“The future of humanity passes by way of the family” Pope St John Paul II, York, 1982
God in his love has created man and woman in his image, as the summit of creation, and invites them to give themselves to each other as a gift for the good of the other. A man and a woman are called into a lifelong, faithful and fruitful relationship. ‘Not only man as such, not only woman as such, but rather man and woman as a couple, are the image of God. The difference between them is not a question of contrast or subordination, but instead of communion and generation, always in the image and likeness of God’ (Pope Francis, Audience 15 April 2015)
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The Church teaches that:
THE SACRAMENT OF THE HOLY ORDERS:
“I will give you shepherds after my own heart” (Jer. 3:15). In these words from the prophet Jeremiah, God promises his people that he will never leave them without shepherds to gather them together and guide them: “I will set shepherds over them [my sheep] who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed (Jer. 23.4).
“Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate (bishops), presbyterate (Priesthood) and diaconate.
Extract from the Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 1536)