23 October 2001

Concelebration 3

They wear chasubles; they join in with the laying on of hands; the presbyters who partake in the ordination of a new presbyter are real participants and not just the bestowers of a chummy blessing. At a mundane level, they can rightly be seen as a club welcoming a new member or, rather, performatively incorporating that new member. But I also venture the opinion - and here I do speculate beyond what magisterial documents explicitly state - that those presbyters are true ordainers. I am not a presbyterian; I do not believe that those presbyters, either individually or collectively, could ordain a new presbyter without their Bishop. He is central; he is essential; he is the Apostolic Man who incorporates new men into the everlasting sacerdotium of Christ. But his presbyters do it with him. What they could not do on their own they can and do perform with him. They are not individuals; they, in and with their Bishop, are a corporate organism functioning corporately.

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