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  1. #1

    Church of Requesta - Structure

    Introduction

    The structure of the Church is separate from the secular, but mirrors it in several ways. The Church members form a separate social class called clerici (clergy). The clergy is made up of ecclesiastics devoted to the faith who have taken vows not to pursue worldly advancement and possessions, instead choosing a life of service to our God and the faithful.

    The Church will have the power to regulate its own affairs and Church members will be tried by the ecclesiastical courts rather than the secular courts. However, the Church will have to operate from the lands of the secular lords until such time as they are granted their own lands. Such lands will be given to a Bishop as a temporality which is the only exception to the rule that a member of the clergy may not own property.

    It is hoped that in the future the Church will be able to acquire their own lands either through a grant from a magnate or direct conquest. It will be quite a while, however, before the Church will be able to muster the wealth, support and military strength to become a political force unto itself.

    Clergy may not pursue crafting skills with the intention of becoming a commercial trader. But they will be able to pursue any craft for the betterment of the Church and can offer these services to those outside the clergy in exchange for donations to the Church. They can serve as ministers or officers of the court but will not be allowed to accept payment unless it is a donation to the Church.

    A member may leave the clergy, but will not be allowed to re-enter service without special dispensation from their Bishop.

    The Hierarchy

    When a member undertakes holy vows they enter an entirely new social class with its own rankings. The position you held in secular life will affect at which position you enter the church.

    Novice

    Trial Members or immigrants enter the Church as a Novice and Plebeians may be directed to enter the Church at this level instead of entering as a Friar if they are examined by their Bishop or Priest and found to be in need of additional training. A Novice is in training to become a Friar and is still a member of the secular structure, and they are still subject to its laws and authority. The role of a Novice is to learn the Dogma of the Church while showing an interest in role-play and assisting the Friars/Monks/Priest/Bishop in their daily duties.

    Friars/Monks

    Anyone, whether man or woman, may become a friar/monk by training as a Novice, or a Plebeian or above may enter at this rank following a short examination by their Bishop/Priest. After their examination and approval, they will take a vow of poverty, and turn over all of their possessions to the Church. Monks will report to their abbot, Friars are free to roam. The form of address for them is "Brother" or “Sister”. Friars will become part of a mendicant order; Monks will become part of a monastic order, or a military order and will be governed by its rule.

    The role of a Friar/Monk will be heavily influenced by the rule of the Order that they are a member of but, in essence, Friars/Monks are to the Church what a Freeman is to the secular society. As long as a Friar/Monk follows the Order’s Rule and does not break their holy vows they will find that they can do almost anything they want. Monks will find their rules to be much more restrictive.

    As examples: Friars/Monks may choose to serve as a minister or officer of the court, can persue a craft or hobby, spread the faith as a missionary or take up arms in a Holy War. In fact, as long as they act in God’s name, they have great freedom (Friars more so than Monks). Friars/Monks will serve the spiritual needs of the community by reminding people of our faith and warning those who are straying from the path but they may not outright preach. Though they are not technically “clergy” per se, they are still tried by ecclesiastical courts rather than the secular courts.

    Seminarian

    Gentry and Freeman who wish to join the church may do so as a seminary student, or a Seminarian. Friars/Monks may also apply to be Seminarians. Those wishing to become a Priest must approach an existing Bishop or Priest, and convince them to take them on. Upon paying for their schooling, a seminarian is considered official. A seminarian is a candidate for priesthood, and the relationship between their Bishop or Priest mirrors the relationship of Knight and Squire. The form of address is based on what they were before they began their training. For example, a Friar would still be “Brother,” a knight would still be “Sir,” if they had no title, “Mr/Ms” would be appropriate. In full correspondence they would be addressed as "The Reverend Seminarian".

    The seminarian's role in the church is to study the lore of the Church and laws/structure of the guild. It’s also their duty to support the Priest/Bishop which agreed to take them on and learn from them.

    Priest

    Seminarians may become priests once their mentor feels they are ready, and they pass an examination by their Bishop.

    The main role of the Priesthood is to oversee the mental and physical health of all those who follow the faith and they should spread the word wherever they go, and offer guidance to those who seek it. As such, the position of priest can be quite role-play intensive. You must know how to address members of the clergy and also secular society with the correct titles, be able to offer guidance and help in matters of Dogma, Lore, and structure of the guild to the Friars/monks and Seminarians and other members of the Republic, and be ready to lead people in worship. Priests mirror knights in that they are responsible for the spiritual well-being of a small area of land, called a parish, in the same way a knight might be responsible for the physical well-being of an area, called a fief.

    Address a priest in person by calling them “Father,” and "The Reverend (name of Priest) of (name of parish)" in correspondence.

    Bishop

    The role of the Bishop is to lead the faithful in his diocese, and to oversee all matters religious in nature. Bishops are allowed to own property in the form of a temporality. If a Bishop is given a temporality, he is not only responsible for its spiritual well-being, but its productivity as well. The Bishop is a lord of society and is addressed as "my Lord" or "His Excellency" and "The Most Reverend Bishop (name of Bishop) of (the name of his diocese)" in correspondence.

    Bishops can only be ordained by another Bishop. A Bishop will be appointed in the case of a new diocese. Bishops may appoint their successors, but in the case that a diocese becomes unoccupied as a result of unforeseen circumstance, an election will occur with all the priests in the diocese eligible, and all members of the Church within the diocese voting.

    Church Knights

    The Church may create its own knights, as bishops and archbishops have the power of Accolade. As a knight, you are not allowed to preach, but you should still be a good role-player and possess a great understanding of the Church Dogma and a good understanding of the Church Lore.

    Knights sworn to the Church may still bear the title of sir, still have heraldic arms, and will still fight from horseback. However, the other knightly pursuits of courtly love, maintaining a retinue, and maintaining secular lands will be off limits. He may still be granted a fief by his Bishop if the Bishop has a temporality. Becoming a Knight of the Church does not imply entry to the clergy, but if the knight already possesses land it will become forfeit and he shall have to abandon the manor and estate provided to him by his lord and escheat the territory back into the lord's possession. Being a Church knight does not equate to holding a particular status amongst the clergy and a Church Knight could be a Monk or Priest for example.

    The Master of a military order would be a church knight, as would his senior lieutenants if they have distinguished themselves militarily; however, not all members of a military order are knights. In fact, most of them are monks.
    Caelitus Mihi Vires

  2. #2
    Clergy Titles

    Here's a quick description and examples of the "jobs" that clergy members can have, and they can have multiples:

    Inquisitor

    The Inquisition will act as prefects for the Church. They will seek out those members that are preaching heresy or otherwise not following the Church’s rules. The perpetrators will be delivered, tried, and judged by the Church. Only those wishing to RP a member of the Church will ever be examined by the Inquisition. Inquisitors are Priests or above, and only Bishops can sit in judgement. The head of the Inquisition will be a Bishop, and will be addressed as "Grand Inquisitor," or "Your Excellency."

    Abbot

    Members of the clergy who have been granted an Abbey to run are called Abbots. Anyone can be an Abbot, even secular lords, though it is more likely to be run by a member of the clergy, and even more likely that a Master of an Order of Monks will be granted an Abbey. His form of address is "the Right Reverend."

    Cleric

    Members of the clergy who have a position in both the administrative wing of the government and the church are called clerics. They may be Priests, Friars/Monks.

    Chaplain

    Clergy may enlist in the military in addition to their normal ecclesiastical duties. Priests who serve in a military position by either being in a military order or joining a secular army for a campaign are called chaplains.

    Vicar

    Vicars are members of the kingdom who serves as the second in command to the Bishop. There is only one per diocese, and he/she answers only to the Bishop. They may only be a priest and are styled "the Very Reverend."

    Spiritual Orders

    The idea is that all members of the church will belong to an Order. Members are allowed to transfer from one type of Order to another. There are four types of spiritual orders; military, mendicant, monastic, and canonical orders.

    Military Order

    A military order is made up of warrior monks who serve the church, and knights who give up all their worldly lands and titles in order to serve their God without the interference of worldly desire. They are granted a charter, live under a Rule, are clergy, and pledge their allegiance to the church in order to serve God uninhibited by the corruption of secular influence. If you are looking to be recognized as a military order, there are requirements which you must fulfil in order to be considered official.

    First - A Rule
    You must have a Rule which is approved by the Church. A Rule is a collection of the "Rules" by which the organization operates. It includes things like, uniforms, chain of command, obedience.

    Second - Charter
    It must be granted a charter by the Church. This is what legitimizes your Order as a military order, and not just a bunch of religious nuts.

    Third - Ordained Leader
    The Grand Master must be ordained by the leader of the diocese.

    Fourth - Leader must be a Knight
    It must be founded by someone with the rank of knight, or higher. Of course, the Bishop of the diocese can knight you once you accomplish the other goals. The head of a military order is known as Grand Master.
    NOTE: It's possible for a Chivalric Order to become a Military Order. You can't go from a Military Order to a Chivalric Order however. If you did rescind your oath to God, you'd be excommunicated outright.

    Mendicant Order
    Here are a few guidelines and things to know that should be referred to when founding an Order of Friars.

    By nature, friars are constantly on the move, spreading the word of God, and committing good acts in any town they come across. As such, they own no property, or land (even collectively), therefore they must rely on the charity of others.

    If you are looking to be recognized as a mendicant order, there are requirements which you must fulfil in order to be considered official.

    Its Rule must be recognized by the Church

    It must be granted a Charter by the Church

    Failure to meet this criteria will result in the Order being declared heretical, and unless it disbands immediately, its members will be hunted down as heretics themselves.

    Monastic Order
    Here are a few guidelines and things to know that should be referred to when founding an Order of Monks:

    By nature, Monks are stationary and secluded. They own no property, or land as individuals, but may be granted land to use by a patron, either a Bishop or a Lord. Once donated, that land belongs to the Order.

    If you are looking to be recognized as a monastic order, there are requirements which you must fulfill in order to be considered official. Any group of yahoos can live out in the woods and call themselves "monks." If you want the protection of the Church, these are the steps you must follow:

    Its Rule must be recognized by the Church
    It must be granted a Charter by the Church

    Failure to meet this criteria will result in the Order being declared heretical...if you claim to be legitimate...and unless it disbands immediately, its members will be hunted down as heretics themselves.

    Canonical Order
    A canonical order is basically the staff of people who oversee a particular church building. Such an Order will fall under the direction of a Priest or Bishop.
    Last edited by Azerath; 02-26-2016 at 11:07 AM.
    Caelitus Mihi Vires

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