SUKSESI APOSTOLIK DAN SAKRAMEN IMAMAT
Salah satu sifat gereja adalah apostolik dimana gereja itu harus menunjukkan (menampakkan) ciri-ciri rasuli (lih Ef 2:20) karena dibangun diatas para Rasul dengan Kristus sebagai batu Penjurunya, tentu pula dengan Petrus sebagai kepada dewan para rasul seperti yang Yesus sendiri kehendaki (bdk Mat 16:18-22;Yoh 21:15; Kis 2:14; dll). Konsekuensi dari gereja yang mempertahankan sifat gereja yang Apostolik adalah mempunyai suksesi apostolik, dengan adanya suksesi Apostolik maka kedudukan para rasul dan Petrus sebagai kepala dewan para rasul dapat tergantikan, dengan demikian kelangsungan Gereja dapat terjamin sesuai kehendak Yesus sendiri kepada Gerejanya (bdk Mat 28:20). Suksesi apostolik dalam Gereja perdana bisa kita lihat pada misalnya penggantian Yudas Iskariot oleh Matias (Kis 1), Pengangkatan beberapa Pelayan dalam jemaat, dll. caranya itu dilakukan dengan penumpangan tangan (bdk Kis 6:6;Itim 5:22, dll) dan fungsinya adalah menggantikan kedudukan para rasul (bdk Kis 14:23). Suksesi Apostolik dipertahankan oleh Gereja Katolik dan Gereja Ortodoks, kita percaya bahwa meskipun alkitab tidak secara tegas menyatakan tentang suksesi Apostolik, tetapi alkitab memberikan gambaran tentang hal itu dan juga Tradisi Suci juga menegaskan hal yang sama [penjelasan tentang Tradisi suci lihat artikel Apakah hanya Alkitab dasar iman Kita?]. Gereja yang mempertahankan suksesi Apostolik, memiliki ciri-ciri antara lain memiliki kesatuan dalam hal iman, ajaran, tata ibadat, hirarki, dll dimanapun komunitas itu berada, dimana Gereja sekarang sama seperti Gereja para rasul, dimana para jemaat bertekun dalam pengajaran para rasul (lih Kis 2:42). Dimana Gereja yang sekarang sama seperti Gereja pada masa Bapa-Bapa Gereja dan akan tetap sama sampai kepada akhir jaman. Pembahasan mengenai suksesi Apostolik berkaitan erat dengan sakramen Imamat, karena dengan adanya Sakramen ini maka dimungkinkan adanya Suksesi Apostolik dan dengan menerima sakramen Imamat dari mereka yang memiliki Suksesi apostolik yang sah maka penerima akan turut ambil bagian dalam Imamat Kristus (secara khusus) sebagai Imam, karena hal inilah Gereja percaya bahwa Tahbisan Suci itu benar-benar merupakan suatu Sakramen.
Sakramen Tahbisan diberikan oleh Uskup kepada mereka yang telah mendapat tahbisan diakon. Sakramen ini mendapat tempat dalam kitab suci sebagai contoh kita dapat lihat di Kis 14:23 “Di tiap-tiap jemaat rasul-rasul itu menetapkan penatua-penatua bagi jemaat itu dan setelah berdoa dan berpuasa, mereka menyerahkan penatua-penatua itu kepada Tuhan, yang adalah sumber kepercayaan mereka” juga pada Kis 20:17,28. kemudian bila kita perhatikan dalam 1Kor 12:28 “Dan Allah telah menetapkan beberapa orang dalam Jemaat: pertama sebagai rasul, kedua sebagai nabi, ketiga sebagai pengajar.” Jadi disini jelas bahwa dalam Gereja ada pembedaan fungsi dan peran yang masing-masing memiliki jenjang tersendiri. Pentahbisan para pelayan gereja ini juga ditunjukkan dengan penumpangan tangan untuk jelasnya lihat Kis 6:6, Kis 13:3. disini jelaslah bahwa sakramen imamat memiliki dasar kitab suci dan sakramen imamat akan lebih jelas lagi bila Tradisi Suci yang menjelaskannya. berikut komentar Teolog Besar Gereja Katolik “Kristus adalah sumber setiap imamat; karena imam hukum [lama] citranya. Tetapi imam Perjanjian Baru bertindak atas nama Kristus” (Thomas Aquino, s.th 3,22,4) dan Berikut pula beberapa kesaksian Bapa-Bapa Gereja tentang Sakramen Imamat dan Suksesi Apostolik:
1. “Bapa, Engkau yang mengenal hati, berilah kepada para pelayan-Mu, yang telah Engkau panggil untuk martabat Uskup, supaya ia menggembalakan kawanan-Mu yang kudus dan melaksanakan di hadirat-Mu imamat yang agung ini tanpa cacat, dengan melayani Engkau siang dan malam. Semoga ia tanpa henti-hentinya membuat wajah-Mu menyinarkan belas kasihan dan semoga ia membawakan persembahan Gereja-Mu yang Kudus. Semoga ia berkat roh imamat yang agung ini mempunyai kekuasaan untuk mengampuni dosa sesuai perintah-Mu. Semoga ia membagi-bagikan tugas sesuai dengan aturan-Mu dan membuka ikatan berkat kekuasaan yang telah Engkau berikan kepada para rasul-Mu. Semoga ia berkenan kepada-Mu oleh kelemahlembutan dan oleh hatinya yang murni, waktu ia mempersembahkan kepada-Mu keharuman yang menyegarkan dengan perantaraan Yesus Kristus anak-Mu….” (Hipolitus, trad. ap. 3)
2. “When I had come to Rome, I [visited] Anicetus, whose deacon was Eleutherus. And after Anicetus [died], Soter succeeded, and after him Eleutherus. In each succession and in each city there is a continuance of that which is proclaimed by the Law, the Prophets, and the Lord” (Hegesippus, Memoirs 4:22:1 [ A.D. 180]).
3. “It is possible, then, for everyone in every church, who may wish to know the truth, to contemplate the Tradition of the Apostles which has been made known to us throughout the whole world. And we are in a position to enumerate those who were instituted bishops by the apostles and their successors down to our own times, men who neither knew nor taught anything like what these heretics rave about” (Irenaeus dan Lyons, Against Heresies 3:3:1 [A.D. 189]); “But since it would be too long to enumerate in such as volume as this the successions of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul–that church which has the Tradition and the with which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. For with this Church, because if its superior origin, all churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world. And it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the Apostolic Tradition” (ibid., 3:3:2).
4. “[The Apostles] founded churches in every city, from which all the other churches, one after another, derived the tradition of the faith, and the seeds of doctrine, and are every day deriving them, that they may become churches. Indeed, it is on this account only that they will be able to deem themselves apostolic, as being the offspring of apostolic churches. Every sort of thing must necessarily revert to its original for its classification. Therefore the churches, although they are so many and so great, comprise but the one primitive church, [founded] by the apostles, from which they all [spring]. In this way all are primitive, and all are apostolic, while they are all proved to be one in unity by their ” (Tertulianus, Demurrer Against the Heretics 20 [A.D. 200]).;”[W]hat it was which Christ revealed to them [the apostles] can, as I must here likewise prescribe, properly be proved in no other way than by those very churches which the apostles founded in person, by declaring the gospel to them directly themselves . . . If then these things are so, it is in the same degree manifest that all doctrine which agrees with the apostolic churches–those molds and original sources of the faith must be reckoned for truth, as undoubtedly containing that which the churches received from the apostles, the apostles from Christ, [and] Christ from God. Whereas all doctrine must be prejudged as false which savors of contrariety to the truth of the churches and apostles of Christ and God. It remains, then, that we demonstrate whether this doctrine of ours, of which we have now given the rule, has its origin in the Tradition of the Apostles, and whether all other doctrines do not ipso facto proceed from falsehood” (ibid., 21).;”But if there be any [heresies] which are bold enough to plant [their origin] in the midst of the apostolic age, that they may thereby seem to have been handed down by the apostles, because they existed in the time of the apostles, we can say: Let them produce the original records of their churches; let them unfold the roll of their bishops, running down in due succession from the beginning in such a manner that [their first] bishop shall be able to show for his ordainer and predecessor some one of the apostles or of apostolic men–a man, moreover, who continued steadfast with the apostles. For this is the manner in which the apostolic churches transmit their registers: as the church of Smyrna, which records that Polycarp was placed therein by John; as also the church of Rome, which makes Clement to have been ordained in like manner by Peter” (ibid., 32).
5. ” I must not omit an account of the conduct also of the heretics–how frivolous it is, how worldly, how merely human, without seriousness, without authority, without discipline, as suits their creed. To begin with, it is doubtful who is a catechumen, and who a believer; they have all access alike, they hear alike, they pray alike–even heathens, if any such happen to come among them. ‘That which is holy they will cast to the dogs, and their pearls,’ although (to be sure) they are not real ones, ‘they will fling to the swine.’ Simplicity they will have to consist in the overthrow of discipline, attention to which on our part they call brothelry. Peace also they huddle up anyhow with all comers; for it matters not to them, however different be their treatment of subjects, provided only they can conspire together to storm the citadel of the one only Truth. All are puffed up, all offer you knowledge. Their catechumens are perfect before they are full-taught. The very women of these heretics, how wanton they are! For they are bold enough to teach, to dispute, to enact exorcisms, to undertake cures–it may be even to baptize. Their ordinations, are carelessly. administered, capricious, changeable. At one time they put novices in office; at another time, men who are bound to some secular employment; at another, persons who have apostatized from us, to bind them by vainglory, since they cannot by the truth. Nowhere is promotion easier than in the camp of rebels, where the mere fact of being there is a foremost service. And so it comes to pass that to-day one man is their bishop, to-morrow another; to-day he is a deacon who to-morrow is a reader; to-day he is a presbyter who tomorrow is a layman. For even on laymen do they impose the functions of priesthood.”
Tertullian,On Prescription Against Heretics,41(c.A.D. 200),in ANF,III:263
6. “Pejabat yang angkuh harus digolongkan dengan setan. Anugerah Kristus tidak dinodai karena itu;yang mengalir melalui dia, pertahankan kemurniannya;yang disalurkan melalui dia, tinggal bersih dan sampai ke tanah yang subur. … kekuatan rohani Sakramen adalah serupa dengan terang; siapa yang harus disinari, menerimanya dengan kejernihannya, dan apabila ia harus melewati yang kotor, ia sendiri tidak menjadi kotor” (Agustinus ev. jo 5,15)
7. “Since therefore I have, in the persons before mentioned, beheld the whole multitude of you in faith and love, I exhort you to study to do all things with a divine harmony, while your bishop presides in the place of God, and your presbyters in the place of the assembly of the apostles, along with your deacons, who are most dear to me, and are entrusted with the ministry of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father before the beginning of time, and in the end was revealed. Do ye all then, imitating the same divine conduct, pay respect to one another, and let no one look upon his neighbour after the flesh, but do ye continually love each other in Jesus Christ. Let nothing exist among you that may divide you ; but be ye united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.”
Ignatius of Antioch,Epistle to the Magnesians,6(A.D. 110),in ANF,I:61
8. Since, according to my opinion, the grades here in the Church, of bishops, presbyters, deacons, are imitations of the angelic glory, and of that economy which, the Scriptures say, awaits those who, following the footsteps of the apostles, have lived in perfection of righteousness according to the Gospel. For these taken up in the clouds, the apostle writes, will first minister [as deacons], then be classed in the presbyterate, by promotion in glory (for glory differs from glory) till they grow into ‘a perfect man.’ ” Clement of Alexandria,Stromata,13(A.D. 202),in ANF,II:505
9. “Semua orang harus menghormati diaken seperti Yesus Kristus, demikian pula Uskup sebagai citra Bapa, tetapi Presbiter sebagai dewan Allah dan sebagai persekutuan para rasul. Tanpa mereka tidak ada Gereja” (Ignasius dari Antiokia, Trall. 3,1)
10. “Tuhan telah mengatakan dengan jelas bahwa usaha untuk kawanan-Nya adalah suatu bukti cinta terhadap-Nya” (Yohanes Krisostomos, sac 2,2)
11. “Through countryside and city [the apostles] preached, and they appointed their earliest converts, testing them by the Spirit, to be the bishops and deacons of future believers. Nor was this a novelty, for bishops and deacons had been written about a long time earlier. . . . Our apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife for the office of bishop. For this reason, therefore, having received perfect foreknowledge, they appointed those who have already been mentioned and afterwards added the further provision that, if they should die, other approved men should succeed to their ministry.” (Paus Klemens I, Letter to the Corinthians 42:4-5, 44:1-3 [A.D. 80]).
12. “Beware lest ever like Simon thou come to the dispensers of Baptism in hypocrisy, thy heart the while not seeking the truth. It is ours to protest, but it is thine to secure thyself. If thou standest in faith, blessed art thou; if thou hast fallen in unbelief, from this day forward cast away thine unbelief, and receive full assurance. For, at the season of baptism, when thou art come before the Bishops, or Presbyters, or Deacons,–(forits grace is everywhere, in villages and in cities, on them of low as on them of high degree, on bondsmen and on freemen, for this grace is not of men, but the gift is from God through men,)–approach the Minister of Baptism, but approaching, think not of the face of him thou seest, but remember this Holy Ghost of whom we are now speaking. For He is present in readiness to seal thy soul, and He shall give thee that Seal at which evil spirits tremble, a heavenly and sacred seal, as also it is written, In whom also ye believed, and were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” Cyril of Jerusalem,Catechetical Lectures,XVII:35(A.D. 350),in NPNF2,VII:132
13. “Despise not, therefore, the Divine laver, nor think lightly of it, as a common thing, on account of the use of water. For the power that operates is mighty, and wonderful are the things that are wrought thereby. For this holy altar, too, by which I stand, is stone, ordinary in its nature, nowise different from the other slabs of stone that build our houses and adorn our pavements; but seeing that it was consecrated to the service of God, and received the benediction, it is a holy table, an altar undefiled, no longer touched by the hands of all, but of the priests alone, and that with reverence. The bread again is at first common bread, but when the sacramental action consecrates it, it is called, and becomes, the Body of Christ. So with the sacramental oil; so with the wine: though before the benediction they are of little value, each of them, after the sanctification bestowed by the Spirit, has its several operation. The same power of the word, again, also makes the priest venerable and honourable, separated, by the new blessing bestowed upon him, from his community with the mass of men. While but yesterday he was one of the mass, one of the people, he is suddenly rendered a guide, a president, a teacher of righteousness, an instructor in hidden mysteries; and this he does without being at all changed in body or in form; but, while continuing to be in all appearance the man he was before, being, by some unseen power and grace, transformed in respect of his unseen soul to the higher condition. And so there are many things, which if you consider you will see that their appearance is contemptible, but the things they accomplish are mighty: and this is especially the case when you collect from the ancient history instances cognate and similar to the subject of our inquiry.” Gregory of Nyssa,On the Baptism of Christ(ante A.D. 394),in NPNF2,V:519
14. “As often as GOD’s mercy deigns to bring round the day of His gifts to us, there is, dearly-beloved, just and reasonable cause for rejoicing, if only our appointment to the office be referred to the praise of Him who gave it. For though this recognition of GOD may well be found in all His priests, yet I take it to be peculiarly binding on me, who, regarding my own utter insignificance and the greatness of the office undertaken, ought myself also to utter that exclamation of the Prophet,’LORD, I heard Thy speech and was afraid: I considered Thy works and was dismayed.’ For what is so unwonted and so dismaying as labour to the frail, exaltation to the humble, dignity to the undeserving? And yet we do not despair nor lose heart, because we put our trust not in ourselves but in Him who works in us. And hence also we have sung with harmonious voice the psalm of David, dearly beloved, not in our own praise, but to the glory of Christ the LORD. For it is He of whom it is prophetically written, ‘Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedeck,’ that is, not after the order of Aaron, whose priesthood descending along his own line of offspring was a temporal ministry, and ceased with the law of the Old Testament, but after the order of Melchizedeck, in whom was prefigured the eternal High Priest. And no reference is made to his parentage because in him it is understood that He was portrayed, whose generation cannot be declared. And finally, now that the mystery of this Divine priesthood has descended to human agency, it runs not by the line of birth, nor is that which flesh and blood created, chosen, but without regard to the privilege of paternity and succession by inheritance, those men are received by the Church as its rulers whom the Holy Ghost prepares: so that in the people of GOD’s adoption, the whole body of which is priestly and royal, it is not the prerogative of earthly origin which obtains the unction, but the condescension of Divine grace which creates the bishop.” Pope Leo the Great[regn. A.D. 440-461],Sermons,3:1(ante A.D. 461),in NPNF2,XII:116
15. “When a priest is ordained, while the bishop is blesing [him] and holding his hands over his head, let all the priests also, who are present, hold their hands close to the hands of the bishop above his head.” Council of Chalcedon,Canon 3(A.D. 451),in DEN,62-63
Sakramen Imamat dipertahankan oleh Gereja yang benar-benar memiliki sifat apostolik dan dengan demikian benar-benar memiliki Suksesi Apostolik yang sah. Sakramen Imamat juga menimbulkan ‘cap’ yang tidak dapat dihapuskan sama seperti Yesus yang adalah imam untuk selamanya, demikian pula mereka yang ambil bagian dalam imamat khusus Yesus (dengan ditahbiskan) juga memiliki karunia Imamat itu selamanya (lih KGK 1581 & 1582)
Selibat merupakan suatu aturan tersendiri dalam Ritus Latin. sedangkan dalam Ritus Timur para Imamnya diperbolehkan untuk menikah (sebelum ditahbiskan) tetapi sesudah ditahbiskan mereka tidak boleh menikah, sedangkan para Uskup dipilih dari mereka yang selibat (lihat KGK 1580).
Selibat dalam Ritus Latin sebenarnya memiliki landasan Kitab Suci yang kuat antara lain Matius 19:21 dimana disana jelas dinyatakan bahwa ada orang yang memang selibat karena kerajaan Allah. dan dalam 1 Kor 7:7-38 Paulus membicarakan masalah selibat meskipun ia berbicara pula masalah perkawinan, Paulus menganjurkan agar orang selibat jika memang itu karunianya. dan dalam ayat 32-33 dan 35 Paulus mengatakan bahwa dengan selibat maka orang dapat melayani Tuhan tanpa gangguan. Pada 1 Kor 7:20 dikatakan “baiklah tiap-tiap orang tinggal dalam keadaan, seperti waktu ia dipanggil Allah.”, kita tahu bahwa menjadi Imam adalah panggilan Allah sendiri dari sejak awal mula hidup kita didunia ini (lih Yer 1:5) meskipun kita sendiri dikarunai kehendak bebas. Nah St. Paulus mengatakan bahwa “baiklah tiap-tiap orang tinggal dalam keadaan, seperti waktu ia dipanggil Allah.” nah berarti seseorang terpanggil mejadi Imam lebih baik selibat karena menuruti ajuran Paulus ini dan mengingat beberapa hal yang diatas tersebut.