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Seminary Admission Question? #184572 09/21/02 01:17 AM
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Joe Prokopchak Offline OP
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A stupid question popped into my head. Concerning admission to the seminary, either the Latin Church or the Eastern Church.

Would a never been married male who had a child out of wedlock, in which he is supporting this child financially, be barred from entering the seminary? Is there anything on the books preventing someone like this to the seminary.

And no, all my children are from one woman within the Sacramental Mystery of marriage.

Joe Prokopchak
O' God, be merciful to me a sinner

Re: Seminary Admission Question? #184573 09/21/02 03:38 PM
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Mike C. Offline
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Thomas Merton had a child out of wed lock. That didn't prevent him from becoming a Trappist Monk and world famous author. But that was before he became a Catholic. I think some saints might have been in that situation too. Of course, if a priest has sex with a child and can continue to exercise the priestly ministry why can't someone who made a mistake in their life become a priest or religous. I think today many seminaries and orders want a man to have had some experience "with the world" so that they won't be tempted later on.

Re: Seminary Admission Question? #184574 09/21/02 03:59 PM
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Nigula Qian Zishi Offline
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Glory to Jesus Christ! If entering the seminary would prevent the man from supporting this child financially, then I could see it become a valid reason not to let the man do so. In the Latin Church it would probably not be allowed until the child was no longer a minor. If the mother died, this seminarian would become a full-time dad, and the child's needs would come first. God Bless!

Re: Seminary Admission Question? #184575 09/21/02 04:18 PM
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Daniil Offline
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Yes, Thomas Merton became a monk, but, if I remember correctly, he was not allowed to be ordained to the priesthood because of his child out of wedlock.

Daniil

Re: Seminary Admission Question? #184576 09/21/02 06:35 PM
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Yuhannon Offline
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Shlomo,
There is no barrier to one being a full time priest and full time dad. A couple of priests back in the eights adopted orphans to show their parishioners that if they could do it, then the lay people could also.

Poosh BaShlomo,
Yuhannon

Re: Seminary Admission Question? #184577 09/22/02 12:17 AM
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Mor Ephrem Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Daniil:
Yes, Thomas Merton became a monk, but, if I remember correctly, he was not allowed to be ordained to the priesthood because of his child out of wedlock.

I've seen pictures of his priestly ordination. His name in the monastery was Father Louis.

Re: Seminary Admission Question? #184578 09/22/02 01:16 AM
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anastasios Offline
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Why wouldn't they let him be ordained a priest? Saint Augustine had a child out of wedlock.

anastasios

Re: Seminary Admission Question? #184579 09/22/02 01:46 AM
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I don't think they would prevent attendance at the Seminary, but ordination is up to the bishop. Regardless of whether there was a child out of wedlock, according to a strict following of the canons, just having non-marital sex disqualifies one from ordination. (I know because I'm trying to discern a possible call to the Priesthood, and have come across such disqualifying canons as I was looking into standards for the Priesthood). I talked with my Priest and the above answer is essentially what my Priest had said (ie. that it's up to the bishop). The Bishop takes everything into consideration, both regarding the context of the transgression(s), and the current needs of the Church, and then makes a decision as to whether to ordain the man or not. Don't know if it's the same in the Catholic Church, but that's how it was explained to me regarding Orthodoxy.

PS. I should add though that many such canons aren't followed strictly these days, especially in America where it would be hard to come across a candidate for Priesthood who didn't have some non-marital sexual encounter of some kind.


He who can without strain keep vigil, be long-suffering and pray is manifestly a partaker of the Holy Spirit. But he who feels strain while doing these things, yet willingly endures it, also quickly receives help. - Mark the Monk
Re: Seminary Admission Question? #184580 09/22/02 04:17 PM
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Mike C. Offline
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Yes, many books on Meton show pictures about his ordination. He mentions it in his autobiographies. When the Mass was said in English, he continued to say Mass privatly in Latin.

The mother and his child were killed in the blitz in London.

Re: Seminary Admission Question? #184581 09/22/02 05:13 PM
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Rev. Fr. Peter-Michael Preble Offline
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Greetings,

I know for a fact that if you have any obligations for children or anything else, you will not be allowed into the seminary in the Latin Rite. I am not sure about the Byzantine Rite.

Peter

Re: Seminary Admission Question? #184582 09/23/02 01:26 PM
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Dear Joe,

I think this depends on the whole issue of "scandal" whether perceived or not.

An acquaintance had his first marriage annulled and then married a second time.

He had all sorts of problems seeking diaconal ordination as people remembered him from his "swinging" days and knew his first wife etc.

He did eventually get ordained a priest, but had to leave town, so to speak.

His argument was "What's all the fuss about? I got an annulment from Rome . . ."

Again, it is up to the bishop receiving him into the seminary and judging his vocation in the name of the Church.

If he is accepted, he has a vocation. If not, he doesn't - as far as the Church is concerned.

Alex


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