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see orders, holyorders, holy
[Lat. ordo,=rank], in Christianity, the traditional degrees of the clergy, conferred by the Sacrament of Holy Order. The episcopacy, priesthood or presbyterate, and diaconate were in general use in Christian churches in the 2d cent.
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RC Church an ecclesiastical title attached to certain offices or distinctions usually bestowed by the Pope
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005