Today's sermon at Mass was about Matrimony and Holy Orders

But today our priest said something about Holy Orders. I KNOW he is incorrect. He said that Sisters who make final vows are receiving thesacrament of Holy Orders. I know that Holy Orders is only for men who become priests. He said this in his sermon. Isn’t he teaching inaccurately? Or is he just undereducated–he is from India. I even asked him after mass if he really said what I heard. He said he did. I said he was wrong. Do I just let this go or do I pursue accuracy? gh ]

You are correct that religious brothers and sisters do not receive Holy Orders.

Since you asked him and he reiterated this information, you can kindly and with charity (and privately) point out his error with Catechism references.

It may be a translation/language issue rather than a theology issue. You may not be able to tell which without talking to him more in depth.

This may be of use:


To further clarify, men who become Deacons also receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders. But religious sisters certainly do not.

**You know what scares me? ignorance. This statement, that Father said from the pulpit is not the first time I have heard someone say such a statement over my years of teaching. The difference is, the others who said that ‘Sisters who have made their final vows have thus received Holy Orders’ were people who taught CCD or Catechism. They were lay people and we could talk and I could state the facts.

But this is the first time I have ever heard a priest say this, and from the pulpit. Now, this priest is most intelligent, speaks 3 languages, and has no accent when he speaks English. This is a very good priest who serves the Poor, cares enough to say Mass on the weekdays of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and has Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Friday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. In the evenings, he has Bible Study Classes and many other outreach programs.

I told him what I told him by himself. I can only hope that he will research the facts.

Thank you each for responses. gh**

The guy may be getting mixed up because, like priests, religious take lifetime vows (or “sacred promises” though don’t ask me what the difference is). The ceremony in which religious take their vows very much resembles an ordination, with the religious superior sitting in a presidential chair, just as a Bishop is seated when conferring Orders. Those taking vows will often prostrate themselves like priest-candidates and do other similar things.

So I could see a layperson getting confused, but I would not expect this from a priest.

Religious are laypeople. They are very special laypeople, but they are not ordained.

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