Chapter

The Structures of Catholicity: Sacramental and Hierarchical

Avery Dulles

in The Catholicity of the Church

Published in print October 1987 | ISBN: 9780198266952
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600555 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198266952.003.0007
The Structures of Catholicity: Sacramental and Hierarchical

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‘Catholicism’ may be taken to mean the set of means whereby the catholicity of the Church is fostered and maintained. Although Luther and Calvin recognized the importance of canonical Scriptures, sacraments, and ordained ministry, liberal Protestants judged that the sacramental and hierarchical structures of the Catholic Church interfered with the individual's free access to God. In comparison with Protestantism, Catholic churches are pre‐eminently sacramental and eucharistic. In these churches, the priestly office of Christ is perpetuated in the whole membership and more specifically in the order of bishops who are ordained in the apostolic succession. The priestly office is complemented by the prophetic and the royal (or governmental) offices, which transmit other features of Christ's own ministry.

Keywords: apostolic succession; authority; Eucharist; hierarchy; liberal Protestantism; Lubac; Newman; sacraments

Chapter.  8004 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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