In Catholic Church, only a baptized man can be ordained a priest.

cf. CCC 1577 "Only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination." The Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry. The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ's return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible.

In the Catholic Church, when candidates to the priesthood present themselves, what verification processes are there, if any, to determine whether they are really men?


Related: Were the medieval popes examined on a toilet-lid-like chair to establish their masculinity?

  • 1
    -today there needs to be more than an outward verification, ie. would transgendered males be accepted, would homosexuals be accepted; neither are wholly or wholesomely, men. – Hello Nov 27 '14 at 2:38
  • 1
    @thedarkwanderer Those with deep-seated homosexual tendencies are not admitted to the priesthood. See the Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies (issued by the CDF in 2005). Moreover, when the Code of Canon Law says that only men (viri) can be admitted to the priesthood, it always means the sex that the person had at birth (which is effectively the only sex that the Church recognizes). – AthanasiusOfAlex Jul 28 '15 at 19:55
  • @AthanasiusOfAlex Interesting! – the dark wanderer Aug 2 '15 at 21:56
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The 1983 Code says:

Can. 1024 A baptized male alone receives sacred ordination validly.

The 1917 Code elaborates:

Canon 968 §1. Only a baptized male validly received sacred ordination; for liceity, however, he should be outstanding in the qualities according to the norm of the sacred canons, in the judgment of the proper Ordinary, and not detained by any irregularity or other impediment.

Thus, it is up to the Ordinary (e.g., bishop) to make the judgment of whether the ordinand is male, etc.

If a candidate lacks the qualities needed for liceity, the ordination is valid but illicit. If it lacks the qualities for validity it is held to be invalid, viz. no actual ordination occurs. The Ordinary's judgement is irrelevant in this case, as God is the judge of validity (and hence manliness, as only a man validly receives Ordination) and no man's judgement is substitute.

cf. 1024 re: requirements for Ordination

cf. Canon 126 re: invalidity in ignorance

cf. Can. 124 §1(ibid) re: general requirements for validity

cf. Wikipedia for an introduction to the topic of validity in the Catholic sense

  • The Ordinary's judgement is irrelevant in this case, as God is the judge of validity (and hence manliness, as only a man validly receives Ordination) and no man's judgement is substitute. - Very interesting ... – user13992 Jan 6 '15 at 20:49

Your Answer

 
discard

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.