Regular clergy

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Regular clergy, or just regulars, are clerics in the Catholic Church who follow a rule (Latin : regula) of life, and are therefore also members of religious institutes. It is contrasted with secular clergy, clerics who are not bound by a rule of life.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration is the Holy See.

A religious institute is a type of institute of consecrated life in the Catholic Church where its members take religious vows and lead a life in community with fellow members. Religious institutes are one of the two types of institutes of consecrated life; the other is that of the secular institute, where its members are "living in the world".

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.

Terminology and history

The observance of the Rule of St. Benedict procured for Benedictine monks at an early period the name of "regulars". The Council of Verneuil (755) so refers to them in its third canon, and in its eleventh canon speaks of the "ordo regularis" as opposed to the "ordo canonicus", formed by the canons who lived under the bishop according to the canonical regulations. [1]

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.

There was question also of a "regula canonicorum", or "regula canonica", especially after the extension of the rule which Chrodegang, Bishop of Metz, had drawn up from the sacred canons (766). [2] [1] And when the canons were divided into two classes in the eleventh century, it was natural to call those who added religious poverty to their common life regulars, and those who gave up the common life, seculars. Before this we find mention of "sæculares canonici" in the Chronicle of St. Bertin (821) [3] [1] In fact as the monks were said to leave the world, [4] [1] sometimes those persons who were neither clerics nor monks were called seculars, as at times were clerics not bound by the rule. [1]

Chrodegang Frankish bishop of Metz

Saint Chrodegang was the Frankish Bishop of Metz from 742 or 748 until his death. He served as chancellor for his kinsman, Charles Martel. Chrodegang is claimed to be a progenitor of the Frankish dynasty of the Robertians.

Mendicant

A mendicant is one who practices mendicancy (begging) and relies chiefly or exclusively on charitable donations to survive. In principle, mendicant religious orders do not own property, either individually or collectively, and members have taken a vow of poverty, in order that all their time and energy could be expended on practicing or preaching and serving the poor. It is a form of asceticism.

Sometimes also the name "regulars" was applied to the canons regular to distinguish them from monks. Thus the collection of Gratian (about 1139) [5] [1] speaks of canons regular, who make canonical profession, and live in a regular canonicate, in opposition to monks who wear the monastic habit, and live in a monastery. But the Decretals of Gregory IX , promulgated 5 September 1234, use the word "regularis" in a more general sense, in book III, ch. xxxi, which is entitled "De regularibus et transeuntibus ad religionem". However in ch. xxxv "De statu monachorum et canonicorum regularium" the distinction returns, disappearing in the corresponding book and chapter of the Decretals of Boniface VIII (3 March 1298), [6] [1] which is entitled merely "De statu regularium" and reappearing in the collection of Clementines (25 Oct., 1317) but with the conjunction vel, which indicates the resemblance between them. [7] [1]

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.

From that time, while the word "religious" is more generally used, the word "regular" was reserved for members of religious orders with solemn vows. Those who have taken simple vows in the Society of Jesus were also regulars in the proper sense according to the Constitution "Ascendente" of Pope Gregory XIII. Before the publication of the Code of Canon Law of 1917, writers were not agreed on the question whether the religious of other orders can properly be called regulars before solemn profession, but it was agreed that novices of religious orders were regulars only in the wider meaning of the word. [1]

Society of Jesus male religious congregation of the Catholic Church

The Society of Jesus is a religious order of the Catholic Church headquartered in Rome. It was founded by Ignatius of Loyola with the approval of Pope Paul III in 1540. The members are called Jesuits. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, research, and cultural pursuits. Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, and promote ecumenical dialogue.

Pope Gregory XIII Pope from 1572 to 1585

Pope Gregory XIII, born Ugo Boncompagni, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 13 May 1572 to his death in 1585. He is best known for commissioning and being the namesake for the Gregorian calendar, which remains the internationally accepted civil calendar to this day.

In the 1917 Code of Canon Law, the word "regulars" was officially defined as those who have made their vows in a "religion" (what in the 1983 Code is called a religious institute). [8]

The 1917 Code of Canon Law, also referred to as the Pio-Benedictine Code, was the first official comprehensive codification of Latin canon law. It was promulgated on 27 May 1917 and took legal effect on 19 May 1918. It was in force until the 1983 Code of Canon Law took legal effect and abrogated it on 27 November 1983. It has been described as "the greatest revolution in canon law since the time of Gratian".

The 1983 Code of Canon Law, also called the Johanno-Pauline Code, is the "fundamental body of ecclesiastical laws for the Latin Church". It is the second and current comprehensive codification of canonical legislation for the Latin Church sui iuris of the Catholic Church. It was promulgated on 25 January 1983 by John Paul II and took legal effect on the First Sunday of Advent 1983. It replaced the 1917 Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Benedict XV on 27 May 1917.

The technical juridical term "regular" does not appear, as such, in the current 1983 Code of Canon Law, which does, however, use the phrase "canons regular". [9]

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Wikisource-logo.svg  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Vermeersch, Arthur (1913). "Regulars"  . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia . 12. New York: Robert Appleton.
  2. cf. capitularies (n. 69 circa 810, n. 138 of 818, 819, ed. Alf. Boretii)
  3. Martène, Anecdot., III, 505.
  4. Augustine of Hippo, Serm. 40 de div.
  5. C. xix, q. 2, c. 2 and q. 3, c. 1.
  6. t. XVI, in 6
  7. Although another edition has et, the title of ch. x, c. 3 Clem. in the official edition reads "De statu monachorum, vel canonicorum regularium".
  8. 1917 Code of Canon Law, canon 488, 7
  9. Code of Canon Law, canon 613 §1

Further reading

Related Research Articles

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.

Clerical celibacy is the requirement in certain religions that some or all members of the clergy be unmarried. These religions consider that, outside of marriage, deliberately indulging in lustful thoughts and behavior is sinful; clerical celibacy also requires abstention from these.

Religious order (Catholic) Type of religious community in the Roman Catholic Church characterised by its members professing solemn vows

In the Catholic Church, a religious order is a type of religious community characterised by its members professing solemn vows. According to the 1983 Code of Canon Law, they are classed as a type of religious institute.

In Catholic canon law, a solemn vow is a vow that the Church has recognized as such.

In the Catholic Church, a religious profession is the solemn admission of men or women into consecrated life by means of the pronouncement of religious vows, typically the evangelical counsels.

Rule of St. Augustine book by Augustinus van Hippo

The Rule of St. Augustine, written about the year 400, is a brief document divided into eight chapters and serves as an outline for religious life lived in community. The Rule, developed by Augustine of Hippo (354-430), governs chastity, poverty, obedience, detachment from the world, the apportionment of labour, the inferiors, fraternal charity, prayer in common, fasting and abstinence proportionate to the strength of the individual, care of the sick, silence and reading during meals. It came into use on a wide scale from the twelfth century onwards and continues to be employed today by a large number of orders, including the Dominicans, Servites, Mercederians, Norbertines, and Augustinians.

Religious vows promises made by members of religious communities

Religious vows are the public vows made by the members of religious communities pertaining to their conduct, practices, and views.

The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life is the congregation of the Roman Curia with competency over everything which concerns Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, regarding their government, discipline, studies, goods, rights, and privileges.

The term "Third Order" signifies, in general, lay members of religious orders, who do not necessarily live in community and yet can claim to wear the habit and participate in the good works of some great order. Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, and Lutheranism all recognize Third Orders. They were a twelfth century adaptation of the medieval monastic confraternities.

A religious is, in the terminology of many Western Christian denominations, such as the Catholic Church, Lutheran Churches, and Anglican Communion, what in common language one would call a "monk" or "nun", as opposed to an ordained "priest". A religious may also be a priest if he has undergone ordination, but in general he is not.

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