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The Living Church The Church as Institution. Leadership As with any organization the Church needs clear and well defined leadership –Church leadership.

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Presentation on theme: "The Living Church The Church as Institution. Leadership As with any organization the Church needs clear and well defined leadership –Church leadership."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Living Church The Church as Institution

2 Leadership As with any organization the Church needs clear and well defined leadership –Church leadership is a visible and hierarchical structure –Provided primarily through the clergy Through Holy Orders, use Christ’s authority –Govern, teach and sanctify the Church –Make Christ present to us through the Sacraments –Giving service to the Body of Christ Ordained ministers of the church –Pope –Bishops –Priests –Deacons

3 The Church and the Hierarchy The Church consists of two interconnected groups –Laity All members of the Church except ordained and consecrated persons –Hierarchy The Apostles and their successors –Pope, Bishops –Priests and Deacons No one group is more important than another, all members are equal in dignity but called to different roles and ministries

4 Hierarchical Leadership Divine Authority and Service –Only Bishops confer the degrees of Holy Orders –Instituted by Jesus and makes Jesus present in the church through the Sacraments Established bishops as successors to the apostles and the Pope the successor of Peter Given Christ’s own authority to govern, teach and provide pastoral care for the Body of Christ –Not to be expressed in a domineering fashion, given power to serve others not “Lord over” them –Pope; the Bishop who has supreme authority over the whole Church –Bishops; whose authority comes from union with the Pope –Priests; co-workers with the Bishops –Deacons; lowest level of the hierarchy

5 Organizational Structure Holy See –The seat of the central administration of the Church under the leadership of the Pope, Bishop of Rome. An overwhelming position if not for the guidance of the Holy Spirit Diocese –A certain geographical area governed by a bishop. These diocese form the universal Church. (A very large diocese may be called an archdiocese and its leader an archbishop) Parish –A small community within a diocese. The bishop appoints one or more priests to service the parish. Family –First teacher of the faith and the “community” where it is first practiced; called the domestic church

6 The Pope Successor of St. Peter. (Petrine Succession) –Jesus gave Peter the “Keys of power”, the authority to govern The Bishop of Rome –Rome had been established as the spiritual center of the Church –Almost all Popes since Peter have lived in Rome Head of the College of Bishops –All bishops are united with each other with the pope as their head –Has the authority to appoint bishops throughout the world Vicar of Christ –He acts for Christ as his human representative on earth –The visible sign of Christ’s presence on earth –Guarantee of the unity of the church –Seen as a model of guidance and inspiration

7 Bishops (Episcopacy) Task of teaching, sanctifying and governing the Church –Sets guidelines and procedures –Helps the people reach their goal of salvation –Special concern for social justice issues 12 Apostles= a group or “college” with Peter as the head Entrusted with passing down apostolic tradition Archbishop presides over meetings in his province –Collegial relationship –Cardinal serves as a member of the body that elects the Pope Bishop sanctifies by celebrating the sacraments some of which are particular to this ministry –Confirmation –Holy Orders

8 Priesthood (Presbytery) Bishops share their authority with the priests, gives priests authority over a specific parish. Represents Christ to the community, serving in the name and in the person of Jesus within the community –Sacramental minister –Oversee religious education in the parish –Visit the sick –Oversee parish work –Acts as Christ’s representative in the Eucharist

9 Diaconate Primary role of the deacon is to be of service to the Church and to the world –Serve in the ministry of the Word Church worship Pastoral governance Acts of charity –Responsible to the bishop History of the Diaconate –Apostles selected seven men to assist them Life of service –Baptism –Matrimony Life of holiness –Over the centuries there has been a change in the ministry Step to the priesthood Permanent deacon

10 Hierarchy Holy See Diocese Parish Domestic Church Pope Bishop Priest (Deacon) Head of House Papacy Episcopacy Presbytery Diaconate

11 Review Questions (pg 167) 1.What does it mean to say that the Church is hierarchical? Why is it necessary for the Church to be hierarchical? 2.In what way are the Holy See, the diocese, the parish, and the family related in the hierarchy? 3.In what way is the Pope the visible sign of the Church’s unity? 4.In what way is the Pope the successor to Peter? 5.In what specific ways does a bishop sanctify the Church? 6.What are some examples of the collegial nature of the bishops? 7.Describe the relationship between a bishop and a priest. 8.Describe the responsibilities of a priest. 9.Explain what a deacon is and describe three of his primary areas of service.

12 1.What does it mean to say that the Church is hierarchical? Why is it necessary for the Church to be hierarchical? The Church is hierarchical because her leaders and institutions are organized in a specific order instituted by Christ himself. This structure does not mean that anyone is more important than another. But the Church, like any group, needs organized leadership to avoid chaos. In particular, the Church’s leadership, as instituted by Christ, is necessary to make him present through the Sacraments. 2.In what way are the Holy See, the diocese, the parish, and the family related in the hierarchy? The Holy See is the central administration of the entire Catholic Church, under the leadership of the Pope, the Bishop of Rome. The Holy See is the foremost diocese, or seat of a bishop. The universal Church is a communion of dioceses, which cover certain geographic areas and are governed by bishops. Parishes are distinct communities within a diocese, cared for by priests appointed by the diocesan bishop. Finally, the family is the domestic church, the most basic level of the Church.

13 3.In what way is the Pope the visible sign of the Church’s unity? The Pope is the visible sign of the Church’s unity as the Vicar (or agent) of Christ, the visible and juridical head of the Church and visible sign of Christ’s presence on earth. He guarantees the Church’s unity in its beliefs, Sacraments, and authority derived from Peter and the Apostles. Christ has given him full, supreme, and universal power over the entire Church. 4.In what way is the Pope the successor to Peter? Just as the bishops are the successors of the Apostles, the Pope is the successor to Peter, the leader of the Apostles, to whom Christ gave the authority to govern the Church. Each Pope passes down this authority to the next. 5.In what specific ways does a bishop sanctify the Church? As Christ’s representative in his diocese, a bishop sanctifies the Church by overseeing the administration of the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, in the diocese. The bishop grants the authority to celebrate the Sacraments to each priest in his diocese. He is also the ordinary celebrant of Confirmation in the diocese and is the only person who can ordain priests and deacons, ensuring that the Sacrament of Holy Orders continues the ministry of the Apostles.

14 6.What are some examples of the collegial nature of the bishops? The bishops have a collegial relationship with one another, meaning that they equally share the responsibility and authority to make decisions affecting the Church in a particular country, geographic region, and even the world (in union with the Pope). The collegial nature of their relationship is particularly evident in Ecumenical Councils, in which the bishops gather with the Pope to engage in careful, open discussion to settle significant questions for the entire Church. They also act collegially when they meet in synods or provincial councils or gather to consecrate a new bishop. 7.Describe the relationship between a bishop and a priest. A priest’s authority comes from his bishop’s authority. The priest is a coworker with the bishop in service to a particular parish. The priests of a diocese work in union with the bishop and are responsible for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the entire diocese.

15 8.Describe the responsibilities of a priest. The priest represents Christ to the community through teaching, divine worship, and pastoral leadership. He has primary responsibility as a minister of the Sacraments. The parish priest also oversees religious education in the parish. He visits the sick and those in need of spiritual care, oversees parish staff, and makes sure the parish buildings are maintained. Finally, he has responsibility beyond his parish role, participating in the universal mission of the Apostles to share the Good News with the world, which he does in collegial relationship with other priests, in union with the bishop. 9.Explain what a deacon is and describe three of his primary areas of service. A deacon is a man ordained for ministry and service to the Church and the world, serving in three primary areas. 1.They serve the liturgy as ordinary ministers of the Sacrament of Baptism; they also can bless Marriages and assist with distribution of the Eucharist. 2.They act in service of the Word by giving homilies, leading celebrations of the Liturgy of the Word, and filling other catechetical and teaching positions. 3.They act in various ministries of charity, including pastoral ministry to families, administration of church finances, and coordination of social services.


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