Automatic disqualifiers from a vocation


#1

Is there anything the would disqualify someone from having a vocation to the Priesthood, or Religious Life besides not being Catholic, but even then you could convert?


#2

These matters are summarised in the 1983 Code of Canon Law. Regarding the priesthood, see:

vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P3S.HTM

And regarding religious life, see:

vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P24.HTM

If you read these canons, you’ll see that some matters can be dispensed, and some can’t; and also that proper authority can in some cases apply other conditions and limits in addition to these provisions.

Generally if an individual has some kind of a problem it’s best to approach the appropriate diocese or religious institute and determine what, if anything, can be done.

It’a also worth adding that however strongly a person may feel about their calling, the Church does not consider that they have a true vocation to religious life or ordained ministry until a superior or bishop confirms this by accepting them for firstly, formation within, and secondly, for admission to, the particular religious institute or diocese.

Hope this helps. Best wishes.


#3

[quote="LoyalViews, post:1, topic:258799"]
Is there anything the would disqualify someone from having a vocation to the Priesthood, or Religious Life besides not being Catholic, but even then you could convert?

[/quote]

Being married is a big road block from joining any sort of Religious Community or being a Priest. Other than that I believe the message above me answers your question perfectly.


#4

And according to the Pope, being gay (SSA)


#5

The Vatican’s most recent statement on this issue can be found at:

vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_20051104_istruzione_en.html

But like most canonical statements, this is a complex instruction, and as per usual with church documents, requires more than a casual reading to be understood fully. That’s why bishops and religious ordinaries, and the people who work with them to assess candidates to priesthood and religious life, will have been briefed on the document, and why we should be cautious in interpreting it without having received that level of guidance.

The key phrase is, perhaps:

In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question[9], cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called "gay culture

Generally speaking, then, the fact that a person has recognised their attraction to the same sex (and possibly integrated that within their Christian faith, and never acted upon it) doesn’t automatically bar them from ordination or religious life. Recent and prolonged engagement in a sexually hedonistic lifestyle - homosexual or heterosexual, in fact - would bar them, however, and as with all candidates, their ability to remain celibate will be assessed within the application procedure and throughout formation.

So the prohibitions of this document specifically address people who have been living or supporting an openly or actively homosexual lifestyle, and the consequences of same for an application to seminary. The instruction gives the bishop or superior the power to turn people down because of such behaviours. But it also allows them to accept people if it is considered that God is working to help them manage their personal lives in the desired way.

I realise that a lot of people in the blogosphere have interpreted the document in a more black-and-white fashion, but I doubt they have been instructed on its proper implementation as have diocesan and religious ordinaries. It needs to be understood in its proper context.


#6

[quote="Ocarm, post:5, topic:258799"]
The Vatican's most recent statement on this issue can be found at:

vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_20051104_istruzione_en.html

But like most canonical statements, this is a complex instruction, and as per usual with church documents, requires more than a casual reading to be understood fully. That's why bishops and religious ordinaries, and the people who work with them to assess candidates to priesthood and religious life, will have been briefed on the document, and why we should be cautious in interpreting it without having received that level of guidance.

The key phrase is, perhaps:

In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question[9], cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called "gay culture

Generally speaking, then, the fact that a person has recognised their attraction to the same sex (and possibly integrated that within their Christian faith, and never acted upon it) doesn't automatically bar them from ordination or religious life. Recent and prolonged engagement in a sexually hedonistic lifestyle - homosexual or heterosexual, in fact - would bar them, however, and as with all candidates, their ability to remain celibate will be assessed within the application procedure and throughout formation.

So the prohibitions of this document specifically address people who have been living or supporting an openly or actively homosexual lifestyle, and the consequences of same for an application to seminary. The instruction gives the bishop or superior the power to turn people down because of such behaviours. But it also allows them to accept people if it is considered that God is working to help them manage their personal lives in the desired way.

I realise that a lot of people in the blogosphere have interpreted the document in a more black-and-white fashion, but I doubt they have been instructed on its proper implementation as have diocesan and religious ordinaries. It needs to be understood in its proper context.

[/quote]

Thanks for this. On another forum, people said the having SSA bars one from any religious or priestly vocation, period, that's it, no questions. If you have SSA, you have no vocation, that's an automatic NO.

But, as you have pointed out, that's not true. Certain people WITH SSA might very well just have a vocation (as determined by the spiritual director).


#7

[quote="LoyalViews, post:6, topic:258799"]
Thanks for this. On another forum, people said the having SSA bars one from any religious or priestly vocation, period, that's it, no questions. If you have SSA, you have no vocation, that's an automatic NO.

But, as you have pointed out, that's not true. Certain people WITH SSA might very well just have a vocation (as determined by the spiritual director).

[/quote]

catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1004842.htm
"Homosexuality is incompatible with the priestly vocation. Otherwise, celibacy itself would lose its meaning as a renunciation. It would be extremely dangerous if celibacy became a sort of pretext for bringing people into the priesthood who don't want to get married anyway,"


#8

Some people with SSA do yearn to get married (to a woman of course) and to have family life. It is possible. I think our great Holy Father means that people with SSA shouldn’t automatically assume they have vocation to the Priesthood or religious life. Though, I could be wrongd :slight_smile:


#9

[quote="Dakota_Roberts, post:7, topic:258799"]
catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1004842.htm
"Homosexuality is incompatible with the priestly vocation. Otherwise, celibacy itself would lose its meaning as a renunciation. It would be extremely dangerous if celibacy became a sort of pretext for bringing people into the priesthood who don't want to get married anyway,"

[/quote]

Yes, homosexuality is as this quote says. SSA and homosexuality are not necessarily the same thing.


#10

To that, a civil divorce without a recognized annulment would be an impediment.


#11

In post #4 I was referring to (almost) exclusively same sex attraction, likewise the Pope. It really feels like he said that if you aren’t interested in women you’re unfit to be a priest because you’re incapable of being a father figure. And of course we can’t have them joining the priesthood because then it’ll associate celibacy "with the tendency to homosexuality."
Gee thanks Papa…

He can be a really endearing guy can’t he?


#12

[quote="Dakota_Roberts, post:11, topic:258799"]
In post #4 I was referring to (almost) exclusively same sex attraction, likewise the Pope. It really feels like he said that if you aren't interested in women you're unfit to be a priest because you're incapable of being a father figure. And of course we can't have them joining the priesthood because then it'll associate celibacy "with the tendency to homosexuality."
Gee thanks Papa...

He can be a really endearing guy can't he?

[/quote]

And as explained by Br Mike your interpretation is not how the Church interprets it.


#13

[quote="ByzCath, post:12, topic:258799"]
And as explained by Br Mike your interpretation is not how the Church interprets it.

[/quote]

The Pope's own words

Homosexuality is incompatible with the priestly vocation. Otherwise, celibacy itself would lose its meaning as a renunciation. It would be extremely dangerous if celibacy became a sort of pretext for bringing people into the priesthood who don't want to get married anyway

It's clear gays are not wanted regardless of if they've stopped or never even started


#14

[quote="Dakota_Roberts, post:13, topic:258799"]
The Pope's own words

It's clear gays are not wanted regardless of if they've stopped or never even started

[/quote]

Again I point out, read the actual words.

The pope said homosexual, not SSA.

Not everyone who suffers from SSA is a homosexual. The use of the word homosexual usually denotes someone who is actively pursuing that lifestyle.

This is as has been alluded to here at CAF by many religious and priests, this is what happens when people read documents of the Church without having a lot of theological sophistication or understanding of how to interpret such things.

I am willing to discuss this further with you but to do so we must take what the pope said in context. Linking to an article that only addresses this small point is not helpful. If you can point to the place where this excerpt was taken from the actual book.


#15

[quote="ByzCath, post:14, topic:258799"]
Again I point out, read the actual words.

The pope said homosexual, not SSA.

Not everyone who suffers from SSA is a homosexual. The use of the word homosexual usually denotes someone who is actively pursuing that lifestyle.

This is as has been alluded to here at CAF by many religious and priests, this is what happens when people read documents of the Church without having a lot of theological sophistication or understanding of how to interpret such things.

I am willing to discuss this further with you but to do so we must take what the pope said in context. Linking to an article that only addresses this small point is not helpful. If you can point to the place where this excerpt was taken from the actual book.

[/quote]

Are you suggesting Catholic News Service would grossly misrepresent what the Pope said in an interview? He said it in the interview.

Is it meaningful to swear off something that you have no interest in? That appears to be what the Pope is getting at. If you do something that by its very nature requires you to be celibate then people stop wondering why you aren't dating.

SSA is the term people on this forum would use, outside the US it doesn't get used. Based on context he was referring to those with predominantly homosexual tendencies.


#16

[quote="Dakota_Roberts, post:15, topic:258799"]
Are you suggesting Catholic News Service would grossly misrepresent what the Pope said in an interview? He said it in the interview.

Is it meaningful to swear off something that you have no interest in? That appears to be what the Pope is getting at. If you do something that by its very nature requires you to be celibate then people stop wondering why you aren't dating.

SSA is the term people on this forum would use, outside the US it doesn't get used. Based on context he was referring to those with predominantly homosexual tendencies.

[/quote]

No I am not suggesting that I am just pointing out that this little bit they "reported" on is not in its full context. It is a part of a 219 page book, of which the homosexual angle is part of a 12 page chapter.

I disagree with you that SSA and homosexual are the same thing and I believe that I have Church teaching behind me on this.

Also this is just an interview, it is not any sort of authoritative teaching. The Church does have authoritative documents on this and it does not say what you are saying.

I see we will not agree on this and you seem reluctant to discuss this as I offered by taking it in context of the whole book/chapter. Instead of taking that opportunity you chose to misrepresent that offer as an accusation against the CNS.

I will pray for you, please pray for me.


#17

[quote="Dakota_Roberts, post:15, topic:258799"]
Is it meaningful to swear off something that you have no interest in? That appears to be what the Pope is getting at. If you do something that by its very nature requires you to be celibate then people stop wondering why you aren't dating.

[/quote]

I believe someone already mentioned this, but even some people with SSA desire to have a wife and a family. It's not like everyone with SSA is in the exact same situation. It's kind of like there are different degrees or levels of SSA. A vocations director and bishop of a diocese or whoever makes decisions on the seminary candidates would have to find out the person's level of SSA, as well as his history, before considering admitting him.


#18

In the document, the Pope bans three groups of men from the priesthood:

  1. Actvie homosexuals

  2. Those who promote the homosexual lifestyle or participate is specifically homosexual events

  3. those with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies.” This third one is the most difficult to understand as this doesn’t mean a passing experince, or a pssing idea but one which has one of two effects. 1st if it is of such a nature, the bishop cannot trust the person will be able to live celebecy. 2nd if it affects his way of being to the extent that he cannot model Christ as the groom of the Church (he is another Christ).

Certain dioceses and religious communities are stricter. For example, the Legion, my comunity and the diocese of Arlington, VA are both stricter.

God bless.

Br Matthew, LC


#19

And having any children (whether in or out of wedlock) under the age of 18 is usually a barrier.


#20

[quote="ByzCath, post:14, topic:258799"]

Not everyone who suffers from SSA is a homosexual. The use of the word homosexual usually denotes someone who is actively pursuing that lifestyle.

This is as has been alluded to here at CAF by many religious and priests, this is what happens when people read documents of the Church without having a lot of theological sophistication or understanding of how to interpret such things.

[/quote]

I can NOT thumbs-up this enough! Exactly. You are so right, it's not even funny.
SSA and homosexuality are on two completely different sides of the stick.

[quote="bobballen_18, post:17, topic:258799"]
I believe someone already mentioned this, but even some people with SSA desire to have a wife and a family. It's not like everyone with SSA is in the exact same situation. It's kind of like there are different degrees or levels of SSA. A vocations director and bishop of a diocese or whoever makes decisions on the seminary candidates would have to find out the person's level of SSA, as well as his history, before considering admitting him.

[/quote]

:thumbsup: Thanks for this.


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