Newman and Others on Christ's Priesthood

Gerald O'Collins and Michael Keenan Jones

in Jesus Our Priest

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199576456
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723032 | DOI:
Newman and Others on Christ's Priesthood

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What Newman said and wrote (from 1824 to 1877) about the priesthood of Christ and, in particular, his triple office as priest, prophet, and king helped to prepare the way for later theology and official teaching. Karl Barth (d. 1968) treasured Calvin's insight into the triple office of Christ, but invested more time in unpacking Christ's prophetic office. It was Barth's student, Tom Torrance (d. 2007), who gave more substance to the triple office and much more to the mediatorial work of Christ's human priesthood. He understood the Eucharist as the priestly presence of Christ in his sacrificial self‐offering. Yves Congar (d. 1995) helped to bring the scheme of Christ's triple office as priest, prophet, and king into the teaching of the Second Vatican Council (1962–5). In the first text it promulgated, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the Council echoed Augustine in seeing ‘every liturgical action’ as an ‘action of Christ the Priest and of his Body, which is the Church’. In various documents the Council spelled out how all the baptized and ordained ministers share, albeit differently, in the priesthood of Christ, as well as in his prophetic and kingly function.

Keywords: king; liturgy; ordained ministry; presence; priest; priesthood of the baptized; prophet; triple office; Vatican II

Chapter.  13081 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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