success stories

Priesthood: A History of the Ordained Ministry in the Roman Catholic Church
Kenan B. Osborne, O.F.M.
Paulist Press, New York, 1988

Open paragraph to preface

When I first began working on this material, I had hoped to cover a history of mihistry in the Roman Catholic Church, which included not only the ordained ministry but also the ministry of lay Christians as well. It was part of my hope to deal in depth with the issue of Christian women in ministry, particularly as this ministry was relate to the ordained priest and deacon. The first drafting indicated clearly that this could not be done, at least by me. There was a constant moving back and forth along historical periods, which tended to complicate and obscure the flow of discussion. It became clearer and clearer that the history of the ordained ministry needed attention first. It remains my hope to rite a companion volume, tracing the ministry of lay Christians throughout the centuries as also the very coplex issue of women and ordained ministry.

Table of contents:
1. The Ministry of Jesus
A. Jesus’ ministry is from God
B. Jesus’ ministry is a ministry of love
C. Jesus’ ministry is a ministry of service
D. The political aspect of Jesus’ ministry
E. The ministry of Jesus was a preaching ministry

2. A Description of the Message of the Earthly Ministry A. The return of the quenched spirit
B. Overcoming the rule of satan
C. The dawn of the Kingdom of God
D. The poor have the Good News preached to them

3. A Description of the Ministry of the Risen Jesus

2. An Ecclesiological Presupposition

1. Jesus established a Church in a fairly detailed way
2. The Church dates from the Resurrection
3. Ministry: 27 to 110 AD
1. The New Testament Churches
2. Presbyter and Episkopos
3. The Twelve and the Apostles
4. Prophet and Teacher
5. Deacon
6. The other titles of ministry
7. The New Testament and the issue of ordination
8. The ministry of the episkopos at Rome
9. The Eucharist and its relationship to the New Testament
10. Apostolic succession

On the Question of the New Testament and the Ordination of Women 90 to 210 AD
1. The Naming and Function of Christian Ministry
A. The Didache
B. The First Letter of Clement
C. Ignatius of Antioch
D. Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians
E. The Letter to Barnabas
F. The Shepherd of Hermas
G. St. Justin, The Apologist
H. St. Irenaeus
I Origens, Tertullian, Hippolytus and the author of the Didascalia Apostolorum
2. Ordination to Ministry
A. Ordination of an Episkopos
B. Ordination of a Presbyter
C. Ordination of a Deacon
d. Teachers and Prophets.
5. Ministry in the High Patristic Church: 210 to 600AD
1. Theological Development of Apostolic Succession
A. Apostolic origin
B. Apostolic teaching
C. Apostolic hierarchical succession
2. A process of increased clericalization
3. A process of theologizing
4. A process of increased ministerial deversification
5. The interrelationship of these various processes
6. Ministry in the Early Medieval Church: 600 to 1000 AD

1. The division of the Eastern and Western Christian Churches
2. The Frankish structuring of ministry
3. The papal structuring of ministry
4. Other factors bearing on the issue of ordained ministry
Minor Orders — An Historical Survey
7. Ministry in the Scholastic Period: 1000 to 1400 AD
1. The number of sacred orders
2. The definition of the sacrament of order
3. The sacrament of order and ecclesiology
4. Jesus and the sacrament of order

8. Ministry in the Theology of the Reformers
1. Martin Luther and the Lutheran theology of ministry
2. Ministry of John Calvin’s theology

9. The Sacrament of Order and the Council of Trent

1. The preliminary draft on the sacrament of order
2. The doctrinal/pastoral statement on order
3. The canons
4. An overview of the Tridentine teaching on the sacrament of order

10. The Sacrament of Order in Counter-Reformation Theology

1. St. Robert Bellarmine and his presentation of the sacrament of Holy Order
2. Jean-Jacques Olier and his theology of the sacrament
3. Other significant Catholic scholarship on the sacrament of order
4. Roman statements on the priesthood in the counter-reformation period
A. Pius VI, “Auctorem Fidei”
B. Leo XIII and the question of Anglican orders
C. Pius X and the decree “Lamentabili”
D. Pius XI and the encyclical “Ad Catholici Sacerdotii”
E. Pius XII and the encyclical “Mediator Dei”
F. Pius XII and the apostolic constitution “Sacramentum Ordinis”
5. Some general observations on the Counter-Reformation Period and its theological presentation of the sacrament of order

11. Ministry in the Documents of Vatican II
1. History of the document on epicopal and priestly ministry
2. Major structures of ordained and non-ordained ministry
A. The very definition of priesthood
B. The Christological base of Christian ministry
C. The ecclesiological basis of all Church ministry
3. Major issues which modify the theology of priesthood in a substantive way
A. The bishop as the fullness of the priesthood
B. The collegiality of the bishops and priests
C. Priestly spirituality
4. Unfinished agenda from Vatican II

12. Christian Ministry in an Ecumenical Perspective

1. Christian ministry and the issues which divide the Eastern churches from the Roman church
2. Christian ministry and the dialogue between the Roman church and the Anglican Church
3. Christian ministry and dialogue with the mainline Protestant churches
4. The issue of the ordination of women

Back to Resource Section