A parish vicar ( Latin vicarius , 'deputy', Latin paroecialis from ancient Greek παροικία paroikía 'stay in a foreign country', of which church Latin par (r) ochia 'diocese') refers to various auxiliary clergymen in the German-speaking area, depending on their denomination, who do not have the full rights of one Pastor are equipped.
In the Roman Catholic Church , a parish vicar is a priest who supports a pastor in pastoral care in a parish or who heads a quasi- parish permanently , but without having the legal status of a pastor. In the latter case he is legally equal to the pastor. The canonical basis for this can be found in cann. 546–552 CIC and states as the reason for the appointment of a parish vicar if this is “necessary or appropriate for the proper pastoral care of a parish” ( can. 545 §1 CIC ).
The usual official titles for clergy assigned to a pastor are chaplain , vicar , cooperator or subsidiary , depending on the description of their duties . The exact design is subject to diocesan law and can therefore have slightly different meanings. In some dioceses, parish vicars can also hold the title of pastor as a member of a pastoral team .
Until the Codex Iuris Canonici came into force in 1983 , it was also possible for legal entities such as cathedral chapters or convents to act as pastors. The specifically appointed clergyman was also appointed as parish vicar to represent the legal person. Legally, this type of vicar also had all the rights and duties of a pastor. Since then, according to can. 520 CIC, no legal person can be appointed pastor, so that with this change in law, the associated special form of parish vicar has also ceased to exist. Pastoral care can still be entrusted to a religious institute , but one of the priests must be personally appointed as pastor.
In some Protestant churches in Germany, the term referred to curate traditional (as opposed to teaching vicar ) a theologian who had already passed his second examination and for a trial period a parish under management, but was not its owner. In northern Germany, especially in the regional churches of Old Prussia , the title assistant preacher was used for this . In all regional churches, the official designation "pastor / pastor for employment" (z. A.) or "in trial service" (iP) is now used in these cases.
- Hugo Schwendenwein : The new canon law. Overall presentation. Verlag Styria, Graz-Vienna-Cologne 1983, ISBN 3-222-11442-0 , pp. 243–245.
- E.g. in the Archdiocese of Cologne: Official Gazette of the Archdiocese of Cologne, Item 9 - August 1, 2008 , p. 177; Archdiocese of Berlin (in planning): Where faith gains space. Pastoral guidelines. (2013), No. 4.1, p. 14: “The parish vicar is a member of the pastoral team and takes responsibility within the pastoral room in consultation with the team and the archdiocese. As far as possible, he should be freed from administrative tasks in order to be fully available for pastoral work. As a rule, the parish vicar has the title of pastor. "
- Heribert Heinemann : § 34. The pastor. In: Joseph Listl , Hubert Müller , Heribert Schmitz : Outline of post-conciliar church law. Verlag Friedrich Pustet , Regensburg 1980. ISBN 3-7917-0609-8 , p. 320: Parish vicar with necessary parish rights, permanent deputy, can. 471 of the Codex Iuris Canonici 1917.