(derived ultimately from Gk. presbyteros, elder). Title of ordained or authorized religious functionary who performs mediatorial, interpretative, ministerial, sacrificial, and ritualistic functions. Sometimes used as a synonym for pastor. Designation for a mem. of the clergy in RC, Angl., Scand. Luth., E Orthodox, and some other chs. See also Hierarchy; Priesthood; Western Christianity 5001500, 9.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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