New. The model for clerical service in the Church is Christ Himself, who said, 'The Good Shepherd lays down His Life for the sheep, ' and the worthy pastor is able to say with St. Paul, 'be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. ' Patsavos, eminent professor of canon law, takes his readers directly to the primary texts: first by considering the letters of St. Paul and the Apostolic Fathers (especially the Didache and the Apostolic Tradition of Hyppolytus), then by expositing documents from local and Ecumenical councils where crucial decisions about the lives of the clergy were definitively accepted for the catholic Church. Patsavos spotlights the writings of Ephraim, Athanasius, Basil, and Ambrose (to name a few), and devotes an entire section to the question of married clergy. 'It is my hope, ' writes Bishop Kallistos Ware in his introduction to A Noble Task, 'that bishops, priests and deacons who read this book will find that it renews their sense of awe and wonder before the service that they are performing in the Church. And may the book, despite the warnings it contains, also encourage and inspire many to offer themselves for ordination. ' 364 pp.
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