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Parish - Parish Priest

(821 words)

Author(s): François Houtart | Ernst Niermann
Part of Parish: 1. Sociological Structure 2. Parish Priest 1. Definition. The parish priest is the physical person ( sacerdos) or juridical person (in incorporated parishes) to whom the parish is entrusted for the exercise of pastoral care ( CIC, can. 451, para. 1). 2. Canon law. The legal definition of the rights and duties of the parish priest, especially his relationship to episcopal authority, has changed in the course of the history of the parish. In the early Christian system of titular churches he was the helper and delegate of the bishop. Now he has potestas ordinaria et propria, subo…

Parish - Sociological Structure

(3,163 words)

Author(s): François Houtart | Ernst Niermann
Part of Parish: 1. Sociological Structure 2. Parish Priest 1. Definition. Vatican II gives the following description of a parish: “Because it is impossible for the bishop always and everywhere to preside over the whole flock in his Church, he cannot do other than establish lesser groupings of the faithful. Among these, parishes set up locally under a pastor who takes the place of the bishop are the most important: for in a certain way they represent the visible Church as it is established throughout the w…