Are nuns part of the clergy?


#1

Are nuns considered part of the clergy or are they considered part of the laity? Or is it something in-between?


#2

Strictly speaking, clerics / clergy are only those who have received ordination. Everyone else, religious included, are laity.

Due to other uses of the word "layman" (as opposed to professional or expert), however, "laity" is sometimes used to mean only those who are neither ordained nor religious; and by extension, or due to ignorance, non-ordained religious are called clergy.

In other religions (Buddhism, for example) the words "ordination" and "clergy" are sometimes applied to their version of religious. And in Protestantism there are "ordained" women ministers. In a pluralistic or ecumenical society, these uses sometimes influence Catholics, but they are not traditional Catholic uses of terminology.


#3

[quote="Ad_Orientem, post:2, topic:332060"]
Strictly speaking, clerics / clergy are only those who have received ordination. Everyone else, religious included, are laity.

Due to other uses of the word "layman" (as opposed to professional or expert), however, "laity" is sometimes used to mean only those who are neither ordained nor religious; and by extension, or due to ignorance, non-ordained religious are called clergy.

In other religions (Buddhism, for example) the words "ordination" and "clergy" are sometimes applied to their version of religious. And in Protestantism there are "ordained" women ministers. In a pluralistic or ecumenical society, these uses sometimes influence Catholics, but they are not traditional Catholic uses of terminology.

[/quote]

So, nuns are properly categorized as religious which is technically a form of laity distinct from a regular person but not the same as clergy, which are ordained? Just want to clarify.


#4

[quote="NovusAugustus, post:3, topic:332060"]
So, nuns are properly categorized as religious which is technically a form of laity distinct from a regular person but not the same as clergy, which are ordained? Just want to clarify.

[/quote]

This is kinda mixing two sperate things here.

Nuns are relgious, but religious are not a type of laity. There are the laity and clergy which are distinguished by reception of holy orders (i.e. deacons, priests, and bishops). And a seperate but related concept of secular versus religious which are distinguished by solemn vows. Since nuns are female they can never receive holy orders and are always members of the laity, but male religious could be either members of the laity (nonordained brothers) or clergy (religious priests).

Here are examples of each combo:

Secular laity - majority of Catholics
Secular clergy - most diocesan priest, Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II also
Religious laity - Carmelite nun
Religious clergy - Franciscan priest, Pope Francis is in this category


#5

[quote="Usige, post:4, topic:332060"]
This is kinda mixing two sperate things here.

Nuns are relgious, but religious are not a type of laity. There are the laity and clergy which are distinguished by reception of holy orders (i.e. deacons, priests, and bishops). And a seperate but related concept of secular versus religious which are distinguished by solemn vows. Since nuns are female they can never receive holy orders and are always members of the laity, but male religious could be either members of the laity (nonordained brothers) or clergy (religious priests).

Here are examples of each combo:

Secular laity - majority of Catholics
Secular clergy - most diocesan priest, Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II also
Religious laity - Carmelite nun
Religious clergy - Franciscan priest, Pope Francis is in this category

[/quote]

Thanks, that definitely clears the waters.


#6

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