See also:office of a steward or
See also:guardian of
See also:holy things, not a ruler of priests " or " priestly ruler " (see Boeckh, Corp. inscr . Gr . No . 1570), a
See also:term commonly used in ecclesiastical language to denote the aggregate of those persons who exercise authority within the Christian
See also:Church, the patriarchate, episcopate or entire three-
See also:order of the
See also:clergy . The word lepapxia, which does not occur in any classical Greek writer, owes its
See also:present extensive currency to the celebrated writings of Dionysius Areopagiticus . Of these the most important are the two which treat of the
See also:celestial and of the ecclesiastical hierarchy respectively . De-fining hierarchy as the "
See also:function which comprises all sacred things," or, more fully, as " a sacred order and science and activity, assimilated as far as possible to the godlike, and elevated to the imitation of
See also:God proportionately to the Divine illuminations conceded to it," the author proceeds to enumerate the nine orders of the heavenly
See also:host, which are subdivided again into hierarchies or triads, in descending order, thus:
See also:Cherubim, Thrones; Dominations, Virtues,
See also:Powers; Principalities, Archangels, Angels . These all exist for the
See also:object of raising men through ascending stages of
See also:purification and
See also:illumination to perfection . The ecclesiastical or earthly hierarchy is the counterpart of the other . In it the first or highest triad is formed by
See also:baptism, communion and
See also:chrism . The second triad consists of the three orders of the
See also:bishop or hierarch,
See also:priest and
See also:minister or deacon (iepapxns, iepeus, Xetrovpryos); this is the earliest known in-stance in which the title hierarch is applied to a bishop . The third or lowest triad is made up of monks, " initiated " and catechumens .
To Dionysius may be traced, through
See also:Thomas Aquinas and other Catholic writers of the intervening
See also:period, the definition of the term usually given by
See also:Roman Catholic writers—" coetus seu ordo praesidum et sacrorum ministrorum ad regendam ecclesiam gignendamque in hominibus sanctitatem divinitus institutus"'—although it immediately rests upon the authority of the
See also:canon of the twenty-third session of the council of Trent, in which anathema is pronounced upon all who deny the existence within the Catholic Church of a hierarchy instituted by divine
See also:appointment, and consisting of bishops, priests and ministers.2 (See ORDER, HOLY) .
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