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In a hierarchy or tree structure of any kind, a superior is an individual or position at a higher level in the hierarchy than another (a "subordinate" or "inferior"), and thus closer to the apex. In business, superiors are people who are supervisors and in the military, superiors are people who are higher in the chain of command (superior officer). Superiors are given, sometimes supreme, authority over others under their command. When an order is given, one must follow that order and obey it or punishment may be issued.
A religious superior is the person to whom a cleric is immediately responsible under canon law. For monks, it would be the abbot (or the abbess for nuns); for friars, it would be the prior, or, for Franciscans, the guardian ( custos ), for Minims, the corrector; for diocesan priests, it would be the local bishop. In religious orders with a hierarchy above the local community, there will also be superiors general and possibly provincial superiors above the local abbot, prior, or mother superior. The priest in charge a mission sui iuris is called an ecclesiastical superior.
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Abbot, meaning "father", is an ecclesiastical title given to the male head of a monastery in various traditions, including Christianity. The office may also be given as an honorary title to a clergyman who is not the head of a monastery. The female equivalent is abbess.
In Catholicism, an abbess is the female superior of a community of nuns, which is often an abbey.
A hierarchy is an arrangement of items in which the items are represented as being "above", "below", or "at the same level as" one another. Hierarchy is an important concept in a wide variety of fields, such as philosophy, mathematics, computer science, organizational theory, systems theory, and the social sciences.
The Rule of Saint Benedict is a book of precepts written in 516 by Benedict of Nursia for monks living communally under the authority of an abbot.
Superior may refer to:
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.
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.
A commendatory abbot is an ecclesiastic, or sometimes a layman, who holds an abbey in commendam, drawing its revenues but not exercising any authority over its inner monastic discipline. If a commendatory abbot is an ecclesiastic, however, he may have limited jurisdiction.
Religious vows are the public vows made by the members of religious communities pertaining to their conduct, practices, and views.
A command hierarchy is a group of people who carry out orders based on others' authority within the group. It can be viewed as part of a power structure, in which it is usually seen as the most vulnerable and also the most powerful part.
A definitor is, in Latin, he who defines. In the Catholic Church, however, this is a title with different specific uses. There are secular definitors, who have a limited amount of oversight over a part of a diocese. There are also definitors in religious orders who generally provide counsel and assistance to the superiors general and provincial superiors of their order.
A provost is a senior official in a number of Christian churches.
Incardination is the formal term in the Catholic Church for a clergyman being under a bishop or other ecclesiastical superior. It is also sometimes used to refer to laity who may transfer to another part of the church, from say the Western Latin Church to an Eastern Catholic Church or from a territorial diocese to one of the three personal ordinariates for former Anglicans.
Prior, derived from the Latin for "earlier, first", is an ecclesiastical title for a superior, usually lower in rank than an abbot or abbess. Its earlier generic usage referred to any monastic superior.
Ecclesiastical addresses are the formal styles of address used for members of the clergy.
The hērbad /ˈhɜːr'bæd/ is a title given to Zoroastrian priests of minor orders.
Frigolet Abbey is a Premonstratensian monastery in southern France. It is located in the territory of the commune of Tarascon, in the region of the Montagnette, the parishes of which are served by the canons of the monastery. It was originally associated with the Order of Saint Benedict.
Precedence signifies the right to enjoy a prerogative of honor before other persons; for example, to have the most distinguished place in a procession, a ceremony, or an assembly, to have the right to express an opinion, cast a vote, or append a signature before others, to perform the most honorable offices.
This is a glossary of terms used within the Catholic Church.
Hugh Allan, O.Praem. is a Premonstratensian canon regular and Roman Catholic priest who is the Apostolic Administrator of the Prefecture of the Falkland Islands and Ecclesiastical Superior of the Missions sui iuris of the islands of Ascension, St Helena and Tristan da Cunha.