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The Ordination to Priesthood 
 + Gordon Cardinal Bateman
June 13, 1999

Kalispell, Montana, USA  - Gordon Cardinal Bateman was today ordained to the priesthood by Pope Pius XIII, according to the traditional Catholic Rite of Holy Orders.  This awe-inspiring rite can be found in its entirety at  Since a Cardinal is an appointed position, a layman may be appointed Cardinal, as was the case with Cardinal Bateman even prior to his ordination. 

The photos below record selected parts of the rite of ordination to the priesthood bestowed onto + Gordon Cardinal Bateman. 
The Prostration and the Litany of the Saints 

In the touching ceremony of the prostration, the ordinand prostrates himself on the floor of the sanctuary, as a sign of his unworthiness and need of divine assistance. The pope kneels at the faldstool; all others who assist kneel in their places. The pope recites the Litany of the Saints.  The whole Church Triumphant is called upon to intercede with God that He may give worthy ministers to the Church Militant. 

The most solemn moment of the rite of ordination has now arrived, the moment in which that wonderful transformation takes place in the soul of the ordinand, which makes him "Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech." The pope imposes both his hands upon the ordinand without saying any prayer; then the pope raises his right hand extended over the candidate. All is hushed in silence - it is as if the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit comes down in visible form to take possession of His elect: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me" (Is. 61, 1). 
The Imposition of Hands
The Bestowal of the Office
The Anointing of the Hands of the Priest

Holy oil was used extensively in the liturgical functions of the Old Testament. It is fitting, therefore, that the Catholic priest, the "other Christ," should also be anointed. The anointing symbolizes the dedication of a person to the service of God, and the bestowal of grace. 

By the preceding rite of the Imposition of Hands the candidate has been made a priest and possesses all priestly powers. But the power to celebrate Mass, to change bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ is such a tremendous, awe-inspiring power that a special rite is employed to express its bestowal and to bring more fully into realization what has been received.  

The ordained again approaches the pope and kneels before him. A chalice containing wine and water, and the paten with a host lying on it, is presented; whereupon the ordained takes the paten between the index and the middle finger, touching with the index finger the paten and host and with the middle finger the cup of the chalice.

Bestowal of the Power
to Offer the Holy Sacrifice
of the Mass
First Blessing 

All kneel as the newly-ordained 
priest gives his 
first blessing.

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