Slavery is the extreme form of inequality where some people are literary owned by others, the estate system consist of strata which have differing rights, the caste system is merely a rigid class system in which members are born into and in which escape is by extreme difficulties example the India caste system. The open class system is a class system in which there is the possibility of social mobility where one can move up the social ladder through education, marriage or even by chance or luck.2
According to the functionalist perspective on social inequality, Davis and Moore perceived social stratification and inequality as one that plays a role in the proper working of society in that all social systems share certain functional prerequisite which must be met for the society to operate efficiently and effectively. One of these prerequisites is effective role allocation and performance and this means that all roles must be filled by those who are best able to perform them. The mechanism that ensures proper role allocation is social stratification, roles are different in terms of importance and therefore there is the need to attach unequal rewards to the role.3
We will focus our discussion on social strati...
We will consider the social stratification of these churches as one that plays an important role in the proper functioning of these religious institutions.
RELIGIOUS SOCIAL STRATIFICATION:
The Catholic Church:
The Roman Catholic Church is the largest in terms of number of followers, this church is headed by the pope, the pope has final authority in all matters and he appoints cardinals who are below him in command. The catholic churches all over the world share common faith, common principles of church policies and organization and also common liturgy.4
The cardinals are directly below the pope in authority, they are appointed by the pope and when a pope in command dies they appoint a new pope, therefore they are second in command after the pope, and however the cardinals are bishops appointed by the pope from all over the world.5
The third rank is the bishop's position, he bishop heads a diocese which is the unit of organization in the Catholic Church, the bishop has the authority to admit priests into his diocese and also to exclude them from his diocese, he also assigns duties and priest to various parishes in his diocese.6
The clergy and the nuns are the last rank where the clergy is responsible of administering worship in the churches or parishes, the stratification into ranks of the Catholic Church can be diagrammatical simplified below.7
The diagram shows social stratification of the Catholic Church starting from those who rank high in the social ladder (the pope) to those who rank low in the social ladder (clergy and nuns), further the pope can only be one and the number increases downwards, cardinals are less than 300 in number and the number of the clergy and the nuns is large.