Judged suitable for the ministry


In the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Number 333 states:

 No one can demand to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders, but must be judged suitable for the ministry by the authorities of the Church.     

What is the length of the time period that the seminarians are judged suitable for Holy Orders?


This is formulated by the Program for Priestly Formation, published by the relevant conference of bishops.

In the United States, it’s 4 years of theology, with some prerequisites before entrance into theology. There’s also at least 1 year of pastoral experience mixed in there.


The total length of time for diocesan priesthood (religious orders are different) is about 6-7 years. However, there are also significant steps in between - admission to ministries (lector and acolyte - formerly referred to as minor orders) and candidacy which a seminarian is required to be judged suitable for by those responsible for their formation.


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