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Catholic Dictionary

Term

MINISTERIAL PRIESTHOOD

Definition

The sacrament of holy orders and the permanent state of one who has been ordained a priest, as distinct from the priesthood of all believers, common to all the baptized. Essential to the ministerial priesthood is the conferral of the unique sacerdotal powers of consecrating and offering the true body and blood of Christ in the Mass, and of forgiving sins committed after baptism, through the sacraments of penance and anointing.