Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Calvin on Ordination and Pastoral Obligation

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 4.5.4 - Abuses in the appointment of the presbyter ("priest") and deacon.
"Here is a noble calling, by reason of which bishops boast that they are the apostles' successors. But they say that the right to create presbyters belongs to them alone. In this they very wickedly corrupt the ancient institution, because they create by their ordination not presbyters to lead and feed the people, but priests to perform sacrifices. Similarly, when they consecrate deacons, they do nothing about their true and proper office, but ordain them only for certain rites concerned with chalice and paten.

But in the Council of Chalcedon, on the contrary, it was enacted that there should be no ordinations free of pastoral obligations, that is, that a place be assigned to the person ordained where he is to exercise his office. This decree is valuable for two reasons. First, that the church may not be burdened with needless expense, and spend upon idle men what ought to be distributed to the poor. Secondly, that those ordained are not to think themselves promoted to an honor but charged with an office which they are with solemn attestation obligated to discharge."

1 comment:

Jason said...

This is a great passage. Thanks for sharing it!