The term ‘Cleric’ in VD encompasses all Professional, Ordained and recognized religious clergy, leaders and teachers. Be they Church of England Bishops, Catholic Priest, Jewish Rabbis, Islamic Mullahs, Baptist Ministers, Patriarchs, Rectors, Padres of any Christian subset. ALL are recognized by followers of their own religion, other religions and secular authorities as professionals who are ordained or otherwise elevated in their chosen faith.
While Mystics can be male or female, the ‘powers that be’ in the Religious Hierarchies (in 1890) generally accept women only in limited roles. (Convents, Abbeys, Orders of Nuns, etc.)
(The term Priest is used in most descriptions as an example, not as a definitive term, which may vary by faith.)
This recognition brings with it a certain degree of respect as well as ‘powers and privileges’ (NON MAGICAL) that are none the less important and valuable within society and recognized by all, even those of differing faiths.
The exact ‘powers and privileges’ will vary slightly depending on the hierarchy of the cleric’s faith and where they stand in that hierarchy.
Non-magical abilities of ALL authorized clergy.
Marriage: A priest can marry two mutually consenting members of their Faith. Usually male and female only
Burial: A Priest MUST see to it that all members of their
Faith receive a proper burial.
Affirmation and Dedication: Acceptance of a new member of their Faith at birth, or as an adult. (Ex: Baptism)
Coming of Age Ceremony: Performed on members of their Faith, male or female, at age 12 to reaffirm dedication to ______.
Anathematize: To cast out or excommunicate a Lay member of their Faith. Not to be done lightly.
Non-magical abilities of Senior religious authorities.
Initiation: Acceptance of a member of their Faith into a Monastery, Temple or school or for training to the Priesthood.
Ordination: Elevation of a Monk or Initiate to status of Priest or similar.
Church of England: The State Religion of England. Primarily located in England, Great Britain and Overseas Territories, Colonies and possessions. As a member of the Clergy of the Church of England a character receives +1 on Reaction Roles when dealing with Secular Authorities in England and much of Great Britain and the Empire. Additionally, you receive a monthly stipend and housing and board. The stipend and expenses will vary depending on the individuals position and duties. However, you are expected to surrender all moneys, gifts, rewards, etc received or earned to the Church, keeping no more the 10% for yourself.
Catholic Church: The Church Universal. With a few exceptions, found through out the world. The State or dominant religion in many nations, particularly in Europe, South and Central America. In those countries (only) a character receives +1 on Reaction Roles when dealing with Secular Authorities. Additionally, you receive a monthly stipend and housing and board. The stipend and expenses will vary depending on the individuals position and duties.
The Priest is expected to maintain Vows of Celibacy and Obedience. Catholic priests take a vow of obedience, vowing to put the good of the Church before their own personal good. A Vow of Poverty is optional.