How to Cover the Catholic Church
title before the name of bishops and archbishops, not just before the name
of priests who have received that honorary ecclesiastical title from the pope.
Check on the Web or in other resources to determine whether the man in
question is a bishop or just a priest who has an honorary title from the pope.
(1) Strictly speaking, a member of a religious order of women with sol-
emn vows. (2) In general, all women religious, even those in simple vows,
who are more properly called
. Whether a woman religious is a nun or
sister in a strict canonical sense, in news reporting it is appropriate to use the
as the religious title before her name.
A diocesan bishop or his equivalent, his vicar general and episcopal
vicar, or a major superior of a clerical religious order, congregation or soci-
ety. It refers to someone with
authority in church law over a group
of clergy, over certain pastoral concerns in a specific geographical area or over
the members of a religious order. The term
was formerly restricted to
diocesan bishops and major superiors of religious orders, but it was expanded
in the 1983
Code of Canon Law
to include vicars general and episcopal vic-
ars. It is not uncommon for bishops and other church officials schooled in the
previous canon law code to use the term
mistakenly to refer only to
diocesan bishops or major superiors of men religious. If a church official uses
the term in this more restricted former use, it is wise to question him or her
on what he or she means by the term.
A specific community of the Christian faithful within a diocese, hav-
ing its own church building, under the authority of a pastor who is respon-
sible for providing ministerial service. Most parishes are formed on a geo-
graphic basis, but they may be formed along national or ethnic lines.
A priest in charge of a Catholic parish or congregation. He is responsible
for administering the sacraments, instructing the congregation in the doctrine of
the church, and providing other services to the people of the parish.
ordinarily used as a title before the name of a Catholic priest: He is
John Smith or
John Smith, depending on your publica-
tion’s style manual.