Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Priest as an Icon of Christ During the Mass

Sometime back Steve Bainbridge pointed to the Catechism's statement that the priest stands for Christ, is an icon of Christ, during the mass. Yet the priest in the most crucial part of the mass refers to Jesus in the third person. When is the priest supposed to be standing for Jesus and when not? I wonder whether the notion that the priest stands for Christ tends to give a view of the priest that is too exalted. Depending on how the notion of standing for Christ is interpreted, it could simply mean that the priest is supposed to be the most servile in the room, but the vestments tend to point to Christ as King, as does the role of the priest as teacher and his role in the consecration. I doubt that anyone attends mass to worship the priest. It does not help me to think of the priest as Christ, nor do fancy vestments help. Without questioning the role of priest as teacher or his role in the consecration, I prefer the view of priest as servant.


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