Do all priests belong to an order?


#1

I know there are Dominicans, Franciscans, etc., and then there are your average parish priest. Do those priests belong to an order as well?


#2

No, diocesan priests are secular priests. Some religious priests support parishes when needed.


#3

A person can either be secular or religious. A person can also be either ordained or lay.

You average diocese priest is secular ordained.

A member of a Religious Order can either be lay or ordained, but they are Religious lay or Religious ordained.

Of course there can be lots of confusion when things like the Secular Franciscan Order come into play. A “normal” member of the Secular Franciscan Order is a secular and lay member of the Franciscan Order. Diocese priests and bishops are also allowed to join SFO/OFS but they are still secular ordained but they are also part of the Franciscan Order.

As has already been stated, a priest from an Order can be assigned as a parish priest, in that case he would be Religious and ordained, but your typical parish priest is not.


#4

Well then I guess the question is what’s the difference between a secular and a religious? Aren’t all priests religious? lol :slight_smile:


#5

The definition of religious within the church is different from the world’s view. Within the church a Religious person is someone that has taken vows. Usually the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Diocese priests do not take those vows.

So yes all priests are small r religious. But not all priests are big R religious.

If you look at the dictionary definition of religious you will see:
re·li·gious   [ri-lij-uhs] Show IPA adjective, noun, plural re·li·gious.
adjective

  1. of, pertaining to, or concerned with religion: a religious holiday.
  2. imbued with or exhibiting religion; pious; devout; godly: a religious man.
  3. scrupulously faithful; conscientious: religious care.
  4. pertaining to or connected with a monastic or religious order.
  5. appropriate to religion or to sacred rites or observances.
    noun
  6. a member of a religious order, congregation, etc.; a monk, friar, or nun.
  7. the religious, devout or religious persons: Each year, thousands of the religious make pilgrimages to the shrine.

Definitions 4 & 6 are how the Church uses the term. You can also think about it in the noun vs. adjective format. Religious as a noun refers to a member of a Religious Order.


#6

[quote="catholicanne, post:4, topic:303131"]
Well then I guess the question is what's the difference between a secular and a religious? Aren't all priests religious? lol :)

[/quote]

A religious priest, brother or sister take the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and they belong to a religious order in the Church. A religious order is usually divided into provinces such as in the U.S. and each province covers a number of states. The superior of a particular province can send one of his priests or brothers to work anywhere in the province.

Most parish priests are diocesan priests which means they do not belong to any religious order but they can become members of the third order of religious families, this however does not make them religious priests. A diocesan priest usually works in one particular diocese throughout his life and his immediate superior is the bishop of the diocese. A diocesan priest does not take vows but makes promises of chastity and obedience to the bishop of the diocese where he will be working.


#7

Now I'm really confused. I thought all priests take a vow of poverty, chastity and obedience


#8

Well diocesan priests take vows of Chastity (celibacy) and obedience. Obedience would be to their Bishop and through him, to the Pope.

And yes,hopefully, all priests are "religious". if you find one that is not, evangelise him! :D


#9

[quote="Ohana, post:8, topic:303131"]
Well diocesan priests take vows of Chastity (celibacy) and obedience. Obedience would be to their Bishop and through him, to the Pope.

And yes,hopefully, all priests are "religious". if you find one that is not, evangelise him! :D

[/quote]

Diocesan priests do not take vows but make promises of chastity and obedience to the bishop of the diocese where they will be working. As far as poverty goes, diocesan priests are suppose to live a simple life after the pattern of Jesus but they don't make a vow or promise of poverty. Diocesan priests own their own cars, clothes, golf clubs maybe, even a cabin in the mountains, and all other personal items they may have. By the vow of poverty, a religious priest, brother or sister doesn't own anything personally, it all belongs to the religious order.


#10

Is there also a difference in time it takes to be fully ordained? I met a wonderful young man who already has a MA in theology and he said it would be another 8-10 years before he makes his final vows as a Jesuit. He will be studying in Rome and also doing outreach missionary work during summers.


#11

Diocesan priests make promises they do not take wows.


#12

[quote="kozlosap, post:10, topic:303131"]
Is there also a difference in time it takes to be fully ordained? I met a wonderful young man who already has a MA in theology and he said it would be another 8-10 years before he makes his final vows as a Jesuit. He will be studying in Rome and also doing outreach missionary work during summers.

[/quote]

It depends. The amount of study or the degrees one must have to be ordained a priest is set by canon law I believe and this is the same for both a diocesan priest and a religious priest. A candidate for the diocesan priesthood begins study right away whereas in at least some religious orders a man goes through a period of one or two years of formation when he first enters the order before he begins studying for the priesthood.

The man you mention above would probably need just 2 or 3 years more of study to be ordained but possibly another year or two of formation. If he did enter the Jesuits, though it might be 8-10 years before he made his final vows, he could probably be ordained to the priesthood long before that if the order thought he was ready.


#13

[quote="catholicanne, post:1, topic:303131"]
I know there are Dominicans, Franciscans, etc., and then there are your average parish priest. Do those priests belong to an order as well?

[/quote]

Yes. Though rarely discussed, when I attended the ordination of diocesan priests some years ago, it was stated in the rite that they were entering the Order of Presbyters (this word is the source of our modern word "priest"). While this is not an "order" in the common way of speaking, it still is one. Here is a link to a homily that came up in my search for "order of presbyters".

HTH


#14

[quote="SonCatcher, post:13, topic:303131"]
Yes. Though rarely discussed, when I attended the ordination of diocesan priests some years ago, it was stated in the rite that they were entering the Order of Presbyters (this word is the source of our modern word "priest"). While this is not an "order" in the common way of speaking, it still is one. Here is a link to a homily that came up in my search for "order of presbyters".

HTH

[/quote]

Well after all it is the sacrament of Holy Orders. ;)


#15

[quote="Richca, post:9, topic:303131"]
As far as poverty goes, diocesan priests are suppose to live a simple life after the pattern of Jesus but they don't make a vow or promise of poverty. Diocesan priests own their own cars, clothes, golf clubs maybe, even a cabin in the mountains, and all other personal items they may have. By the vow of poverty, a religious priest, brother or sister doesn't own anything personally, it all belongs to the religious order.

[/quote]

Oh............

I'm understanding that now. :D


#16

[quote="Cristiano, post:14, topic:303131"]
Well after all it is the sacrament of Holy Orders. ;)

[/quote]

LOL, that's true. I didn't think of that. :D


#17

Sorry, in my earlier post I did not know the distinction between a promise and a vow. I knew diocesan priests did not promise poverty. On the other hand, not many are well to do. They need our contribution for their retirement.

In todays second reading was the reference to "priest of the order of Melchizedek" (any mispelling is mine!). I remember a priest years ago saying this is the biblical reference that makes makes us call our priests, priest, rather than minister or some other title. He also said something that this title is made reference to only a few times in the Bible, and that with other "important teachings" in the Bible things are either referenced many times or very few as this is. Melchizedek also had something to do with offering sacrifice or breaking bread. Does anyone have a better grasp of the Bible than I do to explain this more clearly?


#18

Diocesan priests renew their promises every year on (or near) Holy Thursday at the Diocesan Chrism Mass. :)


#19

The Priestly Society of the Holy Cross is an association of clergy intrinsically united to Opus Dei, which currently has about 4,000 members. It is made up of the clergy of the Prelature, who are automatically members, and other diocesan priests and (transitional) deacons. The Prelate of Opus Dei is its president.

The diocesan clergy who belong to the Priestly Society seek exclusively spiritual help and strive for holiness in the exercise of their ministry, according to the spirit of Opus Dei. Their membership in the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross does not involve incorporation into the presbyterate of the Prelature. Each one continues to be incardinated in his own diocese and depends solely on his own bishop, to whom alone he gives an account of his pastoral work.

The Church has recommended this type of priestly association in a number of different documents, including several texts of the Second Vatican Council, and the Code of Canon Law.

For a priest to be admitted into the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross he needs the inner conviction of having received a call from God to seek sanctity according to the spirit of Opus Dei. This involves a number of conditions: love for his diocese and unity with all the members of the diocesan clergy; obedience to and veneration for his own bishop; piety, the study of the sacred sciences, zeal for souls and a spirit of sacrifice; the effort to promote vocations; and the desire to fulfill his priestly ministry with the greatest possible perfection.

The spiritual help offered by the Priestly Society is directed towards promoting holiness in its members through the fulfilment of their priestly duties. It encourages priests to be united with their bishop and to promote priestly fraternity. The specific means of formation the diocesan priests of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross receive are similar to those offered to the lay faithful of the Prelature, such as doctrinal or ascetical classes and monthly days of recollection. In addition, each one makes his own arrangements regarding the common means of formation laid down for priests by canon law, and those his own bishop may arrange or recommend.

The spiritual and formative activities of the members of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross do not interfere with the ministry entrusted to them by their bishop.


#20

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.