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A priest or priestess is a person authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion.
- As the caterpiller chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys.
- William Blake, “Proverbs of Hell,” The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, line 55
- Why against priests the gen'ral heat so strong,
- But that they shew us all we do is wrong?
- Wit well apply‘d does weightier wisdom right,
- And gives us knowledge, while it gives delight,
- Thus on the stage, we with applause behold,
- What would have pain'd us from the pulpit told.
- James Forrester, The Polite Philosopher: Or, An Essay on that Art which Makes a Man happy in Himself and agreeable to Others (1734), p. 17
- I knew as well as anyone that the priests taught what they wanted us to know, not necessarily what was true. And sometimes even when they told the truth, they got it wrong.
- He lectures about renunciation, but he himself is being steadily promoted; he teaches all that about despising worldly titles and rank, but he himself is making a career.
- Søren Kierkegaard, Attack upon Christendom (1855), as translated by Walter Lowrie (1944), p. 121
- Faith is born and preserved in us by preaching why Christ came, what he brought and gave to us, and the benefits we obtain when we receive him. This happens when Christian liberty—which he gives to us—is rightly taught and we are told in what way as Christians we are all kings and priests and therefore lords of all.
- Martin Luther, The Freedom of a Christian (1520), M. Tranvik, trans. (Minneapolis: 2008), p. 70
- In Islam, there is no priesthood, and no intermediary between the creature and The Creator; but every Muslim from the ends of earth or in the paths of the sea has the ability of himself to approach his Lord without priest or minister. Nor again can the Muslim administrator derive his authority from any papacy, or from Heaven; but he derives it solely from the Muslim community. Similarly, he derives his principles of administration from the religious law, which is universal in its understanding and application and before which all men come everywhere as equals.
- Sayyid Qutb, Social Justice in Islam (1953)
- The relation of the true artist and the true human being to his ideals is absolutely religious. The man for whom this inner divine service is the end and occupation of all his life is a priest, and this is how everyone can and should become a priest.
- The ecclesiastical authorities, for all practical purposes, acted as servants of the State in the confrontation with Jesus. In one version, the chief priest protests: "Caesar is our king, we have no other king but Caesar." In the dispute over jurisdiction between Pilate and Herod, they warn: "If you release him, you will not be Caesar's friend." The ecclesiastics were, practically speaking, surrogates of the State. That is an all-too-familiar situation for chief priests to be found in.
- William Stringfellow, "Jesus the Criminal" (1969), in William Stringfellow: Essential Writings (2013), pp. 65-66
- As formerly priests had manufactured heretics, so physicians, as the new guardians of social conduct and morality, began to manufacture madmen.
- Thomas Szasz, The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement (1997), p. 160
- Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?
- Henry II, King of England asked and it was interpreted as him wanting to have Saint Thomas Becket of Canterbury, a priest, killed.