Priesthood in the Catholic Church

The priesthood is one of the three holy orders of the Catholic Church, comprising the ordained priests or presbyters. The other two orders are the bishops and the deacons. Only men are allowed to receive holy orders, and the church does not allow any transgender people to do so.[1][2] Church doctrine also sometimes refers to all baptised Catholics as the "common priesthood".[3][4]

The church has different rules for priests in the Latin Church – the largest Catholic particular church – and in the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches. Notably, priests in the Latin Church must take a vow of celibacy, whereas most Eastern Catholic Churches permit married men to be ordained.[5] Deacons are male and usually belong to the diocesan clergy, but, unlike almost all Latin-rite (Western Catholic) priests and all bishops from Eastern or Western Catholicism, they may marry as laymen before their ordination as clergy.[6] The Catholic Church teaches that when a man participates in priesthood after the Sacrament of Holy Orders, he acts in persona Christi Capitis, representing the person of Christ.[7]

Unlike usage in English, "the Latin words sacerdos and sacerdotium are used to refer in general to the ministerial priesthood shared by bishops and presbyters. The words presbyter, presbyterium and presbyteratus refer to priests in the English use of the word or presbyters."[8] According to the Annuario Pontificio 2016, as of December 31, 2014, there were 415,792 Catholic priests worldwide, including both diocesan priests and priests in the religious orders.[9] A priest of the regular clergy is commonly addressed with the title "Father" (abbreviated Fr., in the Catholic and some other Christian churches).[10]

Catholics living a consecrated life or monasticism include both the ordained and unordained. Institutes of consecrated life, or monks, can be deacons, priests, bishops, or non-ordained members of a religious order. The non-ordained in these orders are not to be considered laypersons in a strict sense—they take certain vows and are not free to marry once they have made solemn profession of vows. All female religious are non-ordained; they may be sisters living to some degree of activity in a communal state, or nuns living in cloister or some other type of isolation. The male members of religious orders, whether living in monastic communities or cloistered in isolation, and who are ordained priests or deacons constitute what is called the religious or regular clergy, distinct from the diocesan or secular clergy. Those ordained priests or deacons who are not members of some sort of religious order (secular priests) most often serve as clergy to a specific church or in an office of a specific diocese or in Rome.[11]


US Navy 070921-N-6278K-004 Father Joseph Harris, left, a Roman Catholic priest in Trinidad and Tobago, celebrates mass with Lt. Cmdr. Paul Evers
Two Catholic priests celebrating mass

Catholic priests are ordained by bishops through the sacrament of holy orders. The Catholic Church claims that Catholic bishops were ordained in an unbroken line of apostolic succession back to the Twelve Apostles depicted in the Catholic Bible. The ceremony of Eucharist, which Catholics believe can only be performed by priests, in particular derives from the story of the Last Supper, when Jesus Christ distributed bread and wine in the presence of the Twelve Apostles, in some versions of the Gospel of Luke commanding them to "do this in memory of me". (Some Protestant critics have challenged the historical accuracy of the claim of unbroken succession.[12])

Catholic tradition says the apostles in turn selected other men to succeed them as the bishops (episkopoi, Greek for "overseers") of the Christian communities, with whom were associated presbyters (presbyteroi, Greek for "elders") and deacons (diakonoi, Greek for "servants"). As communities multiplied and grew in size, the bishops appointed more and more presbyters to preside at the Eucharist in place of the bishop in the multiple communities in each region. The diaconate evolved as the liturgical assistants of the bishop and his delegate for the administration of Church funds and programmes for the poor. Today, the rank of "presbyter" is typically what one thinks of as a priest, although Church catechism considers both a bishop and a presbyter as "priests".[13]

Various churches which split off from the Catholic Church make the same claim of apostolic succession, including the Church of the East (split in 424), the Oriental Orthodoxy (split in 451) and the Eastern Orthodox Church (split with the East–West Schism of 1054). During the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther and William Tyndale advocated the priesthood of all believers, the idea that all baptized Christians are priests. This was not universally accepted, contributing to the schism of various Protestant churches. The doctrine is interpreted in various ways by different protestant denominations, with some dropping apostolic succession and holy orders as a sacrament, and different requirements for who can perform the Eucharist ceremony. Through the principle of church economy, the Catholic Church recognizes as valid the ordination of priests in denominations with unbroken apostolic succession, such as in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Polish National Catholic Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church of the East, Church of Sweden, and Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, but not other Lutheran churches. Recognition of the ordination of Anglican Church priests was denied in 1896 by Pope Leo XIII through the papal bull Apostolicae curae, over a dispute in the wording of the Anglican ceremony starting in the 1500s.

In 1965, the Second Vatican Council released Presbyterorum Ordinis on the ministry and life of priests, and Optatam Totius on the training of priests.

Since 1970, the number of Catholic priests in the world has decreased by only about 5,000, to 414,313 priests as of 2012.[14]but the worldwide Catholic population has nearly doubled, growing from 653.6 million in 1970 to 1.229 billion in 2012.[14] This has resulted in a worldwide shortage of Catholic priests. In 2014, 49,153 Catholic parishes had no resident priest pastor.[14] The number of priests is increasing in Africa and Asia, but not keeping pace with growth in Catholic populations there. The number of priests is falling in Europe and the Americas faster than the number of local Catholics is declining. This has resulted in some African and Asian priests being recruited to European and American churches, reversing the historical practice of Catholic missionaries being sent from Western countries to the rest of the world.

In the 1990s and 2000s, the cases of sexual abuse by Catholic priests gained worldwide attention, with thousands of accused priests and tens of thousands of alleged victims. The church estimated that over the 50 years ending in 2009, between 1.5% and 5% of Catholic priests had a sexual encounter with a minor, [15] and Dr. Thomas Plante estimated a figure of 4%.[16][17] Public anger was fueled by the revelation that many accused priests were transferred to another parish rather than being removed from ministry or reported to police. The scandal caused some Catholics to leave the church, made recruitment of new priests more difficult, and resulted in billions of dollars in lawsuit settlements and bankruptcies that increased financial pressure to close parishes with declining membership. In February 2019, clerical abuse of nuns, including sexual slavery, has been acknowledged by the Pope.[18][19]

Theology of the priesthood

Passover and Christ

Holy Orders Picture
Ordination to the priesthood (Latin rite); devotional card, 1925

The theology of the Catholic priesthood is rooted in the priesthood of Christ and to some degree shares elements of the ancient Hebraic priesthood as well.[20] A priest is one who presides over a sacrifice and offers that sacrifice and prayers to God on behalf of believers. Jewish priesthood which functioned at the temple in Jerusalem offered animal sacrifices at various times throughout the year for a variety of reasons.

In Christian theology, Jesus is the Lamb provided by God himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. Before his death on the cross, Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples (the Last Supper) and offered blessings over the bread and wine respectively, saying: "Take and eat. This is my body" and "Drink from this all of you, for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, poured out for the forgiveness of sins." (Matthew 26:26–28 Jerusalem Bible). The next day Christ's body and blood were visibly sacrificed on the cross.

Catholics believe that it is this same body, sacrificed on the cross and risen on the third day and united with Christ's divinity, soul and blood which is made present in the offering of each Eucharistic sacrifice which is called the Eucharist. However, Catholicism does not believe that transubstantiation and the doctrine of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist involves a material change in the 'accidental' features: i.e. under normal circumstances, scientific analysis of the Eucharistic elements would indicate the physical-material properties of wine and bread.

Thus Catholic priests, in celebrating the Eucharist, join each offering of the Eucharistic elements in union with the sacrifice of Christ.[21] Through their celebration of the Holy Eucharist, they make present the one eternal sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

Catholicism does not teach that Christ is sacrificed again and again, but that "The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice.".[22] Instead, the Catholic Church holds the Jewish concept of memorial in which "..the memorial is not merely a recollection of past events....these events become in a certain way present and real." and thus "...the sacrifice Christ offered once and for all on the cross remains ever present."[23] Properly speaking, in Catholic theology, expressed by Saint Thomas Aquinas, "Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only his ministers."[24] Thus, Catholic clergy share in the one, unique, Priesthood of Christ.[25]


The Canon law of the Catholic Church holds that the priesthood is a sacred and perpetual vocational state, not just a profession (which is a reason for, and symbolized by, the state of celibacy). There are programs of formation and studies which aim to enable the future priest to effectively serve his ministry. These programs are demanded by canon law (in the Latin rite, canons 232–264) which also refers to the Bishops' Conferences for local more detailed regulation. As a general rule, education is extensive and lasts at least five or six years, depending on the national Programme of Priestly Formation.[26]

  • In the United States, priests must have a four-year university degree in philosophy plus an additional four to five years of graduate-level seminary formation in theology with a focus on Biblical research. A Master of Divinity is the most common degree.
  • In Scotland, there is a mandatory year of preparation before entering seminary for a year dedicated to spiritual formation, followed by several years of study.
  • In Europe, Australasia and North America, seminarians usually graduate with a Master of Divinity or a Master of Theology degree, which is a four-year professional degree (as opposed to a Master of Arts which is an academic degree). At least four years are to be in theological studies at the major seminary.[27]
  • In Germany and Austria, priest candidates graduate with an academic degree (Magister theologiae, Diplom-Theologe, Master of Arts in Theology). The degree takes five years and is preceded by a year of spiritual formation (plus learning of the ancient languages) and followed by two years of pastoral practice (during which the candidate is ordained to the deaconate). Usually, priests spend all of that time in a seminary except one "free year".
  • In Africa, Asia and South America, programmes are more flexible, being developed according to the age and academic abilities of those preparing for ordination.

Regardless of where a person prepares for ordination, it includes not only academic but also human, social, spiritual and pastoral formation. The purpose of seminary education is ultimately to prepare men to be pastors of souls.[28] In the end, however, each individual Ordinary (such as a bishop or Superior General) is responsible for the official call to priesthood, and only a bishop may ordain. Any ordinations done before the normally scheduled time (before study completion) must have the explicit approval of the bishop.

Rite of ordination

Priesterweihe in Schwyz 2
During the rite of ordination, after the bishop the priests present lay their hands on the ordinands
External Ornaments of a Priest
Coat of arms of a Catholic priest

The Rite of Ordination is what "makes" one a priest, having already been a deacon and with the minister of Holy Orders being a validly ordained bishop.[29]

The Rite of Ordination occurs within the context of Holy Mass. After being called forward and presented to the assembly, the candidates are interrogated. Each promises to diligently perform the duties of the Priesthood and to respect and obey his ordinary (bishop or religious superior). Then the candidates lie prostrate before the altar, while the assembled faithful kneel and pray for the help of all the saints in the singing of the Litany of the Saints. The essential part of the rite is when the bishop silently lays his hands upon each candidate (followed by all priests present), before offering the consecratory prayer, addressed to God the Father, invoking the power of the Holy Spirit upon those being ordained. After the consecratory prayer, the newly ordained is vested with the stole and chasuble of those belonging to the Ministerial Priesthood and then the bishop anoints his hands with chrism before presenting him with the chalice and paten which he will use when presiding at the Eucharist.

Clerical celibacy

Early Christianity

The earliest Christians were Jews and Jewish tradition has always deemed the married state as more spiritual than the celibate state.[30] However some Christian traditions place a higher spiritual value on chastity. According to the Catholic Bible, the Apostle Peter had a spouse from Gospel stories of Peter's mother-in-law sick with fever (Matt 8:14, Mark 1:29, Luke 4:38)[31] and from Paul's mention that Peter took along a believing wife in his ministry (1 Cor 9:5).

From its beginnings, the idea of clerical celibacy has been contested in canon courts, in theology, and in religious practices. Celibacy for Roman Catholic priests was not mandated under canon law for the universal church until the Second Lateran Council in 1139.[32]

The Council of Elvira in Spain (c. 305–306) was the first council to call for clerical celibacy. In February 385, Pope Siricius wrote the Directa decretal, which was a long letter to Spanish bishop Himerius of Tarragona, replying to the bishop’s requests on various subjects, which had been sent several months earlier to Pope Damasus I.[33] It was the first of a series of documents published by the Church's magisterium that claimed apostolic origin for clerical celibacy.

After the Great Schism

Fr. Pavlo Smiling
A Ukrainian Orthodox priest at a St. Joseph the Betrothed Ukrainian Orthodox Church (His wedding ring appears on his right hand as per Byzantine tradition).

Within a century of the Great Schism of 1054, the Churches of the East and West arrived at different disciplines as to abstaining from sexual contact during marriage. In the East, candidates for the priesthood could be married with permission to have regular sexual relations with their wives, but were required to abstain before celebrating the Eucharist. An unmarried person, once ordained, could not marry. Additionally, the Christian East required that, before becoming a bishop, a priest separate from his wife (she was permitted to object), with her typically becoming a nun. In the East, more normally, bishops are chosen from those priests who are monks and are thus unmarried.

In the West, the law of celibacy became mandatory by Pope Gregory VII at the Roman Synod of 1074.[34][35] This law mandated that, in order to become a candidate for ordination, a man could not be married. The law remains in effect in the Latin Church, although not for those who are priests of the Eastern Catholic Churches, who remain under their own discipline. (These churches either remained in or returned to full communion with Rome after the schism, unlike for example the Eastern Orthodox Church which is now entirely separate). The issue of mandatory celibacy in the Latin Church continues to be debated.

Duties of a Catholic priest

Bishops, priests, and deacons who want to become priests are also required to recite the principal and minor offices of the Liturgy of the Hours daily,[36] a practice which is also followed by non-ordained people in some religious orders.

A priest who is a pastor is responsible for the administration of a Catholic Parish, typically with a single church building dedicated for worship (and usually a nearby residence), and for seeing to the spiritual needs of Catholics who belong to the parish. This involves performing ceremonies for the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, and counseling people.[37] He may be assisted by other diocesan priests and deacons, and serves under the local diocesan bishop, who is in charge of the many parishes in the territory of the diocese or archdiocese. In some cases due to the shortage of priests and the expense of a full-time priest for depopulated parishes, a team of priests in solidum may share the management of several parishes.

According to Catholic doctrine, a priest or bishop is necessary in order to perform the ceremony of the Eucharist, take confession,[38] and perform Anointing of the Sick.[39][40] Deacons and lay Catholics may distribute Holy Communion after a priest or bishop has consecrated the bread and wine. Priests and deacons ordinarily perform Baptism, but any Catholic can baptize in extraordinary circumstances.[41] In cases were a person dies before the baptism ceremony is performed, the Catholic Church also recognizes baptism of desire, where a person desired to be baptized, and baptism of blood, when a person is martyred for their faith. According to church doctrine, a priest or bishop ordinarily performs a Holy Matrimony, but a deacon or layperson can be delegated if that is impractical, and in an emergency the couple can perform the ceremony themselves as long as there are two witnesses. (Church doctrine says it is the couple actually conferring marriage upon each other, and the priest is merely assisting that it be done properly.)[42]

Eastern Catholic Churches

The Catholic Church has different rules for the priesthood in the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches than in the Latin Church. The chief difference is that most of the Eastern Catholic Churches ordain married men, whereas the Latin Church enforces mandatory clerical celibacy. This issue has caused tension among Catholics in some situations where Eastern churches established parishes in countries with established Latin Catholic populations. In the Americas and Australia, this tension led to bans on married Eastern Catholic priests, all of which were overturned by Pope Francis in 2014.[5]


Worldwide, the number of priests has remained fairly steady since 1970, decreasing by about 5,000. This stagnation is due to a balance of large growth in Africa and Asia and a significant decrease in North America and Europe.

Historical number of priests worldwide
Includes both diocesan and religious priests.



Historical number of priests in Singapore
Includes both diocesan and religious priests.



Historical number of priests in Belgium
Includes both diocesan and religious priests.


Historical number of priests in France
Includes both diocesan and religious priests.


Historical number of priests in Luxembourg
Includes both diocesan and religious priests.


Historical number of priests in Poland
Includes both diocesan and religious priests.


Historical number of priests in Sweden
Includes both diocesan and religious priests.


Historical number of priests in Switzerland
Includes both diocesan and religious priests.

North America


Historical number of priests in Mexico
Includes both diocesan and religious priests.

United States

Historical number of priests in the US
Includes both diocesan and religious priests.

See also


  1. ^ The church considers trans men to be women, and considers trans women to be men of unsuitable character. See LGBT clergy in Christianity § Roman Catholic for details.
  2. ^ Norton, John (14 January 2003). "Vatican says 'sex-change' operation does not change person's gender". Catholic News Service. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  3. ^ Lumen Gentium 10
  4. ^ "Catechism of the Catholic Church – IntraText". Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  5. ^ a b Dragani, Anthony (2016). "Eastern Catholic Churches in the United States". In Kurian, George Thomas; Lamport, Mark A. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 745–746. ISBN 1442244321. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  6. ^ "Code of Canon Law – IntraText". Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Can a Woman Be a Priest in the Catholic Church?". Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  8. ^ Woestman, Wm., The Sacrament of Orders and the Clerical State St Paul's University Press: Ottawa, 2006, p. 8, see also De Ordinatione
  9. ^ Junno Arocho Esteves, Vatican statistics report increase in baptized Catholics worldwide, Catholic News Service (March 7, 2016).
  10. ^ "Father".
  11. ^ Cf. Code of Canon Law, canon 266
  12. ^ Jay, Eric G. The Church: its changing image through twenty centuries John Knox Press: 1980, p.316f
  13. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church #1547–57; Aidan Nichols, Holy Order: The Apostolic Ministry from the New Testament to the Second Vatican Council
  14. ^ a b c "Frequently Requested Church Statistics". Washington, DC: Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. Archived from the original on 2016-01-20. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
  15. ^ Tomasi, Silvano (September 22, 2009). "Vatican Sets Record Straight on Sexual Abuse". Catholic Education Resource Center. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  16. ^ Thomas Plante: OpEd: "A Perspective on Clergy Sexual Abuse," San Jose Mercury News, 24 March 2002 (updated online version)
  17. ^ Pastoral Psychology, Vol. 52, No. 5, May 2004 ( C ° 2004) "The Sexual Abuse Crisis in the Roman Catholic Church: What Psychologists and Counselors Should Know", Thomas G. Plante, 1;2;3 and Courtney Daniels1 Springer Publishing, 2004
  18. ^ Staff (February 6, 2019). "Pope admits clerical abuse of nuns including sexual slavery". BBC News. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  19. ^ The Associated Press (February 5, 2019). "Pope Publicly Acknowledges Clergy Sexual Abuse of Nuns". The New York Times. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  20. ^ "Priesthood". Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  21. ^ Taylor Marshall, The Crucified Rabbi: Judaism and the Origins of the Catholic Christianity, Saint John Press, 2009 ISBN 978-0-578-03834-6 pp. 91–92
  22. ^ "Catechism of the Catholic Church – Part 2 Section 2 Chapter 1 Article 3". Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  23. ^ "Catechism of the Catholic Church – Part 2 Section 2 Chapter 1 Article 3". Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  24. ^ "Catechism of the Catholic Church – The sacrament of Holy Orders". Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  25. ^ "Presbyterorum ordinis". Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  26. ^ can. 242.1 CIC 1983
  27. ^ can. 235.1, CIC 1983
  28. ^ Presbyterorum ordinis 4
  29. ^ "Code of Canon Law: text – IntraText CT". Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  30. ^ Encyclopedia Judaica, second ed, vol 4, 2007, New York: Thomson Gale, 537
  31. ^ Audet, Jean, Structures of Christian Priesthood, New York: Doubleday 1961
  32. ^ The New Catholic Encyclopedia, Washington, DC: Catholic University of America: Washington, vol 3, 366
  33. ^ "Current Sales Email Promotions -". Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  34. ^ John Trigilio, Kenneth Brighenti. Catholicism for Dummies, p. 221 (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2011). ISBN 978-1-118-07778-8
  35. ^ Helen Parish, Clerical Celibacy In The West: c. 1100–1700, p. 100, footnotes 45 and 46 (Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2010). ISBN 978-0-7546-3949-7
  36. ^ Congregation for Divine Worship, Institutio generalis de Liturgia horarum Feb. 2, 1971
  37. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Priesthood" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  38. ^ "Code of Canon Law – IntraText". Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  39. ^ "Code of Canon Law – IntraText". Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  40. ^ "Code of Canon Law – IntraText". Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  41. ^ What Can (and Can't) a Deacon Do?
  42. ^ canons 1108–1116

External links

Apostolic succession

Apostolic succession is the method whereby the ministry of the Christian Church is held to be derived from the apostles by a continuous succession, which has usually been associated with a claim that the succession is through a series of bishops. This series was seen originally as that of the bishops of a particular see founded by one or more of the apostles. According to historian Justo L. González, apostolic succession is generally understood today as meaning a series of bishops, regardless of see, each consecrated by other bishops, themselves consecrated similarly in a succession going back to the apostles. According to the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, "apostolic succession" means more than a mere transmission of powers. It is succession in a Church which witnesses to the apostolic faith, in communion with the other Churches, witnesses of the same apostolic faith. The "see (cathedra) plays an important role in inserting the bishop into the heart of ecclesial apostolicity", but, once ordained, the bishop becomes in his Church the guarantor of apostolicity and becomes a successor of the apostles.Those who hold for the importance of apostolic succession via episcopal laying on of hands appeal to the New Testament, which, they say, implies a personal apostolic succession (from Paul to Timothy and Titus, for example). They appeal as well to other documents of the early Church, especially the Epistle of Clement. In this context, Clement explicitly states that the apostles appointed bishops as successors and directed that these bishops should in turn appoint their own successors; given this, such leaders of the Church were not to be removed without cause and not in this way. Further, proponents of the necessity of the personal apostolic succession of bishops within the Church point to the universal practice of the undivided early Church (up to AD 431), before being divided into the Church of the East, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. Christians of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Old Catholic, Anglican, Moravian, and Scandinavian Lutheran traditions maintain that "a bishop cannot have regular or valid orders unless he has been consecrated in this apostolic succession." Each of these groups does not necessarily consider consecration of the other groups as valid.However, some Protestants deny the need for this type of continuity, and the historical claims involved have been severely questioned by them; Eric G. Jay comments that the account given of the emergence of the episcopate in chapter III of the encyclical Lumen Gentium (1964) "is very sketchy, and many ambiguities in the early history of the Christian ministry are passed over".

Apostolicae curae

Apostolicae curae is the title of a papal bull, issued in 1896 by Pope Leo XIII, declaring all Anglican ordinations to be "absolutely null and utterly void". The Archbishops of Canterbury and York of the Church of England responded to the papal charges with the encyclical Saepius officio in 1897.

The principal objection to validity of Anglican ordinations, according to Leo XIII, was the alleged deficiency of intention and of form of the Anglican ordination rites. Leo XIII declared that the rites expressed an intention to create a priesthood different from the sacrificing priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church and to reduce ordination to a mere ecclesiastical institution, an appointment or blessing, instead of a sacramental conferral of actual grace by the action itself. What was not and could not be disputed was the actual fact of the unbroken succession by laying on of hands by bishops who had been consecrated with the Roman Pontifical (sometimes referred to as 'passing the baton').

The view of many Anglican bishops and defenders was that the required references to the sacrificial priesthood never existed in many ancient Latin-rite ordination liturgies, or in certain Eastern-rite ordination liturgies that the Roman Catholic Church considered to be valid. In the Roman Catholic view, the differences between these rites are a matter of tradition or custom, and indicate no intention to exclude a sacrificing priesthood.

Catholic Institute of Sydney

The Catholic Institute of Sydney, a tertiary educational facility that is a member institution of the Sydney College of Divinity, delivers theological studies at both undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications. The institute is located in Strathfield, in the western suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

In 1996 the Institute superseded St Patrick's College, Manly and St Columba’s College, Springwood (itself earlier superseded in 1977) as the sole ecclesiastical theology faculty for the Catholic Church in New South Wales. The Seminary of the Good Shepherd, located at Homebush, is the house of formation and prepares students who are studying for ordination to the priesthood in the Catholic Church.

Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès

Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès (3 May 1748 – 20 June 1836), most commonly known as the abbé Sieyès (French: [sjejɛs]), was a French Roman Catholic abbé, clergyman and political writer. He was one of the chief political theorists of the French Revolution, and also played a prominent role in the French Consulate and First French Empire.

His 1789 pamphlet What Is the Third Estate? became the manifesto of the Revolution, helping to transform the Estates-General into the National Assembly in June 1789. He was offered a position on the French Directory, but turned it down. After becoming a director in 1799, he was among the instigators of the coup d'état of 18 Brumaire (9 November), which brought Napoleon Bonaparte to power. He also coined the term "sociologie" in an unpublished manuscript, and made significant theoretical contributions to the nascent social sciences.

Pedro Domingo Murillo

For the province, see Pedro Domingo Murillo Province.Pedro Domingo Murillo (September 17, 1757– January 29, 1810) was a patriot of Upper Peru who played a key role in Bolivia's independence.

Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter

The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter is a personal ordinariate of the Catholic Church—a jurisdiction within the Church, the equivalent of a diocese, for priests and laypeople from an Anglican background, that enables them to retain elements of their Anglican patrimony after entering the Catholic Church. Its territory extends over the United States and Canada. Former Methodists and former members of denominations such as the United Church of Canada are also included, as they are considered members of "ecclesial communion[s]" of "Anglican heritage".The ordinariate describes itself as "a structure, similar to a diocese, that was created by the Vatican in 2012 for former Anglican communities and clergy seeking to become Catholic. Once Catholic, the communities retain many aspects of their Anglican heritage, liturgy, and traditions". It has also been described as "a special kind of diocese confined to specific national territory - much like a military ordinariate that serves members of a national armed forces". The ordinariate uses a missal called Divine Worship: The Missal, a variation of the Roman Rite officially referred to as the "Divine Worship or Ordinariate Use", which incorporates aspects of the Anglican liturgical tradition.Based in Houston, Texas, with the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham as its principal church, the ordinariate includes 44 parishes throughout the United States and Canada.Originally, its territory was the same as that of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops . However, it was announced on 7 December 2012 that the Holy See, after consulting the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, had extended its territory to include Canada also. Accordingly, the head of the ordinariate is a full member of both episcopal conferences.


Presbyterium is a modern term used in the Catholic Church and Eastern Catholic Churches after the Second Vatican Council in reference to a college of priests, in active ministry, of an individual particular church such as a diocese or eparchy. The body, in union with their bishop as a collective, is a symbol of the collaborative and collegial nature of their sacerdotal ministry as inspired by the reforms made during the Second Vatican Council.

The presbyterium is most visible during the ordination of new priests and bishops and the Mass of the Chrism: the Holy Thursday Mass where the blessing of the oils used in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, and Holy Orders takes place. They are also visible during other special liturgical functions such as the wake and burial of their bishop.

Liturgically, within Catholicism, the presbyterium is the area of the church in which the clergy functions. It is more commonly called the sanctuary.

Saint Joseph's Seminary (Dunwoodie)

St. Joseph's Seminary and College, sometimes referred to as Dunwoodie after the Yonkers, New York neighborhood it is located in, is the major seminary of the Archdiocese of New York. Its primary mission is to form men for the priesthood in the Catholic Church. It educates men destined to serve within the Archdiocese and other archdioceses and dioceses both in the United States and abroad.

Once called the "West Point of Seminaries" for its thorough education and strict discipline, St. Joseph's Seminary holds a reputation as one of the more prestigious and theologically orthodox Roman Catholic seminaries in the United States. As both a college and seminary, it has been accredited both through Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), respectively. It can, thus, offer the degrees of Master of Divinity and S.T.B. to seminarians who have fulfilled the proper academic requirements. Those who maintain an acceptable grade point average and fulfill other academic requirements are eligible for a Master of Arts. Attached to the seminary is an Institute for Religious Studies which prepares candidates for the diaconate and offers non-seminarians, both laity and clergy, an opportunity to earn a M.A. With the inter-diocesan collaboration from the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Diocese of Rockville Centre, the formation of laity and permanent deacons, as well as the continuing education of priests will be through the Sacred Heart Institute, located at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, Long Island, New York, beginning in September 2012.

The seminary is about 16 miles north of the Cathedral of St. Patrick in midtown Manhattan.

Sevenhill, South Australia

The town of Sevenhill (postcode 5453) is in the Clare Valley of South Australia, approximately 130 km north of Adelaide. It was founded by Jesuit Fathers and Brothers in 1850. The name, bestowed by Austrian Jesuit priest, Aloysius Kranewitter, is a homage to the seven hills of Rome.

St. Augustine's Seminary

St. Augustine's Seminary is the archdiocesan seminary of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto, and is located by the shore of Lake Ontario in Scarborough. It is a member of the Toronto School of Theology.

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