WikiNow lets you discover the news you care about, follow the topics that matter to you and share your favourite stories with your friends.

© WikiNow

The ministerial orders of the Roman Catholic Church are those of bishop, presbyter , and deacon. The ordained priesthood and the common priesthood are different in function and essence. The Catholic Church teaches that when a man participates in priesthood, he participates in the priesthood of Christ Himself. All men who, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, have become priests participate in Christ's priesthood; they act in persona Christi Capitis, in the person of Christ, the Head of His Body, the Church.

Two Catholic priests celebrating mass.

The ministerial orders of the Roman Catholic Church are those of bishop, presbyter (more commonly called priest in English), and deacon. The ordained priesthood and the common priesthood (or priesthood of all the baptized faithful) are different in function and essence. The Catholic Church teaches that when a man participates in priesthood, he participates in the priesthood of Christ Himself. All men who, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, have become priests participate in Christ's priesthood; they act in persona Christi Capitis, in the person of Christ, the Head of His Body, the Church.

Unlike usage in English, "the Latin words sacerdos and sacerdotium are used to refer in general to the ministerial priesthood shared by bishops and presbyters. The words presbyter, presbyterium and presbyteratus refer to priests in the English use of the word or presbyters." According to the Annuario Pontificio 2016, as of December 31, 2014, there were 415,792 Catholic priests worldwide, including both diocesan priests and priests in the religious orders. A priest of the regular clergy is commonly addressed with the title "Father" (abbreviated Fr., in the Roman Catholic and some other Christian churches).

The state of consecrated life or monasticism is a separate, third distinct vocational state from the clergy and the laity. As an overview, there are the members of the laity- who are married or unmarried, and the clergy- the bishops, priests, and deacons. Deacons are male and usually belong to the diocesan clergy, but, unlike almost all Latin-rite (Western Catholic) priests and all bishops from Eastern or Western Catholicism, they may marry as laymen before their ordination as clergy.

Members of institutes of consecrated life, or monks, can be either clergy or non-ordained members of the religious order (male or female non-ordained religious are not to be considered laypersons in the strict sense- they take certain vows and are not free to marry once they have made solemn profession of vows; all female religious are non-ordained, they may be sisters living to some degree of activity in a communal state, or nuns living in cloister or some other type of isolation). The male members of religious orders, whether living in monastic communities or cloistered in isolation, and who are ordained priests or deacons constitute what is called the religious or regular clergy, distinct from the diocesan or secular clergy. Those ordained priests or deacons who are not members of some sort of religious order (secular priests) most often serve as clergy to a specific church or in an office of a specific diocese or in Rome.

Should Catholics Call Priests Father?

One of the most common Bible verses people use to try and debunk Catholic teaching is Matthew 23:9, where Jesus says, “Call no man on earth father.” In this ...

Catholic nuns accused of sexual misconduct

CBS News correspondent Nikki Battiste joined CBSN to discuss new sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic Church. At least 18 people have come forward to ...

A Day in the Life of a Priest

The priesthood is anything but boring. Fr. John Muir takes us along for a day in the life of a priest to show us that becoming a priest doesn't mean leaving behind ...

A Protestant Talks With a Catholic Priest

I'm a Protestant, and I wanted to learn more about what Catholics think, so it seemed like the best way to do that would be to talk with one. This is the second half ...

Catholic Priest Leaves Church, Marries Parishioner

The Rev. Albert Cutie's kiss with the woman he loved caught on camera. For more, click here: ...

THE CATHOLIC PRIEST | What is a Roman Catholic Priest? | Catholic Motivation

What is a Roman Catholic priest? Archbishop Fulton J Sheen will give you a solid answer! What a beauty it is to behold a servant of God, giving his life in service ...