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Roman Catholic Priests


Priests and other clergy are part of the hierarchical structure of the Roman Catholic Church. In the Roman Catholic Church, only men can enter priesthood. This hierarchy began historically with Jesus Christ, who is believed by Catholics and other Christians to have been both God and man. Peter, the leader of the twelve apostles, is considered the priestly human successor to Jesus Christ. The spiritual successor of Peter is the pope, who is the leader of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church. The pope appoints bishops who oversee a diocese, a territorial district of the church. The bishops appoint the priests, who are spiritual leaders of individual parishes. Religious priests work under the direction of the superiors of their community and their order.