Sacramental character

According to Roman Catholic Church teaching, a sacramental character is an indelible spiritual mark (the meaning of the word character in Latin) imprinted by three of the seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders.

Contents

  • Description 1
  • See also 2
  • Notes 3
  • External links 4

Description

This teaching is expressed as follows in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1121:[1]

The characters these three sacraments imprint are held to differ from each other, with each character remaining indelible, so that nobody can receive the sacrament in question more than once. The doctrine of the sacramental character is thus a particular expression of the long-established teaching that baptism, confirmation, and holy orders may not be repeated, e.g. no one may be baptized more than once.

One who receives a lower grade of holy orders may receive a higher. Thus, though one who has been ordained a deacon may not again be ordained a deacon, he may be ordained a priest. Similarly, while a priest may not again be ordained a priest, he may be ordained a bishop. There is no higher grade to which a bishop may be ordained. Each higher grade is considered to confer a deepening or intensification of the character of holy orders.

If it is doubtful whether a person has received one of the three sacraments in question, the sacrament may be administered conditionally (e.g., using the words "If thou art not baptized, I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"); but such an administration, being valid and effective only to the extent that no valid administration of the same sacrament has already occurred, does not in any event constitute an effective repetition of a valid previous administration of that sacrament.

The doctrine of the sacramental character was dogmatically defined at the 16th century Council of Trent, but was held for more than 1000 years before, and was written about by Augustine of Hippo.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 698 explains as follows the significance of the image of "seal", used as an alternative to that of "character":[2]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1121
  2. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.