Gelded Priest


#1

If a priest is gelded is he still forced to leave the priesthood like Abelard? What was the specific law that forced Abelard to leave the priesthood? Is this law still in effect?


#2

As far as I know Abelard was not a priest. He was a philospher and theologian. Why do you think he was a priest?

What do you mean by “a priest is gelded”. I hope you don’t really think priests are castrated. Priests are not allowed to marry and must remain celibate (still the requirement) but nothing physical is done to them to ensure that.


#3

In her letters Heloise stops calling Abelard a cleric and starts calling him a priest. One of the reason’s for his gelding was he would lose his positions both his priesthood and ecclesiastical office.

What do you mean by “a priest is gelded”. I hope you don’t really think priests are castrated. Priests are not allowed to marry and must remain celibate (still the requirement) but nothing physical is done to them to ensure that.

Of course I do not think that priests are gelded. My question is about not being able to be priest because a person is gelded.


#4

I am not at all sure what current Canon Law would be on whether a eunuch could become a priest. It does seem to me that in the 1917 version there were some physical or bodily malformations that barred one from becoming a priest or saying Mass, but I never heard anything about priests being “defrocked” for some injury after they were ordained. Even then I think that some regulations could be dispensed from. Priests like Isaac Jogues who had some of his fingers chewed off by the indians may have had to have a dispensation to say Mass. I have no solid info on this.


#5

There is nothing in Canon Law to prevent someone becoming a priest because they are a eunoch.

Who can be ordained?

See Can 1008 - 1054

intratext.com/X/ENG0017.htm


#6

Did he castrate himself? This is a type of serious self-mutilation, and is an irregularity if it carried a certain type of intent. I somewhat recollect that it can be dispensed by the local ordinary. (that means a bishop)

Look in the attempted suicide canon.


#7

I’m pretty sure in most places that isn’t a procedure that is done any longer…at least voluntarily.


#8

No. It was involuntary, done by force.

Yikes.


#9

I talked with a retired priest this morning at breakfast. He said, yes, that in the past a candidate had to be well formed and sexually potent, etc. so a eunuch would not have qualified except for the choir.
I suspect that things changed with the rewrite of canon law in 1983, but don’t know how to verify that.


#10

Yes, quite yikes. But, since it was involuntary, then it is not an irregularity to ordination or to exercise of orders under the *current *canon law, not that I know of. It would be though, if it had been deliberate on the man’s part. But it is the kind that the local bishop can override (dispense).


#11

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.