Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sacrifice, Sacrament and Priesthood

As many have remarked, most of the disagreement between the Catholic Church and the various Protestant groups comes down to disagreement about the nature of the Church. And, in this disagreement, the nature of holy orders is central and I very much appreciate the explanation in "Sacrifice, Sacrament and Priesthood in the Development of the Church" which is section 2B in part two of Joseph Ratzinger's "Principles of Catholic Theology - Building Stones for a Fundamental Theology."

Seems to me that a good bit of current confusion in the Anglican community is related to misunderstanding about holy orders. Perhaps misunderstanding is the wrong word. Rather, in many places there seems to be a sort of double-mindedness in which "orders" are in practice taken to have a sort of sacramentality but only when convenient for the necessarily reduced ecclesiology that has to be adopted.

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