A question for Catholics on orders of Priests

I was told by a co worker that the RC Church has a hierarchy of Priestly Orders-he related that the Carthusians for example are the highest religious order and if one were a Priest in the Carthusian Order one can not “slip down” to become for example a Diocesan Priest

He said one can move up, for example from a Franciscan to a Carthusian but not vice versa -is this true and if so why?

No, it is not true.

I don’t believe orders are in any particular hierarchy. Their influence during different times in history may be emphasized because of the time and place where the orders were incepted, but otherwise each is on an equal level in regards to serving the faithful in their particular field of influence. Also, if proper discernment was attained by the individual seeking out religious life or priesthood, there would not be reason to change orders in most cases. I imagine that would only occur in the case of a breech of fidelity to the core teachings of the church for such a desire to make a change. Although, the Holy Spirit can do wonders to those who follow its promptings and this would not rule out a personal reason for such a change with the help of the Advocate.

No, not true. There are cases were those in the religious order were called to serve as diocesan priests or parish priests, but are still members of their religious order and can be reassigned.

This just happened to one I know. He belongs to a religious order, was assigned to serve in a parish. His order just reassigned him to another parish somewhere in the mid-West.

No. Just because a Catholic says something, it doesn’t make it the Catholic position – unless he or she posts it on an Internet discussion forum, of course. :smiley: :wink:

the person was mistaken. perhaps he or she confused the Church’s teachings about states of life.

the Church teaches that the contemplative life is the highest vocation. the Carthusians are contemplatives who live more like hermits than members of a community. the thrust of their ministry is contemplation in isolation. they seek to remove themselves as completely as possible from this world and to spend their time in prayer and contemplation. in some theological treatises about states of life, there may be comments indicating that the carthusian order is an attempt to live the highest vocation of the contemplative in its most ideal form.

there are different levels of the sacrament of orders, there is the diaconate, the priesthood and the episcopal levels. each level is a greater participation in the ministerial priesthood established by Jesus.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.