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Frequently Asked Questions
regarding
WHEN HOLY ORDERS ARE DENIED

Q. 1. It is my understanding that a Catholic man can be denied the Holy Orders for a number of reasons. What are these reasons?

A. 1. Indeed, a candidate to the priesthood can be denied the Holy Orders for a number of reasons. According to Canon Law, these reasons are:

Canon Law # 1041 The following persons are irregular for the reception of orders:

1 one who suffers from any form of insanity, or from any other psychological infirmity, because of which he is, after experts have been consulted, judged incapable of being able to fulfil the ministry;

2 one who has committed the offence of apostasy, heresy or schism;

3 one who has attempted marriage, even a civil marriage, either while himself prevented from entering marriage whether by an existing marriage bond or by a sacred order or by a public and perpetual vow of chastity, or with a woman who is validly married or is obliged by the same vow;

4 one who has committed wilful homicide, or one who has actually procured an abortion, and all who have positively cooperated;

5 one who has gravely and maliciously mutilated himself or another, or who has attempted suicide;

6 one who has carried out an act of order which is reserved to those in the order of the episcopate or priesthood, while himself either not possessing that order or being barred from its exercise by some canonical penalty, declared or imposed.

Canon Law # 1042 The following are simply impeded from receiving orders:

1 a man who has a wife, unless he is lawfully destined for the permanent diaconate;

2 one who exercises an office or administration forbidden to clerics, in accordance with cann. 285 and 286, of which he must render an account; the impediment binds until such time as, having relinquished the office and administration and rendered the account, he has been freed;

3 a neophyte, unless, in the judgement of the Ordinary, he has been sufficiently tested.



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