Catechism of the Catholic Church

Glossary 895 PRIESTHOOD: (1) Of the faithful: The priestly people of God. Christ has made of his Church a “kingdom of priests,” and gives the faithful a share in his priesthood through the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation (784, 1119, 1546). (2) Ministerial: The ministerial priesthood received in the Sacrament of Holy Orders differs in essence from this common priesthood of all the faithful. It has as its purpose to serve the priesthood of all the faithful by building up and guiding the Church in the name of Christ, who is Head of the Body (1547). See Priesthood of Christ; Presbyter. PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST: The unique high priest, according to the order of Melchizedek. Christ fulfilled everything that the priesthood of the Old Covenant prefigured. (cf. Heb 5:10, 6:20). He offered himself once and for all ( Heb 10:14), in a perfect sacrifice upon the cross. His priesthood is made present in a special way in the Church through the ministerial priesthood, conferred through the Sacrament of Holy Orders (1539, 1544, 1547, 1554). PRIMACY: See Pope. PRIVATE REVELATIONS: Revelations made in the course of history which do not add to or form part of the deposit of faith, but rather may help people live out their faith more fully (67). Some of these private revelations have been recognized by the authority of the Church, which cannot accept so-called “revelations of faith” that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of Christ confided to his Church. PROFESSION OF FAITH: The synthesis (creed, “symbol of faith”) of the faith which summarizes the faith professed by Christians (187). See Creed. PROPHET: One sent by God to form the people of the Old Covenant in the hope of salvation. The prophets are often authors of books of the Old Testament (702). The prophetic books constitute a major section of the Old Testament of the Bible (64, 120, 522, 2581). John the Baptist concludes the work of the prophets of the Old Covenant (721). PROTESTANT: A person who believes in Christ and has been baptized, but who does not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety, but rather is a member of a Protestant church or ecclesial community whose roots are in the Reformation, begun in the sixteenth century (cf. 838). PROTO-EVANGELIUM: The proto- or “first” Gospel: the passage in Genesis (3:15) that first mysteriously announces the promise of the Messiah and Redeemer (410). PROVIDENCE: The dispositions by which God guides his creation toward its perfection yet to be attained; the protection and governance of God over all creation (302). PRUDENCE: The virtue which disposes a person to discern the good and choose the correct means to accomplish it. One of the cardinal moral virtues that dispose the Christian to live according to the law of Christ, prudence provides the proximate guidance for the judgment of conscience (1806).