Clergy Dictionary Definitions

Originating in the Latin clerus, the notion of clergy allows the group of clergy to be identified (as known to those who consecrated their lives to religious activity within the framework of an institution). The term, in this framework, is used to refer to the priests of the Catholic Church.

According to DigoPaul, the characteristics of the clergy depend on each religion. In general, it can be said that he is the one who leads the rituals and is dedicated to the teaching of doctrine and preaching. The baptism, the circumcision and marriage are some of the acts and sacraments being conducted by the clergy.

It should be noted that the clergy can act both inside temples and places of worship and outside them. Thus, clergymen may go to preach in schools or hospitals, for example.

In some countries, the clergy is protected by special legislation since the clergy enjoy ecclesiastical jurisdiction. It is also common for it to be funded, at least in part, by the state. The most frequent, however, is that the faithful themselves finance it through their donations.

Christianity divides the clergy into the regular (linked to religious vows of poverty, obedience, and chastity) and the secular (clergy who do not take such vows).

The hierarchical organization of the regular Christian clergy has the pope in the upper class, followed by the archbishops, bishops and priests. Everyone must meet and respect certain rules, such as ecclesiastical celibacy (that is, the inability to have sex). It should be noted that women cannot be ordained in this clergy.

Many religions are hierarchically divided and in most of them the term clergy appears as one of the pillars of their organization.

Clergy in the Orthodox Church and in the Catholic Religion

Surely two of the religions that share the most things in common are the Russian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church; However, there are also differences that have separated them throughout history. In both, the conditions that people must meet to be part of the clergy are different.

In the Russian Orthodox Church the clergy present clear differences with that of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church; but undoubtedly the most striking characteristic is that, although men are also the only ones who can be ordained priests, there is no problem in having a family and loving life.

This means that there are Deacons and Priests in this Church who freely choose celibacy or who dedicate their lives to serving God but also have a family. The only requirement in that sense that those who wish to ordain must meet is that they have not married more than once. In turn, those who have chosen celibacy must make their vows and propose to continue celibacy once they have ordained them.

Relations between both institutions have always been delicate due to ideological differences and the way of approaching the faith and biblical teachings of each one. The clear difference between the two institutions is that the Orthodox Church rejects the absolute jurisdiction of the Catholic Pope over all Christians. To such an extent there are differences that for decades the Catholic Pope has not visited Russia nor the Russian patriarch Rome.

The great division between both religions, of common origin, was the founding of New Rome in Constantinople, during the mandate of Emperor Constantine in 330 AD. From then on, the norms in both institutions would gradually change and therefore the formation of the clergy. of each would also do it.

In the case of the Orthodox religion, it was determined that the bishop of a city should have absolute power, and should not even respond rigorously to the orders of the Patriarchate, if they did not coincide with the will of said bishop. In the case of the Catholic Church, bishops and priests respond to the will of the Pope; and the latter to that of the former: in this way a triangular hierarchy is established.