Petrine Privilege and Seminary

I have read about Petrine Privilege, where if one spouse is not Christian and leaves the marriage then the Pope can declare the marriage dissolved without an annulment (see 1COR 7:15). This frees the Catholic spouse to marry again, preferably to a Catholic.
My question is, can a man go through the process of the Petrine Privilege so he could go to a seminary and discern a religious life post-divorce?

Yes, of course in concert with your bishop or religious superior.

As Spirithound said but be aware that some dioceses/religious communities may have rules against this.

I know of one diocese that will not accept men who have an annulment as candidates for the priesthood.

I think that, if there are any minor children involved, many/most programs will feel that they have prior claim on the candidate and will not accept him.

It was my understanding that if children resulted from the marriage, you would have to wait until your children are 18 or older.

I was shocked to find that women can become sisters/nuns after the death of their spouse as long as their children are living independently as adults. Ofcourse, death is completely different then divorce.

Just last year we had a man become an ordained Priest but his wife had past away. The cool thing is that his son is also a Priest. It was all over the news and papers about the 1st ever Father/Son Priest team in our diocese

That’s pretty cool, actually :slight_smile:

Hello cgvnau,

I will preface these comments by saying I have not had the privilege of dealing with any Petrine pivilege cases so my knowledge is strictly classroom based.

I have never heard of the scenario you presented being accomplished or even attempted. The rules for processes a “Petrine Privilege” case presume that the person is going to re-marry. If the person has no intended, future spouse, the case can be started but the favor of dissolution won’t be granted until the person can tell the proper authority who he is planning to marry. I don’t know if these norms are available online anywhere but the name of the document is “Potestas ecclesiae” and it comes from the CDF.

Nevertheless, the Pope has the authority to dissolve a non-sacramental marriage in favor of the faith of the petitioner. So, in theory, a subsequent marriage would not be necessary. But again, I have never heard of this being done.

It has happened that a married couple has mutually decided to separate with the desire to enter religious life. Such people can present their case to the Pope and he can give the necessary dispensations which would make it possible. This is predicated on the people having religous communities that will accept them. They would still be married to each other but would have their marital obligations dispensed.

Thanks for your time.

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