INNOCENT III 1198-1216

The Minister of Confirmation *

 

[From the letter “Cum venisset” to Basil, Archbishop of Tirnova, Feb. 25, 1204]

 

419 The imposition of the hands is designated by the anointing of the forehead which by another name is called confirmation, because through it the Holy Spirit is given for an increase (of grace) and strength. Therefore, although a simple priest or presbyter is able to give other anointings, this one, only the highest priest, that is the bishop, ought to confer, because we read concerning the Apostles alone, whose successors the bishops are, that through the imposition of the hands they gave the Holy Spirit [cf. Acts 8:14 ff.].