Can a divorce man become a Priest

(I know that in the Eastern Rite Catholic churches some rites permit married men to be ordained as priests.)
I was wondering if in The Roman Rite, if a man who was briefly married and had his marriage annulled if he would be permitted to enter the Roman rite Priesthood? Or does his brief marriage and divorce (even though declared null and void by the Catholic church) make him inelligiable.

Good question. I’m not aware of any such outright prohibition, but it would seem at the very least a difficult thing, as the appearance of scandal might be a good possibility.

If the marriage has been declared ‘null and void’ by the church and he intends to stick by the vows of celibacy he should be alright surely?

A man would have to go through the annullment process and receive that answer that he was not in a valid marriage.

If such a thing happened then there would be no impediment according to Canon Law yet some dioceses and religious orders/congregations would not accept him because of the divorce and the possible appearance of scandal.

The Annulment means no valid Marriage ever took place. So he is in fact an un-married man.

It’s probably technically possible, but is also unlikely to happen.

Actually it has happened to a man I know who is now a priest in the latin rite. He was divorced twice and annulled twice. The first wife was Korean and married him in the army to get US citizenship and took off. The second he was married to before he became Catholic and drug her with him to the RCIA . The real miracle was she signed the annulment papers and didn’t put up a fuss. She didn’t really want to become catholic but went along with if for his sake. She also wanted a kid and that wasn’t going to happen either so she’s mad at God and hates my friend too. There are probably more cases out there now days.

I know one priest who was divorced and at least two deacons.

having been married or attempting marriage is one condition specified in canon law that invalidates a man from holy orders, but it is not absolute and can be dispensed.

I’m sure with the priest shortage, it’s something that the Vatican would be more likely to allow…

So every married man ordained to the diaconate requires a special dispensation? Because I know a number of married deacons, and not one has ever referred to getting, or needing, a dispensation before ordination.

It may be a diocese-by-diocese decision, but I know of 2 dioceses that won’t ordain to the diaconate a man who has been through an annulment, so the post-annulment canonical status of being “unmarried” may not, by itself, carry the day.

question was about priests not permanent deacons
a dispensation may be granted, but no guarantee that it will, in case of a married man who has been divorced, is widowed, or in rare cases a clergyman who converts and discerns a vocation to the priesthood

Yes, a divorced man can become a priest. Our former pastor was divorced before he was ordained.

The Catholic Encyclopedia (see here) says the following:

  1. Adultery of One of the Parties

The innocent party always retains the right in justice to recall or to demand the return of the guilty party. If the innocent husband or wife wishes to give up this right forever, then he or she can enter a religious order, or he may receive Holy orders, without the necessity of consent on the part of the guilty wife or husband who has been dismissed, or without any further obligation being imposed upon this party (III Decretal., xxxii, 15, 16). The guilty party can, however, proceed to the religious life or to the reception of Holy orders only with the consent of the innocent.

It’s not that rare – I can think of several priests in my diocese who were married, divorced, and received declarations of nullity. Some have children and grandchildren.

I have a friend who was divorced, never got his marriage anulled but was ordained nonetheless.It took the personal approval of Pope John Paul II .

While this may be technically true I do not see any religious order/community or diocese accepting such a person into formation.

Yes these are the canonical impediments to receiving Holy Orders, yet they are not all that can stop someone.

Each religious order/community or diocese can set up its own rules.

After all, no one has a right to reception of Holy Orders or entry into a religious order/community.

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