Presbyterorum Ordinis EN





1 The excellence of the order of priests in the Church has already been recalled to the minds of all by this sacred synod.(1) Since, however, in the renewal of Christ's Church tasks of the greatest importance and of ever increasing difficulty are being given to this order, it was deemed most useful to treat of the subject of priests at greater length and with more depth. What is said here applies to all priests, especially those devoted to the care of souls, with suitable adaptations being made for priests who are religious. Priests by sacred ordination and mission which they receive from the bishops are promoted to the service of Christ the Teacher, Priest and King. They share in his ministry, a ministry whereby the Church here on earth is unceasingly built up into the People of God, the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in order that their ministry be carried on more effectively and their lives be better provided for, in pastoral and human circumstances which very often change so profoundly, this sacred synod declares and decrees as follows.

1. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Dec. 4, 1963; AAS 56 (1964) pp 7ff; Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium Nov. 21, 1964: AAS 57 (1965) p 5ff; Decree Christus Dominus on Pastoral Duties of Bishops, Oct. 28, 1965; Decree on Priestly Training, Oct. 28, 1965.



2 The Lord Jesus, "whom the Father has sent into the world" (Jn 10,36) has made his whole Mystical Body a sharer in the anointing of the Spirit with which he himself is anointed.(1) In him all the faithful are made a holy and royal priesthood; they offer spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ, and they proclaim the perfections of him who has called them out of darkness into his marvelous light.(2) Therefore, there is no member who does not have a part in the mission of the whole Body; but each one ought to hallow Jesus in his heart,(3) and in the spirit of prophecy bear witness to Jesus.(4)

The same Lord, however, has established ministers among his faithful to unite them together in one body in which, "not all the members have the same function" (Rm 12,4). These ministers in the society of the faithful are able by the sacred power of orders to offer sacrifice and to forgive sins,(5) and they perform their priestly office publicly for men in the name of Christ. Therefore, having sent the apostles just as he himself been sent by the Father,(6) Christ, through the apostles themselves, made their successors, the bishops,(7) sharers in his consecration and mission. The office of their ministry has been handed down, in a lesser degree indeed, to the priests.(8) Established in the order of the priesthood they can be co-workers of the episcopal order for the proper fulfillment of the apostolic mission entrusted to priests by Christ.(9)

The office of priests, since it is connected with the episcopal order, also, in its own degree, shares the authority by which Christ builds up, sanctifies and rules his Body. Wherefore the priesthood, while indeed it presupposes the sacraments of Christian initiation, is conferred by that special sacrament; through it priests, by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are signed with a special character and are conformed to Christ the Priest in such a way that they can act in the person of Christ the Head.(10)

In the measure in which they participate in the office of the apostles, God gives priests a special grace to be ministers of Christ among the people. They perform the sacred duty of preaching the Gospel, so that the offering of the people can be made acceptable and sanctified by the Holy Spirit.(11) Through the apostolic proclamation of the Gospel, the People of God are called together and assembled. All belonging to this people, since they have been sanctified by the Holy Spirit, can offer themselves as "a sacrifice, living, holy, pleasing to God" (Rm 12,1). Through the ministry of the priests, the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is made perfect in union with the sacrifice of Christ. He is the only mediator who in the name of the whole Church is offered sacramentally in the Eucharist and in an unbloody manner until the Lord himself comes.(12) The ministry of priests is directed to this goal and is perfected in it. Their ministry, which begins with the evangelical proclamation, derives its power and force from the sacrifice of Christ. Its aim is that "the entire commonwealth of the redeemed and the society of the saints be offered to God through the High Priest who offered himself also for us in his passion that we might be the body of so great a Head."(13)

The purpose, therefore, which priests pursue in their ministry and by their life is to procure the glory of God the Father in Christ. That glory consists in this-that men working freely and with a grateful spirit receive the work of God made perfect in Christ and then manifest it in their whole lives. Hence, priests, while engaging in prayer and adoration, or preaching the word, or offering the Eucharistic Sacrifice and administering the other sacraments, or performing other works of the ministry for men, devote all this energy to the increase of the glory of God and to man's progress in the divine life. All of this, since it comes from the Pasch of Christ, will be crowned by the glorious coming of the same Lord, when he hands over the Kingdom to God the Father.(14)

1. Cf. Mt 3,16 Lc 4,18 Ac 4,27, 2. Cf. 1P 2,5 1P 2,9 3. Cf. 1P 3,15
4. Cf. Ap 19,10); Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution LG 35, Nov. 21, 1964: AAS 57 (1965) p 40-41.
5. Council of Trent, 23rd session, chapter 1, canon 1: (DS 1764 DS 1771) (957 ; 961).
6. Cf. Jn 20,21); Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution LG 22, Nov. 21, 1964: AAS 57 (1965) pp 21-28.
7. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution LG 22, Nov. 21, 1964: AAS 57 (1965) pp 33-36.
8. Cf. ibid (LG 22)
9. Cf. Roman Pontifical Ordination of a Priest, preface. These words are already found in the Verona Sacramentary (ed. L.C. Moehlberg, Rome 1956, p 122); also in Frankish Missal (ed. L.C. Moehlberg, Rome 1957, p 9) and in the Book of Sacramentaries of the Roman Church (ed. L.C. Moehlberg, Rome 1960, p 25) and Roman German Pontificals (ed. Vogel-Elze, Vatican City 1963, vol. I, p 1P 34).
10. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution LG 10, Nov. 21, 1964: AAS 57 (1965) pp 14-15.
11. Cf. Rm 15,16 12. Cf. 1Co 11,26
13. St. Augustine, De Civitate Dei 10, 6: PL 41, 284.
14. Cf. 1Co 15,24

3 Priests, who are taken from among men and ordained for men in the things that belong to God in order to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins,(15) nevertheless live on earth with other men as brothers. The Lord Jesus, the Son of God, a Man sent by the Father to men, dwelt among us and willed to become like his brethren in all things except sin.(16) The holy apostles imitated him. Blessed Paul, the doctor of the Gentiles, "set apart for the Gospel of God" (Rm 1,1) declares that he became all things to all men that he might save all.(17) Priests of the New Testament, by their vocation and ordination, are in a certain sense set apart in the bosom of the People of God. However, they are not to be separated from the People of God or from any person; but they are to be totally dedicated to the work for which the Lord has chosen them.(18) They cannot be ministers of Christ unless they be witnesses and dispensers of a life other than earthly life. But they cannot be of service to men if they remain strangers to the life and conditions of men.(19) Their ministry itself, by a special title, forbids that they be conformed to this world;(20) yet at the same time it requires that they live in this world among men. They are to live as good shepherds that know their sheep, and they are to seek to lead those who are not of this sheepfold that they, too, may hear the voice of Christ, so that there might be one fold and one shepherd.(21) To achieve this aim, certain virtues, which in human affairs are deservedly esteemed, contribute a great deal: such as goodness of heart, sincerity, strength and constancy of mind, zealous pursuit of justice, affability, and others. The Apostle Paul commends them saying: "Whatever things are true, whatever honorable, whatever just, whatever holy, whatever loving, whatever of good repute, if there be any virtue, if anything is worthy of praise, think upon these things" (Ph 4,8).(22)

15. Cf. He 5,1
16. Cf. He 2,17 He 4,15
17. Cf. 1Co 9,19-23
18. Cf. Ac 13,2
19. Paul VI, encyclical , Aug.6, 1964: AAS 56 (1964), pp 627 and 638.
20. Cf. Rm 12,2
21. Cf. Jn 10,14-16
22. Cf. St. Polycarp, Epist. ad Philippenses, 6, 1 (ed. F.X. Funk, Apostolic Fathers, I, p 303).

CHAPTER II - The Ministry of Priests

SECTION I Priests' Functions

4 The People of God are joined together primarily by the word of the living God.(1) And rightfully they expect this from their priests.(2) Since no one can be saved who does not first believe,(3) priests, as co-workers with their bishops, have the primary duty of proclaiming the Gospel of God to all.(4) In this way they fulfill the command of the Lord: "Going therefore into the whole world preach the Gospel to every creature" (Mc 16,15),(5) and they establish and build up the People of God. Through the saving word the spark of faith is lit in the hearts of unbelievers, and fed in the hearts of the faithful. This is the way that the congregation of faithful is started and grows, just as the Apostle describes: "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (Rm 10,17).

To all men, therefore, priests are debtors that the truth of the Gospel(6) which they have may be given to others. And so, whether by entering into profitable dialogue they bring people to the worship of God,(7) whether by openly preaching they proclaim the mystery of Christ, or whether in the light of Christ they treat contemporary problems, they are relying not on their own wisdom for it is the word of Christ they teach, and it is to conversion and holiness that they exhort all men.(8) But priestly preaching is often very difficult in the circumstances of the modern world. In order that it might more effectively move men's minds, the word of God ought not to be explained in a general and abstract way, but rather by applying the lasting truth of the Gospel to the particular circumstances of life.

The ministry of the word is carried out in many ways, according to the various needs of those who hear and the special gifts of those who preach. In areas or communities of non-Christians, the proclaiming of the Gospel draws men to faith and to the sacraments of salvation.(9) In the Christian community, especially among those who seem to understand and believe little of what they practice, the preaching of the word is needed for the very ministering of the sacraments. They are precisely sacraments of faith, a faith which is born of and nourished by the word.(10) This is especially true of the Liturgy of the Word in the celebration of Mass, in which the proclaiming of the death and resurrection of Christ is inseparably joined to the response of the people who hear, and to the very offering whereby Christ ratified the New Testament in his blood. In this offering the faithful are united both by their dispositions and by their discernment of the sacrament.(11)

1. Cf. 1P 1,23 Ac 6,7 Ac 12,24). "(The apostles) preached the word of truth and founded Churches." (St. Augustine, On Psalms, 44, 23; PL 36, 508).
2. Cf. Ml 2,7 1Tm 4,11-13 2Tm 4,5 Tt 1,9
3. Cf. Mc 16,16
4. Cf. 2Co 11,7). All that has been said regarding bishops also applies to priests inasmuch as they are cooperators of the bishops. Cf. Statuta Ecclesiae Antiqua, c. 3 (ed. Ch. Munier, Paris 1960, p 79); Decree of Gracian, c. 6, D.88 (ed. Friedberg, 1, 307); Council of Trent, Decree De Reform., Session 5, c. 2, n 9 (Ecumenical Council Decrees, ed. Herder, Rome 1963, p 645); Session 24, c. 4 (p 739); Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution LG 25, Nov. 21, 1964: AAS 57 (1965), pp 29-31.
5. Cf. Constitutiones Apostolorum II, 26, 7: "(Priests) are teachers of sacred science as the Lord himself commanded when he said: 'Going, therefore, teach, etc.'" (ed. F.X. Funk, Didascalia et Constitutiones Apostolorum, I, Paderborn 1905, p 105); Leonine Sacramentary and other sacramentaries up to the Roman Pontifical, preface of the ordination of priests: "By this providence, Lord, you have added to the apostles of your Son fellow teachers of the faith through whom the apostles have filled the whole world with their teaching." Ordo Book of the Mozarabic Liturgy, preface to the ordination of priests: "Teacher of peoples and ruler of subjects, he keeps intact the Catholic faith and announces true salvation to all." (ed. M. Ferotin, Paris, 1904, Col 55).
6. Cf. Ga 2,5
7. Cf. 1P 2,12
8. Cf. Rite of priestly ordination in the Alexandrian Jocobite Church: "...Gather your people to the word of doctrine like a foster-mother who nourishes her children" (H. Denzinger, Oriental Rites, Book II, Wurzburg 1863, p 14).
9. Cf. Mt 28,19 Mc 16,16; Tertullian, On Baptism, 14, 2 (The Body of Christians, Latin Series, I p 289,11-13); St. Athanasius, Against the Arians, 2, 42 (PG 26, 237); St. Jerome, On Matthew, 28, 19 (PL 26, 218 BC): "First let them teach all nations, and then pour water on those who have learned. It cannot be that the body receive the sacrament of baptism unless the soul first has received the truth of faith;" St. Thomas, "Exposition of the first decretal," n 1: "Sending his disciples to preach, our Savior enjoined on them three things: first, that they teach the faith; second, that they confer the sacraments on believers.... (ed. Marietti, Opuscula Theologica, Taurini-Rome 1954, 1138).
10. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Dec. 4, 1963, n (SC 35), 2: AAS 56 (1964), p 109.
11. Cf. ibid, nn (SC 33 SC 35 SC 48 SC 52) (pp. 108-109, 113, 114).

5 God, who alone is holy and who alone bestows holiness, willed to take as his companions and helpers men who would humbly dedicate themselves to the work of sanctification. Hence, through the ministry of the bishop, God consecrates priests, that being made sharers by special title in the priesthood of Christ, they might act as his ministers in performing sacred functions. In the liturgy they continue to carry on his priestly office by the action of his Spirit.(12) By Baptism men are truly brought into the People of God; by the sacrament of Penance sinners are reconciled to God and his Church; by the Anointing of the Sick, the ill are given solace; and especially by the celebration of Mass they offer sacramentally the Sacrifice of Christ. In administering all sacraments, as St. Ignatius Martyr(13) has borne witness from the early days of the Church, priests by various titles are bound together hierarchically with the bishop. And so in a certain way they make him present in every congregation.(14)

The other sacraments, as well as with every ministry of the Church and every work of the apostolate, are tied together with the Eucharist and are directed toward it.(15) The Most Blessed Eucharist contains the entire spiritual boon of the Church,(16) that is, Christ himself, our Pasch and Living Bread, by the action of the Holy Spirit through his very flesh vital and vitalizing, giving life to men who are thus invited and encouraged to offer themselves, their labors and all created things, together with him. In this light, the Eucharist shows itself as the source and the apex of the whole work of preaching the Gospel. Those under instruction are introduced by stages to a sharing in the Eucharist, and the faithful, already marked with the seal of Baptism and Confirmation, are through the reception of the Eucharist fully joined to the Body of Christ.

Thus the Eucharistic Action, over which the priest presides, is the very heart of the congregation. So priests must instruct their people to offer to God the Father the Divine Victim in the Sacrifice of the Mass, and to join to it the offering of their own lives. In the spirit of Christ the Shepherd, they must prompt their people to confess their sins with a contrite heart in the sacrament of Penance, so that, mindful of his words "Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand" (
Mt 4,17), they are drawn closer to the Lord more and more each day. Priests likewise must instruct their people to participate in the celebrations of the sacred liturgy in such a way that they become proficient in genuine prayer. They must coax their people on to an ever more perfect and constant spirit of prayer for every grace and need. They must gently persuade everyone to the fulfillment of the duties of his state of life, and to greater progress in responding in a sensible way to the evangelical counsels. Finally, they must train the faithful to sing hymns and spiritual songs in their hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.(17)

Priests themselves extend to the other hours of the day the praise and thanksgiving of the Eucharistic celebration in praying the Divine Office, offered in the name of the Church for all the people entrusted to their care, and indeed for the whole world.

The house of prayer in which the Most Holy Eucharist is celebrated and reserved, where the faithful gather and where the presence of the Son of God, our Savior, offered for us on the altar of sacrifice bestows strength and blessings on the faithful, must be spotless and suitable for prayer and sacred functions.(18) There pastors and the faithful are called to acknowledge with grateful heart the gift of him, Who through his humanity constantly pours divine life into the members of his Body.(19) Let priests take care so to foster a knowledge of and facility in the liturgy, that by their own liturgical ministry Christian communities entrusted to their care may ever more perfectly give praise to God, the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit.

12. Cf. ibid, n (SC 7) (pp. 100-101); Pius XII, encyclical letter, Mystici Corporis, June 29, 1943: AAS 35 (1943), p 230.
13. St. Ignatius Martyr, Smyrn., 8, 1-2 (ed. F.X. Funk, p 282, 6-15); Constitutions of the Apostles, VIII, 12, 3 (ed. F.X. Funk, p 496); VIII,29, 2 (p 532).
14. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution LG 28, Nov. 21, 1964: AAS 57 (1965), pp 33-36.
15. "The Eucharist indeed is a quasi consummation of the spiritual life, and the goal of all the sacraments" (St. Thomas, Summa Theol. III 73,3 c); cf. Summa Theol. III 65,3.
16. Cf. St. Thomas, III 65,3, ad 1; III 79,1, c. and ad 1.
17. Cf. Ep 5,19-20
18. Cf. St. Jerome, Epistles, 114, 2 (PL 22, 934), See Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Dec. 4, 1963, nn (SC 122-127): AAS 56 (1964), pp 130-132.
19. Paul VI, encyclical letter Mysterium Fidei MF 1, Sept. 3, 1965: AAS 57 (1965), p 771.

6 Exercising the office of Christ, the Shepherd and Head, and according to their share of his authority, priests, in the name of the bishop, gather the family of God together as a brotherhood enlivened by one spirit. Through Christ they lead them in the Holy Spirit to God the Father.(20) For the exercise of this ministry, as for the other priestly duties, spiritual power is conferred upon them for the building up of the Church.(21) In building up of the Church, priests must treat all with exceptional kindness in imitation of the Lord. They should act toward men, not as seeking to please them,(22) but in accord with the demands of Christian doctrine and life. They should teach them and admonish them as beloved sons,(23) according to the words of the Apostle: "Be urgent in season, out of season, reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine" (2Tm 4,2).(24)

Priests therefore, as educators in the faith, must see to it either by themselves or through others that the faithful are led individually in the Holy Spirit to a development of their own vocation according to the Gospel, to a sincere and practical charity, and to that freedom with which Christ has made us free.(25) Ceremonies however beautiful, or associations however flourishing, will be of little value if they are not directed toward the education of men to Christian maturity.(26) In furthering this, priests should help men to see what is required and what is God's will in the important and unimportant events of life. Also, Christians should be taught that they live not only for themselves, but, according to the demands of the new law of charity; as every man has received grace, he must administer the same to others.(27) In this way, all will discharge in a Christian manner their duties in the community of men.

Although they have obligations toward all men, priests have a special obligation to the poor and weak entrusted to them, for our Lord himself showed that he was united to them,(28) and their evangelization is mentioned as a sign of messianic activity.(29) With special diligence, attention should be given to youth and also to married people and parents. It is desirable that these join together in friendly meetings for mutual aid in leading more easily and fully and in a Christian manner a life that is often difficult. Priests should remember that all religious, both men and women, who certainly have a distinguished place in the house of the Lord, deserve special care in their spiritual progress for the good of the whole Church. Finally, and above all, priests must be solicitous for the sick and the dying, visiting them and strengthening them in the Lord.(30)

The office of pastor is not confined to the care of the faithful as individuals, but also in a true sense is extended to the formation of a genuine Christian community. Yet the spirit of the community should be so fostered as to embrace not only the local church, but also the universal Church. The local community should promote not only the care of its own faithful, but, filled with a missionary zeal, it should prepare also the way to Christ for all men. In a special way, catechumens and the newly-baptized who must be educated gradually to know and to live the Christian life are entrusted to his care.

No Christian community, however, is built up unless it has its basis and center in the celebration of the most Holy Eucharist; from this, therefore, all education to the spirit of community must take its origin.(31) This celebration, if it is to be genuine and complete, should lead to various works of charity and mutual help, as well as to missionary activity and to different forms of Christian witness.

The ecclesial community by prayer, example, and works of penance, exercise a true motherhood toward souls who are to be led to Christ. The Christian community forms an effective instrument by which the path to Christ and his Church is pointed out and made smooth for non-believers. It is an effective instrument also for arousing, nourishing and strengthening the faithful for their spiritual combat.

In building the Christian community, priests are never to put themselves at the service of some human faction of ideology, but, as heralds of the Gospel and shepherds of the Church, they are to spend themselves for the spiritual growth of the Body of Christ.

20. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution LG 28, Nov. 21, 1964: AAS 57 (1965), pp 33-36.
21. Cf. 2Co 10,8 2Co 13,10
22. Cf. Ga 1,10
23. Cf. 1Co 4,14
24. Cf. Didascalia, II, 34, 3; II, 46, 6; II,47, 1; Constitutions of the Apostles, II, 47, 1 (ed. F.X. Funk, Didascalia and Constitutions, I, pp 116, 142 and 143).
25. Cf. Ga 4,3 Ga 5,1 and Ga 5,13
26 Cf. St. Jerome, Epistles, 58, 7 (PL 22, 584).
27 Cf. 1P 4,10 ff.
28 Cf. Mt 25,34-45
29 Cf. Lc 4,18
30 Other categories could be named, e.g. migrants, nomads, etc. The Decree on the Pastoral Duties of Bishops, Oct. 28, 1965, treats of these.
31 Cf. Didascalia, II, 59, 1-3 (ed. F.X. Funk, I, p 170); Paul VI, allocution to Italian clergy present at the 13th week-long congress at Orvieto on pastoral aggiornamento, Sept. 6, 1963: AAS 55 (1963) pp 750ff.

SECTION 2 Priests' Relationships with Others

7 All priests, in union with bishops, so share in one and the same priesthood and ministry of Christ that the very unity of their consecration and mission requires their hierarchical communion with the order of bishops.(32) At times in an excellent manner they manifest this communion in liturgical concelebration as joined with the bishop when they celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice.(33) Therefore, by reason of the gift of the Holy Spirit which is given to priests in Holy Orders, bishops regard them as necessary helpers and counselors in the ministry and in their role of teaching, sanctifying and nourishing the People of God.(34) Already in the ancient ages of the Church we find liturgical texts proclaiming this with insistence, as when they solemnly call upon God to pour out upon the candidate for priestly ordination "the spirit of grace and counsel, so that with a pure heart he may help and govern the People of God,"(35) just as in the desert the spirit of Moses was spread abroad in the minds of the seventy prudent men,(36) "and using them as helpers among the people, he easily governed countless multitudes."(37)

Therefore, on account of this communion in the same priesthood and ministry, bishops should regard priests as their brothers and friends(38) and be concerned as far as they are able for their material and especially for their spiritual well-being. For above all upon the bishops rests the heavy responsibility for the sanctity of their priests.(39) Therefore, they should exercise the greatest care in the continual formation of their priests.(40) They should gladly listen to their priests, indeed consult them and engage in dialogue with them in those matters which concern the necessities of pastoral work and welfare of the diocese. In order to put this into effect, there should be-in a manner suited to today's conditions and necessities,(41) and with a structure and norms to be determined by law-a body or senate(42) of priests representing all the priests. This representative body by its advice will be able to give the bishop effective assistance in the administration of the diocese.

Priests, never losing sight of the fullness of the priesthood which the bishops enjoy, must respect in them the authority of Christ, the Supreme Shepherd. They must therefore stand by their bishops in sincere charity and obedience.(43) This priestly obedience, imbued with a spirit of cooperation is based on the very sharing in the episcopal ministry which is conferred on priests both through the Sacrament of Orders and the canonical mission.(44)

This union of priests with their bishops is all the more necessary today since in our present age, for various reasons, apostolic undertakings must necessarily not only take on many forms but frequently extend even beyond the boundaries of one parish or diocese. No priest, therefore, can on his own accomplish his mission in a satisfactory way. He can do so only by joining forces with other priests under the direction of the Church authorities.

32 Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution
LG 28, Nov. 21, 1964: AAS 57 (1965), p 35.
33 Cf. cited Ecclesiastical Constitution of the Apostles, XVIII: (ed. Th. Schermann, Die allgemeine Kirchenordnung, I, Paderborn 1914, p 26; A. Harnack, T. u. U., II, 4, p 13, nn 18 and 19); Pseudo-Jerome, The Seven Orders of the Church (ed. A.W. Kalff, Wurzburg 1937, p 45); St. Isidore of Hispali, Ecclesiastical Offices, c. VII (PL 83, 787).
34 Cf. Didascalia, II, 28, 4 (ed. F.X. Funk, p 108); Constitutions of the Apostles, II, 28, 4;II, 34, 3 (ibid. , pp. 109 and 117).
35 Constitutions of the Apostles, VIII, 16, 4 (ed. F.X. Funk, 1, p 522,13); cf. Epitome of the Constitutions of the Apostles, VI (ibid., II, p 80, 3-4); Testamentum Domini, (transl. I.E. Rahmani, Moguntiae 1899, p 69). Also in Trad. Apost. (ed. B. Botte, La Tradition Apostolique, Munster, i. W. 1963, p 20).
36 Cf. Nb 11,16-25.
37 Roman Pontifical on the ordination of a priest, preface: these words are also found in the Leonine Sacramentary, the Gelasian Sacramentary and the Gregorian Sacramentary. Similar words can be found in the Oriental Liturgies: cf. Trad Apost.: (ancient Latin version of Verona, ed. B. Botte, La Tradition Apostolique de St. Hippolyte. Essai de reconstruction, Munster i. W. 1963, p 20); Constitutions of the Apostles, VIII, 16, 4 (ed. F.X. Funk, I, p 522,16-17); Epitome on the Constitutions of the Apostles, 6 (ed. F.X. Funk, II, p 20, 5-7); Testamentum Domini (transl. I.E. Rahmani, Moguntiae 1899, p 69); Euchologium Serapionis, XXVII (ed. F.X. Funk, Didascalia and Constitutions, II, p 190, lines 1-7); Maronite Rite of Ordination (transl. H. Denzinger, Rites of the Orientals, II, Wurzburg 1863, p. 161). Among the Fathers can be cited: Theodore of Mopsuestia, On First Timothy, 3, 8 (ed. Swete, II, PP 119-121); Theodoretus, Questions on Numbers, XVIII (PG 80, 372 b).
38 Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution LG 28, Nov. 21, 1964: AAS 57 (1965), p 35.
39 Cf. John XXIII, encyclical letter Sacerdotii Nostri Primordia, Aug. 1, 1959: AAS 51 (1959), p 576; St. Pius X, Exhortation to the Clergy Haerent Animo, Aug. 4, 1908: Acts of St. Pius X, vol. IV (1908), pp 237 ff.
40 Cf. Second Vatican Council, Decree on the Pastoral Duties of Bishops, Oct. 28, 1956 nn (CD 15 CD 16).
41 The Cathedral Chapter is already found in established law, as the "senate and assembly" of the bishop (Code of Canon Law, CIS 391), or if there is not one, an assembly of diocesan consultors (cf. Code of Canon Law, CIS 423-428). It is our desire to give recognition to such institutions so that modern circumstances and necessities might better be provided for. As is evident, this synod of priests forms the pastoral consilium spoken of in the Decree on the Pastoral Duties of Bishops of Oct. 28, 1965 (CD 27), of which the laity can also be members, and whose function is mainly to map out a plan of action for pastoral work. Concerning priests as counselors of the bishops, one might refer to the Didascalia, II, 28, 4 (ed. F.X. Funk,II, p 108); also Constitutions of the Apostles, II 28,4 (ed. F.X. Funk, I, p 109); St. Ignatius Martyr, Magn. 6, 1 (ed. F.X. Funk, p 234, 10-16); Trall. 3, 1 (ed. F.X. Funk, p 244, 10-12); Origen, Against Celsus, 3, 30: "Priests are counselors or 'bouleytai'" (PG 11, 957 d-960 a).
42 St. Ignatius Martyr, Magn. 6, 1: (ed. F.X. Funk, p 234, 10-13); St. Ignatius Martyr, Trall., 3, 1: (ibid., p 244, 10-12); St. Jerome, On Isaiah, II, 3 (PL 24, 61 A).
43 Cf. Paul VI, allocution to the family heads of Rome and Lenten speakers, March 1, 1965, in the Sistine Hall: AAS 57 (1965), p 326.
44 Cf. Constitutions of the Apostles, VIII 47, 39: (ed. F.X. Funk, p 577).

8 Priests by virtue of their ordination to the priesthood are united among themselves in an intimate sacramental brotherhood. In individual dioceses, priests form one priesthood under their own bishop. Even though priests are assigned to different duties, nevertheless they carry on one priestly ministry for men. All priests are sent as co-workers in the same apostolate, whether they engage in parochial or extra-parochial ministry. This is true whether they devote their efforts to scientific research or teaching, or whether by manual labor they share in the lot of the workers themselves-if there is need for this and competent authority approves-or finally whether they fulfill some other apostolic tasks or labor designed for the apostolate. All, indeed, are united in the building up of the Body of Christ which, especially in our times, requires manifold duties and new methods. It is very important that all priests, whether diocesan or religious, help one another always to be fellow workers in the truth.(45) Each one, therefore, is united in special bonds of apostolic charity, ministry and brotherhood with the other members of this priesthood. This has been manifested from ancient times in the liturgy when the priests present at an ordination are invited to impose hands together with the ordaining bishop on the new candidate, and with united hearts concelebrate the Sacred Eucharist. Each and every priest, therefore, is united with his fellow priests in a bond of charity, prayer and total cooperation. In this manner, they manifest that unity which Christ willed, namely, that his own be perfected in one so that the world might know that the Son was sent by the Father.(46)

Older priests, therefore, should receive younger priests as true brothers and help them in their first undertakings and priestly duties. The older ones should likewise endeavor to understand the mentality of younger priests, even though it be different from their own, and follow their projects with good will. By the same token, young priests should respect the age and experience of their seniors; they should seek their advice and willingly cooperate with them in everything that pertains to the care of souls. In a fraternal spirit, priests should extend hospitality,(47) cultivate kindliness and share their goods in common.(48) They should be particularly solicitous for the sick, the afflicted, those overburdened with work, the lonely, those exiled from their homeland, and those who suffer persecution.(49) They should gladly and joyfully gather together for recreation, remembering Christ's invitation to the weary apostles: "Come aside to a desert place, and rest awhile" (
Mc 6,31). And further, in order that priests may find mutual assistance in the development of their spiritual and intellectual life, that they may be able to cooperate more effectively in their ministry and be saved from the dangers of loneliness which may arise, it is necessary that some kind of common life or some sharing of common life be encouraged among priests. This, however, may take many forms, according to different personal or pastoral needs, such as living together where this is possible, or having a common table, or at least by frequent and periodic meetings. One should hold also in high regard and eagerly promote those associations which, having been recognized by competent ecclesiastical authority, encourage priestly holiness in the ministry by the use of an appropriate and duly approved rule of life and by fraternal aid, intending thus to do service to the whole order of priests.

Finally, by reason of the same communion in the priesthood, priests should realize that they are obliged in a special manner toward those priests who labor under certain difficulties. They should give them timely help, and also, if necessary, admonish them discreetly. Moreover, they should always treat with fraternal charity and magnanimity those who have failed in some matters, offer urgent prayers to God for them, and continually show themselves as true brothers and friends.

45 Cf. 3Jn 1,8 46 Cf. Jn 17,23 47 Cf. He 13,1-2 48 Cf. He 13,16 49 Cf. Mt 5,10

Presbyterorum Ordinis EN