On the priesthood


#1

What happens in this situation?

A young man, in order to please his parents, enters the seminary and eventually gets ordained, He went to the whole process and motions, A few years after his ordinations, his parents tragically died in a car accident. The man had a girlfriend from before his seminary days, he wants to leave the priesthood to marry this girl. What is the process?

This is not a real situation.


#2

Um, well either his ordination is valid or it isn’t. If it is, then no, he can’t. If it isn’t, then he is free to do what he wants, but would be quite a scandal.

And from the girl’s perspective, I’d never marry the guy. Anyone who is crazy enough to lie and get ordained simply to keep his parents happy has no backbone.


#3

[quote="a83192, post:1, topic:293348"]
What happens in this situation?

A young man, in order to please his parents, enters the seminary and eventually gets ordained, He went to the whole process and motions, A few years after his ordinations, his parents tragically died in a car accident. The man had a girlfriend from before his seminary days, he wants to leave the priesthood to marry this girl. What is the process?

This is not a real situation.

[/quote]

I am going to assume that the man wants to remain a Catholic in good standing.

The process is to go to his Bishop and request to be returned to the lay state. It is possible that the Bishop would send him on retreat or to take a sabatical to consider if he is sure of this desire to leave active ministry. Once the Bishop is convinced he is not rushing into this, he forwards the request to the Vatican. If the answer is "no", the priest returns to ministry. If the answer is "yes", it may or may not include dispensation of the promise to remain unmarried.


#4

Not the same but when I was in 8th grade, 1972, there was a HUGE scandal at my parish.
I was not mature enough at the time to understand the issue. Ignorance is bliss:confused:

A handsome young priest apparently was not being faithful to his vows and had a girlfriend who was NOT YET accepted in the convent, but was studying (novice?). He had only been in the parish for about a year, it was his first assignment. Turned out to be his last.

One day he was there, then he was gone. Off for a "retreat" from which he never returned to our parish. We heard a rumor at our ten year reunion that they got married. Who knows for sure? I hadn't thought much about this until reading your post.


#5

Well, usually to become ordained one has to discern…if the man truly doesn’t wish to become a priest, and if God truly isn’t calling him…why would he have any drive to even FAKE a desire.

Well, I know one man who became a priest on his parent’s wish, though he was very devout…and he “grew into” the priesthood. He was a saint…and I think he actually is up for candidacy at a diocesan level, but I’ll check into that.

But, to answer the question, I think if the priesthood was not this man’s calling then he would have to be dispensed so he could fulfill his vocation to marriage.

There’s nothing worse than a DRY vocation!


#6

[quote="superamazingman, post:2, topic:293348"]
Um, well either his ordination is valid or it isn't. If it is, then no, he can't. If it isn't, then he is free to do what he wants, but would be quite a scandal.

And from the girl's perspective, I'd never marry the guy. Anyone who is crazy enough to lie and get ordained simply to keep his parents happy has no backbone.

[/quote]

There are priests who have requested laicization and have received it.

But, the important point to address in this imaginary scenario is that the young man became a priest to please his parents, and not because he answered a call from God. His spiritual directors should be able to discern that something wasn't quite right with his attitude.


#7

My aunt was a religious sister who married a priest. They were both missionaries in an African country during a civil war in the 60's.

There was a bit of a kurfuffle in the family at first, but they left their respective orders in good standing with the Church and are staunch members of their parish.

She remained a teacher, he became a counsellor.

He had entered the junior seminary at 11, and she had entered the convent at 16.

People grow up. Stuff happens.

There's better screening these days.


#8

If it was determined that he went into the seminary and was ordained against his will (ie: undue pressure by his family), it could stand to reason that such ordination was not valid to begin with. I recall reading something about this is Canon Law.


#9

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