Nature of Christ’s priesthood

From Libreville to Econe, Archbishop Lefebvre never stopped handing on unchangeably the doctrine about the priesthood that he had received in Rome, in the school of his Spiritan teachers, heirs of the French school of spirituality. Thus he was providentially prepared to confront the serious identity crisis that priests went through in the years after the Council.

The priesthood of Jesus Christ is closely connected to the mystery of the Incarnation:

it is divinity itself descending into the humanity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, anointing it so to speak like the oil which, descending upon the head, consecrates the one who receives it.”

Uniting in His Divine Person a human nature and the divine nature, Jesus Christ, as man, is essentially established as “Mediator between heaven and earth.” (cf. Heb. 5:1)

The chief act of every priest is to offer sacrifice (Heb. 5:1). By a marvelous prerogative, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in voluntarily taking upon Himself on the cross the sufferings and death that His persecutors inflicted on Him, offers to God His Father for all mankind a sacrifice unique in its kind because He is at the same time the priest and the victim, the one who offers and the offering itself.

Because of the dignity of the life that He immolates, which is the life of a God-man, because of the comprehensiveness of the sufferings that He assumes, and because of the immense charity with which He offers Himself for the glory of His Father and the salvation of mankind, Jesus offers to His Father superabundant satisfaction for the multitude of sins of all humanity. Consequently the sacrifice of the cross was preeminently propitiatory.


Die Hauptaufgabe des Priesters ist die Darbringung des Opfers (Heb. 5,1). Durch ein wunderbares Vorrecht bringt unser Herr Jesus Christus, indem er aus freiem Willen am Kreuz die Leiden und den Tod durch seine Peiniger auf sich nimmt, Gott seinem Vater und für die ganze Menschheit ein in seiner Art einziges Opfer dar, denn er ist zugleich Priester und Opfer, der Darbringende und die Opfergabe.

Wegen der Würde des Lebens, welches er hingibt und welches das Leben des Gottmenschen ist, wegen der Leiden, die er auf sich nimmt, und wegen der unendlichen Liebe, mit der er sich für die Ehre seines Vaters und für das Heil der Menschen aufopfert, bringt Jesus seinem Vater eine überreichliche Genugtuung für die vielen Sünden der gesamten Menschheit dar. Infolgedessen ist das Kreuzesopfer in höchstem Maße ein Sühneopfer.