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40. Matters Pertinent to the Sacrament of Orders

1. The wearing of the tonsure (that is, havingthe head shaved in the form of a crown) is a fitting practice forthose in orders.

2. The conferring of tonsure is a ceremony whichofficially sets a man in the ranks of the clergy. It is not anorder, not even one of the minor orders which do not belong to thesacrament itself. The tonsuring of a candidate for orders is apreliminary ceremony, and it regularly precedes the receiving ofthe first minor order; it is then called the prima tonsuraor first tonsuring.

3. Tonsure is not a ceremony of renunciation by which aman gives up temporal goods. It is a ceremony of dedication to theservice of God before all else. Hence the cleric (that is, thetonsured man) is not to be unduly or excessively occupied withtemporal goods, but he is not forbidden their ownership anduse.

4. There is need of the office of bishop. The bishoppresides over others, and makes orderly all the divine ministries.He has the fullness of the priesthood, and to him belongs the powerand duty of ordaining candidates who are prepared to receiveorders.

5. The office of bishop (that is, the episcopate) is not aspecial order. It is the order of priesthood in its fullness.

6. The pope as supreme pontiff and vicar of Christ isabove all other bishops by divine right and appointment. His is notonly thefullness of the priestly office and order, but thefullness of universal jurisdiction in the Church. He is also thesupreme and infallible teacher of the universal Church in mattersof faith and morals.

7. Special vestments are properly used by the clergy in theirofficial religious functions. These vestments, mostly ancient inorigin, are full of symbolical meaning, and their use reverentlymanifests the faith of clergy and people.

"Obedience is the true holocaust which we sacrifice to God on the altar of our hearts."
St Philip Neri

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"It is not God's will that we should abound in spiritual delights, but that in all things we should submit to his holy will."
Blessed Henry Suso

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"What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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