Regular clerics

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Clerks Regular or short- Regular are Roman Catholic clergy who are in their way of life to a monastic rule bind. The name is derived from the Latin term regula (regulation, rule).

In a broader sense, regular clerics are therefore very generally priests who belong to a religious institute and not to the world clergy ( secular clergy ). In this comprehensive sense Clerks Regular a synonym for religious priests .

In a narrower sense, the term regular clerics, on the other hand, denotes a certain type of religious order , as it emerged from the union of like-minded priests, especially in the 16th and 17th centuries in the course of the Counter Reformation . The name expresses that the clerics submit to a common rule without forming a traditional monastic community. These are cooperatives (congregations) that do not live in seclusion in monastic communities or remote convents , but whose members are pastoral and apostolic in the world . Mostly they live like all religious in local communities (communities), but the regulated community life is less important than in traditional orders or in most modern congregations . Thus, the rules of some regular clerical communities in principle also allow a life outside of the community and only require individual connection with the spirituality of the community as well as being subject to communal leadership and discipline.

In addition to the three classic religious vows of the evangelical councils of poverty , celibacy and obedience , some regular clerical communities know additional vows. The Jesuits, for example, have the special vow of papal obedience, and the Marianas promise as a fourth vow not to strive for ecclesiastical dignity.

The best-known and largest priestly association that is counted among the regular clergy are the Jesuits (who also call themselves the Society of Jesus ). The oldest regular clergy congregation are the Theatines . Other examples of Regular Clerics are the Minor Regular Clerics (also called Marianas , Caracciolans or Adorno-Fathers ), the Camillians , the Marians , the Piarists , the Somaskers and the Regular Clerics of Good Jesus .

A much older type of order, which also emerged from the union of clerics, but is clearly more monastic, are the regular canons .

Individual evidence

  1. Lexicon for Theology and Church (Michael Buchberger, Ed.), 2nd edition, 8th volume: Patron bis Rudolf , Herder, Freiburg i. Br. 1936, columns 726-727.