It thus became in a high degree symbolical of the exaltation of the sacerdotal power.
(e) The church is a sacerdotal society.
' The relations between sacerdotal and civic authority may be seen in the vestments of the church (chasuble, alb, stole), which probably were once the official garments of magistrates.
In the Catholic Church bishops take rank at the head of the sacerdotal hierarchy, and have certain spiritual powers peculiar to their office, but opinion has long been divided as to whether they constitute a separate order or form merely a higher degree of the order of priests (ordo sacerdotium).
They were unanimous in rejecting the episcopacy of the Church of Rome, the sanctity of celibacy, the sacerdotal character of the ministry, the confessional, the propitiatory nature of the mass.