Can a person with an anxiety disorder be a priest?


#1

I was curious as to whether a person with anxiety disorder is not allowed to be a priest. I ask because I understand that the Church does not allow anyone with a mental disorder to be a priest. I am unsure as to what this means exactly. Does it simply refer to someone who has schizophrenia or something like that, or does it also refer to someone with something like OCD or general anxiety disorder?

Just curious. Thank you for answering.
God Bless.


#2

[quote="Flame4, post:1, topic:229738"]
I was curious as to whether a person with anxiety disorder is not allowed to be a priest. I ask because I understand that the Church does not allow anyone with a mental disorder to be a priest. I am unsure as to what this means exactly. Does it simply refer to someone who has schizophrenia or something like that, or does it also refer to someone with something like OCD or general anxiety disorder?

Just curious. Thank you for answering.
God Bless.

[/quote]

There is nothing I am aware of that disqualifies a man with a "mental disorder" (what ever that means) from ordination.

If it is treatable and under control I would see nothing wrong with it but it all depends on the diocese or religious community as to what their own rules would be.


#3

[quote="Flame4, post:1, topic:229738"]
I was curious as to whether a person with anxiety disorder is not allowed to be a priest. I ask because I understand that the Church does not allow anyone with a mental disorder to be a priest. I am unsure as to what this means exactly. Does it simply refer to someone who has schizophrenia or something like that, or does it also refer to someone with something like OCD or general anxiety disorder?

Just curious. Thank you for answering.
God Bless.

[/quote]

I wouldn't recommend it, even if it's allowed, unless the condition is well-controlled.

The priesthood in and of itself isn't stressful, but the extra roles that priests are expected to fulfill, such as financial administrator, counsellor, marketing manager, and CEO of the parish are just as stressful as any similar role in the business world. A stable and outgoing personality is of great advantage when working with such a variety of different people who are coming at you all the time with all of their different problems and issues.


#4

[quote="jmcrae, post:3, topic:229738"]
I wouldn't recommend it, even if it's allowed, unless the condition is well-controlled.

The priesthood in and of itself isn't stressful, but the extra roles that priests are expected to fulfill, such as financial administrator, counsellor, marketing manager, and CEO of the parish are just as stressful as any similar role in the business world.** A stable and outgoing personality is of great advantage when working with such a variety of different people** who are coming at you all the time with all of their different problems and issues.

[/quote]

While the bolded part above might seem to make total sense it does not work out that way. At least for religious life.

Studies show that those who enter religious life are more on the introverted side. I am unsure as to what they say about those entering secular priesthood.

Also a parish priest does not need to do all those jobs. He is a counselor but only to the extent that he can help, otherwise he refers to a therapist or psychologist. As for the other jobs, there is usually a business manager/office manager at the bigger parishes who handles these roles. There are also a lot of volunteers who help out.

I would suggest that if you are feeling a call to the priesthood for you to get a spiritual director and to speak to the vocations director for your diocese.

I have some minor OCD (but I am an O.Carm. (inside joke for those Carmelites out there)) as well as a little anxiety (which has grown a bit with my illness) but these are things that can be worked on during formation and after. For me it is not debilitating, its just one of the Crosses I must bear.


#5

Call the eeoc...:eek:


#6

[quote="dfp42, post:5, topic:229738"]
Call the eeoc...:eek:

[/quote]

Nice idea but will not work as no one has a right to ordination. You can be denied for any reason that the bishop or religious superior can come up with. It may be unjust (especially if it arbitrary and not written in the rules they are following for the formation/ordination process) but it is none the less legal.


#7

So in short, a person can possiblty be denied entry into priesthood, at the discretion of the Bishop, yes? Did I get that right?
Thanks for you answers. :slight_smile:
God Bless


#8

[quote="Flame4, post:7, topic:229738"]
So in short, a person can possiblty be denied entry into priesthood, at the discretion of the Bishop, yes? Did I get that right?
Thanks for you answers. :)
God Bless

[/quote]

Yes, it is up to the bishop or religious superior whether or not a man is ordained. They usually have a set of guidelines they follow so that it should not be a complete surprise when one is turned down.

They also have a set of requirements for those who they will accept as candidates for the priesthood. I think this condition would be addressed there so if it would hold you back you would be no where near the time of ordination before it came it, it would come up in the application process or in the first years of formation.


#9

so true. I have heard about people being dropped from seminary because thier diocese says they will not stand behind them anymore. also, read the book, the collar. it’s a eye opener for sure. it’s about the church’s second chance seminary program.


#10

Again thanks for your answers. I am of course not looking to be a priest because I am female. :wink: However I was just curious because I have OCD, and well because I’m curious. :stuck_out_tongue: Thanks,


#11

These sort of things could also be a barrier to the entrance to religious life. So it just does not affect those looking to the priesthood.


#12






If that is the case, then, you should have joined the ocd instead of o’carm! :stuck_out_tongue:

And just receiving my homework from the ocds, well, I might have a little ocd myself!:o:p


#13

The decision belongs to the bishop. There is at least 4 years discernment time for him, that through the superiors in the seminary he can properly discern the case. Some with illness are advised out at the admission process, some later, some are accepted as priests and fulfill a worthwhile priestly service.


#14

[quote="jmcrae, post:3, topic:229738"]
I wouldn't recommend it, even if it's allowed, unless the condition is well-controlled.

The priesthood in and of itself isn't stressful, but the extra roles that priests are expected to fulfill, such as financial administrator, counsellor, marketing manager, and CEO of the parish are just as stressful as any similar role in the business world. A stable and outgoing personality is of great advantage when working with such a variety of different people who are coming at you all the time with all of their different problems and issues.

[/quote]

I have an anxiety disorder, and once you get it under control it's nothing. I managed to practice as an attorney who went to trial with some frequency, and with some notable successes, for 26 years. People have to get over the notion of these kinds of illnesses being irreparable weaknesses.


#15

[quote="JackQ, post:14, topic:229738"]
I have an anxiety disorder, and once you get it under control it's nothing. I managed to practice as an attorney who went to trial with some frequency, and with some notable successes, for 26 years. People have to get over the notion of these kinds of illnesses being irreparable weaknesses.

[/quote]

I said, "Unless the condition is well-controlled." It sounds to me like in your case, the condition was well-controlled - or else at some point, you recovered from it.

I also used to have an anxiety disorder, but I no longer experience any of the effects, and I think I no longer have it. :)


#16

How about a priest with tourets?


#17

[quote="FrCorey, post:16, topic:229738"]
How about a priest with tourets?

[/quote]

I strongly doubt it - unless it were under control, and the priest did not make any noticeable outbursts. :)


#18

I've always wondered if a guy with Asperger Syndrome or similar high functioning autisticism about them would be kicked out of seminary or the monastery. I know some people who are like this and while they function as normal people I have a hard time imagining such people being able to be priests or religious.


#19

The homilies of a priest with Tourette's would be entertaining.


#20

[quote="MarcusAndreas, post:18, topic:229738"]
I've always wondered if a guy with Asperger Syndrome or similar high functioning autisticism about them would be kicked out of seminary or the monastery. I know some people who are like this and while they function as normal people I have a hard time imagining such people being able to be priests or religious.

[/quote]

I doubt that such a person would make it through the applications process. If they are honest (something that is required in the application/formation process) I really doubt they would be invited to even start the application process.


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