ASK FATHER: Why do priests impose hands during ordinations?

Posted May 29, 2017 2:03 pm by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

From a reader…
I attended the sacerdotal ordination of 5 priests for my diocese last Saturday.
After the bishop imposed hands, other priests participating in the Mass also imposed hands on the candidates. Since priests lack the fullness of the priesthood, what is the purpose and effect of the priests’ imposition of hands on the candidates?
The imposition of hands by the priests present at the ordination symbolizes the bond of ordained priesthood that all the men share.
However, on a related note, it seems that it was once possible for priests to ordain priests. There were a number of ancient references to this

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