Parish Priest, in the Catholic Church, the pastor of a parish, an office-holder who has the main responsibility for pastoral care in his parish. Canon Law reserves this position to priests, who exercise their governing power as individuals sharing in the power of the bishop, to whom they are theologically and legally subordinated. The parish priest is the head of his congregation, he is responsible for teaching them and for their sanctification as well as for the administration of his parish (finances, church records etc.) (Parish Council). In some cases he has assistants (curates, deacons, pastoral assistants etc.).
In Protestant churches the pastor exercises the church ministry (preaching and administering the sacraments) for a specific community or groups of persons. Austrian Protestant communities have the right to elect their pastors, whose appointment is formally confirmed by the Oberkirchenrat council. The last legal obstacle to the admission of women to the ministry was removed in 1982.