secular priests

I can't remember who asked but secular priests refer to priests not living in monasteries.
We think of secular as being 'not religious' and in this context it means exactly that. Religious priests are in monasteries. Neither refers to the level of devotion.


srchamberlain said...

Right. Secular priests are the kind that serve parishes, become bishops, etc. Monastical priests become abbots.

LookingLand said...

actually, the difference is that secular priests generally work independently, having taken basic vows of chastity and obedience under the auspices of a bishop. religious priests take additional vows (usually of poverty) and belong to a community (could be a monastery) that is governed by a provincial master or abbott as well as the bishop.

jesuits, holy cross fathers, and redemptorists are examples of religious priests that do not live in monasteries. there are many many others.

: D

snarkfodder said...

Miss Snark, how could you have forgotten about that delightful rhymable shade of orange?!


Now you take a well-deserved break, and know that even those of us who didn't get in (or even submit) are reading your red font remarks with much enthusiasm and many an epiphanic "Ohhhh! So that's what I'm doing wrong!" Someday we're gonna make momma proud.

Don said...

Almost right, but not quite. A secular priest is not a member of a religious order. These days, most priests in orders (who are confusingly called "ordinary" priests although it's the secular priests who are ordinary in the everyday sense of the word) do not live in monasteries, but rather do parish work along with the secular priests. So the Jesuits who have never lived in monasteries would not be secular priests, but are religious priests (although, many of the other ordinaries look at them a bit askance as they don't engage in the monastic discipline-singing the liturgy of the hours-which is typical of almost every other order).

Imelda said...

Just to add my two cents worth...

Secular priests are priests who do not live in community with other priests, but live and work in the general community. Parish priests are secular priests. They are responsible to their bishop and archbishop.

Priests (or brothers, or nuns) who live in community with others of their order can be called 'regular' priests (or brothers or nuns) because they live life under a 'rule'. A 'rule' is the term for the monastic rules of life, which govern life in a religious community. 'Regular' life is life under a rule. 'Regular' is a more precious term than 'religious' for people vowed to religious life, who live in community.

Members of regular orders are responsible first to the superior of their order (not necessarily an abbott, as abbot implies a monastery, and most of them do not live in monasteries, per se) then to the bishop and archbishop of their region.

The vast majority of members of priestly orders are active in the community. It's a requirement of priesthood that you say Mass every day for a start, and that requires at least one other person to be around, as a rule. The difference indicated by 'secular' is that the priest who is secular lives in the community he serves, generally alone.

Also, the responsibility path is significant. All religious orders have to be approved by the Pope and theoretically at least, answer directly to him, through their internal hierarchy, rather than through the bishops and archbishops. In practice, of course, they work with the local structure of the Church, but there have been occasions in history where the distinction has been significant - eg, when an order that a local bishop wishes to supress has appealed directly to the Pope and recieved his support for continuance.

This all applies, incidentally, to Roman Catholic Priests, although I imagine High Anglican and Orthodox priests have a similar system.

I hope that helps.

Rev Dr Mom said...

I am a priest, and I don't live in a monastery. I live in a rectory and work at a parish church. And I never heard the term "secular priest".

Miss Snark said...

That's cause you aren't Cat'lick.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

I be not Cat'lick either, and i hurd of 'em. Where you been all yur life. ...?

Ok, I hope that didn't insult too many people. I try to limit the number of people I insult in one day to fewer than five.

I've already been cranky to a doctor, several nurses (I'm in the Big Block Multi-Story Steet Signs in the Hallways Hospital for a two days; maybe three.) So, I've probably passed my limit on the number of insults I can hand out.

I find religion confusing. Even my own religion confuses me. I think the solution is simplification, good grammar, and pin-packs. The simplification and good grammar would unconfuse lots of topics. And the Pin-backs could be "I'm a priest"; "I'm not a priest"; and "I only attend on holidays."

Anonymous said...

I read recently, and quite coincidentally, in a history of Chaucer's England that the English phrase "secular priest" originated during the Middle Ages, from the Latin "in seculo", meaning "in the world". Those priests that were not cloistered lived "in seculo"; this would include parish priests.

Kanani said...

I thank the monastic priests for making Frangelico.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it's true now, but in medieval monasteries you could be a professed monk without being a priest - some monks were ordained and others weren't, though I think you had to be in orders to get very far up the hierarchy. Lay brothers - aka servant-monks - were different again.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm catholic, been so all my life, and that's a long time, and I never heard the phrase "secular priest." Despite my 12 years of Catholic education and all those clock hours praying and all, that's just not a phrase tossed around much. But it's in Catholicism for Dummies so I'd better study up (or down, as my case might indicate).

You just never know what you might learn at Miss Snark's.

B. Dagger Lee said...

O thank God we parsed this all out. But while we're thanking priests, I thank the Cappucines for making cappucino and the Jesuits for being Jesuitical. And the Episcopalians for getting married and all. And the Magdalene Sisters for doing the laundry.

B. Dagger Lee

Anil P said...

I doubt if not associating with an overt religious symbol like a monastery is sufficient to turn one into a secular person.

If I can't be god, let me be godly.

Kanani said...

I sent my son to a summer camp run by Norbertine brothers. The Norbertine nuns were there too. The brothers taught the kids, ran around with them, played electric guitars and held huge bonfires at night. The nuns did all the laundry and cooked.

Anonymous said...

MISS SNARK (snarkling shouting)


Patty H said...

I'm Catlick. My kids go to Catlick school. I wasn't familiar with the term secular, but I am now.

I'm just glad they pass around real wine to go with the ChristChex.

Corn Dog said...

Hey Sha'el. You ok? Who's taking care of the goat? Or is he with you?

Inkwolf said...

This whole subject tempts me to write one of those internet-hoax letters warning people that:


Yes, you heard right--in another attempt to destroy Christianity in this country, more and more church positions are being filled with SECULAR priests! They may be warping your child's mind and turning his heart away from Jesus AS WE SPEAK!"

Only it would be disappointing if people didn't take it seriously, and a source of continual guilt if they did...

Chumplet said...

Wow, that COM must have been a real burnout. Maybe Miss Snark is hiding under Sh'ael's hospital bed.
Pixie Princess, hope you feel better soon.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Dear Corn Dog and Chumplet,

Thanks for the concern. I'm home as of this morning, though I go in for an out-patient test tuesday the 12th.

Bill E. Goat and his goat friends and lovers thank you for your concern as well. They were cared for by my best friend and companion in ne're-do-welling. (That's not a word, is it?)

She fed them and kept them entertained. I think she played King of the Hill with them. I'm certain Bill kept her busy. He will nibble your shirt, look soulfully into your eyes, and talk your leg off.

The doctors stole my blood, and when I asked what the did with it all, they wouldn't confess. They poked these big needles in me, felt places no one should feel and peered into my eyes with the light thingie they use. Why, I have no clue. Certainly none of my problems are in my tummy or eyes.

The nurses pretended to be interested in my comfort. Mostly they showed their interest by coming in my room at 2 am and asking if I was sleeping comfortably.

I did discover why they wake you at 2 am. It's to keep themselves awake and to share the misery. They have to be up then, so they want company. Poor lonely people.

It occurred to me that modern medicine is a lot like voo doo, except instead of sticking pins in dolls, doctors and their henchmen stick needles in you. The lab techs were pretty good though. It wasn't at all like the time one broke a needle off in my arm, and all that blood went spurting out the needle until they could find a pair of pliers to extract it.

There is some similarity to science fiction too. They stick you in this narrow tube. Your eyes are covered by white stuff. That's only to keep you from panicking because the tube thing about touches your face, and they have people go nuts and scream to be let out. I figured I'd just sleep, and when I woke I'd be on Tantra 12 in the Orogami Sector. No such luck.

The food was good. Really, it was very good. And you could order off a menue. I was impressed.

The patient registration person was the evil first cousin to a cartoon character who shall go nameless mostly because I don't want to upset Warner Brothers. She had a round face, a very round face, and blond wispy hair that probably hasn't really been blond in 15 years. I think she stepped out of a Stephen King novel just to greet me. "Argh, narsty bit," would sum her up.

As I said on my old blog, I often feel as if I'm a character in one of King's novels. I'm probably the wide-eyed innocent who's preyed on by the lurking evil. I probably get eaten in the end.

My kids found the snack machine down the hall fascinating. I imagine the cost of snacks from that machine will outweigh what we pay out in co-pay.

I met one of the hospital security guys. He'd make an interesting character. I'll have to think about that one. He's an older gentleman, and I do mean gentle man. But, I think there's mystery there.

I asked him what he actually does. He says he rattles doors, helps the lost become unlost, shoos away homeless people who sleep in stair wells, and calls the police if there's a real emergency. I think he's really CIA or something spying on that weird doctor with the indeterminate foreign accent.

Anyway, I'm home. I'm semi-tired, and I'm ready to be mean to the next nitwit I see on Snarkie's blog.

Miss Snark said...

Dearest Princess,
KY and I are glad to see you back in the comments tail where you belong.

Corn Dog said...

I'm glad you're home, Princess. I hope the doctors find something with their bag of voodoo that will help you. Sending you and Bill E a big ole hug.