Question about Canon 603 and the Diocese of Rome


Greetings Catholic Answers Forum,

I was wondering something the other day. If someone was called and had discerned a eremtical vocation and was approved to enter the Diocese of Rome under Canon 603, would they make their vows to the Holy Father, seeing he is the bishop of Rome? If not who would they make their vows to? How does this work?

God Bless.
Anathama Sit



While, of course, the Pope could do as he pleased in this regard, I suspect that the Vicar of Rome (similar to a vicar general of a typical diocese but with more responsibilities) would handle this sort of thing. In the day-to-day affairs of the Diocese of Rome, this Vicar is basically given the reins to act in the Bishop’s (the Pope’s) name. Cardinal Vallini is the current Vicar.



Greetings Dan,

Thanks for your reply. That’s good to know, I had always wondered.

God Bless.
Anathama Sit


Theoretical - If a person discerns with spiritual direction a call to the eremitical life and under Canon 603, but the bishop of the person’s diocese does not consecrate people under this Canon for some reason, is the only other option to shift out of the diocese to a bishop that will - and if such a shift is impossible should the person then take it as a call to live as a lay hermit with spiritual direction of course.


The first thing a person who wishes to become a hermit would do is live like a hermit. Only after a few years would he/she begin to discern 603. This is because a genuine call to live an eremitic life should be lived out regardless of canonical status.


I forgot to mention I am writing briefly about hermits/Rome in a post today on the website in my signature.


This was always a question that I had wondered about regarding the Diocese of Rome. A friend and I were discussing it, and I told him that I would ask the forum and report back to him.

closed #8

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