Catechism of the Catholic Church

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