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H ierarchy of the C atholic C hurch

D

eacon

P

riest

M

onsignor

B

ishop

A

bbot

C

ardinal

N

uncio

© Jessica at Shower of Roses ~ http://showerofroses.blogspot.com

Deacons can baptize, preach, and give Holy Communion.

Priests have higher orders than deacons. They can offer the holy sacrifice of the Mass, and forgive sins in the Sacrament of Penance. They can administer all the sacraments except those of Confirmation and Holy Orders. With special faculties they may even administer Confirmation.

A Monsignor is one who for some special merit has been raised above the ranks of the ordinal clergy, and thus joins the prelates; the title is honorary.

Bishops have full power of orders; they are the successors of the Apostles. A bishop administers all the sacraments; he alone administers Holy Orders. He consecrates holy oils, churches, chalices, etc.

Ordinarily an Abbot is the superior of an abbey of Benedictines, Cistercians, or other monks. He is elected for life, and has complete authority in the abbey in accordance with the rules of his order.

The Cardinals are the Pope’s advisors and assistants; they are his ministers. He appoints them. Together they form the Apostolic or Sacred College; it is this body that, in solemn conclave, chooses a new Pope when the See falls vacant.

Nuncios, internuncios, legates, and apostolic delegates are representatives or ambassadors of the Pope to different countries, courts, or occasions.

© Jessica at Shower of Roses ~ http://shower ofroses.blogspot.com