"Alter Christus'' is
Latin for "Another Christ". "In Persona Christi" is Latin for "in the person of
Christ". A priest acts "In Persona Christi" or as an "Alter Christus" when
performing his priestly ministry.
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confess that the Sacrifice of the Mass is and ought to be considered one and the
same Sacrifice as that of the cross, for the victim is one and the same, namely,
Christ our Lord, who offered Himself, once only, a bloody Sacrifice on the altar
of the cross. The bloody and unbloody victim are not two, but one victim only,
whose Sacrifice is daily renewed in the Eucharist, in obedience to the command
of our Lord: Do this for a commemoration of me. The priest is also one and the
same, Christ the Lord; for the ministers who offer Sacrifice, consecrate the
holy mysteries, not in their own person, but in that of Christ, as the words of
consecration itself show, for the priest does not say: This is the body of
Christ, but, This is my body; and thus, acting in the Person of Christ the Lord,
he changes the substance of the bread and wine into the true substance of His
body and blood." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)
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