Any point in trying?


If one feels a genuine call to a vocation within the Church but had attempted suicide as a teenager and thus has a canonical impediment to receive orders, is there any point in even going through a personal discernment process and/or trying to get in to a seminary at some point? Canon law states that a Bishop can grant a dispensation in such cases, but in reality is this something that really happens? I realize it’s an individual case by case type thing, but what is the case generally speaking? Also, are these dispensations requested prior to entering seminary in the case of a religious order? Any advice is much appreciated.

God Bless.


Wow. This is news to me. I do not see how a suicide attempt as an adolescent could possibly be placed into a category of "canonical impediments".

I think some things would need to be taken into consideration:
person's age now, what age did the suicide attempt happen, has the person resolved any issues that were leading to the consideration of suicide, etc. Maybe also a letter of support from a mental health professional in support of your general well-being and mental stability now at the present.

I don't think it is a "black and white" issue as you may understand it to be.

God bless you.


It sounds like you are going on assumptions. Get in touch with your diocese’s office of vocations and what ever religious orders you are interested in and explain your situation; they will be able to advise you.


Any and/or all canonical impediments can be removed: it may just take a little work. If you are a worthy candidate and have a genuine vocation the diocese will work with you. Just be upfront and honest about your reasons why you feel you have a vocation, as well as being forthright about your past and I am sure that any diocesan vocation director worth his salt will help you through any process necessary.

Good luck, and God Bless.


Thanks everybody!!! :slight_smile:


If you do not feel like it is too personal, please keep us updated on this one. I am truly curious about how the diocese would handle such case...

Good luck with your vocation, whatever it may be!


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