May a Catholic Priest become a Lay Brother?


Good evening all,

I was pondering if an ordained Catholic priest, can be laicized, and by retaining his celibate state, join a religious order and become a professed religious Brother?


The order may be suspect of accepting a laicized priest. However, I am sure he could discern a call to a religious order and become a religious priest.


That is a very interesting question. I think that it depends. I know of 2 priests that are removed. and I asked them both on this.
You know, the priest is always a priest but he cannot become a religious priest in the Church, but only a religious brother with some priestly faculties (anointing confession and Eucharist at times) those Sacraments can never be removed from any priest and there are Canonical concessions for that. But they could never be done publicly.

On the reverse side, they can become a brother it is simply a retaking of their vows. But why would they unless called to I suppose?

Finally finally, a priest although removed CAN ALWAYS BE RE-RESCRIPTED by the Holy SEE back onto the list of clerics. IN other words, the Pope can re-ascribe him to his fully functionality as a priest. I have heard of that happen a few times, the Canon law citing that I do not know, but I do remember reading it word for word. Any good canon lawyer would know it.-- well, I guess this would meant that the priest could be re-instated.

However, I assume this is very rare. We should pray for all priests as they hold the Sacred Mark of Christ and we should revere them like St Francis who always used to show great respect for priests, just because they are dismissed does not mean anything. Many in fact too many recently are removed by NO FAULT of their own… its so sad for me a lay Catholic, but remember St. Francis went to a priest who was living in public scandal and sin that everyone knew and kissed his hands NOT TO SHAME HIM, but to pay his respect to JEsus Christ through a sinner… but aren’t we all sinners? MY dear Lord, I pray I am treated with such mercy by the Lord and He see’s the good in me during life and at the hour of my death! Please pray a Hail Mary if you read this for me!
Thank you!


Yes but it would be a rather rare case that a community would accept it.

If they are a religious, laicization form the priesthood does not automatically remove them form their order - there was a certain famous priests recently laicized for things regarding woman’s ordination but the letter did not dismiss him form the community. (No need to drag names through the dirt again.)

closed #5

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