Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Differences between Religious and Diocesan Priests

 Ang tanong ay galing kay Gina Nepacena:

“Magandang Hapon po. Father, since ang tema kanina sa Misa de Gallo ay tungkol sa religious life, ano po ba ang pagkakaiba ng diocesan priest at religious or missionary priest? Salamat at God bless po sa inyo.”

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Basic lamang po ang aking isasagot dito.

Ang diocesan priests ay tinatawag ding secular priests. The Latin word for "world" is "saeculum", and there's the derivation of the expression "secular priests", those out in the world, ministering to God's people. ‘Yun po ‘yung original meaning.

Ang religious priests naman po promised the three vows of  poverty, chastity and obedience.Mayroon din pong mga religious na hindi pari tulad ng mga madre, mongha, brothers at monghe. Pero meron din pong mga monghe na pari, administering sa kanilang monastic community.

Strictly speaking, ang connotation ng salitang missionary sa atin ay ‘yung ipinapadala sa malalayong lugar upang ikalat ang salita ng Diyos. Subalit hindi lamang po ito applicable sa mga religious kasi may Diocesan priests din sa mga mission territories and even lay persons. Broadly speaking, kahit ikaw ay nasa far-flung area o kahit ikaw ay nasa urban area or even in the academe, we can consider it as mission. So, we cannot just say,  religious or missionary priest. However, totoo na mission is more associated sa mga religious.

ESSENTIALLY, ang three public canonical vows (poverty, chastity and obedience) makes a "religious" different from a "secular". The secular priests never take the three vows. Pero they do make a promise to their bishop at ordination to obey him as their spiritual leader for a particular diocese, and they also make a promise to remain celibate (not to marry). Ang Diocesans ay under ng Diocesan Bishop; ang Religious under ng Superior. Syempre, kung ang religious ay isang parish priest, sa bagay na pamparokya under sya ng Bishop (parochial matters lang ha at hindi religious life).

Diocesans can own something; Religious own something as a community. Stipends of religious priests are surrendered to the superior via the treasurer; and monthly each religious priest receives an allowance. Whether Diocesan or religious, priests need to live simply.

SA MINISTRY naman po, ang mga Diocesans ay administering sa isang diocese na kinabibilangan niya usually as parish priest. Ang mga religious naman ay depende sa authorization na ibinigay; merong sa Diocesan level lamang, merong anywhere sa Pilipinas at meron ding universal (worldwide) ang ministry. Meron din pong religious na parish priests. Depende sa charism ng kanilang order/congregation din ang ministry ng mga religious tulad ng Academic formation, mission, justice and peace advocacy, hospital apostolate, etc. 

TECHNICALLY, nasa dulo ng names ng mga religious (other than honorary at academic degrees) ang initial ng kanilang order or congregation. Example:
Rev.Fr. Noel Castillon, SVD [Societas Verbi Divini]
Rev.Fr. Miel Sandoval, OFM Conv [Order of Friars Minor Conventuals]
Rev.Fr. Vince Sealongo, MCCJ [Missionarii Comboniani Cordis Jesu ]
Other examples are the Jesuits, the Dominicans, the La Salettes, the Josephites and others.

Diocesan or secular priests do not have initials after their names as a rule.

These are the basic differences.

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