058: Why the Catholic Priesthood is Totally Biblical

Picture of by Matthew Leonard
by Matthew Leonard
The Art of Catholic with Matthew Leonard

catholic_FINAL_150I’ve heard it. You’ve heard it. I used to even say it!

“The Catholic priesthood isn’t biblical.”…Wrong!

If you were to boil the (so-called) Protestant  Reformation down to its essence, it basically did away with the priesthood. Most Protestants have no sacramental life because there are no priests to give them the sacraments. (Most don’t believe in the sacraments at all.)

They believe (and I realize I’m painting with a broad brush here) in something called “the priesthood of all believers.”

After all, 1 Peter 2:5 says, “and like living stones be last-supper-vicente-juan-macipyourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” Our Separated Brethren take this to mean that every Christian has equal potential to minister for God, thus there is no need for a separate ministerial priesthood.

But that’s not what the Bible says.

In this episode of the Art of Catholic I interview Fr. Tommy Lane, a Professor of Sacred Scripture at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, who wrote a tremendous book called “The Catholic Priesthood: Biblical Foundations“. And in this episode we discuss:

  • The two kinds of priesthood in the New Covenant of Christ51fqpuwzufl-_sx331_bo1204203200_
  • Old Testament history of priesthood (including the original priesthood of fathers and sons and that mysterious guy Melchizedek)
  • How we know Christ established a new priesthood even though he never used the word “priest” (a common Protestant argument)
  • Why we view the Last Supper as the moment of the Apostles’ ordination
  • Why the author of Hebrews emphasizes the humanity of Christ as the new high priest (while asserting his divinity, of course)

We couldn’t hope to cover every aspect of the scriptural foundations of the Catholic priesthood in one episode, but we covered a lot. Enjoy!

God bless!



Priests are required to pray every day…and so are we! If you really want to understand the ins-and-outs of deep prayer: what it is, how to do it, the 3 Stages of the Spiritual Life, vocal, meditative, & contemplative prayer in the Catholic tradition – this is the book for you!

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