Today’s question: Catholic Priest or Protestant Pastor/Minister – which is “better”?

Question: What is a Catholic priest in reality??? Does anyone know?? Catholic priest or pastor?? Which is “better”??

Answer: The true nature of the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood is that of a man conformed to Jesus Christ, specially consecrated and set apart by God, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders and the laying on of hands, in order to offer acceptable sacrifice to God (most significantly, Jesus Christ, in the Holy Eucharist) on behalf of the whole Church, for the greater glory of God and for the good of the whole world.

As a duly ordained agent/assistant/delegate of the local Bishop, who is a successor of the original Apostles, the responsibilities of the priest also extend to preaching, teaching, sanctifying and governing.

A priest can be a pastor, but only duly ordained Catholic or Orthodox males can be empowered and authorized to act “In Persona Christi” (in the “person” of Christ) as priests.

In contrast, anyone – male or female – can become a Protestant Minister or preacher and/or become the pastor of a Protestant congregation.

But, the power and authority of the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood is reserved to the Catholic Church alone, according to Jesus Christ, the head of the Catholic Church, who personally established the Priesthood and who remains our Heavenly High Priest as well as the one time, once for all, perfect and atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world, continually offered up for the needs of the People of God, on every Catholic altar, in virtually every nation on earth, 24/7 and 365, by means of that same Holy, Catholic Ministerial Priesthood.

In summary, the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood
was personally established by Jesus Christ, at the Last Supper,
some 1500 years before the first Protestant minister/pastor
ever “thumped” a Bible.

When the Protestants chose to separate themselves from the Holy Catholic Church, they also made the conscious decision to separate themselves from the awesome and unique power that God gave to the Holy Catholic Church and the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood alone, for the salvation of souls.

As such, there is no real comparison between an ordained Catholic Priest and a Protestant Minister or pastor. One is a consecrated man who has been given awesome and eternal power, directly from God, through the Holy Catholic Church. The other has only his/her limited, personal understanding of a holy (albeit, totally Catholic) book (the Bible) along with his/her (often, contrary) beliefs about it, on which to “stand”.

Asked and answered today on Yahoo!Answers. Edited for clarity and content.

The Catholic priest and confession

Just as he does at the altar where he celebrates the Eucharist and at each one of the sacraments the priest, as the minister of penance, works “in persona Christi”.

The Christ whom he gives and makes present, and who by means of his ministry effects the remission of sins is with the priest, who appears as a brother of man, a merciful bridge-builder, faithful and compassionate pastor dedicated to search for the lost sheep, the doctor who heals and comforts, the one teacher who teaches the truth and teaches the ways of God, who judges the living and the dead and judges according to the truth and not according to appearances.

Read more from Pope John Paul II

Mass, priesthood and sacrifice must never be separated


We must never lose sight of Mass as propitiation, or of the priest as offering sacrifice to God.  This deep current in Holy Mass must inform every word and gesture, ornament and sign.

For example, when the priest is standing at the altar in the place of Christ, Head of the Church (in persona Christi capitis), he isn’t always talking to you in the congregation– or at least he shouldn’t be.  If Father’s style during Mass, his ars celebrandi as Benedict XVI calls it (cf. Sacramentum caritatis) reflects talk show host chumminess or open mic night at the Ha Ha Club rather than the priest renewing our deliverance from eternal damnation, perhaps it would be good gently and respectfully to help him get reoriented.

Tell him your aspirations for our sacred liturgical worship.  Treat Father like a priest, not a pal.  Support clerical dress, especially the use of the cassock – at least in church.  Provide materially for liturgical decorum through the purchase of worthy vestments and vessels.  Do not praise liturgical abuse.  Pray, fast and give alms for the intentions of your priests.  Pray for and encourage vocations to the priesthood.

Read more

Propitiation

Pope Benedict XVI on the distinction between priests and deacons, more…

“The Motu Proprio clarifies that priests and bishops participate in the headship of Christ ‘in persona Christi,’ whereas deacons serve the Church, the people of God, through the ministry, services, or ‘diaconias’ of liturgy, word, and charity.” Thus, Flynn said, the document emphasizes that there is a “clear distinction between the diaconate and the presbyterate.”

“The distinction is between the deacon who acts “in imago Dei” and the priest who acts ‘in persona Christi,’” Flynn explained.

What this means in layman’s terms is that “we see the diaconate as a unique ministry unto itself and not simply a step along the way to the priesthood,” he added.

Read the article