Why Priests?

By Garry Wills

Some think that the dwindling number of priests can be remedied by the addition of women priests, or married priests, or openly gay priests. In fact, the real solution is: no priests. It should not be difficult to imagine a Christianity without priests. Read carefully through the entire New Testament and you will not find an individual human priest mentioned in the Christian communities (only Jewish priests in service to the Temple). Only one book of the New Testament, the Letter to Hebrews, mentions an individual priest, and he is unique—Jesus. He has no followers in that office, according to the Letter.

—From Why Priests? A Failed Tradition (published in February by Viking)

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/03/why-priests/309228/