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Which job do you think is harder? priest or pastor?

  1. Dec 4, 2009 #1
    I am just curious because since a priest would be willing to give up all of his joys in life like having a family would that make his job a lot harder or more devoted to Christ? or what about a pastor? I think anyone can be a pastor with a good background in theology i think. any comments?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2009 #2
    not really...
    there's lot more involved:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/8393463.stm
     
  4. Dec 4, 2009 #3

    Garth

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    In the Western Church celibacy for priests dates from the fourth century.

    The Apostle Peter, the first Pope, had a wife, in Mark 1:30 we hear of his mother-in-law being healed of fever.

    In the Hebrew, Semitic, world to be 'holy' a man had to be married, marriage was a duty and celibacy was seen to be a sin, hence also in Islam, however, as the Christian faith moved from the Semitic world to the Graeco-Roman world of Europe, celibacy gradually became the norm. The fact that it often suffered persecution in the early centuries might also have encouraged the Church's leaders to be unattached (see 1 Corinthians 7:25-26).

    The Reformation rejected celibacy for priests and ministers, reverting to the Biblical and Hebrew norm, and consequently many/most Anglican and Lutheran priests/pastors are married.

    It might be argued that forcibly demanding celibacy for priests has unwittingly encouraged paedophilia within the Roman Catholic priesthood, however as rootX shows this evil is not restricted just to celibate clergy.

    Garth
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009
  5. Dec 4, 2009 #4
    What exactly do priests do? I just picture them slowly walking in an old style building with stone walls with their hands together in the praying position, wearing a brown cloak, maybe humming a religious tune and holding a candle if it's too dark. Other than that, what do they do?
     
  6. Dec 4, 2009 #5

    mgb_phys

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    Run bingo games?
     
  7. Dec 5, 2009 #6
    well i can see priest can do exorcism, what about pastors? i cant see any movies seeing pastors using a cross or holy water to exorcise.
     
  8. Dec 5, 2009 #7

    cristo

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    What's the difference? Aren't they just different titles for different churches?
     
  9. Dec 5, 2009 #8

    mgb_phys

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    Yes, I think leroyjenkens is confusing priests with monks
     
  10. Dec 5, 2009 #9
    There are some differences. Priests are trained to do rituals, and most of their job consists of conducting mass, doing baptisms and weddings, and other formalities. And they give a short homily every Sunday. Pastors, on the other hand, give one longer sermon a week, and then spend the rest of the week hanging out with their congregants and such.
     
  11. Dec 5, 2009 #10
    I think I'm thinking of Friars.
    Priests are basically the Catholic version of a preacher. They wear all black and have that white collar.
     
  12. Dec 5, 2009 #11

    mgb_phys

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    Technically friars lived in the community not in monasteries.

    I think there a few more ecumenical differences
     
  13. Dec 5, 2009 #12
    A pastors job is both more difficult and more rewarding, IMO. It's a matter of being able to relate and participate in the human experience.
     
  14. Dec 5, 2009 #13

    Moonbear

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    I think there is a lot of misconceptions and misinformation about what priests and pastors do. Catholic priests don't just give one mass on Sunday, they give a daily mass. But, in addition to the ceremonial functions, they do also meet with parishioners during the week, the same as pastors do. Pastors also perform those rituals for their parishioners...weddings, funerals, etc. In terms of what they do, while they may dress differently and have different religious perspectives, they really perform the same jobs. Perhaps the hardest part of the job for either is that they are called to be present during the worst of circumstances for their parishioners, keeping people company while they are dying, and providing grief counseling to their loved ones. They are all trained in seminary schools.
     
  15. Dec 5, 2009 #14
    I was aware that priests conduct daily mass. But do they have to give a homily every day of the week?
     
  16. Dec 5, 2009 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    Priests and pastors also have things like budgets to balance, building maintenance and janitorial services to manage, and in particular, church families or individuals who struggle with financial difficulties, drug problems, the death of a child, etc. A priest is expected to be the emotional rock for an entire community. They have a very difficult job. How many friends does a priest bury in his life? I hate to even guess. The church community is his life. The loss of a child, for example, can affect the priest as much as the family [a situation in which I was personally involved].

    I attended a Catholic school for eight years. For some number of years, my mother helped to balance the books for the church and school. We lived in a fairly poor community that barely could manage the tuition for a private school. Were it not for the long and dedicated services of our pastor, who also happened to be a financial whiz, neither the church or school could have survived; at least not based on the tuition rates and donations possible for the congregation. In a very real sense he was a hero to many in our church community. Running a church and school is as much about running a business as it is religion.

    edit: In our case, the church complex included the church, school, one large and one small meeting hall, a rectory, and a convent. Building maintenance management alone was probably close to a full-time job. On top of that, this all has to be done on a nickel and dime budget.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  17. Dec 5, 2009 #16

    Moonbear

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    And let's not forget those who don't take a post in a nice, comfortable community church, but go work for a mission in some isolated area of a third world country. It was priests who did all the work, and fund raising, and coordination of construction, ordering of supplies, etc., at the mission hospital/school I visited in Mozambique. The nuns there all worked as nurses and school teachers. They were literally putting their life on the line to help others, since they were running an HIV/AIDS clinic and also provided all of the labor and delivery services for the local population who have a high rate of HIV infection.
     
  18. Dec 5, 2009 #17

    Moonbear

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    A homily is the same thing as a sermon. And, yes, of course, it's part of every mass. But I don't see why you're getting hung up on that. That's a pretty minor part of what priests and pastors do.
     
  19. Dec 5, 2009 #18

    Evo

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    All good points MB.

    Priests also have to hold confession, and they administer communion. They have to perform extreme unction for the dying, which I hear is now called "annointing the sick" and includes a ritual of confession & communion.

    Priests, at least Roman Catholic ones, have to know a lot of obscure and archaic rituals and doctrine.

    I think a Rabbi has an even more difficult job considering there is so much they need to know.
     
  20. Dec 5, 2009 #19
    From a social point of view in their own lives, pastors can, and usually do, get married and generally have children. Priests have a different sort of private life usually living somewhere on the church property. Pastors live in their community in their own homes. I've not heard of a priest having a job/career/occupation other than being a priest. Pastors usually (unless they're a fairly wealthy congregation) have a career or job on top of being a pastor.

    As to the initial question of which job is harder, I'd say that being a spiritual leader who's involved with their community is a difficult, challenging job no matter which denomination of Christianity you're involved with. (I specified 'denomination of Christianity' because the OP is asking about priests [Catholics] and pastors [Protestants]. They weren't asking about rabbis or Muslim spiritual leaders or Wiccan leaders, etc.)
     
  21. Dec 5, 2009 #20

    Evo

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    The reason I brought up Rabbis is because on the Catholic website (I'm a Roman Catholic/atheist) :biggrin: they actually refer to the Torah in explaining rules in Catholicism, but yes, I was off topic.
     
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