Catechism of the Catholic Church

394 Part Two God; giving the book of the Gospels to the deacon who has just received the mission to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. V. W ho C an C onfer T his S acrament ? 1575 Christ himself chose the apostles and gave them a share in his mission and authority. Raised to the Father’s right hand, he has not forsaken his flock but he keeps it under his constant protection through theapostles, andguides it still through these samepastorswhocontinue his work today. 61 Thus, it is Christ whose gift it is that some be apostles, others pastors. He continues to act through the bishops. 62 1576 Since the sacrament of Holy Orders is the sacrament of the apostolic ministry, it is for the bishops as the successors of the apostles to hand on the “gift of the Spirit,” 63 the “apostolic line.” 64 Validly ordained bishops, i.e., those who are in the line of apostolic succession, validly confer the three degrees of the sacrament of Holy Orders. 65 VI. W ho C an R eceive T his S acrament ? 1577 “Only a baptized man ( vir ) validly receives sacred ordina- tion.” 66 The Lord Jesus chose men ( ver ) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry. 67 The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ’s return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible. 68 1578 No one has a right to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. Indeed no one claims this office for himself; he is called to it by God. 69 Anyone who thinks he recognizes the signs of God’s call to the ordained ministry must humbly submit his desire to the authority of the Church, who has the responsibility and right to call 61 Cf. Roman Missal, Preface of the Apostles I. 62 Cf. LG 21; Eph 4:11. 63 LG 21 § 2. 64 LG 20. 65 Cf. DS 794 and Cf. DS 802; CIC, can.1012; CCEO, can. 744; 747. 66 CIC, can.1024. 67 Cf. Mk 3:14-19; Lk 6:12-16; 1 Tim 3:1-13; 2 Tim 1:6; Titus 1:5-9; St. Clement of Rome, Ad Cor. 42, 4; 44, 3: PG 1, 292-293; 300. 68 Cf. John Paul II, MD 26-27; CDF, declaration, Inter insigniores: AAS 69 (1977) 98-116. 69 Cf. Heb 5:4. 857 1536 551 861 862 2121