Secular clergy

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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, [1] 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.

Deacon ministry in the Christian Church

A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican church, view the diaconate as part of the clerical state.

Priest person authorized to lead the sacred rituals of a religion (for a minister use Q1423891)

A priest or priestess is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities. Their office or position is the priesthood, a term which also may apply to such persons collectively.

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.

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Catholic Church

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In the Catholic Church, the secular clergy are ordained ministers, such as deacons and priests, who do not belong to a religious institute. While regular clergy take religious vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience and follow the rule of life of the institute to which they belong, secular clergy do not take vows, and they live in the world at large (secularity) rather than at a religious institute.

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.

Minister (Christianity) religious occupation in Christianity

In Christianity, a minister is a person authorized by a church, or other religious organization, to perform functions such as teaching of beliefs; leading services such as weddings, baptisms or funerals; or otherwise providing spiritual guidance to the community. The term is taken from Latin minister, which itself was derived from minus ("less").

Regular clergy, or just regulars, are clerics in the Catholic Church who follow a rule 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.

Canon law makes specific demands on clergy, whether regular or secular, quite apart from the obligations consequent to religious vows. Thus in the Latin Church, among other regulations, clerics other than permanent deacons "are obliged to observe perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the kingdom of heaven and therefore are bound to celibacy" [2] and to carry out the Liturgy of the Hours daily. [2] They are forbidden to "assume public offices which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power." [2] Depending on which conference of bishops they belong to, deacons may also be required to recite the Divine Office daily. All clerics, once ordained, are forbidden from marrying or remarrying.

Latin Church Automonous particular church making up of most of the Western world Catholics

The Latin Church, also known as the Western Church or the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church, employing the Latin liturgical rites. It is one of 24 such churches, the 23 others forming the Eastern Catholic Churches. It is headed by the Bishop of Rome, the pope – traditionally also called the Patriarch of the West – with his cathedra in this role at the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome, Italy. The Latin Church traces its history to the earliest days of Christianity through its direct leadership under the Holy See, founded by Peter and Paul, according to Catholic tradition.

Celibacy State of voluntary sexual abstinence

Celibacy is the state of voluntarily being unmarried, sexually abstinent, or both, usually for religious reasons. Mostly used in terms of abstaining from sexual relations. It is often in association with the role of a religious official or devotee. In its narrow sense, the term celibacy is applied only to those for whom the unmarried state is the result of a sacred vow, act of renunciation, or religious conviction. In a wider sense, it is commonly understood to only mean abstinence from sexual activity.

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.

The teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and some scholars hold that a tradition of clerical continence existed in early Christianity, whereby married men who became priests were expected to abstain from sexual relations with their wives. [3] [4] The Council of Elvira, held in 306, before Constantine had legitimized Christianity, made it an explicit law that bishops and other clergy should not have sexual relations with their wives. Despite consistently upholding the doctrine of clerical celibacy, over the following centuries the Church experienced many difficulties in enforcing it, particularly in rural areas of Europe. Finally, in the 12th century the Western Church declared that Holy Orders were not merely a prohibitive but a diriment canonical impediment to marriage, making marriage by priests invalid and not merely forbidden. [5] [6]

The secular clergy, in which the hierarchy essentially resides, takes precedence over the regular clergy of equal rank. The episcopal office was the primary source of authority in the Church, and the secular clergy arose to assist the bishop. Only bishops can ordain Catholic clergy. [7]

One of the roots of the Philippine Revolution was the agitation of native secular priests for parish assignments. Priests of the powerful religious orders were given preferential treatment in these assignments and were usually Spaniards who trained in European chapters. The agitation led to the execution of the "Gomburza filibusteros".

Philippine Revolution armed military conflict between the people of the Philippines and the Spanish colonial authorities

The Philippine Revolution, also called the Tagalog War by the Spanish, was a revolution and subsequent conflict fought between the people and insurgents of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Spain - including its Spanish Empire and Spanish colonial authorities in the Spanish East Indies.

Chapter (religion) body of clergy in Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Nordic Lutheran churches

A chapter is one of several bodies of clergy in Roman Catholic, Old Catholic, Anglican, and Nordic Lutheran churches or their gatherings.

Gomburza

Gomburza, alternatively spelled GOMBURZA or GomBurZa, refers to three Filipino Catholic priests, who were executed on February 17, 1872 at Bagumbayan, Philippines by Spanish colonial authorities on charges of subversion arising from the 1872 Cavite mutiny. The name is a portmanteau of the priests' surnames.

St. Thomas Becket is a patron saint of secular clergy. St. John Vianney is patron saint of parish priests. St. Stephen is patron saint of deacons.

Preparation

Preparation for Catholic priesthood generally requires eight years of study beyond high school, usually including a college degree followed by 4 or more years of theology study at a seminary. [8]

At the time of their ordination as deacons (usually about a year before their ordination as priests) they promise respect and obedience to the diocesan bishop and his successors. They also promise to live in chastity, and according to the status of clergy (which includes a comparatively simple life). Diocesan priests do make vows, but they do not promise poverty, so they may own their own property, such as cars, and handle their own financial affairs. [9]

Liturgical responsibilities

In his apostolic letter Dies Domini , Pope John Paul II wrote: "Among the many activities of a parish, none is as vital or as community-forming as the Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist". [10]

A diocesan priest spends much of his time preparing for and celebrating the Sacraments (Eucharist, Reconciliation, Baptism, Marriage, Anointing of the Sick, Confirmation). In the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium , the Second Vatican Council teaches that the priest acting in persona Christi celebrates the Sacrifice of the Mass and administers the Sacraments. "Christ is also present through preaching and the guidance of the faithful, tasks to which the priest is personally called." [11]

There are many parishioners whom he visits, those who are ill, those who are dying, and those who are unable to travel outside their homes. Sometimes, he is directly involved in the catechetical work of the parish and teaches catechism classes. He works with parish and finance councils that assist him in overseeing the welfare of the parish. [12] Diocesan priests may serve in myriad different capacities, these services include, but are not limited to, campus ministry, teaching, and chaplain work for hospitals or prisons.

Orthodox Church

In the Orthodox Church, the term "secular clergy" refers to married priests and deacons, as opposed to monastic clergy (hieromonks and hierodeacons). The secular clergy are sometimes referred to as "white clergy", black being the customary colour worn by monks.

Traditionally, parish priests are expected to be secular clergy rather than being monastics, as the support of a wife is considered necessary for a priest living "in the world".

See also

Related Research Articles

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Prelate High-ranking member of the clergy

A prelate is a high-ranking member of the clergy who is an ordinary or who ranks in precedence with ordinaries. The word derives from the Latin prælatus, the past participle of præferre, which means 'carry before', 'be set above or over' or 'prefer'; hence, a prelate is one set over others.

In the canon law of the Catholic Church, the loss of the clerical state is the removal of a bishop, priest or deacon from the status of being a member of the clergy.

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.

Personal prelature

Personal prelature is a canonical structure of the Catholic Church which comprises a prelate, clergy and laity who undertake specific pastoral activities. The first personal prelature is Opus Dei. Personal prelatures, similar to dioceses and military ordinariates, are under the governance of the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops. These three types of ecclesiastical structures are composed of lay people served by their own secular clergy and prelate. Unlike dioceses which cover territories, personal prelatures—like military ordinariates—take charge of persons as regards some objectives regardless of where they live.

Clerical marriage is a term used to described the practice of allowing Christian clergy to marry. This practice is distinct from allowing married persons to become clergy. Clerical marriage is admitted among Protestants, including both Anglicans and Lutherans.

Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter society of apostolic life

The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter is a traditionalist Catholic society of apostolic life for priests and seminarians which is in communion with the Holy See.

Hierarchy of the Catholic Church Organization of the Catholic Church

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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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Clerical celibacy is the discipline within the Catholic Church by which only unmarried men are ordained to the episcopate, to the priesthood in some autonomous particular Churches, and similarly to the diaconate. In other autonomous particular churches, the discipline applies only to the episcopate.

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Vocational discernment is the process in which men or women in the Catholic Church discern, or recognize, their vocation in the church. The vocations are the life as layman in the world, either married or single, the ordained life and the consecrated life.

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

References

  1. "Diocesan Priests", Diocese of Helena
  2. 1 2 3 "Code of Canon Law - IntraText". www.vatican.va. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  3. Roman Cholij, Priestly Celibacy in Patristics and in the History of the Church.
  4. Cesare Bonivento, Priestly Celibacy — Ecclesiastical Institution or Apostolic Tradition? Archived 2007-09-26 at the Wayback Machine ; Thomas McGovern,Priestly Celibacy Today; Alfons Stickler, The Case for Clerical Celibacy: Its Historical Development and Theological Foundations; Anthony Zimmerman, Celibacy Dates Back to the Apostles Archived 2007-10-22 at the Wayback Machine
  5. New Catholic Encyclopedia, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 1967, p366
  6. "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Celibacy of the Clergy". www.newadvent.org. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  7. Catholic Encyclopedia: Secular Clergy Catholic Online
  8. "Occupational Outlook Handbook", U.S. Department of Labor
  9. Unlike members of a religious order, diocesan priests pay taxes, and may buy their own furniture, invest in stocks, and inherit money from others. They also receive a low annual salary from their diocese (on top of room and board and other benefits) and are generally expected to help manage parish finances. "What is the difference between a diocesan priest and a priest who is a member of a religious order?", St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  10. Pope John Paul II. Dies Domini, Apostolic Letter of the Holy Father John Paul II to the Bishops, Clergy and Faithful of the Catholic Church on Keeping the Lord's Day Holy, (Vatican, 31 May 1998)
  11. "The Priest, Pastor and Leader of the Parish Community", Address of Pope John Paul II to the Plenary Session of the Congregation for the Clergy, 23 November 2001
  12. "Vocations", Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina