Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches
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Regarding the development of the idea of People of God, Is Brian referring to the official teaching of the Church or the opinions of individual theologians?
It should be pointed out that the category of People of God taken on its own is insufficient to describe the reality of the Church. The People of God is not an amorphous mass but a community which is hierarchically organised: see chapters II, III and IV of the Vatican II document on the Church, Lumen Gentium. Not only the aspect of the Christian community called by God to worship but also the hierarchical reality of the Church must be reflected in the architecture of a church building, if the church building is to be an image of the reality of the Church itself.
Also it is insufficient to describe the priest simply in terms of “special ministry” – the Catholic understanding goes deeper. The priest is not simply delegated by the community to exercise a special function within it, but receives his power to act “in persona Christi” from Christ himself through the sacrament of holy orders, which involves a change at the deeper level of his being. Only on the basis of what the priest is can we understand what he does.