Clerics regular

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Clerics regular are priests (clerics) who are members of a religious order under a rule of life (regular). Clerics regular differ from canons regular in that they devote themselves more to pastoral care, in place of an obligation to the praying of the Liturgy of the Hours in common, and have fewer observances in their rule of life.

A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usually characterized by the principles of its founder's religious practice. The order is composed of laypeople and, in some orders, clergy. Religious orders exist in many of the world's religions.

Canons regular Roman Catholic priests living in community under a religious rule

Canons regular are canons in the Catholic Church who live in community under a rule. They are often organised into religious orders. They are distinguished from clerics regular, a later form of religious life where members also live life under a rule, in that canons regular emphasise a life lived in community. Examples of religious orders of canons regular include the Crosiers, Premonstratensians, and some Augustinians.

Liturgy of the Hours daily prayers of the Catholic Church

The Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office or Work of God or canonical hours, often referred to as the Breviary, is the official set of prayers "marking the hours of each day and sanctifying the day with prayer". It consists primarily of psalms supplemented by hymns, readings and other prayers and antiphons. Together with the Mass, it constitutes the official public prayer life of the Church. The Liturgy of the Hours also forms the basis of prayer within Christian monasticism.

Charism

Clerics regular are those bodies of men in the Church who while being essentially clerics, devoted to the exercise of the ministry in preaching, the administration of the sacraments, the education of youth, and other spiritual and corporal works of mercy, are at the same time religious in the strictest sense of the word, and living a community life according to a rule approved by the Holy See. [1]

Sacraments of the Catholic Church seven visible rituals that Catholics see as signs of Gods presence, consisting of those of initiation (baptism, confirmation, eucharist), of healing (reconciliation, anointing of the sick), and of service (holy orders, matrimony)

There are seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, which according to Catholic theology were instituted by Jesus and entrusted to the Church. Sacraments are visible rites seen as signs and efficacious channels of the grace of God to all those who receive them with the proper disposition. The sevenfold list of sacraments is often organized into three categories: the sacraments of initiation, consisting of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist; the sacraments of healing, consisting of Penance and Anointing of the Sick; and the sacraments of service: Holy Orders and Matrimony.

Holy See Episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy

The Holy See, also called the See of Rome, refers to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope, which includes the apostolic episcopal see of the Diocese of Rome with universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, as well as a sovereign entity of international law.

In the Corpus Juris Canonici the term "clerics regular" is often used for canons regular, and regular clerics are classed by authors as a branch or modern adaptation of the family of canons regular. This is because of the intimate connection existing between the two; for while separated from the secular clergy by their vows and the observance of a community life and a rule, they form a distinct class in the religious state, the clerical, in opposition to the monastic, which includes monks, and hermits. [1]

The Corpus Juris Canonici is a collection of significant sources of the canon law of the Catholic Church that was applicable to the Latin Church. It was replaced by the 1917 Code of Canon Law which went into effect in 1918. The 1917 Code was later replaced by the 1983 Code of Canon Law, the codification of canon law currently in effect for the Latin Church. In 1990, Oriental canon law was codified in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, which is currently in effect for the Eastern Catholic Churches.

The term secular clergy refers to deacons and priests who are not monastics or members of a religious institute. A diocesan priest is a Catholic, Anglican, or Eastern Orthodox priest who commits himself or herself to a certain geographical area and is ordained into the service of the citizens of a diocese, a church administrative region. That includes serving the everyday needs of the people in parishes, but their activities are not limited to that of their parish.

Monk member of a monastic religious order

A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism by monastic living, either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decides to dedicate his life to serving all other living beings, or to be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live his or her life in prayer and contemplation. The concept is ancient and can be seen in many religions and in philosophy.

Clerics regular are distinguished from the purely monastic bodies, or monks, in four ways:

They are distinguished from the friars in this, that though the latter are devoted to the sacred ministry and the cultivation of learning, they are not primarily priests.

Friar member of a mendicant religious order in Catholic Christianity

A friar is a brother member of one of the mendicant orders founded in the twelfth or thirteenth century; the term distinguishes the mendicants' itinerant apostolic character, exercised broadly under the jurisdiction of a superior general, from the older monastic orders' allegiance to a single monastery formalized by their vow of stability. The most significant orders of friars are the Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians and Carmelites.

History

The exact date at which clerics regular appeared in the Church cannot be absolutely determined. Regular clerics of some sort, i.e. priests devoted both to the exercise of the ministry and to the practice of the religious life, are found in the earliest days of Christian antiquity. Many eminent theologians hold that the clerks regular were founded by Christ Himself. In this opinion the Apostles were the first regular clerks, being constituted by Christ ministers par excellence of His Church and called by Him personally to the practice of the counsels of the religious life (cf. Suarez).

Apostles The primary disciples of Jesus

In Christian theology and ecclesiology, apostles, particularly the Twelve Apostles, were the primary disciples of Jesus according to the New Testament and the Qur’an. During the life and ministry of Jesus in the 1st century AD, the apostles were his closest followers and became the primary teachers of the gospel message of Jesus.

From the fact that St. Augustine of Hippo in the 4th century established in his house a community of priests, leading a religious life, for whom he drew up a rule, he has ordinarily been styled the founder of the regular clerics and canons, and upon his Rule have been built the constitutions of the canons regular and an immense number of the religious communities of the Middle Ages, besides those of the clerks regular established in the sixteenth century. During the whole medieval period the clerics regular were represented by the regular canons who under the name of the Canons Regular or Black Canons of St. Augustine, the Premonstratensians, (known also as the White Canons or Norbertines), etc., shared with the monks the possession of large abbeys and monasteries all over Europe.

It was not until the 16th century that clerics regular in the modern and strictest sense of the word came into being. Just as the conditions obtaining in the 13th century brought about a change in the monastic ideal, so in the sixteenth the altered circumstances of the times called for a fresh development of the religious spirit in the Church. This development, adapted to the needs of the times, was had in the various bodies of simple clerics, who, desirous of devoting themselves more perfectly to the exercise of their priestly ministry under the safeguards of the religious life, instituted the several bodies which, under the names of the various orders or regular clerics, constitute in themselves and in their imitators one of the most efficient instruments for good in the Church militant to-day. So successful and popular and well adapted to all modern needs were the clerks regular, that their mode of life was chosen as the pattern for all the various communities of men, whether religious or secular, living under rule, in which the Church has in recent times been so prolific.

The first order of cleric regular to be founded was the Congregation of Clerks Regular of the Divine Providence, better known as Theatines established at Rome in 1524. [2] Then followed the Clerics Regular of the Good Jesus, founded at Ravenna in 1526, and abolished by Pope Innocent X in 1651; the Barnabites or Clerks Regular of St. Paul, Milan, 1530; [3] The Somaschans or Clerks Regular of St. Majolus, Somasca, 1532; the Jesuits or the Society of Jesus, Paris, 1534; the Clerics Regular of the Mother of God of Lucca, Lucca, 1583; the Clerics Regular, Ministers to the Sick (Camillians), Rome, 1584; the Clerics Regular Minor, Naples, 1588; [4] the Piarists (Clerics Regular of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools), Rome, 1621; and the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Poland, 1673 (who upon renovation became a clerical congregation in 1909).

Since the close of the 17th century, no new Orders have been added to the number, though the name Clerics Regular has been assumed occasionally by communities that are technically only religious, or pious, congregations, such as the Clerks Regular of Our Saviour (1851-1919) and the Society of the Pallium (1851).

See also

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This is a glossary of terms used within the Catholic Church.

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