Presbyterorum Ordinis (The Ministry and Life of Priests)

December 7, 1965

Presbyterorum Ordinis (The Ministry and Life of Priests) is a decree generated from the Second Vatican Council in 1965 that has come to be one of the defining documents on the role and duties of the priesthood in the modern era. It outlines out the biblical and traditional precursors of the priesthood and explains how those points lay out the role of the priest. It then states that priests are the tie between the laity and Jesus, and thus they are called to sacrifice most earthly goods in order to serve in their role; the decree instead calls them to penance, celibacy, and other Christian acts. Priests are also called to expand the theological knowledge of both themselves and the laity. The decree has received some criticism for failing to halt the overall decline in the number of priests in the last several decades.

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