Diocesan Priest

I happened to run across this on another website call catholicanswers.org. I don’t know if I have ever heard this before, but it said that Diocesan Priest do not take the vow of poverty, chastity, or obedience and are only allowed to give the sacrament in the parish they are assigned to.
This sounds strange to me. Is this true

I have no familiarity with that site, so I cannot comment on its reliability.

This is correct. Those who enter a religious order-- brothers, sisters, and priests-- take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

Diocesan priests do not take vows. They make promises, not vows. And those promises include leading a celibate life; respecing and obeying their diocesan bishop; and living a simple lifestyle.

Not exactly. There are canon law rules about when and where a priest may exercise various aspects of his priestly ministry and from whom he needs permission in order to exercise them in other dioceses (assuming we are still referring to diocesan priests).

There definitely are rules that must be followed, so without having read the original article you refer to, that’s a basic generalization.

Upon viewing the site, this is a SCHISMATIC group offering to perform marriages outside the jurisdiction of the Catholic Church.

Stay away from these people.

thank you

It is true that they do not make vows. However they do make promises to live a modest life and remain celibate. Vows of poverty held by religious men and women means they cannot own personal property. Diocesan priests can own personal property.

Depends also which Sacraments. They can say Mass anywhere and consecrate the Eucharist anywhere privately. They can concelebrate if they are visiting. But to say a public Mass, they need permission from the local Bishop. As for faculties for hearing confessions, its limited to the diocese, not just the parish. They would need faculties from the bishop of another diocese to hear confessions there, unless its an emergency. For performing marriages, they only need permission from the parish priest, in cases where couples would invite a friend or relative priest to perform the marriage in another parish, same with baptism. For confirmation, they can only perform it on their own parishes in instances outlined in Canon Law where they are given faculties by law.

catholicanswers.org referred me directly to catholic.com
catholicanswers.com is defunct.
What is the url you are talking about?

No “s” on the end of “answer.”

The only promises are celibacy and obedience to their bishop and the Church. There is no promise to “live a modest life”.

I think it is a good thing to live a modest life but they are not bound to do so in any way.

Most of them can’t afford to do anything except live a modest life. In our diocese, they make $20,000 annually.

Thanks! I thought there was. Although I do remember we had a priest who had a BMW, but it was an older model and he admittedly came from a well-off family who gave him the car. Anyway, given how much a priest would make, they really don’t have to make a promise or a vow to live modestly :smiley:

Just to give a little more detail to what has already been presented…

As stated by others, religious take Holy Vows which usually entail celibacy, poverty and obedience. Certain religious orders may express these in different ways, but let us focus on the diocesan priests, as per the topic of your thread.

A diocesan priest does not take Holy Vows, but instead Sacred Promises. The distinction is that such a priest makes his promises to God through the context of his service to his bishop (and his bishop’s successors). Religious, on the other hand, are not in the direct service of bishops, and therefore express their vows directly to God.

But, practically speaking, there is not a lot of difference between the nature of a Holy Vow and a Sacred Promise, so most diocesan priests will refer to their promises as “vows” (simply for the sake of ease of conversation).

A diocesan priest actually makes his Sacred Promises when he is ordained as a transitional deacon. Specifically, the Sacred Promises entail celibacy, obedience to his bishop (and his bishop’s successors) and the obligation to pray the Divine Office daily (this latter one was missing from previous posts in this thread).

Hence, a diocesan priest (as others have pointed out) does not make a Sacred Promise of poverty. He receives a salary (which is very modest, especially considering that his education is at a master’s degree level) and has to pay taxes on it. He is allowed to own his own property, and can designate the dispersal of his property in his Last Will & Testimony any way he desires. If a diocesan priest wins the lottery, he can keep the money.

Having said all this, the Church encourages diocesan priests to live modestly, and (if memory serves) Pope John Paul II highly stressed this at some point. Obviously, priests are supposed to set an example for their parishes, and that should include avoiding the appearance of being materialistic. Nevertheless, there is no actual command under Sacred Promises or Canon Law for a priest to live modestly.

A diocesan priest is permitted to be a minister of the sacraments in any place where he has received proper delegation. Naturally, this is the norm in the parish where he is assigned. If he visits another parish (in his own diocese), he cannot presume to celebrate the Mass or walk into the confessional to hear confessions without the permission of that parish’s pastor. Also, if he visits another diocese he needs to also get permission from the local bishop (or the bishop’s chosen representative, such as the chancellor) in order to minister the sacraments to the public in a parish of that diocese. So when he visits a parish in another diocese, he needs the permission of a bishop and that parish’s pastor.

In the case of an emergency, a priest can presume permission wherever he is and provide the appropriate sacraments.

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