Was the Priesthood Established at the Last Supper?

Yes and no.

Yes. The Last Supper was the first Mass and the first consecration of the Eucharist. It was also the only Mass where Jesus, visibly present, consecrated the Eucharist. Without the priesthood, there can be no Mass and no Eucharist. So by establishing the Sacrament of the Eucharist, Jesus was also establishing the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

No. At the Last Supper, Jesus was the only priest. The Apostles had not yet been given the Sacrament of Holy Orders. (So Judas Iscariot was never a priest.) It was fitting for Jesus to be the only priest at the first Mass, so that we understand that all Masses are led by Christ and all consecrations of the Eucharist by any priest are truly a consecration by Christ. (At the Last Supper, Jesus consecrated every Eucharist throughout all of Time.)

It was not until after the Resurrection that Jesus ordained the Eleven Apostles:

{20:21} Therefore, he said to them again: “Peace to you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
{20:22} When he had said this, he breathed on them. And he said to them: “Receive the Holy Spirit.
{20:23} Those whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, and those whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.”

Only a priest can forgive sins. (A bishop is a kind of priest, and a Pope is a kind of bishop and a kind of priest.) If the Apostles had already been ordained at the Last Supper, then they would already have been able to forgive sins.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and
translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

Forgiveness and Salvation for Everyone
available in print (paperback, 510 pp.) and in Kindle format.

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