News: Are priests a “failed tradition”?

Added Monday 17th March 2014

Ever since I began to study the Bible seriously I have never been able to come to grips with Saint Paul's Letter to the Hebrews: neither from Saint Paul, nor a letter, nor to Hebrews whoever they might be in the 80's CE, probably in Rome. I thought it was me; but one of the many wonderful things which Gary Wills demonstrates in this fascinating book is that this doctrinally anomalous document is frequently illogical and, in three critical places at least, plain daft.

Put simply, The Church and not the consecrated Eucharistic elements, is the body of Christ, a doctrine from which Saint Paul never deviated and from which the Church would not have deviated were it not for Hebrews. This document, apparently written to reassure Jewish converts to Christianity who hankered after the good old days of animal sacrifice, was somehow used as a pretext, in spite of its claim that the sacrifice of Jesus was unique, to establish an imperial priesthood based on its sole, miraculous power to change bread and wine into the very body and blood of Jesus.

Read Kevin Carey's full review of Why Priests? A Failed Tradition by Gary Wills.