Can One Leave Ordained Life and Its Vows?


#1

I knew a man who discerned the priesthood, became ordained as a deacon, and then decided to stop the process of becoming a priest. He is still a Catholic in good standing (I believe), but I guess he is just not called to the priesthood (not quite sure on all the details...). I was wondering if he is able, as an ordained deacon, to get dispensation from Rome to be relieved of the vows he made on his ordination day. He was not previously married. Thank you!


#2

Yes, there is a canonical process through which someone who has made the promises of Holy Orders can appeal to Rome to release him from those promises. It is a purposely slow process so that proper discernment is ensured.


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