In its etymological sense this expression signifies every person who forms a part of the external and visible society which constitutes the Church, and who has not been canonically expelled therefrom. But the expression is rarely used in this sense; customarily it indicates persons whom a special tie connects with the Church, either because they have received ecclesiastical tonsure , minor, or higher orders, and are a fortiori invested with a power of jurisdiction ; or because they have taken vows in a religious order or congregation approved by the Church. This more intimate union with the Church involves particular duties which are not incumbent on the general faithful (see CLERIC).
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