Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Celebration of the Christian Mystery 399 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. 1595 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. 1596 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. 1597 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. 1598 The Church confers the sacrament of Holy Orders only on baptized men ( viri ), 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. 1599 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. 1600 It is bishops who confer the sacrament of Holy Orders in the three degrees.