1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sacerdotalism

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SACERDOTALISM (from Lat. sacerdos, priest, literally one who presents sacred offerings, sacer, sacred, and dare, to give), a term applied, usually in a hostile sense, to the system, method and spirit of a priestly order or class, under which the functions, dignity and influence of the members of the priesthood are exalted in the ministry of religion, and in the church at the expense of the laity. This exalting of the priesthood in the Christian church is based on the claim that the priest exercises sacrificial and supernatural powers in the celebration of the Eucharist.