Can a voluntarily laicized priest be reinstated?

For example, if a priest requests to be removed from the clerical state because say he became an Athiest, and that request was granted, but later regained faith, could he be reinstated?

I don’t know.

The priest that was ordained would have to follow through all the paperwork with his superior the bishop.

The Sacrament of Holy Orders is permanent. recieving that sacrament changes the very being of the individdual into something different. A priest can be laicized, Im not sure what all goes into that. but I would imagine if a former priest who had been laicized wished to return to the Priesthood it would be merely a matter of crossing some Ts and dotting some Is

If the SSPX bishops who were excommunicated (which is both different to and worse than laicization) could have the excommunications lifted with a simple stroke of the pen, then no doubt it can’t be too difficult for a laicized priest to be reinstated either.

You’re not supposed to ordain anyone without Papal permission. Duh

Most unlikely. If a priest turns atheist he is saying he no longer believes in God. If he later regains his faith and wants to return to priestly service he would have to show very clearly that this is not just one more swing on the pendulum!

Even though the Sacrament of Holy Orders has left an indelible mark on his soul, he cannot just return because he has changed his mind once again.

To go from serving God in His Ministerial Priesthood to unbelief in God is something very grave. It would not be easy, if at all possible, for him to return to priestly service.

It’s just a hypothetical situation, it could apply to anything they’re voluntarily laicized for.

I knew a priest (he is deceased now) who was laicized, married and raised a family, and then was widowed, and returned to active priesthood. He served at my parish for a short time.

The short answer is that yes, it is possible for a laicized priest to be reinstated to public ministry.

Not only is it possible, it has happened!

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