(From the Latin regere , to rule).
Priests who preside over missions or quasi- parishes are called rectors: in England and the United States they are removable and irremovable, or permanent. These latter are known also as missionary rectors (M.R.). The term rector is applied likewise to the heads of universities, seminaries, and colleges ; to the local superiors of religious houses of men; to the pope, as rector of the world, in the conferring of the tiara. In some universities, e.g. Louvain, the actual president is known as rector magnificus . Rector general is the title given to the superior general of certain religious, e.g. Clerics Regular of the Mother of God. In ancient times bishops as rulers of cities and provinces, especially in the Papal States, were called rectors; also administrators of the patrimony of the Church (e.g. rector Siciliæ ). To a rector who has resigned is often given the title rector emeritus . One who supplies the place usually occupied by a rector is styled pro-rector (in parishes, administrator ), while assistants to rectors in institutions are known as vice-rectors (in parishes, as curates, assistant, or associate, rectors, etc.). Rector is used by Gregory the Great in the "Regula Pastoralis" as equivalent to pastor .
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online