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Jesus Our PriestA Christian Approach to the Priesthood of Christ$
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Gerald O'Collins, SJ and Michael Keenan Jones

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199576456

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199576456.001.0001

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Trent and the French School on Christ's Priesthood

Trent and the French School on Christ's Priesthood

(p.164) 8 Trent and the French School on Christ's Priesthood
Jesus Our Priest

Gerald O'Collins (Contributor Webpage)

Michael Keenan Jones

Oxford University Press

The Council of Trent (1545–63) promulgated four decrees that concerned priesthood, but explicitly mentioned the priesthood of Christ himself only in the 1562 decree on ‘the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass’. It did not expound in any document: (1) the triple office of Christ as priest, prophet, and king; (2) the priesthood of Christ as exercised during his public ministry; and (3) the common priesthood (and prophetic kingship) of all the baptized—a theme developed four centuries later by the Second Vatican Council. Disputes with the Reformers had moved the Eucharist, the cultic function of the ordained priesthood, and its connection with Christ's priesthood to the forefront. This resulted in a stress on the priesthood as cultic and hierarchical, with the preaching of the Word as a priestly function left out of the picture. The seventeenth‐century ‘French School’, led by Bérulle, Condren, Eudes, Olier, and Vincent de Paul, dedicated themselves to the reform of the clergy. In doing so, they had much to say about the priesthood of Christ. As well as respecting the common priesthood of all the faithful and the ministry of preaching, they showed a keen interest in the self‐sacrificing nature of Christ's own priesthood, which made him victim as well as priest—a self‐sacrificing dedication to be followed by those who share his priesthood.

Keywords:   Eucharist, ordained priesthood, preaching, priesthood of the faithful, sacrifice, victim

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