What is the difference between diocesan priest and religious priest in the vow of poverty?
Dear Fr Anthony,
What are the importances of vow of poverty? What is the difference between diocesan priest and religious priest in the vow of poverty?
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. Alas for you rich, for you are having your consolation now.” That’s how important poverty is.
This means that anyone who is attached to, or seeks his consolation in worldly possessions is by the very same fact and to the same degree veering away from the Kingdom of Heaven. So all Christians, and especially priests, are called to live the spirit of poverty.
As regards priests, diocesan priests do not take a vow of poverty while priests who belong to a religious order do (although some diocesan priests are members of associations or Movements that take special promises of poverty and other promises, as a help towards living their priesthood better, but that is an entirely individual choice and not essential to being a diocesan priest).
Among the religious orders there is a variety of particular ways in which the vow of poverty is lived, according to the spirit and purpose of each order or congregation. They all require detachment from riches, and each order has a number of expressions of poverty that are almost its hallmark. For some it is evident in the clothes they wear, their sandals, the bareness of their rooms. Others may emphasize more the use of time, order, effectiveness. Others shun any form of fundraising and live completely abandoned to divine providence, and so forth.
I know that is not much detail, but it should give you an idea.