Campaign of the Month: August 2011
Le Ballet de l'Acier
A secular priest is said to “live in the world,” that is, outside the cloister associated with the religious orders. Seculars take vows of celebacy and obediance to their ecclesiastical lord, typically the bishop or archbishop of their diocese, but they do not follow a rule in the manner of their monastic brethren.
Seculars are not members of a religious order, but they may be members of a congregation such as the Society of Jesus or the Society of the Oratory of Jesus; these congregations may require their members to observe any number of principles, but these are not considered rules in the sense of the religious orders.
Seculars take precedence over regular priests in the ecclesiastical hierarchy of the Church.