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Old 07-22-2010, 03:35 PM
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Spanish Word for Priest

Spanishdict.com gives "sacerdote" and "cura" for "priest."

Well, which is it? Or are they interchangeable? Does one refer to a Christian priest (like he who leads a Catholic parish) and the other to a pagan priest (like he who sacrifices virgins on the altar of Cthulu)?
Old 07-22-2010, 04:23 PM
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I'll defer to the more fluent Hispanophones, but my impression is:

- Both primarily refer to the Christian priesthood.

- Sacerdote tends to refer more to the office, i.e., he's an ordained priest, no matter what he's doing; cura, more connotes the parish duties of most priests (and is IIRC the more common term for use referring to them. I.e., if Fr. Martinez teaches at the Universidad, there's be a tendency to use sacerdote; Fr. Garcia of Iglesia de Santa Inez de la Muerte Buena is more apt to be cura. But I don't think either would be solecistic where you'd expect the other, just ... unexpected.

- I almost think there's a third term, corresponding to English "witch doctor" in its popular usage, that would be used for "pagan priest." But I'm drawing a blank on it.

- A factoid you may never have any use for: an Anglican woman priest is properly la sacerdota.
Old 07-22-2010, 04:29 PM
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Well, there's yerbatero but I think that technically translates as herbalist.
Old 07-22-2010, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Polycarp View Post
- A factoid you may never have any use for: an Anglican woman priest is properly la sacerdota.
Presumably that word would also be used for a Catholic woman priest, if you needed to talk about such a person hypothetically (e.g., in an argument in favour of allowing women into the priesthood).
Old 07-22-2010, 04:37 PM
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My college priest, of Hispanic descent, was referred to as "padre". As in "go ask the padre where he's stashing the sacremental wine". San Diego's baseball team concurs with that usage.

Last edited by Munch; 07-22-2010 at 04:38 PM.
Old 07-22-2010, 05:10 PM
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I've only ever heard pastor (with the emphasis on the second syllable, no accent mark) used.

Last edited by Rigamarole; 07-22-2010 at 05:11 PM.
Old 07-22-2010, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munch View Post
My college priest, of Hispanic descent, was referred to as "padre". As in "go ask the padre where he's stashing the sacremental wine". San Diego's baseball team concurs with that usage.
Would that usage more accurately reflect the English use of "Father" when referring to a priest, rather than the word "priest" itself?
Old 07-22-2010, 05:22 PM
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Does Spanish have a term that's cognate with Greco-Latin presbyter & French prêtre? If so, is it now obsolete/archaic ... or perhaps it carries a different connotation today?

Italian has both sacredote and prete.
Old 07-22-2010, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by HeyHomie View Post
Spanishdict.com gives "sacerdote" and "cura" for "priest."

Well, which is it?...
Well, there's also the Diccionario de la lengua española - Vigésima segunda edición (link). Though it doesn't list, on its pages, who says what where, it does offer:
  • sacerdote. 1. m. En la Iglesia católica, hombre ordenado para celebrar el sacrificio de la misa y realizar otras tareas propias del ministerio pastoral....
  • cura. 1. m. En la Iglesia católica, sacerdote encargado, en virtud del oficio que tiene, del cuidado, instrucción y doctrina espiritual de una feligresía. 2. m. coloq. Sacerdote católico....
Go in circles until sufficiently dizzy. And those two definitions could support Polycarp's post. Re the priesthood, I'm among the less fluent. But hechicero/hechicera can be "witch doctor".
Old 07-22-2010, 09:54 PM
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In my experience in Spain, cura was almost exclusively used to describe a Catholic priest. Sacerdote was frequently used to describe pagan priests, such as Aztecs.
Old 07-23-2010, 01:19 AM
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"Cura" is exclusive for Catholic priests and it is colloquial. You may use it with a surname but not with a first name "El cura Guti+errez".
"Sacerdote" is a more techincal term and it is never used as a title. It is the term for all religions with priests.
"Padre" is the common term and exclusive of Catholics. It can be used with a first name "El padre Jorge" or a surname "El padre Rodríguez".
"Pastor" is reserved for protestant clergy.
Old 07-23-2010, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Ají de Gallina View Post
"Cura" is exclusive for Catholic priests and it is colloquial. You may use it with a surname but not with a first name "El cura Guti+errez".
"Sacerdote" is a more techincal term and it is never used as a title. It is the term for all religions with priests.
"Padre" is the common term and exclusive of Catholics. It can be used with a first name "El padre Jorge" or a surname "El padre Rodríguez".
"Pastor" is reserved for protestant clergy.
So...would "clergyman" be a rough translation?
Old 07-23-2010, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Polycarp View Post
- A factoid you may never have any use for: an Anglican woman priest is properly la sacerdota.
¡Sacerdotisa, por Dios!



In Spain, sacerdote refers to the profession and to any religion, and it's for male priests; sacerdotisa, priestess; cura is restricted to catholic-or-equivalent priests (you can call an anglican pastor or an orthodox pope a cura, even though there are more specific terms; you will not call a lutheran pastor a cura, you will not call a rabbi a cura). Lutherans have pastores, sing. pastor (and pastoras, sing. pastora). A Catholic priest is not called a pastor, same as they're not called popes, druidas or rabinos. And of course, it's always complicated to get people to understand the difference between a Jewish rabino and a Jewish sacerdote, since Catholic curas share the functions of both (but they're not called rabinos, although they are called sacerdotes and very often they are maestros).

Presbíteros are a specific job within the Catholic priesthood, at least in Spain.

Last edited by Nava; 07-23-2010 at 02:41 AM.
Old 07-23-2010, 02:43 AM
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Clergyman would usually be translated as clérigo, but clérigo includes monks and lay brothers as well as priests.

And the maestro I mentioned in the previous post means teacher and is a common translation of "rabbi" when people in the Gospels adress JC as "rabbi".

Last edited by Nava; 07-23-2010 at 02:43 AM.
Old 07-23-2010, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Nava View Post
Presbíteros are a specific job within the Catholic priesthood, at least in Spain.
Might the Spanish surname Prieto derive from a word meaning "priest" cognate with Fr prêtre & It prete?
Old 07-23-2010, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by bordelond View Post
Might the Spanish surname Prieto derive from a word meaning "priest" cognate with Fr prêtre & It prete?
No, prieto means blackish or dark-colored; by extension dark-skinned or swarthy. It's probably derived from the description of a person's appearance.
Old 07-25-2010, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by antonio107 View Post
So...would "clergyman" be a rough translation?
Clergyman would be "religioso", a priest, brother or friar. "Sacerdote" denotes an altar and a sacrifice, so protestant clergy ("pastor" or "hermano", rabbis ("rabino"), imans, hindu/duddhist monks ("monje") would not be "sacerdotes"
Old 07-26-2010, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by bordelond View Post
Might the Spanish surname Prieto derive from a word meaning "priest" cognate with Fr prêtre & It prete?
No, prieto means blackish or dark-colored; by extension dark-skinned or swarthy. It's probably derived from the description of a person's appearance.
It also means tight (a well-closed faucet, tight clothing), tight-fisted and thin. Definitely nothing to do with the priesthood.
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