Featured Term (selected at random):CLERGY Those specially ordained for Divine Service as deacons, priests, or bishops. In this sense the clergy form the Church's hierarchy. Entrance into the clerical state now takes place when a man is ordained deacon. Formerly it was at the time he received first tonsure. (Etym. Latin clericus; from Greek kleros, lot, portion; the clergy whose portion is the Lord.) All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.