Catholic Dictionary




The Second Vatican Council's Decree on the Ministry of Life of Priests. Priests are defined as those men who "hold in the community of the faithful the sacred power of Orders, that of offering sacrifice and forgiving sins, and who exercise the priestly office publicly on behalf of men in the name of Christ." Their ministry flows from their office. It is to share with everyone the truth of the Gospel, which is "often very difficult in presentday conditions." Celibacy for priests is reaffirmed. Their sanctity is declared to be essential and to be fostered by "the double table of holy Scripture and the Eucharist" (December 7, 1965).