What’s the difference between a Pastor and a Priest? | Black, White and Gray

What’s the difference between a Pastor and a Priest? | Black, White and Gray.

Mark Regnerus (look HERE if you don’t know who he is) compares in this blog post priests (mostly Catholic) and pastors. Since we are here, maybe it would be useful to recommend to you Black, White, and Grey, a blog written by a number ot Christian sociologists, including Regnerus.

There is humour in it, so it should be fun, but there is also a lot of serious stuff. Enjoy!

(Thanks to Scot McKnight for the link, that I have found in his amazing Weakly Meanderings, that I highly recommend as a source of very interesting links.)

* * *

Here are the first items (there are 20 in total), for wetting your appetite:

1. Priests are men. Pastors are not necessarily men. (Don’t worry, it gets more interesting than this.)

2. Pastors can marry. Priests cannot marry, although some priests are married (but only if they were married clergy in the Anglican Communion and then converted). Indeed, many evangelical congregations don’t trust unmarried male ministers.  And Catholic congregations would, of course, require a good explanation for a married one.

3. Pastors may have biological children. So may priests. But the only kind of priest that can have children and not get into trouble is the kind I mentioned in #2 and also priests who have sought ordination after their wife passed away. I know of at least one.

4. Pastors are encouraged—I hope and presume—to have a sexual relationship with their spouse. (But please, not on the roof. And spare us the details.) Priests, however, are “married” to the Church. Celibacy is not a rejection of sexuality. Chosen celibacy is intended to be a symbol of the resurrection, a prefiguring in the here-and-now of the union of Christ and his Church, the time and place in which we will no longer give and be given in marriage.

* * *

Read the rest of it at the link above.


Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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