Authoritative sacerdotal hierarchy controls for competitive holiness spirals which, unconstrained, are vicious positive feedback cycles that cannot but end in schism and war – in cultural disaster.
Holiness spirals are not first a search for social status, but rather for ontological safety. Nevertheless, once they have got going, they do result in an arms race to see who is holiest, thus of the highest moral and political rank, and thus least suitable as a scapegoat.
They are driven not by the nisus toward excellence, but by fear. Nor – apart from the minds of the spiritually ingenious – is the fear that drives them fundamentally supernatural – which is to say, in sane minds, sane and proper – but rather mundane, social, profane, and as such – not being ordered to the Truth himself, but to a Fallen social milieu – fundamentally disordered.
Holiness spirals are, first, a search for the proper constraints of true sanctity and righteousness upon conduct. When there is no established sacerdotal hierarchy that can authoritatively define the unquestionable constraints of holiness and righteousness, and then offer people a way to get back within those constraints when they have strayed beyond their pale – that can give them a way to know that they have reached safe harbor – people are going to push and push toward holiness however they can discern it according to their own best lights, without let or correction, and without possibility of any satisfactory completion of the search (because a forecondition of success for any search is a definition of success – such as can be authoritatively furnished to the searcher only by an incontrovertible authority). Anyone who disagrees with the notions of those who find that as a result of their quest for holiness they themselves are of the holiest sort then becomes a legitimate scapegoat in their eyes, and so a social enemy. There is then mutual repudiation and scapegoating of adversarial sectarians; mutual excommunication; schism; and, with the ensuing conflict of irreconcilable cults, civil war either hot or cold.
The thousands of Protestant sects are a natural result of the disestablishment of the absolute mundane authority over affairs spiritual and moral – and, so, political – of a highly ordered and lawful sacerdotal hierarchy. They are sequelae of an honest and untrammeled search for the bounds of a solution space via unconstrained competitive holiness spirals. As an arms race – this, even within the cranium of a single believer – that is focused on discovering, implementing and propagating the truths exemplified in an infinite purely formal configuration space, the competition inevitably gives rise to doctrinal innovations, some of which are bound to conflict with some other doctrines (or, to be just wrong: which is to say, heretical).
So you get schisms multiplying, and then sooner or later fighting.
This is why we cannot expect cultural peace – not just lack of violence, but true harmony, krasis, justice – until there is again an established religion with a supremely authoritative sacerdotal hierarchy universally recognized and (at least ostensibly) obeyed, whose ukases have in principle ultimate authority over all moral and spiritual matters – and thus, implicitly, political matters, including those that pertain to the secular sovereign.
To get the safe harbor of a ritual purity that can settle and so prevent all holiness spirals which might otherwise lead to social chaos, you need enforceable canon law; and to get canon law (enforceable or not), you need judges and administrators of that law whose authority over temporal affairs flows down incontrovertibly from an infallible source; which is to say, bishops under the supervision of a pontifex maximus.
NB: monasticism, too, controls for holiness spirals. You want to channel the religious geniuses who want to engage in serious work at holiness into monastic life, in which they renounce all worldly power and ambition, and vow obedience to the pontifex maximus and his officers. This too is why you want the holiness spiral to lead, not to mendicant and potentially errant friars, but rather to the cloister and the hermitage, which can insulate the wider social order from the intense spiritual research of the intentionally holy – which, as supramundanely oriented, naturally tends to engender enthusiasm of one sort or another, for innovations that are as like as not to be somehow lethal.
This is why the cloistered and eremitical religious look somewhat askance at their peripatetic brothers and sisters. All journeys are hazardous – especially those that involve leaving the cloister.
This is why the Orthodox churches insist that only monks can become bishops, and the Roman rite insists that priests and bishops must be celibate. Among the Orthodox, you must pass through the privation of all worldly interests implicit in the monastic life in order to be properly fitted for consideration as a candidate for the episcopal office. Likewise the priestly celibacy of the Roman rite constitutes a recusal from self interest in worldly affairs.
Or so should it be, ostensibly, and anyway.
 The secular sovereign then must be a subsidiary officer of the ecclesial hierarchy.
There’s no such thing, really, as a secular sovereign. When the US President walks into a room, the aweful mana and majesty of his office walk in with him, and everyone stands, as at the Benedictus qui venit – even when he is a scoundrel or a fool.
The sovereign executive *just is* the earthly manifestation of the angel of the nation. The sovereign office is inherently religious. All kings then are priest kings, whether or not anyone consciously thinks of them as such. Better, then, to get those priests under the supervision of the pontifex maximus, like everyone else – like all their subjects.
 Or married priests who have put their wives away: Nazirites, i.e.
 When the Anglican Rite eventually subsumes the Anglican Communion – as I think is inevitable for such portions of the Anglican world as do not leave Nicene Christianity altogether, as many of them now are doing – it will need to follow the Orthodox model: priests can be married, but bishops must be (at least effectual) monks.
PS: Had it not been for the breakdown in the religious and so the mundane political authority of the Second Temple priesthood of the Zadokites (the Sadducees), there would have been no such thing as the Pharisees. Nor, for that matter, would the extremely traditional Essene/Christian priesthood have repudiated the Temple hierarchy, and then – roughly circa the Bar Kochba revolution – coopted it (albeit in exile, and as having transcended its Jerusalemite and Kohanite origins in favor of a prior and supersidiary priesthood of the Order of Melchizedek).
PPS: I forgot that I had already posted the guts of the essay above.
which began as a Journal entry. Reading it again there, I thought, “Gee, this isn’t bad; it’s really almost a complete post already.” So I posted it again.
Getting old, I guess. No matter; each version sparked slightly different tangential thoughts.