Divorced to Priesthood


#1

Hi…
I am divorced from my wife and currently applying for annulment. I am a Deacon. If I am granted annulment, may I go on to be a Priest? I ask this question mainly from a moral/ ethical point of view.
Thank you for a great site and may God bless you and all who read this. We continue to pray for our Holy Father.
Robert


#2

[quote=RobertinRSA]Hi…
I am divorced from my wife and currently applying for annulment. I am a Deacon. If I am granted annulment, may I go on to be a Priest? I ask this question mainly from a moral/ ethical point of view.
Thank you for a great site and may God bless you and all who read this. We continue to pray for our Holy Father.
Robert
[/quote]

If it is annulled I believe that you could but it may be hard to find a bishop willing to do so as appearance is an issue here.

There is also the added formation/schooling that would be required.


#3

There is no impediment in Canon Law. However as already stated, there is the potential for the “appearance of scandal” and the requirement that you “care for your childred” if appropriate.

Maybe you would have a better chance (if your vocational call is judged authentic) if you moved say 1500 to 2000 miles away where you wuld be just another “late vocation” as opposed to the “divorced priest”.


#4

Thanks for the responses. I agree about the scandal - so sad. But I would become a religious, which would also be different, kinda…

God bless…


#5

And, from what I’ve looked into, it is very hard to move from permanent deaconate into priesthood. Not that it cannot be done, just that it appears to be frowned upon.


#6

[quote=RobertinRSA]Hi…
I am divorced from my wife and currently applying for annulment. I am a Deacon. If I am granted annulment, may I go on to be a Priest? I ask this question mainly from a moral/ ethical point of view.
Thank you for a great site and may God bless you and all who read this. We continue to pray for our Holy Father.
Robert
[/quote]

~ I know a priest who was ordained after a divorce and declaration of nullity, so it can be done.


#7

deacons in this diocese, most of whom had their training 10-20 years ago as the program was suspended for a while, were told that in entering the permanent diaconate they understood this barred them from ever entering the priesthood, even if their wives should die. this is what the deacons and the seminary rector have told me.


#8

[quote=puzzleannie]deacons in this diocese, most of whom had their training 10-20 years ago as the program was suspended for a while, were told that in entering the permanent diaconate they understood this barred them from ever entering the priesthood, even if their wives should die. this is what the deacons and the seminary rector have told me.
[/quote]

The Church discourages, but does not bar, a ‘permanent’ deacon from later being ordained a priest.

IIRC, the USCCB has issued a guideline stressing that the call to the Diaconate and the call to the priesthood are two different calls.

The decision remains with the bishop. If their bishop has chosen not to ordain such men, then they will not be ordained.

That might change under a new bishop, however.

Another option would be into the religious life, if an Order would accept him. Their current bishop would have to consent there as well, as the deacon is incardnated (owes obedience) to their bishop.


#9

[quote=Ray_Scheel]~ I know a priest who was ordained after a divorce and declaration of nullity, so it can be done.
[/quote]

There was one recently here in the Galveston-Houston diocese that ratifies what everyone else has said. His (ex) wife and children attended the same parish where he was serving as a deacon. The parishioners (of which my brother was one) were told that this was an exception to the Church rules about divorce. He served as a deacon for a very long time while awaiting approval from Rome to continue his studies for the Priesthood. The request was denied several times. Many people, including priests, have used this situation as an argument for a married priesthood. After all, if a divorced person can be a priest, why not a happily married one? (paraphrase of homilies I have heard, not my own sentiments.)

This puts you in a difficult place. On the one hand, I think you need to have a good relationship with a Bishop who will be a strong advocate and fight for you with Rome. On the other hand, if you stay in your home diocese (where you are most likely to cultivate said relationship with the Bishop) your situation will be the cause of scandal and misunderstanding.

In the situation of a vocation to the Religious orders, I think you would still need a “champion” but might be able to mitigate the pubic perception by being out of the regular parish spotlights. That would probably mean, though, that you would give up active ministry as a deacon while in discernment with the religious order.


#10

Hi All,

Once again thanks for your responses. They have helped a lot. I think I will be discerning for a while on this in any case.

Ray_Scheel: would it be possible for me to get in contact with the priest that you know so that I could talk to him?

Thanks and God bless.


#11

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