Holy orders

This is the sacrament in which men chosen by the church are made deacons, priests, or bishops. The principal powers of the priesthood are those Christ gave his apostles, who were the first priests: to offer the holy Eucharist, forgive sins, administer the sacraments, and preach the Gospel. Since the Lateran Council of 1123 Catholic priests have not been permitted to marry. In the Orthodox churches parish priests are allowed to marry. However, a candidate may only marry prior to his ordination to the priesthood or diaconate, and not afterward. Only unmarried priests may become bishops in the Orthodox churches.

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