Chapter 20. Holy Orders • 265
other bishops. “The ministerial priesthood differs in essence from the
common priesthood of the faithful because it confers a sacred power
for the service of the faithful. The ordained ministers exercise their ser-
vice for the People of God by teaching (
), divine worship
) and pastoral governance (
no. 1592). Deacons in the Latin Church can baptize and witness the
Sacrament of Marriage, as do priests and bishops.
The ordained bishop and priest serve the Church in the person of
Christ as head of the Body. “Through the ordained ministry, especially
that of bishops and priests, the presence of Christ as head of the Church
is made visible in the midst of the community of believers” (CCC, no.
1549). The Sacrament does not preserve the ordained from weakness
and sin, but the Holy Spirit guarantees that the minister’s sin does not
impede the effectiveness of the Sacrament and its graces. The ordained
are called to a holiness of life and an attitude of humility that conforms
them to Christ whose priesthood they share. The priest acts not only in
the person of Christ, the Head of the Church, but also in the name of the
Church when presenting to God the prayer of the Church, especially in
Let everyone revere the deacons as Jesus Christ, the
bishop as image of the Father, and the presbyters as the
senate of God and the assembly of the apostles. For
without them, one cannot speak of the Church.
—CCC, no. 1554, citing St. Ignatius of Antioch,
. 3, 1
By ordination to the episcopacy, bishops receive the fullness of the
Sacrament of Holy Orders and become successors of the Apostles.
Through this Sacrament, a bishop belongs to the college of bishops and
serves as the visible head or pastor of the local church entrusted to his
care. As a college, the bishops have care and concern for the apostolic