Bipolar Disorder and the Priesthood

So I am diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and feel a strong call to the priesthood. However, I am aware of the requirement to be in good mental health. Could my Bipolar get in the way of this vocation?
It is well controlled with medication by the way.

Most likely will prohibit you from entering the seminary, just as high blood pressure and being obese would. But I;m not a vocation director, so my advice is to apply and see how it goes.

I had a friend who applied, but was extremely overweight. They turned him down.

He had a heart attack within a year and died on the operating table.

Obviously, he wasn’t meant to become a priest


There is a psychological screening as part of the application process, so that would come up. I would imagine it might disqualify a candidate, but it would also depend on the degree to which one was afflicted with the disorder, as well as how well managed it was. In general something like that is probably going to be a barrier to admission.

That said, from reading your other posts, you say that you’re not Catholic yet and won’t enter the Church until Easter. Best not to put the cart before the horse. Take your time, learn and grow in your faith.



I agree it’s worth applying or at least speaking to a vocations director. You never know, times are changing a blind priest was just ordained so possibly if a disability is managed it may be something they’d consider. I expect there is much more they’d need to know. But it is good to be prepared and realise it may prohibit you, also a vocations director may be able to guide you elsewhere if it does.

Most dioceses require converts to be Catholics for at least three years before they can even start the process of entering seminary or religious life. Take the time needed to become Catholic and then enjoy being Catholic. Then you can think about priesthood or religious life or whatever God has in mind for you.

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Bipolar is indeed a disability, but well-controlled I think it would be a shame to exclude a candidate solely on that issue. I certainly can understand why they’d be concerned, you certainly can’t have a Priest who can’t easily control his impulses one day and is severely depressed the next.

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