A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.
Those specially ordained for Divine Service as deacons, priests, or bishops. In this sense the clergy form the Church's hierarchy. Entrance into the clerical state now takes place when a man is ordained deacon. Formerly it was at the time he received first tonsure. (Etym. Latin clericus; from Greek kleros, lot, portion; the clergy whose portion is the Lord.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.