W This is not simply an historical reaction to abuses of the Catholic church at the time of the Reformation. It is biblically rooted in Jesus' admonishment that unless we come to God "like a child" we are unable to enter the Kingdom of God. Being like a child means having neither the preconceptions nor the affiliations we accrue as we grow up. For a child experience is unmediated by such external influences. So too should be our experience of God.
W.Of course children while innocent of preconception are not necessarily well motivated. Acting or not acting for the good of another is not a given. But it is something easily understood by a child once kindly explained and easily acted upon once understood. So our experience of God is not unmediated. But neither are there any special persons to mediate for us. Rather there is a balance between mediated and unmediated faith, a sort of distributed mediation -- the Priesthood of All Believers.
W The Priesthood of All Believers is also a reminder that institutions, offices and rituals are human constructions that can separate us from one another and from God when they are supposed to do the opposite. This too is biblically rooted -- in Jesus' rejection of the Pharisaic religion of his day. In separating us our religious institutions fool us into thinking that they are both important and efficacious for faith when it is really our responsibility to each other that is really important and efficacious for faith.
We are all called to be responsible each for the other and each to the
other. God acts in and through us. This is not a
we can delegate to any other. It is ours to take up together --
a Priesthood of All Believers.