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Region: England, Wales and Northern Ireland

RE:QUEST

A space for resources to help RE teachers and their students explore the Christian faith

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Church: Roman Catholic Leaders

What is the role of the Catholic priest?

Each Roman Catholic parish church will have a priest. Most Roman Catholic priests are asked to remain celibate, as this allows them to share their lives in service to all, whilst devoting themselves to God alone. The priest says the Mass each service; he is helped by boys and girls called altar servers.

When the Priest says the Mass he wears special clothes called vestments. These are not always the same; a priest wears different coloured vestments on different occasions. The Head of the Roman Catholic church across the world is called the Pope.

Roman Catholics are Christians who regard Peter, the disciple, as the first Christian leader – according to Jesus himself, who said: "You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church." (Matthew 16: 18 - 20). Catholics think of the Pope in Rome as the ‘spiritual heir of St. Peter’.