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The Ministry in Historical Perspectives by H. Richard Niebuhr and Daniel D. Williams (eds.)

H. Richard Niebuhr was Professor of Christian Theology at Yale University Divinity School. His most famous book is Christ and Culture. Assisting him in this project were Daniel Day Williams, Professor of Theology at Union Theological School, and James Gustafson, then on the staff of the Study of Theological Education in the U.S. and Canada.

The Ministry in Historical Perspectives was published in 1956 by Harper & Brothers, New York. It was part of a survey of theological education in the United States and Canada, which led to the publishing of this book as well as H. Richard Niebuhr, The Purpose of the Church and Its Ministry (1956) and H. Richard Niebuhr, Daniel D. Williams, and James M. Gustafson, The Advancement of Theological Education (1957). This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted & Winnie Brock

Chapter 3: The Ministry in the Later Patristic Period (314-451), by George H. Willliams.

[George H. Williams is Professor of Church History, Harvard University. Among his books are Polish Brethren, and Spiritual and Anabaptist Writers (Westminster 1995).]

With the sudden cessation of imperial persecution the ministry was obliged to accommodate itself quickly to the demands and the expectations of a patronizing magistracy. With the establishment of the Church in the favor of one Emperor (by 314 in the West and 324 in the East), and the prospect of a rapid enlargement of the membership of the churches and the proliferation of new duties and opportunities and temptations, a new phase in the evolution of the ministry had dawned. In the complete change of religious climate most of the new patterns of priestly behavior and pastoral rule which were to prevail for a millennium in both Eastern and Western Catholicism until challenged by Protestantism were laid down in the period between the Council of Arles in 314 and the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

We began our survey in Chapter II of the two hundred years' development of the ministry after the close of the New Testament epoch by distinguishing three kinds of ministry: the charismatic, the cultual, and the disciplinary. We saw how the cultual ministry, which was originally twofold with protobishops (or presiding presbyters) and deacons, absorbed several of the functions of the other two, until at length only remnants of the first survived, while the presbyterate was in the process of even more radical metamorphosis. For by the Council of Nicaea the old collegiate, disciplinary presbytery in each city was well on its way toward disaggregation. The city "parish" (paroikia 1) was becoming a diocese (though not yet in name) under its bishop while the presbyters were more or less permanently assigned to outlying communities or the regional churches in the case of the more populous cities. These segments of the episcopal "parish" were on their way to becoming parishes in our later sense. Thus presbyters were becoming priests at the very same time they were relinquishing their corporate judicial and disciplinary authority in the bishop's church, while the bishop had become the chief judge; and the law itself was being codified in canons at councils at which bishops alone decreed.

Thus in place of three basic, though overlapping ministries of the primitive church (sometimes concurrently discharged by the same person) we found at the end of the two centuries of evolution three main orders of the clergy: the episcopate, the priesthood, and the diaconate and an ever-growing series of lower orders. Bishops and presbyters together belonged to the priesthood (sacerdotium) in respect to their function at the altar; to the presbyterate, wherever it remained intact as a corporate entity, in respect to local discipline. All three, bishop, priest, and deacon, constituted the clergy, while others pressed for the same dignity, notably the subdeacon (soon to be classed with the major orders). In the meantime, ordination, which set the clergy apart from the laity, had acquired the significance of a kind of second baptism or a second penance in blotting out all but carnal sin (Neocaesarea, canon 9)2, a step toward construing the clerical state as a superior stage of Christian achievement both morally and spiritually, and a step also toward the doctrine of the indelibility of ordination.

Celibacy was becoming more and more a mark of the clergy, though the process was not even, and there were many sections of the Church that limited their scruples to second marriage only. Celibacy had long been esteemed a laudable state for the clergy. It was not, however, until the Spanish provincial council of Elvira (306) that continence as distinguished from celibacy had been made obligatory. Yet in a corresponding Eastern council, that of Ancyra (314), the bishop and presbyter might enter marriage before ordination; only the deacon might do so afterward on condition that he have declared his intentions before ordination.

The evolution of the episcopate as a ministerial order distinct from the presbyterate, virtually completed by the time of the Council of Nicaea, was formalized in the conciliar canons between Nicaea and the Council of Chalcedon, though not without resistance.

It was at the Council of Antioch in Encaeniis (341)3 that the character of the fourth-century episcopate was most clearly and significantly defined. Almost all its canons dealt with episcopacy and were authoritatively made a part of canon law by the Council of Chalcedon.4 These canons made clear that the bishops of a province, meeting semiannually in synod under the presidency of their metropolitan, constituted a collegium with a relationship to the metropolitan much like that of the second-century collegiate presbytery in relation to the bishop of the local church. According to canons 4 and 18 to 23,5 a new bishop is elected and ordained by the metropolitan and the provincial bishops in synod; and, when thus elevated, he enjoys the rank and ministry of bishop even if he is not accepted by the people of his see.6 Yet he may be deposed by the same synod for other reasons. In these canons of an Arianizing council7 the relation of the bishop to his people has been seriously attenuated. In 380 at the Council of Laodicea election by the people 8 was expressly forbidden (canon 13), though the rights of the laity in election survived in many places, especially in the West. In the Eastern Apostolic Constitutions the communal voice in the election of a bishop has been reduced to the thrice-iterated consent of the people and presbytery to receive a synodally chosen bishop as their ruler (archon).9 In the Testament of Our Lord,l0 the formality is reduced to the thrice-recited "He is worthy!" (axios!) which still resounds at the enthronization of a Greek bishop.

With the widening gulf between the bishop and his people went the elimination of the chorepiskopoi and therewith the pattern of greater fellowship and intimacy between bishop and people which had survived outside the great cities. The Council of Sardica (canon 6) decreed (343) that chorepiskeopoi should no longer be appointed; and Laodicea (canon 54) sought to replace all rural bishops with visitors under the supervision of city bishops. It should be remarked that the repeated efforts to control and eventually to suppress the chorepiscopate were prompted in part by the recurrent involvement of the rural bishops, because of insufficient stipends, in part-time economic activities inconsonant with the episcopal dignity. Despite this consolidation the feeling that each (city) bishop stood in succession to the apostles was still largely confined to the apostolic sees. The Syrian Constitutor of the Apostolic Constitutions (c. 380) could, for example, still think even of the presbyters of Antioch (for this would have been his model see) as taking the place of the apostles rather than the bishop. He called the presbyters "the sanhedrin and senate of the church,''11 and he thought of Christ as the universal Bishop and High Priest.l2 To be sure, Chrysostom, Epiphanius, and Theodore of Mopsuestia among others contended that bishops were but presbyters with greater jurisdiction and the power of ordination.13 Jerome and Ambrosiaster were particularly pleased to recall that even the ordaining power had once been exercised by presbyters in ante-Nicene Alexandria. But these were not representative contentions, for the provincially organized and ecumenically minded episcopate had bcome fully conscious of participating in a ministry, as well as a jurisdiction, different from that of their subordinate presbyter-priests.

As we have noted, as early as the Council of Nicaea bishops had taken upon themselves the full responsibility for the authoritative definition of dogma in their corporate capacity as the organ of the Holy Spirit. To this doctrinal function had been added the disciplinary and legislative powers to bind and loose by canons deemed superior in authority to locally received traditions and the consensus of local churches in which the laity and the presbyters had customarily voiced their assent in adjudications and in doctrinal formulations.

The bishops were also assigned local judicial duties by the new Christianized State. In the period of persecutions it had been natural that Paul's injunction not to seek adjudication outside the Christian community should be observed; and usages in this connection were codified in manuals of church discipline. Yet even in the period of imperial patronage, when the ordinary courts themselves came to reflect Christian principles, bishops continued to enlarge the judicial aspect of their office. All Christians, at the beginning of the Constantinian era, were directed (318, 333) to the courts spiritual presided over by bishops; and thus two codes of law and two separate though mutually influential "Christian" systems of adjudication were elaborated in the course of the fourth century. Only in 398 did Emperor Acadius for the East and in 408 Honorius for the West limit the scope of the episcopal court in respect to Christian laymen to those cases in which both parties sought it in preference to the regular tribunal. Canon 9 of Chalcedon was content to constrain clerics from carrying their grievances before secular tribunals (except as a final resort, the throne in Constantinople). In the meantime, bishops had come to be appointed occasionally, as it were ex officio, the emperor's "personal" defensores of the municipalities to protect the local populations, Christian and otherwise, from any unfair practices of the local or provincial officialdom of the Empire. At Chalcedon by canons 4 and 8 bishops also acquired the right of direct supervision and appointment in respect to all monasteries, the surviving chorepiscopacies, poorhouses, and hospitals in their "dioceses." 14

The diaconate, in contrast, had by the end of the Patristic period been atrophied insofar as it could no longer be considered a terminal or life ministry. It was merely a rung in the clerical ladder, moreover, the deacon had become the assistant of the parish presbyter-priest 15 as well as of the bishop. For the most part the presbyter had become the principal beneficiary of the devolution of episcopal powers. Nevertheless, in Rome and perhaps in other very large sees, the deacons, who were held to the apostolic number of seven but with quite unapostolic prerequisites and powers, tried intermittently to take precedence over the more numerous and less highly remunerated presbyters. During the pontificate of former deacon Damasus, Ambrosiaster wrote a little tract On the Arrogance of the Roman Deacons.l6 Besides the propitious factor of the relatively small number of deacons, mention also should be made of their close association with people in their everyday necessities as a common consideration in their election to the episcopate. Hence some of the jealousy of the presbyters. As late as the Testament of Our Lord (variously dated from 350 to 450) the deacon is said to be "counsellor of the whole clergy" at the very point in the reworking of Hippolytean material where the deacon had been hitherto expressly stated not to be participant in the counsel of the clergy. In the fifth-century Canons of Hippolytus certain deacons are set aside as instructors of the catechumens and are called doctores ecclesiae. In this same milieu the deacons were also charged with preaching, like the Syriac Father Ephrem (d. 373), teacher in Nisibis and in the refugee "School of the Persians" in Edessa. In view of their close association with the neophytes, deacons frequently baptized in the absence of priest or bishop (though the practice was forbidden in the Apostolic Constitutions).l7 Deacons continued in most areas their eleemosynary functions but many of these had been taken over by the ever-growing number of minor or more specialized clerical functionaries.

In the meantime, the female diaconate was undergoing significant expansion, but exclusively in the East. Beginning with the obscure reference of canon 19 of Nicaea respecting Paulinian 18 deaconesses and ending with canon 15 of Chalcedon which prohibits the ordination (cheirotonia) of a deaconess before the age of forty we have the canonical framework of the most significant period in the expansion and elaboration of the ministry of women before modern times.

According to the Apostolic Constitutions she had to submit to a careful examination before proceeding to ordination. A representative prayer for the latter is preserved in the "Clementine" Liturgy embedded in the Constitutions and reflecting Antiochene usage c. 350 to 380. The "constitution" is ascribed to the apostle Bartholomew who instructs a bishop thus:

Thou shalt lay thy hands upon her in the presence of the presbytery and of the deacons and deaconesses, and shalt say:

O eternal God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator of man and of woman, who didst replenish with the Spirit Miriam, and Deborah, and Anna, and Huldah; who didst not disdain that thine only-begotten Son should be born of a woman; who also in the Tabernacle of the testimony and in the Temple, didst ordain women to be keepers of thy holy gates, do thou now also look down upon this thy servant, who is to be ordained to the office of a deaconess, and grant her thy Holy Spirit . . . that she may worthily discharge the work.19

At a somewhat later date we know from the Byzantine ritual for the ordination of the deaconess that the bishop invested her with a diaconal stole and that after communicating, she herself replaced the chalice on the altar. The mid-fourth-century Council of Laodicea speaks (canon 10) of female presidents (presbytides). These, however, are no longer to be appointed in the church. In view of the survival of Montanists in the region -- and this Council deals with them -- it is possible that these presbytides represent the Catholic counterpart of the Montanist prophetesses. The deaconesses from Nicaea to Chalcedon and thereafter seem to have been recruited almost exclusively from the upper classes; and, although in The Testament of Our Lord they are by way of exception regarded as markedly inferior to the widows (presbytides)20 "who sit in front," the highborn deaconesses are almost everywhere else clearly distinguished from widows in being ministers rather than the recipients of church welfare.

Virgins did not become a clearly distinct order until the middle of the fourth century.21

Of the increasing number of clerics in minor orders and other special functionaries of the fourth- and fifth-century ecclesiastical bureaucracy, a partial list must suffice. Among these numerous ministries, several were commonly singled out as the seven degrees or orders ordained by Christ and sanctified by his having himself served variously in the grade of (1) gravedigger, (2) doorkeeper, (3) lector, (4) subdeacon, (5) deacon, (6) presbyter, and (7) bishop.22 These seven ministerial degrees could also be made to correspond to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. There was also a tendency to assimilate these clerical degrees to the cursus honorum of the Roman civil servant. But, as in the imperial bureaucracy, so in the clerical career, it was not always necessary to start at the bottom of the ladder. Moreover, though the number seven recurs in the ancient lists, the lower degrees were not fixed. Exorcist, and acolyte were possible alternatives. In the East, at least, the singers constituted a special order. Interpreters were assigned to preachers in rural areas where the languages of the Empire were not sufficiently well known for the missionary preacher to dispense with the local dialects. Visitors of the sick and custodians of the episcopal residences emerged as special classes of servants and ministrants of the church. In this period the archpriest emerged as the chief representative of the bishop in respect to priestly functions in the cathedral church, comparable to the archdeacon in administrative and eleemosynary affairs. The Council of Chalcedon (canon 26) advanced beyond the Council of Antioch (canon 24) in rcgularizing episcopal property and decreed that every episcopal establishment should have a steward (oikonomos, vicedominus) drawn from the cathedral clergy whose task it was to manage the estates and income of the basilica, to keep the bishop's personal property distinct from that of the see, and to safeguard the cathedral holdings during a vacancy of the see. Other functionaries of the large sees were the notaries, the archivists, and the emissaries (apokrisiarioi, nuntii), the latter representing the bishop at the residence of his superior (the metropolitan, exarch or patriarch).

The household of the bishop had become so large that new patterns were bound to emerge for the common life of cathedral clerics. Eusebius of Vercellae (d. 370) and Augustine (d. 430) were pioneers in the West in introducing the model of the monastery into the cathedral.

In the late fourth century short-cropped hair or the tonsure, borrowed from the Egyptian monks, began to be the outward sign of all clerics.23 Already by the middle of the fourth century the clergy were wearing a distinctive garb.24 Among the higher clergy the insignia and distinctive garments and accouterments of dress were made to correspond to those of the secular ranks of society, the clarissimi (of the senatorial class), the spectabiles, and the illustres. Within the last rank there were the five grades of illustrissimi, magnifici, excellentissimi, glorissimi, and nobilissimi (of the blood royal). The Synod of Arles, for example, addressed the Pope as glorissime. The insignia and prerogatives of rank and precedence, such as the use of a certain kind of sandal, rings, pallium, and maniple, seem to have been in part appropriated by the clergy and in part formally bestowed by the emperor. With the enhancement of the dignity of the bishop and the extension of his judicial authority under the patronage of the Empire, the old cathedra upon which the ante-Nicene bishop had sat in his capacity as teacher, was gradually converted into a veritable throne, imitative of that of the emperor.25 It is quite possible that the courtly protocol and the sartorial details of the so-called Donation of Constantine are a reasonably accurate description of the dress, insignia, and prerogatives of the chief bishop of the West in the late imperial period, that even the account of the bestowal of these privileges primarily errs in fictionally ascribing to one emperor what was probably done by several in the course of the fourth and fifth centuries, and that once the fictional monopolization of these prerogatives by one bishop is removed, the Donation is recognized as supplying us with a picture of a late imperial prelate.26

Let us turn from the prelates inextricably involved in the protocol of late imperial society and from the more specialized ministries of the various orders to the pastoral office as conceived by four great episcopal pastors of the fourth century: Chrysostom and Basil for the East; Ambrose and Augustine for the West. In one sense none of these was typical, for one was called from a high post in civil service; two were pre-eminently monks; all of them were prelates of important sees and knew the life of the capitals; and none of them had climbed the clerical ladder from the lowest rungs. But taken together they give us a fairly complete picture of the city pastor in the period of imperial patronage.

John Chrysostom (c. 345-407) vividly delineates his pastoral functions in his sermons and in his Treatise on the Priesthood (c. 386). Born of a family high in the imperial administration, Chrysostom enjoyed an extended liberal education in philosophy and rhetoric. He was able to extricate himself from being prematurely, as he thought, elevated to the episcopate. After becoming a monk instead, he became successively deacon and presbyter in Antioch, and then in 397 Bishop of Constantinople.

Despite his own monastic formation, this eloquent preacher to the turbulent, variegated "audiences" of the two Eastern capitals was certain that monks were not the best fitted for the role of priests, but rather those "who, though having their life and conversation among men, yet can preserve their purity, their calm, their piety, and patience, and soberness, and all other good qualities of monks more unbroken and steadfast than those hermits do themselves." 27 Chrysostom describes the ideal bishop:

He must be dignified yet modest, awe-inspiring yet kindly, masterful yet accessible, impartial yet courteous, humble yet not servile, vehement yet gentle, in order that he may be able easily to resist all these dangers28 and to promote the suitable rnan with great firmness, even though all men gainsay him, and reject the unsuitable with the same firmness, even though all favor him; he must consider one end only, the edification of the Church.29

Chrysostom well understood the scope and exactions of the pastorate:

A priest must be sober and clear-sighted and possess a thousand eyes in every direction.30

Since he must consort with men in all walks of life, he must himself be "many-sided" yet guard against becoming a dissembler. To enter upon the ministry the conscientious would-be cleric must pass the "test of bravery of soul," which should be "robust and vigorous." 31 Chrysostom's initial reluctance to accept the responsibilities of the episcopate, or rather his recoiling from it as something dreaded and perilous, was an attitude he shared with many of the other great episcopal pastors of the fourth century. Some of their protestations of utter unworthiness strike the modern reader as pathological; and some of the ruses whereby they sought to escape being "captured," "snared," and "seized" for the episcopate seem theatrical. Closer scrutiny of their behavior and arguments, however, gives us perhaps a clearer idea of the ministry in Christian antiquity than any other approach. Reluctance rather than readiness was taken as a sign of valid vocation.

Chrysostom, knew, for example, that the contest between Damasus and Ursinus for the episcopacy of the Roman church in 367 had cost the lives of 137 persons in Santa Maria Maggiore and that many other unworthy men had sought or had been advanced to the episcopate. He despairingly lists some of the improper or fatuous reasons sometimes put forward in favor of such candidates, like their wealth, family connections, their being recently converted from the other side, their fashionable large-mindedness, their ecclesiastical pu11.32 But basically, the reluctance of the high-minded to be elected bishop was their own extremely high view of the office and the spiritual dangers it involved.

There was first of all among just such men a great yearning to work out their own salvation, often in devotion to "Christian philosophy," i.e., monasticism. Besides Chrysostom, one thinks of such reluctant bishops as Ambrose, Martin of Tours, and Augustine. Involvement in pastoral cares withdrew them from the contemplative life.

Secondly, there was deep feeling that the pre-eminent qualification of the true pastor was his readiness to perish for his sheep. Chrysostom regards Paul as the ideal pastor in this and other respects and cites Paul's eagerness to incur eternal punishment that his kinsmen after the flesh might be saved. Chrysostom could not be certain whether he had this degree of love for the brethren.

Thirdly, there was a dread lest in assuming the responsibility for the eternal life of the brethren with the apostolic power of binding and loosing, the pastor himself might be adversely judged at the Great Assize.

And fourthly, there was the holy fear that bordered on awesome dread which surrounded the priestly act at the Eucharist. This was a feeling which seems to have been especially characteristic of Chrysostom and others in the Antiochene and related traditions,33 and we shall do well to pause with Chrysostom before the fourth-century altar.

Chrysostom compares the chief celebrant at the altar with Elijah on Mount Carmel:

Picture . . . before your eyes Elijah and the vast crowd standing around him, and the sacrifice lying on the altar of stones. All the rest are still and hushed in deep silence; the prophet alone is praying. Then of a sudden the flame is flung down from heaven upon the offering. This is a wonderful and awful picture. Pass from that scene to what is now performed. You will see things not only wonderful to look upon, but transcending all in terror. The priest stands bringing down not fire, but the Holy Spirit; and he offers prayer for a long space, not that a fire may be kindled from above and destroy the offering, but that grace may fall on the sacrifice through that prayer and kindle the souls of all.... Can any one despise this awful rite? Do you not know that no human soul could ever have borne the fire of that sacrifice, but they could all have been brought utterly to nought, had not the help of the grace of God been lavishly bestowed?34

And the help that comes "when he invokes the Holy Spirit, and offers that awful Sacrifice," are the angels who "surround the priest and the whole sanctuary . . .; and the place around the altar is filled with heavenly powers in honor of Him who lies there." 35 Nay more. As in Clement of Alexandria, the ranks of the clergy are themselves the sacerdotal counterparts of the angels:

Although the priestly office is discharged upon the earth, it ranks among celestial ordinances. And this is natural; for no man, no angel, no archangel, no other created power, but the Comforter Himself appointed this order, and persuaded us while still in the flesh to represent the angelic ministry. Wherefore the priest must be as pure as if he were standing in heaven amid those powers.36

This identification with angelic action is made in connection with the Eucharist.

In connection with repentance priests are declared to be even superior to the angels, for priests "have been entrusted with the stewardship of things in heaven, and have received an authority which God had given neither to angels nor to archangels." Thus with their power to bind and loose (penance), to regenerate (baptism), and to distribute the Body of the King, which enables one "to escape the fire of hell" and "obtain the crowns" of heaven -- in these actions every priest is raised above parents, kings, and even angels.37

This exaltation of the priest in his office of forgiveness may well be connected with the fact that Chrysostom occupies a nodal point in the evolution of the penitential discipline. As the spiritual counselor of the citizens of a sophisticated capital, Chrysostom sought an alternative for the humiliating public penance (exomologesis) with its several stages or stations of readmission to communion. Even this repentance for a major sin was permitted by the Church at large only once after the cleansing bath of baptism (the latter frequently postponed for this reason, as in the case of Chrysostom himself, until adulthood). His contemporaries such as Ambrose still held to one faith, one baptism, and one (public) penance. But Chrysostom, perhaps because of his monkish understanding of the range of inward sinfulness, came to believe in the iteration of penance and in a diversified therapy for sinners.38 "It is not right," he said, "to take an absolute standard and fit the penalty to the exact measure of the offense, but it is right to aim at influencing the moral feelings of the offenders," for surely "no one can, by compulsion, cure an unwilling man." 39 As a curer of souls, Chrysostom thought of himself as a physician dispensing medicaments to those who voluntarily submitted to his art and of the church as a hospital whither the sinner might have to repair for more than one serious sin:

Show thy charity [he urged a fellow priest] towards the sinner. Persuade him that it is from care and anxiety for his welfare and not from a wish to expose him, that thou puttest him in mind of his sin.... Urge him to show the wound to the priest; that is the part of one who cares for him, and provides for him, and is anxious on his behalf.40

Besides his penitential and liturgical functions the bishop was, for Chrysostom, pre-eminently a teacher and preacher. As teacher he wards off heresy. Chrysostom himself could preach effectively to a large and diversified congregation on the homousios or the impropriety of resorting to synagogues for special ritual services. The preacher must toil long on his sermons in order to gain the power of eloquence. Yet he must be indifferent to praise. And if the presbyter or deacon is better than his bishop in the homiletical art, the latter must, for the glory of the church, adjust himself to the disparity of gifts. The golden-tongued presbyterpreacher of Antioch and his aged bishop Flavian co-operated in an exemplary way in this respect and notably in the crisis of 387 when, after a tax riot and the breaking of the royal statues by the populace, the whole of Antioch huddled in terror of Emperor Theodosius' wrath. The bishop's intercessory journey to the Emperor and Chrysostom's famous series of sermons on the statues stand out as an example of the priestly role in appeasing the anger of rulers. Chrysostom further exemplified the role of the priest as prophet when, as Bishop of Constantinople, he rebuked the Empress Eudoxia as Jezebel and again as Herodia, not, however, without incurring deposition and exile once and then a second time.

Besides the royal wrath, Chrysostom knew well the lesser hazards of the prophetic priesthood. The priest, he observed, is ever judged by his parish as though he were an angel and not of the same frail stuff as the rest of men. If there be the slightest bit of stubble in the building of his life, it will be licked up by the inflammatory envy of vexed parishioners or rival clerics and the whole edifice can be "scorched and utterly blackened by the smoke."

The Western counterpart of Chryostom was Ambrose (339-397), bishop of Milan. Like Chrysostom, Ambrose was born in the family of a high official but differed from the sometime monk of Antioch in having been recruited directly and spectacularly from the ranks of imperial administration. He too was self-deprecatory about his qualifications and after his elevation wrote On the Duties of Ministers in the same year (386) that Chrysostom wrote On the Priesthood. But despite the title, Ambrose, in adapting the Stoicism of the De officiis of Cicero, had more in mind a compendium of Christian ethics of which the clergy would be the most exemplary embodiment than a manual on the ministry. Thus after paying respects to his careful working through of the four pagan virtues, as they applied to Christians, and the three specifically Christian virtues, we must turn elsewhere for Ambrose's conception of the pastoral and priestly role.

Ambrose was a notably eloquent preacher, converting Augustine who had come to hear him simply as a master of the rhetorician's art. Like Chrysostom, whose name is given to one of the liturgies of the Greek Church, Ambrose devoted himself to the liturgy in theory (De mysteriis, possibly 41 De sacramentis) and in practice (the liturgical cantus Ambrosianus, based upon the ancient Greek modes).

Ambrose had an exalted view of the episcopate. The bishop is both a sacerdos and a propheta in the Old Testament sense. In a letter to his sister, Ambrose sets forth his view that both the stern, prophetic rebuke and the healing, priestly ministry are combined in the episcopal office. Referring to the rod of the almond tree in Jeremiah 1:11, he observes that the priest and prophet must proclaim things bitter and hard like the almond husk but inside is sweetness. The authority of the sacerdos is derived by apostolic succession from the incarnate Christ; the authority of the episcopal propheta stems from the eternal Christ. In Elijah, who worsted the priests of Baal on Mount Carmel, Ambrose beholds the union of the two vocations.

In calling down the fire to consume the sacrifice, Ambrose sees the Old Covenant counterpart of his own act as priest in summoning the Holy Spirit to the Christian altar, and repeating the incarnate Christ's words of institution.42 In the rebuke of Ahab and Jezebel he finds the parallel to, and sanction for, his denunciation of Valentinian II and his Arian mother. Or again, if he is rebuking an orthodox emperor, he may identify himself with Nathan pointing the finger at David. Ambrose states his conviction as to the prophetic function of the bishop very well in a letter to Theodosius: "There is nothing in a priest so full of peril as regards God, or so base in the opinion of men, as not freely to declare what he thinks."

The authority of the bishop, while greatly enhanced by personal rectitude, does not, according to Ambrose, depend upon his own merits but upon those of Elijah, and Peter, also of Paul, and ultimately of Christ. Ambrose emphatically asserted that Paul was not inferior to Peter in the apostolate, "second to none." And interpreting Matt. 16:18 f., Ambrose singled out Peter's faith rather than his being first as determinative in the founding of the Church upon him and says that it was representatively that Peter responded for all the apostles to Jesus' pre-transfiguration inquiry. Elsewhere 43 Ambrose argued that Peter accepted the sheep from Christ along with all subsequent bishops; indeed, in Peter the whole future episcopate was present, receiving proleptically what Peter at that time assumed personally. In the analogous Johannine commission of Peter (John 21:5 ff.) Ambrose laid stress upon the thrice-asseverated love of Peter for the resurrected Jesus as distinguished from the faith in the pre-resurrection Matthaean episode as the basis of Peter's pre-eminence among the apostles and of his authority to rule the flock of Christ and bind and loose on earth. Ambrose thereupon declares: "The care of these sheep, this flock, not only for that time did the blessed apostle Peter take upon himself but also along with us he received them, and all of us [bishops] with him received them." He goes on to explain to the clerical brethren listening that they should more fully realize that "there can be found nothing in this world more excellent than priests, nor more lofty than bishops," for they are as gold compared to princes, who are like lead.

Augustine, building in part on Ambrose who had converted him, was as Bishop of Hippo both an exemplary pastor and preacher and as a theologian a major theorist concerning the nature and function of the priesthood. Reluctantly, however, we pass over his own exemplification of the pastoral ideal so attractively delineated in the Life by Bishop Possidius of Calama.44 We can only mention the fact that Possidius characteristically uses ministri alike for priests, bishops, and deacons. He shows how Augustine, like Ambrose, was raised to the episcopate by the spontaneous action of the plebs after the aging Greek-speaking bishop of Hippo had asked for a coadjutor. We see in the Vita how much of Augustine's time was spent as an arbiter of Christian cases (without, apparently, the presbyters counseling with him as in the roughly contemporary Eastern church manuals), how he often interceded for prisoners, how he preached and debated, how he occasionally healed by the imposition of hands, how he dined with his clerics at the episcopal table with moderation but never abstemiously, under a motto on the wall which enjoined all guests to refrain from gossip. But the most vivid aspect of the Vita is its preservation of Augustine's own words concerning the self-sacrifice of the pastor in times of persecution or invasion (the Vandals). Herein he gives voice to what we might call the professional ethic of the clergyman who, like the captain, must go down with his ship, or, like the shepherd, give his life for his flock; for. . . the ties of our ministry, by which the love of Christ has bound us not to desert the churches . . . should not be broken." 45

God forbid [he goes on] that this ship of ours should be prized so highly that the sailors, and especially the pilot, ought to abandon it when it is in danger, even if they can escape by taking to a small boat or even by swimming.

He vividly describes the plight of the people and the duties of their ministers:

. . . when these dangers have reached their height and there is no possibility of flight, do we not realize how great a gathering there usually is in the church of both sexes and of every age, some clamoring for baptism, others for reconciliation, still others for acts of penance: all of them seeking consolation and the administration and distribution of the sacraments? If, then, the ministers are not at hand, how terrible is the destruction which overtakes those who depart from this world unregenerated or bound by sin!

He stresses the solidarity of pastor and flock:

. . . when the danger is common to all, that is, to bishops, clergy and laymen, let those who are in need of others not be abandoned by those of whom they are in need. Accordingly, either let them all withdraw to places of safety or else let not those who have a necessity for remaining be left by those through whom their ecclesiastical needs are supplied, so that they may either live together or suffer together whatever their Father wishes them to endure.

Apart from his own embodiment of the ministerial ideal, Augustine's contribution to the development of the priesthood was his sacramental concept of the ministry whereby the validity of a cleric's sacramental action was seen to be independent of his personal character.46 For his theory of the validity of the sacrament ex opere operato, Augustine drew upon the thinking of the anti-Donatist Bishop Optatus of Mileve who had contended for the objective validity of baptism as long as the action and intention were formally correct. But Augustine also drew upon the thinking of a leading Donatist lay theologian Tichonius and al Donatist Bishop Parmenian who had been forced to "catholicize" in trying to make sense of the schisms within rigoristic Donatism! The moderate Donatists knew of an invisible universal Church of the pure and righteous and sought to demonstrate the validity of Donatist ordina- tions on either side of their schism. From all this, Augustine, in his effort to win back the Donatists for the Great Church, developed the theological basis for maintaining that an indelible character dominicus, comparable to the military brand (character militiae) or the regal imprint on a coin (signum regale) is imparted by any formally correct ordination.47

Hitherto there had been considerable ambiguity and difference of opinion about the ordinations of heretical and schismatic clerics prepared to reunite with the Church catholic. The Council of Nicaea (canons 8, 9, and 10, and the synodal letter), dealing variously with the Novatianist and the Meletian clergy and with lapsi who should never have been ordained on moral grounds, left open the question as to what constituted valid ordination and what constituted the difference between election (ekloge), recognition or installation (katastasis), imposition of hand (cheirothesia), and ordination proper (cheirotonia). Nor did Nicaea make a distinction between the deposition from clerical rank and the mere suspension from clerical acts of one who had been validly ordained.48 Gregory of Nyssa, among others, gave expression to an Eastern view of the nature of ordination (c. 376) when he compared the change of a cleric at ordination to the sacramental action whereby bread becomes the Body of Christ:

The same power of the word . . . makes the priest venerable and honorable, separated.... While but yesterday he was one of the mass, one of the people, he is suddenly rendered a guide, a president, a teacher of righteousness, an instructor in hidden mysteries, metamorphosed in respect of his unseen soul to the higher condition.49

But Gregory did not develop a doctrine of the indelibility of ordination, while the weighty contemporaneous Apostolic Constitutions supply an ordaining prayer beseeching God never to withdraw his Holy Spirit.50 At the Council of Chalcedon (canon 29) the Eastern fathers will presently give evidence of continuing uncertainty as to whether, for example, a bishop for disciplinary reasons may be reduced to the rank of presbyter, or whether he should be eliminated from the clergy altogether and classed as a layman.

In the meantime Augustine, for the West, by separating the question of orders from the nature of the Church and schism (to the end that he might contribute to the healing of the North African schism), made ordination wholly a permanent possession of the individual apart from the community in which and through which it was conferred. In thus individualizing ordination Augustine witnesses indirectly to the extinction in the West c. 400 of the older catholic feeling for the corporate ministry of the local church.51 Within four centuries the hereditary priesthood of Israel had been replaced by the indelible priesthood of Christendom, valid not by inheritance and birth but through a kind of rebirth in the solemn rededication of ordination in the descent of the Holy Spirit, an action which also represented a tactile succession going back to the apostles.

With this conception of the role of the clergy articulated by Augustine, the ministry of the Church was prepared for a new phase in its evolution, destined to find fresh forms and functions as it faced the breakdown of Empire in the West and the incursions of the barbarians. Monks were to emerge as the principal missionaries, bishops to become administrators of vast dioceses, while within the cathedral and the parish new functions and functionaries were to develop in a society in which the city was not for a long time to come to be again the basic civil unit.

But in the East the ministry could still evolve within the familiar structure of a Christian Empire, truncated though Byzantium might be.

Before closing our survey of the ministries of the Patristic period in the East down to the Fourth Ecumenical Council (451), we must say a word about the ministry of the monastery in the post-Nicene period. The institutional church, in accommodating itself to imperial establishment and the arduous assignment of embracing the whole of the population of a given territory within its ministrations, left to the still pneumatic or the new charismatic ministry of the monks an important pastoral role. The monk was a successor of the ante-Nicene confessor with his power to forgive.52 It is one of the anomalies of the evolution of the monastic ideal that they who withdrew to the wilderness, for the most part dispensing with the ministries of the organized parishes and thinking of themselves as "laymen," were presently to become the tutors and models of the "secular clergy." The monastic or "regular clergy," in their submission to a rule which was construed as a kind of higher ordination, were eventually to be esteemed by themselves and by the world as clergy par excellence,53 But since this development belongs as much to the next chapter, a few words must here suffice concerning the pastoral function of monks to those outside the community of anchoritic or cenobitic discipline.

Evagrius Ponticus (d. 399), who systematized the thought of Clement of Alexandria, of Origen, and the Cappadocian Fathers, as it applied to the monastic life, distinguished between the "righteous" of the organized church and the "perfect," or "philosophers," i.e., the monks and hermits of the monastery and the cell. He taught it as a duty of the perfect to show a pastoral concern for the often shepherdless rigorist and heretical groups rejected or even persecuted by the Great Church. Frequently the most saintly seers among the monks and hermits were sought out by heretic and catholic alike because as holy men they were able to mediate the grace of healing, forgiveness, and spiritual counsel which the faithful sometimes found wanting in their institutionalized clergy. Occasionally these pneumatic curers of souls presumed to arrogate to themselves the administration of the sacrament of penance.54 And the fierce abbot Shenoudi (d. 466) of the White Cloister of Atripe, ruling omnipotently over several thousands of monks, could think of himself in the language of Ignatius and the Apostolic Constitutions in the image of the Father who begets or regenerates his monks by the act of bringing them out of the world and admitting them to the monastery church. "Abbot" (Father) was originally a pneumatic designation indicative of charismatic achievement and authority.55

Shenoudi was unchallenged lord of his vast monastic church. But for the most part the Great Church and the monastic church worked out a modus vivendi. Indeed, most monasteries came to have priests appointed by neighboring bishops to communicate the monks; for, though the Eucharist had no place in the high monastic theory of self-discipline, it did have an adventitious place in the life of each monk. The Eastern churches, in part, solved the latent conflict between the clergy of the world and the monks by recruiting their higher clergy from the monasteries. Basil of Caesarea, who established the Basileiad, a veritable city of asylums for orphans, the sick, and the aged, and brought his own monks under a rule, is perhaps the best early representative of the "philosopher" bishop. He was a philosopher both in the sense of being a major philosophical theologian and more specifically of being a monk in the intellectual tradition of Clement and Origen. His Addresses, Detailed Rules, and Short Rules for monks, and his Moralia alike for monks and married Christians (for he made no basic distinction between the two in the achievement of perfection except Continence) are admirable specimens of Basil's method as pastor and spiritual counselor.

It remains to point up a few emphases in the priesthood of the first half of the fifth century, exclusively in the East, within and without the Empire We have already observed in Chrysostom the sense of majesty which the priest experienced in the discharge of his duties at the altar. This sense was intensified in his successors in the Antiochene and allied traditions. We can best understand the almost numinous character of the priesthood in the Greek Church today and in some of the extant Oriental churches surviving from the fifth century by looking at this aspect of the ministry more closely. Theodore, Bishop of Mopsuestia (d. 428), a friend in his youth of Chrysostom, wrote of the central action in the ministry of every priest:

We are ordered to perform in this world the symbols and signs of the future things so that, through the service of the Sacrament, we may be like ones who enjoy symbolically the happiness of the heavenly benefits, and thus acquire a sense of possession and a strong hope of the things for which we look.... We must picture in our mind that we are dimly in heaven, and, through faith, draw in our imagination the image of heavenly things.... Because Christ our Lord offered Himself in sacrifice for us and thus became our high priest in reality, we must think that the priest who draws nigh unto the altar is representing His image. .. .56

Because of the august nature of his duty Theodore declared that the officiating priest has need of the prayers and the antiphonal amens of the faithful, for they are all one body together and he but their "eye" or "tongue," and when they respond "And with thy spirit," "the priest obtains more abundant peace from the overflow of the grace of the Holy Spirit" and from it receives help for his "awesome task." 57

Narsai, Nestorian head of the Syrian school at Edessa (437-57) and refounder of the school in Nisibis, conveyed even more movingly the numinous sense of the office of the priest. Ambrose and Chrysostom, each in his own way, had likened the priest at the Eucharistic altar to Elijah on Mount Carmel. Narsai seized upon the image of Isaiah in the Temple with the burning coal to express the sacred terror experienced by the priest in the mediation of the divine, for Isaiah saw in the coal "the Mystery of the Body and Blood, which, like fire, consumes the iniquity of mortal man." He goes on:

The power of that mystery which the prophet saw the priest interprets; and as with a tongs he holds fire in his hand with the bread....The power of the Spirit comes down unto a mortal man, and dwells in the bread and consecrates it.... His power strengthens the hand of the priest that it may take hold of His power; and feeble flesh is not burned up by His blaze.58

Narsai beheld in the altar at once a tomb and a throne; in the basilica a sepulcher and a throneroom:

All the priests who are in the sanctuary bear the image of those apostles who met together at the sepulcher. The altar is the symbol of the Lord's tomb, without doubt, and the bread and wine are the body of our Lord which was embalmed and buried.... And the deacons standing this side and on that and brandishing [fans] are a symbol of the angels at the head and at the feet thereof.

In another order it is a type of that Kingdom which our Lord entered and into which He will bring with Him all His friends. The adorable altar thereof is a symbol of watchers and men in the clear day of His revelation [i.e. judgment].59

With "trembling and fear for himself and for his people" the priest is attorney and advocate, "an object of awe even to the seraphim," and standing before the "awful King, mystically slain and buried," he gives with his own hands the Body of the King to his fellow servants, and then inwardly exclaims:

O corporeal being, that carries fire and is not scorched! O mortal, who being mortal, dost distribute life! Who has permitted thee, miserable dust, to take hold of fire! And who has made thee to distribute life, thou son of paupers?60

Narsai saw the mediatorial role of the priest in communicating the divine forgiveness in succession to that of the first "twelve priests" of the New Dispensation, the Twelve Apostles. Christ was concerned to enlarge God's ongoing Israel as the community of judgment and forgiveness. The priesthood of all believers is suggested in a moving passage:

... and instead of the People He called all people to be His.... To this end He gave the priesthood to the new priests, that men might be made priests to forgive iniquity on earth.61

Divinely charged with the forgiveness of sins, the priest is likened to a physician whose art it is to heal both hidden and open diseases, to give health to both body and soul. Nor may he limit himself to the altar. By his preaching "he sails continually in the sea of mankind; and much he warns every man to guard the riches of his soul."62 He must move among his people and preside at all the great moments of human life for "without a priest a woman is not betrothed to a man, and without him their marriage festival is not accomplished; without a priest the defunct also is not interred."63

Writing within the fifth century but after the Council of Chalcedon was the anonymous Syrian Monophysite of strong Neoplatonist convictions who propagated his theory of the priesthood among other things, by writing under the name of Dionysius, Paul's convert of the Areopagus. Pseudo-Dionysius, interpretation of the ministry was not immediately accepted in the East, but it should be mentioned here since it is comparable in significance to, though quite different from, Augustine's conception of the indelibility of ordination and the ex opere validity of the sacraments administered by the priest. In brief, PseudoDionysius in his On the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy systematized the speculation about the angelic host which we have several times adverted to and he found in the threefold ministry of bishop, priest, and deacon the earthly counterpart and, as it were epiphany, of the three angelic grades, worked out in his book On the Celestial Hierarchy. It was the invisible angelic action that gave efficacy to the action of all priests. Dionysius' theory was not alone influential in the East, but by way of translations, also in the medieval West.

From the beginning of this survey we have had occasion to call attention to the differences between the Western and the Eastern ministries. Among other things, the Latin West seems to have been the first to begin the delegation of the sacerdotal powers of the bishop to the presbyter and to have conserved longer the role of the exorcist. The East developed the chorepiscopate and the female diaconate and revered longer the independent teacher and lector.64 But there are even more important differentiations between the Eastern and the Latin (and increasingly Germanic) West which we may appropriately characterize as this survey of the ministry in the Patristic period is brought to a close. Both traditions claimed alike apostolic and angelic sanction.

The Eastern clergy, however, were particularly conscious of being the associates or imitators of the angels (in the tradition of Ignatius, Clement of Alexandria, Chrysostom, and Pseudo-Dionysius). Theodore of Mopsuestia's characterization of the ministry will serve as a generalization for the East:

Because the priest performs things found in heaven through the symbols and signs, it is necessary that his sacrifice also should be as their image and that he should represent a likeness of the service in heaven.

In the West, whose apostolic see could claim the sanction of both the prince and the prophet among the apostles, the tendency was rather to stress (in the tradition of Clement of Rome, of Callistus, of Tertullian, of Cyprian, of Ambrose, and of Augustine) the Covenantal sanctions of the ministry in succession both to the apostles and to the Old Testament prophets and priests.

Perhaps the best exemplification of this conception of the ministry was Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome from 440 to 461, the formulator of the christological dogma of Chalcedon. In a sense somewhat different from the Christ whom he defined, the true priest is himself, according to Leo, fully human and fully divine.65 Leo held that the ministries of all bishops and their subordinate priests have validity in the measure that they participate in the communion of the universal bishop (the Pope), for they are called "to share a part of the pastoral care of the Bishop of Rome but not in the plenitude of his power." 66

Through the holy prince of the apostles Peter the Roman Church possesses the sovereignty (principatus) over all churches in the whole world.67

As vicar of Peter and consul Dei, Leo was the Covenantal heir of the authority of the Jewish high priest and the prince of the apostles and the residuary legatee of the power of the populus Romanus.

In his sermon (lxxxii) on the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul, Pope Leo movingly declared that the pax christiana, built upon the Word, and which is manifest in harmony with the see of Peter, is the Christian counterpart of the older pax Romana, which was first built upon the weapons of Romulus and Remus. And it was the leading motif of his pontificate, amid the debris of Empire and the gathering shades of civilization, that he and all clergy in communion with him had it as their dual task to civilize the nations and to sanctify the hearts of men.


1 Paroikia was originally the community of strangers or immigrant sojourners in any city, a term which was appropriated by Christians in view of their primary citizenship in heaven. "Diocese," originally a major subdivision of the Empire, larger than a province, was not used until much later as the designation for the bishop's "parish."

2 Canon 9: ". . . for the majority have affirmed that ordination blots out other kinds of sins." The majority might well have appealed to the purifactory and healing efficacy immemorially associated with the laying on of hands in baptism, exorcism, etc.

3 The Council in Encaeniis was Arianizing. It condemned Athanasius. E. Schwartz holds that the canons of such a council would never have been declared authoritative in Orthodox canon law and therefore argues for an earlier date (329) and an Orthodox assembly as their source, "Zur Geschichte des Athanasius, VIII," Nachrichten, IV (Gottingen, 1911), 395 f.

4 At Chalcedon the canons of Nicaea, Gangra (later also Laodicea), and two already cited ante-Nicene synods, Ancyra and Neocaesarea, constituted the basic corpus of canon law.

5 A convenient English translation of the canons of the ecumenical councils and several of the lesser synods is that of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, XIV. The already cited work of Schroeder is especially useful with its much more recent bibliographical notes.

6 Canon 18 of Encyra had decreed the same.

7 On the tendency of the Arianizing bishops to be more responsive to the urgency of bringing policy into line with politics and the correspondingly greater constitutional conservatism of the Nicene bishops, I have written in "Christology and Church-State Relations in the Fourth Century," Church History XX (1951), Nos. 3 and 4. On the concern of the Nicenes to insist on the authority of metropolitans over their provincials and of the Arians to defend the parity of all bishops under the emperor, see K. Lubeck, Reichseinteilung und kirchliche Hierarchie, Kirchengeschichtliche Studien, V: 4 (1901), 193. Cf. F. Hatch, Organization, 169. That these canons of Antioch belong to an earlier and orthodox synod of 329, see E. Schwartz, op. cit., 395 f.

8 The fact that the word "mob" (tois ochlois) is used may mean that orderly election (ekloge) by the properly constituted laos is not expressly excluded, but this was a marked tendency from the beginning in the East with the metropolitan appointing or the emperor nominating as chief layman. Popular suffrage survives much longer in the West. Even Pope Leo could exclaim: "He who is to preside over all must be elected by all." Ep. X; similarly, Ep. xiv.

9 Op. cit. viii, 4. The Scriptural basis for the threefold assent would be Matt. 18:16.

10 Op. cit., 21.

11 cit., ii, 4, 28; A.N.F., VII, 411; 45.

12 Op. cit., viii, 46. This is, of course, an echo of I Pet. 2:25, which with related passages in Hebrews had long been influential in fixing the image of Christ and the bishop as one.

13 For an invaluable account of the partial assimilation of the episcopate and presbyterate but with a different emphasis in view of the narrower definition of "ministry," see T. G. Jalland, Apostolic Ministry, chap. 5, "The Parity of Ministers."

14 The imperial administrative term was first taken over in the Latin West for ecclesiastical purposes in the fourth century. See W. K. Boyd, The Ecclesiastic Edicts of the Theodosian Code (New York, 1905). On the bishop's judicial functions, see further, "Audientia episcopales," Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum, I (Stuttgart, 1950), Col. 1915.

15 Not documented, however, until c. 500. See Jalland, "Parity," Additiona Note: The Decline of the Diaconate, loc. cit., 347.

16 It is embedded in his Quaestiones Veteris et Novi Testamenti.

17 Op. cit., Viii, 28.

18 Paul from whom this group stemmed was bishop of Samosata and viceroy under Queen Zenobia of Palmyra; he was condemned for heresy by two synods (264, 269); and one of the incidental charges brought against him was that he trained women to sing in the church choir. Eusebius, H. E., vii, 30.

19 VIII, 20; A.N.F., VII, 392.

20 The prominence of widows in the Testament, communicating, for example, before the readers and subdeacons, may be due to Montanist competition. The most recent study here is that of Linus Bopp, Das Witwentum ak organische Gliedschaft im Gemeinschaftsleben der alten Kirche (Mannheim, 1950).

21 Hugo Koch, Virgines Christi, Texte und Untersuchungen, 31 (Leigzig, 1907), 91 f. Their public vow was taken as marriage to Christ.

22 Pseudo-Jerome, De septem ordinibus ecclesiae (c. 420), Athanasius W. Kalff, ed., imaugural dissertation (Würzburg, 1935). See also J. Lungkofler, "Die Vorstufen zu den höheren Wiehen nach dem Liber pontihcalis," Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie, LXVI, (1942), 1.19.

23 Cf. Julian the Apostate, Ep. 87, 6, Bidez, ed.

24 H. U. Instinsky, Bischofsstuhl und Kaiserthron (Munich, 1955). F. Loofs had long ago shown how Paul of Samosata had anticipated the later evolution of the cathedra into a throne when he built in his cathedral a high throne eomparable to his in his role of chief minister of Queen Zenobia. Paulus von Samosata, Texte und Uuntersuchungen, 44/5, 34; 33 ff. See also Theodor Klauser, Die Kathedra im Totenhult (Münster, 1927), 179 fl.

25 Theodor Klauser, Der Ursprung der bischölichen Insignien und Ehrenrechte, Bonner Akademische Reden, I (Bonn, 1948).

26 Philippe Gobillot, "Sur la tonsure chrétienne," Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique, XXI (1925), esp. 411. The tonsure was understood as a kind of self-sacrifice; the tonsure in the form of a crown may have betokened spiritual royalty.

27 0n the Priesthood, vi, viu, 550; translated by T. Allen Moxon (London 1907); 153. Although the later Greek Church came to recruit its bishops largely from the monastery, Crysostom warned that when monks entered the conflicts for which they had never practiced, they were often "perplexed, and dazed and helpless." '

28 These dangers refer especially to the charge of widows and the rmanagement of finance.

29 On the Priesthood, i, xvi, 291.

30 Ibid, iii, xii, 241.

3l Ibid, 244.

32 Ibid, iii, xv.

33 The contrast between the Antiochene East and the West in this respect has been pointed out by Johannes Quasten, "Mysterium Tremendum: Eucharistische Frömmigkeitsauffassumgen des vierten Jahrhunderts," Vom christlichen Mysterium (Düsseldorf, 1951).

34 0n the Priesthood, iii, iv, 178-80. The contemporaneous Syrian Apostolic Constitutions, ii, lvii, 21, echoes this sense of the awesome majesty: ". . . let every rank by itself partake of the Lord's body and precious blood in order, and approach with reverence and holy fear, as to the body of their king."

35 On the Priesthood, vi, iv, 520.

36 Ibid., iii, iv, 175.

37 Ibid., iii, v, 182-89.

38 For the important place of Chrysostom, see Oscar D. Watkins, A History of Penance (London, 1920), I, 32848; on excommunication, see Werner Elert, Abendmahl und Kirchengemeinschaft in der alten Kirche (Berlin, 1954).

39 On the Priesthood, ii, iv, 110; iii, 107.

40 On Penitence, Homily II.

41 So, Bernard Botte, ed. Sources chrétiennes, XXV (Paris, 1949), 23

42 In contrast to Chrysostom, however, the action at the Christian altar suggests to Ambrose, not the shudder before a lightning bolt, but the ecstasy of the bride and the bridegroom.

43 In De dignitate sacerdotali. I have shown elsewhere that this anonymous work, a very revealing concio ad clerum, should be reassigned to Ambrose: "The Golden Priesthood and the Leaden State," Harvard Theological Review, XLIX (1956).

44 An English translation of the exemplary and contemporary biography is that of Herbert Weiskotten, Vita (Princeton, 1919).

45 Possidius, loc. cit., 121; the remaining quotations are from 135, 131, and 123.

46 First formulated by Augustine in De baptismo contra Donatistas (400), i, i, 2: "Just as he who is baptized, even if he separates himself from the unity of Church, does not lose the sacrament of baptism; so likewise he who is ordained, if he depart from the unity, does not lose the sacrament which confers the power to give baptism." Cf. De bono conjugale, xxiv, 32; Contra Epistolam Parmeniani, ii, 28 f.

47 The most recent study is that of Plato Kornyljak, De efficacitate sacramentorum (Vatican City, 1953).

48 See Albert Schebler, Die Reordinationen in der "altkatholischen" Kirche (Bonn, 1936).

49 On the Baptism of Christ, N.P.N.F., 2nd series V, 519, Migne, P.G., XLVI, col. 581.

50 Op. cit., viu, 28, 46. See K. Hofmann, "Absetzung," Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum, I (1950), col. 38.

51 This process has been well characterized by Dix in The Apostolic Ministry, 286 f.

52 See Edward E. Malone, The Monk and the Martyr, Studies in Christian Antiquity, XII (Washington, 1950).

53 In the West the monks were eventually distingrushed from the secular clergy (in the world) as the regular clergy (living by a rule).

54 For example, a monk appropriately called Demophilus in Pseudo-Dionysius, Ep. VIII. See Holl, Bussegewalt.

55 Odo Casel, "Die Mönchsweihe," Jahrbuch für Liturgie-wissenschaft V (1926), 23, and the article "Abbas," Beiträge zur Geschichte des alten Mönchtums, Supplement, 1.

56 Commentary on the Lord's Prayer and on the Sacraments of the Baptism and the Eucharist, A Mingana, Woodbrooke Studies, VI (Cambridge, 1933), 82, 83.

57 Ibid, 91 f.

58 The Liturgical Homilies, R. H. Connolly, ed., Texts and Studies, VIII, No. 1 (Cambridge, 1909), 7 ff.

59 Ibid., 45.

60 Ibid., 7, 67.

61 Ibid., 63.

62 Ibid., 64 f.

63 Ibid., 21.

64 I cannot refrain from mentioning at this point that in a decretal ascribed to Bishop Callistus of Rome the conscientious and self-disciplined teacher of the Church is vigorously defended from defamation by the people and pupils from rebuke and from control of his instruction by bishop and ruler. The decretal belongs to the Pseudo-Isidorian forgery of the ninth century but undoubtedly preserves material perhaps of the period of the Pseudo-Clementine:

"Teachers (Doctores) . . ., who are called fathers are rather to be borne with than reprehended, unless they err from the true faith.... For as the Catholic teacher (doctor) and especially the priest of the Lord, ought to be involved in no error, so ought he to be wronged by no machination or passion.... Consequently an unjust judgment, or an unjust decision instituted or enforced by judges under the fear or the command of a prince, or any bishop or person of influence cannot be valid." Decretales Pseudo-lsidorianae, P. Hinschius, ed., 136 f.; translated in A.N.F., VIII, 614.

65 Significantly, in contrast, the Emperor Marcian had been acclaimed by the fathers of Chalcedon as, like Christ, at once king, priest, and prophet, i.e., doctor of the faith. The competence to formulate doctrine made the emperor the last and most effective of the ancient order of teachers. 176. Ep. XIV, 1. 177. Ep. LXV, 2.

66 Ep. XIV, 1.

67 Ep. LXV, 2.

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