I return to the quote from John O’Brien on the Catholic priesthood that James White posted some time ago:
When the priest announces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man. It is a power greater than that of saints and angels, greater than that of Seraphim and Cherubim.
Indeed it is greater even than the power of the Virgin Mary. While the Blessed Virgin was the human agency by which Christ became incarnate a single time, the priest brings Christ down from heaven, and renders Him present on our altar as the eternal Victim for the sins of man, not once but a thousand times! The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priest’s command.
Of what sublime dignity is the office of the Christian priest who is thus privileged to act as the ambassador and the vice-gerent of Christ on earth! He continues the essential ministry of Christ: he teaches the faithful with the authority of Christ, he pardons the penitent sinner with the power of Christ, he offers up again the same sacrifice of adoration and atonement which Christ offered on Calvary. No wonder that the name which spiritual writers are especially fond of applying to the priest is that of alter Christus. For the priest is and should be another Christ. (John O’Brien, The Faith of Millions, 255-256)
Today I would like to highlight the following phrases:
…. he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar… The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priest’s command.
We already saw that this notion of a “re-presentation” of Christ’s sacrifice is a denial of the sufficiency and power of Christ’s atonement, and goes against biblical teaching. Now let’s focus on the notion that the glorified Christ would bow “in humble obedience” to any man’s command.
The Bible says this about what has happened to Christ since his resurrection and glorification, by contrast:
8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:8-11)
Don’t miss what Paul is saying:
1) Christ bows to no man; every knee bows to him. No exceptions, Catholic priests included – every knee in heaven and on earth and under the earth; saved and lost, living and dead. Our Lord is LORD: He bows to no man.
2) And every tongue will confess He is Lord! a far cry from the confession given above, that places the priest as not just “another Christ” – as if this were not blasphemous enough – but actually as one to whose tongue Christ allegedly submits.
As Nebuchadnezzar, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, confessed:
34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,
for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:34-37)
I cannot state this strongly enough: what O’Brien says above, what Catholic theology truly teaches about the Mass and the priest’s role, is the worst kind of blasphemous and damning heresy there is. This teaching is anathema.