by Celes A. Gianan, DD, PhD

For Church Governance and Administration, SACRED OFFICE is both ESSENTIAL and INTEGRAL to the life of the Church. It is ESSENTIAL to the life of the Church insofar as when we think of the SACRED OFFICE, we think of the Church and vice versa. We cannot conceive of a Church without a SACRED OFFICE. On the other hand, it is INTEGRAL to the life of the Church insofar as the Church cannot function properly and in orderly manner without the SACRED OFFICE and its exercise by those who are conferred with it.


As beloved and chosen by God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, has been, is, and will always be in possession of the FULLNESS of the SACRED OFFICE in the Church, His Body. This is made known as scripted in Matthew 28:18 when Jesus Christ said, “I have been given ALL AUTHORITY in heaven and on earth”. ALL AUTHORITY truly means the FULLNESS OF SACRED OFFICE which resides in Christ, the Head of the Church, His Body. The Church remains to be mystically active and dynamic with the SACRED OFFICE being exercised properly and IN PERSONA CHRISTI CAPITIS.

The SACRED OFFICE is conferred and granted to the ordained and/or consecrated people to be exercised in compliance to and fulfillment of the three foundational functions of the Church, which are the following, namely: TEACHING, GOVERNING, and SANCTIFYING.

The SACRED OFFICE, therefore, is primarily intended to keep the Church moving in PROGRESSION towards bringing the Christian faithful to a much deeper FAITH in God by TEACHING them, to a much broader opportunities for HOPE by GOVERNING them, and to a much stronger commitment to the LOVE of God by SANCTIFYING them.


When Christ was conferred and granted FULLNESS OF SACRED OFFICE by the Heavenly Father, it was not done unto Him as a PROMOTION of bringing Him to a HIGHER level in the order of RANKING but, rather, it was done unto Him by the Father so He could respond to the Father’s DIVINE MISSION for the world.

What Christ did, then, was to form and build His group of apostles, equipped them with the SACRED OFFICE and sent them out, saying, “Go, and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (SANCTIFYING) and teach them to fulfill all that I have commanded you (TEACHING). I am with you always until the end of this world” (GOVERNING). This is a Sacred Text scripted in Matthew 28:19 – 20.

Christ, being the Good Shepherd, showed an EXEMPLARY WAY of SHEPHERDING His people by SANCTIFYING, TEACHING, and GOVERNING. This is how Christ exercised His SACRED OFFICE in response to the INTENT of His Father. The intent of His Father was not to PROMOTE Him to a HIGHER RANK in the hierarchy of both the Church and the world but to TASK Him with much GREATER responsibility and accountability and a much WIDER scope of ministry done with a STRONGER sense of mission.

To sum it up, in the mind of God and in accordance to His norms and standards, conferral and/or granting of SACRED OFFICE is NOT a PROMOTION of bringing someone to a HIGHER RANK in the Hierarchy of the Church but, rather, a COMMISSION of bringing someone to a DEEPER and BROADER scope of work in the Church for the world.


Churches must come to their senses that SACRED OFFICE is conferred or granted to someone NOT as a PROMOTION as in bringing that someone to a HIGHER RANK. In the Church, to think of this as a PROMOTION is adherring to a SECULAR way of thinking which is a subtle way of DESECRATING the very PURPOSE of a SACRED OFFICE. When a SACRED OFFICE is looked at and, much worst, is exercised the SECULAR way, such an act is a PLEDGE OF SECULARISM. No wonder churches are filled with things SECULAR and acts that are SECULARISTIC that no longer mirror the mind of God and the sacredness of His Body, the Church.

SACRED OFFICE, when conferred or granted to someone, does not bring him to a HIGHER level in the order of RANKING. Rather, when it is conferred or granted to someone, it brings him to a  much WIDER scope of task in the order of FUNCTION. Paul, the Apostle said, “Insofar as I am an Apostle of the Gentiles, I must MAGNIFY my ministry” (Ref. Romans 11:13, Acts 9:15). His being an Apostle of the Gentiles was not a PROMOTION granted to him so as to bring him to a HIGHER level of RANKING. It was granted to bring him to a much WIDER coverage, not HIGHER rank, of his ministry in the order of MAGNIFICATION of the works of God.

In the Church, granting of SACRED OFFICE to someone as a PROMOTION will never bring nor do him good. It will just in the long run develop in him a SENSE OF PRIDE which little by little will eat him up to his own destruction. It will just in the long run make him feel he is OVER and ABOVE all others and DIFFERENT from others. It will in the long run develop in him a tendency to use his Sacred Office to LORD OVER other people. It will in the long run make the person in Sacred Office develop a CRAVING for more power and authority that instead of exercising his Sacred Office out of LOVE, the person himself will then do it driven by LUST.


The whole BODY OF CHRIST, His CHURCH, will suffer its consequence to the detriment of the world. More chaos will arise. INDIFFERENTISM between and among Bishops and clergy takes place. DIVISIONS and FACTIONS would emerge caused by competition and power struggle within the structure and organization of the Church.

The Church, then, gets wounded. Christ, the Head of His Body, the Church, gets insulted. Christ, the Good Shepherd, gets hurt upon seeing His bishops and priests in the mood of competition and no longer listening to His “voice” but will already be creating “noise” inside the circle of church people.

The people in search for God get lost and discouraged upon seeing the Hierarchy of the Church in turmoil caused by ordained and consecrated men desiring for PROMOTION to the point of putting “down” others for them to be on the “top”.

It is our prayer that bishops and clergy of churches may come to realize how essential and integral is the SACRED OFFICE in and to the Church, the Body of Christ. That such an OFFICE must be conferred, granted and exercised the SACRED way, NOT the SECULAR way. That this SACRED OFFICE, when conferred and granted to someone, should NOT be viewed as a PROMOTION to a HIGHER RANK. Rather, it must be taken as a COMMISSION to do much GREATER and WIDER TASK in the Church for this, indeed, is what SACRED OFFICE is intended for. God loves us all.

drcelamgia_phd, Founding Disciple, CENTER FOR FAITH AND REASON

and Episcopal Superior, MSSPP-NAORCC

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