Jure Divino

Jure Divino an expression meaning "by divine right" used in connection with the question of the source of the ministerial authority. They who claim the "jus divinum" for that authority contend that the episcopal discipline and orders, having issued immediately from the authority of God, are the exclusive channel through which holy ordinances can be lawfully or efficaciously exercised. Others again (who consequently relinquish the jure-divino claim), while they maintain that the episcopal regimen is agreeable to the will of Christ and the practice of his apostles, do not find a warrant for holding the above exclusive views, nor for asserting the utter invalidity, while they still admit the irregularity of any other ministrations. In their opinion, the claims of a Christian ministry rest not on any unbroken succession, but on the basis of the divinely sanctioned institution of a Christian Church. The authority, therefore with which a Christian minister is invested they consider to be derived from Christ only by virtue of the sanction given by him to Christian communities; and they hold that it comes direct from the Church in whose name and behalf he acts as its representative, and just to that extent to which it has empowered and directed him to act. They consider that the system which makes the sacramental virtue of holy orders inherent indefeasibly in each individual minister detracts from the claims of the Church, makes the Church a sort of appendage to the priesthood, and, in fact, confounds the Church with the clergy, as if the spiritual community consisted only of its officers — Eden, Eccles. Dictionary, s.v. SEE SUCCESSION.

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