Sacramentum Mundi Online

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(1,424 words)

In contrast to the laity, the clergy signify those members of the new people of God who through holy orders have a special ministry in the Church and who form a separate ecclesiastical state (status clericalis). Κλήρος originally meant a lot, the share resulting from a lottery. In 1 Pet 5 :.3 ϰλήρος means the shares which the individual presbyters receive from the whole community. In Acts 1:17 ϰλήρος is the share in spiritual service. Clergy was used in this narrower sense by Origen to denote the ministers of the Church, in contrast to the laity. The Latin word clerus (the oldest witness is T…

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Klaus Mörsdorf, “Clergy”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 01 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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