Backtrack questions


I am curious.

I have a few questions I need to backtrack on.

At what point in history did the Early Church switch from occupying synagogues to having their own ‘churches’?

How is it that we call our church a ‘parish’? what is the history on how a Church (congregation) began being called a parish?

Similarly, why do we call priests ‘Father’? Isnt this a name reserved for God the Father alone?


To your first question, check out From Synagogue to Church by James Tunstead Burtchaell.

A parish is a type of administrative subdivision. It is used by some Christian churches, usually liturgical churches, and also by the civil government in a number of countries.

In the Catholic Church, each parish has one parish priest (as he is usually called in England, Ireland and Australia, among other places) or “pastor” (as he is called in the United States, among other places), who has responsibility and canonical authority over the parish (the Latin for this post is parochus).

A parish priest may have one or more fellow priests assisting him. In Catholic usage this priest is technically a “parochial vicar”, but is commonly called an “associate pastor” or “assistant pastor” (or just “associate” or “assistant”), a curate, or vicar - common as they are, these terms are inaccurate and many dioceses have recently begun using the canonical term “parochial vicar” even in general parish communications (bulletins and the like).

Each parish normally has a central church, called the parish church, where religious services take place. Some larger parishes or parishes that have been combined under one pastor may have two or more such churches, or the parish may be responsible for chapels (sometimes called “chapels of ease”) located at some distance from the parish church for the convenience of distant parishioners.

I don’t have any information on “congregation.”

As for why we call priests “Father”, check out the article: Call No Man “Father”? at the website.

I hope this helps.


Right after the Jews began persecuting the believers and throwing us out. You’ll find it in Acts of the Apostles.

How is it that we call our church a ‘parish’? what is the history on how a Church (congregation) began being called a parish?

III. History (LINK)

The first Christian communities were founded in cities and the entire Divine service was carried on by the bishop and his clergy; the few faithful outside the cities went to the city or were visited from time to time by clerics from the presbyteries. In the fourth century we find in the villages groups sufficiently large to be served by a resident clergy. Canon 77 of Elvira (about A.D. 300) speaks of a deacon in charge of the people (diaconus regens plebem). In the East at a very early period the churches of the cities and of the country districts were organized; the Council of Neocæsarea, about 320 (can. 13), speaks of country priests and bishops of villages, the “chorepiscopi”, who had a subordinate clergy. Such churches and their clergy were originally under the direct administration of the bishop; but soon they had their own resources and a distinct administration (Council of Chalcedon, 451, can. 4, 6, 17). The same change took place in the West, but more slowly. In proportion as the country districts were evangelized (fourth to sixth centuries),churches were erected, at first in the vici (hamlets or villages), afterwards on church lands or on the property of private individuals, and at least one priest was appointed to each church. The clergy and property depended at first directly on the bishop and the cathedral; the churches did not yet correspond to very definite territorial circumscriptions: the centre was better marked than the boundaries. Such was thechurch which the councils of the sixth and seventh century call ecclesia rusticana, parochitana, often dioecesis, and finally parochia. By that time most of these churches had become independent: the priest administered the property assigned to him by the bishop, and also the property given directly to the church by the pious faithful; from that moment the priest became a beneficiary and had his title. More plentiful resources required and permitted a more numerous clergy. The devotion of the faithful, especially towards relics, led to the erection of numerous secondary chapels, oratoria, basilic&lig, martyria, which also had their clergy. But these tituli minores were not parishes; they depended on the principal church of the vicus, and on the archpriest so often mentioned in the councils of the sixth and seventh centuries, who had authority over his own clergy and those of the oratories.

Similarly, why do we call priests ‘Father’? Isnt this a name reserved for God the Father alone?

Call No Man Father?


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