Ordination of Ilegitimates


Fellow Catholics,

I am in need of your assistance to locate a quote which I read from the Early Church Fathers 38 vol set. I obviously cannot remember the exact text because searches turn up nothing so I am forced to appeal to you learned brethren.

It concerns a passage where the early father or writer talks about those children who are born out of wedlock and he goes on to say how “some of them go on to become leaders of our community.” I was quite shocked to read this quote but happy as I know someone who was born in this situation and who might wish to enter the seminary.

If any of you could find this quotation I would appreciate you contacting me.
Thank you and God Bless.



Being born out of wedlock will not prevent anyone from becoming a priest.


Under the old (1917) code of canon law, illegitimacy was an impediment to ordination, which could be overcome by a dispensation in particular cases. The current (1983) code, however, does not list it as one of the impediments. In addition to those imposed by canon law, your local diocese may have its own list of impediments.

N.B. Don’t stress out about this; go ahead and explore vocation options, and let your priest or vocation director worry about whether or not you are qualified. If you happen to know of something that may be an impediment, don’t let that stop you from investigating; it may be possible to get a dispensation anyway.


Apologies, but I know what the Church teaches on this point. What I was looking for was the source of the quote mentioned.


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