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Catholic Univ.of America Press
A Spiritual Theology of the Priesthood: The Mystery of Christ and the Mission of the Priest

A Spiritual Theology of the Priesthood: The Mystery of Christ and the Mission of the Priest


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Hans Urs von Balthasar's writings have pastoral implications that even now are barely recognized and hardly developed. Here a pastorally experienced theologian, who knew von Balthasar personally, unfolds this pastoral dimension for the first time.

Father Dermot Power demonstrates the paradoxical grandeur and weakness of the Catholic priesthood. He highlights the roles of the Catholic priest as servant, bridegroom, shepherd, victim, teacher, prophet, celebrant, and minister of reconciliation. He explores the relationship between the mission of Christ and the states of life within the Church, including the laity, and that between the universal call to holiness and the priestly vocation. He examines the structures of the Church in relation to the inwardness of love, and the new hope it offers for the renewal of the priesthood in the Catholic Church.

Dermot Power is Chaplain of St. Mary's School, Ascot. He lectures widely and leads retreats and workshops for priests.

"Power's book on priesthood is so eminently worth reading, because it deliberately attempts to draw upon the work of von Balthasar in trying to show us how the reality of the priesthood remains rooted in Jesus Christ."—Crisis

"A timely, profound and enriching reflection on the priesthood which brings together theology, spirituality, and personal experience in an invigorating way."—Msgr. Keith Barltrop

"This illuminating book deserves to become a classic and should be on the shelves of every priest."—Prof. John Saward

"[The book] makes an invaluable, deeply theological contribution to our understanding of priesthood today."—Bishop James O'Brien

"Father Power gives us . . . a great gift: a practical, simple, and profound spiritual theology of the priesthood. The spirituality here helps us to live our priesthood as well as to understand it better."—Robert Faricy, S.J.

"This close examination of von Balthasar's theology reveals what lies at the very heart of the priesthood and offers a spirituality to match it."—Lavinia Byrne, I.B.V.M.

"For those who have kept up with recent Vatican documents on priestly life and ministry, the hand of von Balthasar will be readily recognizable. . . . This book belongs in every priest's library."—Homiletic and Pastoral Review


Foreword by Robert Faricy, S.J.



I. The Ministerial Priesthood in the Light of the Mystery of Christ

2. Jesus: Priest and Victim

3. The Ministerial Priesthood and its Ecclesial Setting

4. Interiority and Mission

5. Priesthood as a State of Life: The Evangelical Counsels and the Radicalism of the Gospel

6. The Ministerial Priesthood: Its Classical Modes of Ministry and Presence within the Church

7. The Dynamic of Tradition


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813209166
Publisher: Catholic Univ.of America Press
Publication date: 05/28/1998
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.44(d)

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