Origen: A Bishop’s Debt, and Priestly Sacrifice

But apart from these more general considerations, there is a certain “debt” due from a widow for the whom the church provides and another due from a deacon, and another from a presbyter, but the “debt” due from a bishop is the heaviest, since it is demanded of him by the Saviour of the whole Church, and retribution follows if it be not paid . . .

In like manner, therefore, the apostles also, and those likened to the apostles, being priests of “the great high priest,” (Heb. 4:14) having received knowledge of the healing that comes from God, know, being taught by the Holy Spirit concerning what sins they ought to offer sacrifices, and when, and in what manner, and they understand concerning what sins they ought not to do this.

Origen, On Prayer 28.4, 9, c. 234 AD, trans. Henry Chadwick

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