English Summary – Priesthood 2/2010

Jaroslav Brož
Scriptural Grounds of Priesthood

In the initial study of this issue the theologian Brož deals with the priestly function in the entire history of Israel and its outlet in the character of Jesus Christ. His basic line indicates that the priest in the religion of the Revelation, based on the Covenant, plays a significant role because he mediates the closeness of God. The Old Testament cultic system tried to reach this position not quite successfully through the sacrifice of animals. Full and permanent union with God is possible in the New Testament Church by the power of Christ’s personal sacrifice. Christ’s priesthood however is not individualistic but allows believers to participate in it. By the participation in Christ they have access to the powerful dynamism of filial obedience towards God and fraternal solidarity of love for all the people.

Tomáš Petráček
Priesthood, Priests, and History
Several Notes Regarding Changes of Forms of Priestly Life in Modern Times

The study of the historian Petráček questions the idea of the ideal priesthood passing through history. Though its theological basis remained unchanged, outward forms of the priesthood depended on many factors. The author shows how, against the medieval pluralism of opinions and a certain freedom, the post-trident priesthood diverged with its stress to the uniformity of the order, morality, and clearly defined social status, which were guarded by an elaborate system of control. Thanks to this, in the late 18th century a perfectly functioning parish network and system of spiritual care was developed; between the priest and the world there arose however a wide and constantly increasing gap. This was only widened in the times when the Church was sinking into the ghetto after the French Revolution. Moreover, during the 19th century the priest lost his privileged position of scholar in the community, as this role was overtaken by the teacher, and the priest withdrew into a fortress of anti-modern orthodoxy, nurtured by increasingly more archaic models of priestly spirituality. Also in the 20th century there was a loss of social prestige of the priesthood that along with the historic twists and turns led to a disengagement of priestly vocation from its historical and social roots and to a new grasp of its true meaning.

Where Present Priests Find the Example and the Inspiration? (Survey)

It turned up – amongst others – during the consideration of the general conception of this issue of Salve that in contrast to the ideals of priesthood, the very particular personal life and the motivation of the single priest are not taken strongly enough into account. The editors therefore decided to address several priests close to them, and ask them some very personal questions: Who played the most important role as a model in your decision for priesthood, and how? Is this example for you still supportive or has it changed somewhat over the years? What is the most supporting thought of your priestly life today? Apart from other things there appeared a great variety of motivations and a personal depth of interviewed men who have chosen the priesthood.

Matthew Levering
Christ the PriestDeepening of the Twenty-second Question of the Third Part of Summa Theologiae

The relationship between the historical-critical approach to the Bible, here represented by N. T. Wright and other writers, and classical theology, symbolised by St. Thomas Aquinas, is not as contradictory as it seems to be at the first sight. Matthew Levering demonstrates this when analysing St. Thomas‘ theology of Christ’s priesthood, enriched by some results of historical-critical researches. The author pursues Thomas‘ argumentation, taking into account the views and contributions of Scripture scholars, whereas which demonstrates that serious Bible study and the genuine theology without biases and prejudices stay not in contradiction, but are mutually enriching.

Benedikt Mohelník OP
Relationship Between the Universal and the Ministerial Priesthood

The study investigates the relation between the universal and the ministerial priesthood in the perspective of the uniqueness of Christ’s priestly ministry, based on the fact, that the priest is identical to the sacrificed gift. The starting point is an analysis of the doctrine of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The universal priesthood is treated on the ground of the dicta of the Church Fathers and ancient authors, characterised by a distinct continuity of thought about the notion of the sacrifice presented in the Epistle to the Hebrews. The ministerial priesthood, which is also supported by the Scripture, acts in relation to the universal priesthood in its ministerial role. Both kinds of priesthood in the Church represent a participation in the unique priesthood of Christ and their mutual relation can be well explained by notions in persona Christi and in nomine Ecclesiae. 

Benoît-Dominique de La Soujeole OP
Doctrinal Grounds of Priestly Spirituality

Fr. Benoit-Dominique de La Soujeole OP in his article examines the foundations of priestly spirituality in terms of dogmatic theology. The author begins with the magisterial texts of the 20th century those theses are further developed and deepened. He uses the reflection of the nature of the sacraments in general, and transfers the emphasis from the Res et Sacramentum of the Sacrament of Holy Orders – the priest’s character, to the Res tantum – the grace dispensed through the sacrament. A careful analysis of the situation shows that we can understand the mentioned point as a modality specifying the baptismal grace, and therefore any priestly spirituality has to be rooted primarily in the genuine experience of the sacrament of baptism.

I Admit that I am Not Always Acting Lege Artis
Interview with Adam Boniecki

In the interview with the Polish Marian-Priest, journalist and long-time editor of the important Polish weekly Tygodnik Powszechny, Boniecki remembers his journalistic beginnings, coupled with the impulse of the Cracow Archbishop Wojtyla, at the time when he – already as John Paul II – sent the author to Rome to join the editorial staff of L’Osservatore Romano, as well as the situation in Poland after his return. Boniecki also openly talks about the relationship of loyalty to the Church and to the journalistic profession, about the need not to hide the truth from the believers, particularly in connection with the scandals of all kinds. He speaks with the understanding about the perspective of a shepherd who has set his priorities in other ways than usual.

Adriena Šimotová
Prostration. An Installation of a Drawing Object in Presbytery of St. Saviour Church

The issue of the Revue Salve dedicated to priesthood is accompanied by photo-documentation of an artistic interventions of the prominent both Czech and internationally recognized artist Adriena Šimotová (* 1926) in the presbytery of the academic Church of St. Saviour in Prague in Lenten-tide 2010. This unique achievement which resonates both with the liturgical tide and with the specific spot in the church, creates an important step in the dialogue of the Church and contemporary art in the Czech Republic. A closer outline brings the speech of the curator Pavel Brunclík published in the Revue Salve. Photographs of the installation are complemented with the documentation of the preceding architectonic arrangement of the presbytery by Norbert Schmidt with an encouragement from Friedhelm Mennekes SJ.