christi means.  The priest isn't doing anything of His own; Christ is really and truly working through Him, in both Sacraments and ministry.

    If it's the configuration or conformation of the priest to the image of Christ that offends, perhaps it would help to recall that we are also conformed to the image of Christ in our baptism.  It happens in the priest in a special way, because the priest acts in this special way in Sacraments and ministray that we do not, but that is not even really saying that the priest is somehow "more Christ-like" than us.  It only says that his role is different. 
     
  3. Stormy

    Stormy Senior Contributor

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    I am sorry, and if what is said by the Church increases your faith in God... then that is good.

    But I can not feel that I am continuing on in my walk by taking a step backwards. I have seen the truth. I know without a shadow of a doubt that God works with us directly. I can not allow anyone to assume a role that blocks my own soul from conversing directly with God.

    No man is more important to the Father than any one of his children.

    That is the truth.

    May we all learn to walk in LOVE... for hurting anyone of us... hurts all of us.

    I truly believe, that is the message I am to recieve, from this recent steps in my walk. I no longer feel that I was to be Catholic, but instead only that my love and understanding for others needed to be increased within my heart.


    I LOVE you all.
     
  4. chelcb

    chelcb 'Totus tuus'

    +0
    Stormy,

    Let me ask you just one question.

    If you were to be Catholic and accepted that the Priest has the power given to him by Christ to forgive your sins in confession, how then is he to actually forgive your sins if he is not in the person of Christ?

    We keep hearing from non-Catholics that we “go to a man for forgiveness, why can’t we go to God?” Well we do go to Jesus but how can we if we don’t go to the priest and how can the priest absolves us from our sins if he doesn’t act in the person of Christ?

    We do not believe that man has any given authority to do anything, that is why we believe that God gave his priest the power to speak and act in his name. It really is no different than what you believe your self. If the priest was not in the person of Jesus he would be standing between you and God, but because he is in the person of Christ, the man has be eliminated and it is just you and Jesus at that point and no one else.
     
  5. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

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    Don't forget, Stormy: the article is from a group of laypersons. :) So no matter how well-intentioned they may be, their contentions may not be the actual teaching of the Church.

    THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
    (Part 2, Section 2, Chapter 3, Article 6, SubSection 2, Heading 4)

    1545 The redemptive sacrifice of Christ is unique, accomplished once for all; yet it is made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Church. The same is true of the one priesthood of Christ; it is made present through the ministerial priesthood without diminishing the uniqueness of Christ's priesthood: "Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only his ministers."

    1548 In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis:

    It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtute ac persona ipsius Christi).
    Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ.

    1550 This presence of Christ in the minister is not to be understood as if the latter were preserved from all human weaknesses, the spirit of domination, error, even sin. The power of the Holy Spirit does not guarantee all acts of ministers in the same way. While this guarantee extends to the sacraments, so that even the minister's sin cannot impede the fruit of grace, in many other acts the minister leaves human traces that are not always signs of fidelity to the Gospel and consequently can harm the apostolic fruitfulness of the Church.

    (bolding mine)

    .....or in other words, yes, the priest acts as Christ's vessel, and he acts as Christ's representative; but he does not literally become Christ Himself. The priest only functions as Christ Himself in the administration of the sacraments.

    I do not take your second paragraph as meaning that a man must go through a priest to get to God, as in such things as prayer or salvation or relationship or whatnot; there are no barriers between any man and God. I see this as meaning the same thing as above: an ordinary man cannot perform the sacraments for himself. Holy Eucharist, Confession, Extreme Unction, etc., must be performed by an ordained priest. So in that sense, yes, you have to have a priest to perform these functions for you, but that does not mean that you yourself are literally cut off from God, that you can't even pray to Him without going through a priest first; that kind of concept is contradictory to the mind of the Church.

    The site you linked seems to be a good one, and the people very sincere in trying to follow the Magesterium. But what you can run into from time to time with extremely conservative Catholics is a sort of hyper-veneration of the priesthood; it is commendable to show respect to a priest, always; but they are not little demi-gods as some seem to convey by their ideas. :)

    Always double-check with what the Church itself teaches.
     
  6. nyj

    nyj Goodbye, my puppy

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  7. Stormy

    Stormy Senior Contributor

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    Please keep posting. I am reading all your post.

    This is going to take more study and a lot of prayer. I need more and more clarification.

    I would like it if all of you would pray for me too.

    Please remember that no matter what the outcome... I have been changed.

    Also please do not think of me as Protestant. Just know me as a sister and a Christian.

    All things work for good in my life, and yours.
     
  8. Subtilis

    Subtilis Fides et ratio

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    I will try to avoid speaking too hastily, because this is clearly a very serious matter for you.  The deacon in my RCIA training once said, "I don't have to go to confession; I *get* to go to confession."  The idea is that God hasn't blocked any of the old ways of communicating with Him (and certainly not praying), but He has opened up new ones through a priesthood (Eucharist, Penance, etc.).  I would hope that no Catholic convert would take the Sacraments as meaning that it is no longer important to "pray without ceasing."  You get to do both.  :)

    Speaking of which, I am praying for you right now.  :)
     
  9. chelcb

    chelcb 'Totus tuus'

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    Woseley,

    If what you are referring to is my original post to Stormy, it was from the CCC, it was not done by laypersons. I would never post something that was not reliable.
     
  10. Stormy

    Stormy Senior Contributor

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    At this moment the tears are flowing and I am quite sad. :cry:

    I will not be posting anymore today. But I will be lurking.
     
  11. nyj

    nyj Goodbye, my puppy

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    I found this in the Douay-Rheims Bible, thought you might find it interesting:

    2 Corinthians 2:10 - And to whom you have pardoned any thing, I also. For, what I have pardoned, if I have pardoned any thing, for your sakes have I done it in the person of Christ

    In latin, that says "in persona Christi".

    KJV translation says the same thing.
     
  12. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

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    No, I'm referring to the link Stormy provided in the OP of this thread. :)
     
  13. your_quagga

    your_quagga retired

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    Stormy,

    what Wolseley posted very simply reduced is the key: the priest is a vessel.

    on maundy thursday, Jesus Christ stripped down and he washed the disciples' feet. and by doing this, he showed them the way to authority in the new covenant is by serving others in their needs. by doing this, Christ established the priesthood of the new covenant, which is the sacrament of holy orders (it corresponds to this action of Christ).

    Christ is the Mediator between God and man, but in order to meditate His redemption, He desires human instruments between Himself and the world, each of whom will be "the minister and dispenser of the mysteries of God (i corinthians 4:1)...

    "the purpose for which any high priest is chosen from among his fellow-men, and made a representative of men in their dealings with God, is to offer gifts and sacrifices in expiation of their sins (hebrews 5:11).

    all of the sacraments bring divine life or grace to us in a special way: we are all transfigured by them. what makes the difference between the sacraments is how each is applied to us. the sacrament of matrimony bind two flesh into one; the sacrament of holy orders binds the priest in holy union with God...just as the wife and husband are set apart by thier vocation in marriage, so too is the priest is set apart by his consecration to God. he is God's servant...and yours in Christ.

    please consider the words of your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ very carefully and prayerfully and do not permit misunderstandings of the sacraments to interfere with the spiritual path you have begun.

    God bless you and we will pray for you.

    pax et caritas.
     
  14. Lynn

    Lynn Veteran

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    Stormy,

    you're such a love. I know what you're going thru. finding your way thru this life is such a challenge.

    Just remember that the Holy Spirit will guide you, just trust Him.

    and know that many of us have been on a journey very similar to yours. we're all praying for you.

    lynn
     
  15. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

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    God bless you, Stormy! :) I'm sorry you are hurting right now, but Lynn is right, many of us have been right where you are. I had reached points that I was certain the Church was wrong on, only to have the Holy Spirit smack me in the face with understanding. I was in tears confused many times, but have faith, God is with you.

    I believe you see the function of a priest as separating man from God, but I see it as a beautiful example of communion with Him. Through Christ, we are given the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We don't just have a relationship with Jesus, we have "become partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). We dont act of ourselvees, nor do we pray of ourselves. Our relationship with Christ is much deeper than a personal relationship, He allows us to be filled with His Spirit and commune with Him. This relationship is so perfect and beautiful that even though it is always Christ who saves, Paul could state, "To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some," (1 Corinthians 1:22). WOW! Paul just said that he could save people. That statement could be easily overlooked, but that short phrase says infinite amounts about the nature of our relationship with God. God wants us to know Him, but He also wants us to see Himself in others, as well. It goes much deeper than thinking of Jesus when you feed the hungry or clothe the naked, it goes stright to the heart. We must realize that the God that you love and desire more than anything dwells in the temple that is your neighbor, mother, sister, brother, boss, etc.

    The priest is nothing more or less than any of us, his ministry is just different. He is to serve in the "priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit," just as Paul did (Romans 15:16). It is through the Holy Spirit that Christ pours out his grace, whether it be in Confession, the Eucharist, a hug, or a simple I love you from a friend. Any Christian can Baptize or be a source of strength in hard times, and therefore act as a source of grace. But not everyone can claim they were given "the grace... by God
    to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God..." (Romans 15:15-16). Our ministries are graces given by God, and each of ours are different. The Holy Spirit acts in different ways through each of us, but we each represent Christ to one another, because He truly acts through us, and His Spirit lives in us.

    God Bless,

    Neal
     
  16. Lynn

    Lynn Veteran

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    The thing that helped me the most on my journey was RCIA. These classes allowed me to learn the "personal side" of Catholicism. I met people who were so in love with God and His Church. I got to know the parish priests and deacons and discovered their servant-attitude. They were not there to be put on a pedestal. They were there to serve God and to serve his followers. To help us discover God's love. Truly among the most humble people I've ever known.
    The leaders of the classes were there to help me along my journey. Some of them are still, 20 years later, my closest friends, my family.


    lynn
     
  17. your_quagga

    your_quagga retired

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    the first quote is by a seminarian (a priest-in-training)...the second quote is aquinas...

    Stormy, howevermuch influence saint thomas aquinas has had in the development of theological ideas pertinent to the Church (and i emphasize that i do not undervalue his contributions), you must recognize that he is a man of many weaknesses as well as virtues and his word is not the final authority of the Church, nor the final understanding...

    in your journey, you will read a lot of things which sound distressing...the important thing is to question, seek verification, and check your sources cleary...just because a website says that it is the truth of the Catholic Church doesn't mean it is...trust the Catechism first in all things and discuss your confusion or disillusion with someone fully qualified to speak to the truth of the teachings.

    many people reject the Church over simple semantic misunderstandings, miscommunication, and poor teaching...continue to struggle...the reward is worth it.

    ...and i shall continue to pray for you...
     
  18. Bruno

    Bruno happy puppy

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    AMEN!!!
     
  19. Subtilis

    Subtilis Fides et ratio

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    Hey, lay off my man St. Thomas. :)

    My experience has been that he's almost invariably right, when you finally figure out what it is that he's saying. Not good for those young in the faith, though, because it is *really* hard to figure out what he's saying most times. I got my crash course (maybe you'd call it a baptism of fire) on Thomism in numerous tangles with a Calvinist, and believe me when I say that it's better to start with people who explain things on a less technical level. In other words, I don't think that either the seminarian or St. Thomas is saying anything wrong or in conflict with the dogma, but the "ontological image of Christ" is probably not an intuitive concept, and if you interpret something like "the priest stands between God and man" in ordinary speech (rather than the technical way that Aquinas uses it), you may not get what he's saying.
     
  20. your_quagga

    your_quagga retired

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    Subtilis,

    i am in no way dissing aquinas, nor am i saying he is wrong. i apologize if that is what it sounded like.

    what i am saying is what you have clarified: it is a language issue. this is seminarian writing a paper with a thomist viewpoint...it is not a document intended necessarily for public consumption: it is an essay written by a priest-in-training to be read by priests. without the background, knowledge, and understanding of the faith from which writer and audience originate, it is easy to miscontrue or distort the message of the text.

    caritas.
     
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