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Sessio Vigesimatertia, Twenty-third Session,
celebrata die XV. Iulii 1563. held July 15, 1563.
VERA ET CATHOLICA DOCTRINA DE SACRAMENTO ORDINIS. THE TRUE AND CATHOLIC DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE SACRAMENT OF ORDER.
Caput I. Chapter I.
De institutione sacerdoti novæ legis. On the institution of the Priesthood of the New Law.
Sacrificium et sacerdotium ita Dei ordinatione conjuncta sunt, ut utrumque in omni lege exstiterit. Cum igitur in Novo Testamento sanctum Eucharistiæ sacrificium visibile ex Domini institutione Catholica Ecclesia acceperit, fateri etiam oportet, in ea novum esse visible et externum sacerdotium, in quod vetus translatum est. Hoc autem ab eodem Domino Sacrifice and priesthood are, by the ordinance of God, in such wise conjoined, as that both have existed in every law. Whereas, therefore, in the New Testament, the Catholic Church has received, from the institution of Christ, the holy visible sacrifice of the Eucharist; it must needs also be confessed, that there is, in that Church, a new, visible, and external priesthood, into which the old has been translated.252252     Heb. vii. 12.
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Salvatore nostro institutum esse, atque apostolis eorumque successoribus in sacerdotio potestatem traditum consecrandi, offerendi et ministrandi corpus et sanguinem ejus, necnon et peccata dimittendi et retinendi, sacræ litteræ ostendunt et Catholicæ Ecclesiæ traditio semper docuit. And the sacred Scriptures show, and the tradition of the Catholic Church has always taught, that this priesthood was instituted by the same Lord our Saviour, and that to the Apostles, and their successors in the priesthood, was the power delivered of consecrating, offering, and administering his body and blood, as also of forgiving and of retaining sins.
Caput II. Chapter II.
De septem ordinibus. On the Seven Orders.
Cum autem divina res sit tam sancti sacerdotii ministerium, consentaneum fuit, quo dignius et majori cum veneratione exerceri posset, ut in Ecclesiæ ordinatissima dispositione plures et diversi essent ministrorum ordines, qui sacerdotio ex officio deservirent, ita distributi, ut, qui jam clericali tonsura insigniti essent, per minores ad majores ascenderent. Nam non solum de sacerdotibus, sed et de diaconis sacræ litteræ apertam mentionem faciunt, et quæ maxime in illorum ordinatione attendenda sunt gravissimis verbis docent; et ab ipso Ecclesiæ initio sequentium ordinum nomina, atque uniuscujusque eorum propria ministeria, subdiaconi scilicet, And whereas the ministry of so holy a priesthood is a divine thing; to the end that it might be exercised in a more worthy manner, and with greater veneration, it was suitable that, in the most well ordered settlement of the Church, there should be several and diverse orders of ministers to minister to the priesthood, by virtue of their office; orders so distributed as that those already marked with the clerical tonsure should ascend through the lesser to the greater orders. For the sacred Scriptures make open mention not only of priests, but also of deacons; and teach, in words the most weighty, what things are especially to be attended to in the Ordination thereof; and, from the very beginning of the Church, the names of the following orders, and
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acolythi, exorcistæ, lectoris et ostiarii in usu fuisse cognoscuntur, quamvis non pari gradu; nam subdiaconatus ad majores ordines a patribus et sacris conciliis refertur, in quibus et de aliis inferioribus frequentissime legimus. the ministrations proper to each one of them, are known to have been in use; to wit, those of subdeacon, acolyth, exorcist, lector, and door-keeper; though these were not of equal rank; for the subdeaconship is classed amongst the greater orders by the Fathers and sacred Councils, wherein also we very often read of the other inferior orders.
Caput III. Chapter III.
Ordinem vere esse sacramentum. That Order is truly and properly a Sacrament.
Cum Scripturæ testimonio, apostolica traditione et patrum unanimi consensu perspicuum sit, per sacram ordinationem, quæ verbis et signis exterioribus perficitur, gratiam conferri, dubitare nemo debet, ordinem esse vere et proprie unum ex septem sanctæ Ecclesiæ sacramentis. Inquit enim apostolus: Admoneo te, ut resuscites gratiam Dei, quæ est in te, per impositionem manuum mearum. Non enim dedit nobis Deus spiritum timoris, sed virtutis et dilectionis et sobrietatis. Whereas, by the testimony of Scripture, by Apostolic tradition, and the unanimous consent of the Fathers, it is clear that grace is conferred by sacred ordination, which is performed by words and outward signs, no one ought to doubt that Order is truly and properly one of the seven sacraments of holy Church. For the Apostle says: I admonish thee that thou stir up the grace of God, which is in thee by the imposition of my hands. For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of sobriety.253253     2 Tim. i. 6, 7.
Caput IV. Chapter IV.
De ecclesiastica hierarchia et ordinatione. On the Ecclesiastical hierarchy, and on Ordination.
Quoniam vero in sacramento ordinis, sicut et in baptismo et But, forasmuch as in the sacrament of Order, as also in Baptism
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confirmatione, character imprimitur, qui nec deleri nec auferri potest, merito sancta synodus damnat eorum sententiam, qui asserunt Novi Testamenti sacerdotes temporariam tantummodo potestatem habere, et semel rite ordinatos iterum laicos effici posse, si verbi Dei ministerium non exerceant. Quod si quis omnes Christianos promiscue Novi Testamenti sacerdotes esse, aut omnes pari inter se potestate spirituali præditos affirmet, nihil aliud facere videtur, quam ecclesiasticam hierarchiam, quæ est ut castrorum acies ordinata, confundere; perinde ac si contra beati Pauli doctrinam omnes apostoli, omnes prophetæ, omnes evangelistæ, omnes pastores, omnes sint doctores. Proinde sacrosancta synodus declarat, præter ceteros ecclesiasticos gradus episcopos, qui in apostolorum locum successerunt, ad hunc hierarchicum ordinem præcipue pertinere, et positos, sicut idem apostolus ait, a Spiritu Sancto regere Ecclesiam Dei; eosque presbyteris superiores esse, ac sacramentum confirmationis conferre, ministros Ecclesiæ ordinare, atque alia pleraque peragere and Confirmation, a character is imprinted which can neither be effaced nor taken away, the holy Synod with reason condemns the opinion of those who assert that the priests of the New Testament have only a temporary power; and that those who have once been rightly ordained can again become laymen, if they do not exercise the ministry of the Word of God. And if any one affirm, that all Christians indiscriminately are priests of the New Testament, or that they are all mutually endowed with an equal spiritual power, he clearly does nothing but confound the ecclesiastical hierarchy, which is as an army set in array;254254     Cant. vi. 3. as if, contrary to the doctrine of blessed Paul, all were apostles, all prophets, all evangelists, all pastors, all doctors. 255255     Ephes. vi. 11, 12. Wherefore, the holy Synod declares that, besides the other ecclesiastical degrees, bishops, who have succeeded to the place of the Apostles, principally belong to this hierarchical order; that they are placed, as the same apostle says, by the Holy Ghost, to rule the Church of God;256256     Acts xx. 28. that they are superior to priests; administer the sacrament of Confirmation; ordain the ministers of the Church; and that they can perform very many other things; over which
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ipsos posse, quarum functionum potestatem reliqui inferioris ordinis nullam habent. Docet insuper sacrosancta synodus, in ordinatione episcoporum, sacerdotum et ceterorum ordinum nec populi nec cujusvis sæcularis potestatis et magistratus consensum sive vocationem sive auctoritatem ita requiri, ut sine ea irrita sit ordinatio; quin potius decernit, eos, qui tantummodo a populo aut sæculari potestate ac magistratu vocati et instituti ad hæc ministeria, exercenda adscendunt, et qui ea propria temeritate sibi sumunt, omnes non Ecclesiæ ministros sed fures et latrones per ostium non ingressos habendos esse. Hæo sunt, quæ generatim sacræ synodo visum est Christi fideles de sacramento ordinis docere. His autem contraria certis et propriis canonibus in hunc, qui sequitur, modum damnare constituit, ut omnes adjuvante Christo fidei regula utentes in tot errorum tenebris Catholicam veritatem facilius agnoscere et tenere possint. functions others of an inferior order have no power. Furthermore, the sacred and holy Synod teaches, that, in the ordination of bishops, priests, and of the other orders, neither the consent, nor vocation, nor authority, whether of the people, or of any civil power or magistrate whatsoever, is required in such wise as that, without this, the ordination is invalid: yea rather doth it decree, that all those who, being only called and instituted by the people, or by the civil power and magistrate, ascend to the exercise of these ministrations, and those who of their own rashness assume them to themselves, are not ministers of the Church, but are to be looked upon as thieves and robbers, who have not entered by the door.257257     John x. 1. These are the things which it hath seemed good to the sacred Synod to teach the faithful of Christ, in general terms, touching the sacrament of Order. But it hath resolved to condemn whatsoever things are contrary thereunto, in express and specific canons, in the manner following; in order that all men, with the help of Christ, using the rule of faith, may, in the midst of the darkness of so many errors, more easily be able to recognize and to hold Catholic truth.
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DE SACRAMENTO ORDINIS. ON THE SACRAMENT OF ORDER.
Canon I.Si quis dixerit, non esse in Novo Testamento sacerdotium visibile et externum, vel non esse potestatem aliquam consecrandi et offerendi verum corpus et sanguinem Domini, et peccata remittendi et retinendi, sed officium tantum et nudum ministerium prædicandi evangelium, vel eos, qui non prædicant, prorsus non esse sacerdotes: anathema sit. Canon I.—If any one saith, that there is not in the New Testament a visible and external priesthood; or, that there is not any power of consecrating and offering the true body and blood of the Lord, and of forgiving and retaining sins, but only an office and bare ministry of preaching the Gospel; or, that those who do not preach are not priests at all: let him be anathema.
Canon II.Si quis dixerit, præter sacerdotium non esse in Ecclesia Catholica alios ordines et majores et minores, per quos, velut per gradus quosdam, in sacerdotium tendatur: anathema sit. Canon II.—If any one saith, that, besides the priesthood, there are not in the Catholic Church other orders, both greater and minor, by which, as by certain steps, advance is made unto the priesthood: let him be anathema.
Canon III.Si quis dixerit, ordinem sive sacram ordinationem non esse vere et proprie sacramentum a Christo Domino institutum, vel esse figmentum quoddam humanum, excogitatum a viris rerum ecclesiasticarum imperitis, aut esse tantum ritum quemdam eligendi ministros verbi Dei et sacramentorum: anathema sit. Canon III.—If any one saith, that order, or sacred ordination, is not truly and properly a sacrament instituted by Christ the Lord; or, that it is a kind of human figment devised by men unskilled in ecclesiastical matters; or, that it is only a kind of rite for choosing ministers of the Word of God and of the sacraments: let him be anathema.
Canon IV.Si quis dixerit, per sacram ordinationem non dari Spiritum Sanctum, ac proinde frustra episcopos dicere: Canon IV.—If any one saith, that, by sacred ordination, the Holy Ghost is not given; and that vainly therefore do the bishops say,
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Accipe Spiritum Sanctum, aut per eam non imprimi characterem; vel eum, qui sacerdos semel fuit, laicum rursus fieri posse: anathema sit. Receive ye the Holy Ghost; or, that a character is not imprinted by that ordination; or, that he who has once been a priest can again become a layman: let him be anathema.
Canon V.Si quis dixerit, sacram unctionem, qua Ecclesia in sancta ordinatione utitur, non tantum non requiri, sed contemnendam et perniciosam esse, similiter et alias ordinis ceremonies: anathema sit. Canon V.—If any one saith, that the sacred unction which the Church uses in holy ordination is not only not required, but is to be despised and is pernicious, as likewise are the other ceremonies of order: let him be anathema.
Canon VI.Si quis dixerit, in Ecclesia Catholica non esse hierarchiam divina ordinatione institutam, quæ constat ex episcopis, presbyteris et ministris: anathema sit. Canon VI.—If any one saith, that, in the Catholic Church there is not a hierarchy by divine ordination instituted, consisting of bishops, priests, and ministers: let him be anathema.
Canon VII.Si quis dixerit, episcopos non esse presbyteris superiores, vel non habere potestatem confirmandi et ordinandi, vel eam, quam habent, illis esse cum presbyteris communem, vel ordines ab ipsis collatos sine populi vel potestatis sæcularis consensu aut vocatione irritos esse; aut eos qui nec ab ecclesiastica et canonica potestate rite ordinati, nec missi sunt, sed aliunde veniunt, legitimos esse verbi et sacramentorum ministros: anathema, sit. Canon VII.—If any one saith, that bishops are not superior to priests; or, that they have not the power of confirming and ordaining: or, that the power which they possess is common to them and to priests; or, that orders, conferred by them, without the consent or vocation of the people, or of the secular power, are invalid; or, that those who have neither been rightly ordained, nor sent, by ecclesiastical and canonical power, but come from elsewhere, are lawful ministers of the Word and of the sacraments: let him be anathema.
Canon VIII.Si quis dixerit, episcopos, qui auctoritate Romani Canon VIII.—If any one saith, that the bishops, who are assumed
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pontiftcis assumuntur, non esse legitimos et veros episcopos, sed figmentum humanum: anathema sit. by authority of the Roman Pontiff, are not legitimate and true bishops, but are a human figment: let him be anathema.

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