Priests have swarms for people
Who is standing at the altar in your congregation and celebrating mass? The priest? The pastor? Or is it the pastor? In the end, are these only three words for one and the same office?
On the colloquial level it is first of all the case that in northern Germany it is "Moin, Herr Pastor" and in southern Germany it is "Grüß Gott, Herr Pastor!".
Pastor as a job title
"Pastor" is a job title. The word is Latin and means "shepherd". So pastor is the general title for clergy in church service - regardless of denomination. So there are pastors among Protestant Christians as well as Catholics and the same office is meant.
Protestant pastors and Catholic pastors are different
A Catholic pastor can originally only be called a pastor if he has a parish. The old word "pastor" also contains the word "pastor" and shows that a pastor leads a congregation.
In the meantime, however, there are also pastors who once had a congregation, who lost it by amalgamating it with another, so to speak, in such and other special cases, then bear "pastor" as a personal title.
On the other hand: A Protestant pastor does not necessarily have to lead a congregation. He only has to be fully theologically trained clergy in the service of the evangelical church. He was ordained a pastor, that is, he is allowed to preach, baptize, and distribute the sacrament.
There are no priests in the Protestant Church
In the Catholic Church the clergy are ordained priests.
Ordination is a sacrament. Priests serve as mediators between the church and God. There are no ordained priests in the Protestant Church. Martin Luther spoke of the "priesthood of all believers".
In the Catholic Church, only Catholic clergy ordained priests are allowed to celebrate the Eucharist and, as a rule, only they are allowed to administer the sacraments.
And finally: ordination is a prerequisite for being able to lead a parish, i.e. to become a pastor.
The Orthodox Churches also know the office of priest.
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