Why Would an Illegitimate Man be Barred from the Priesthood?

Q: I heard about a boy who wept when he found out that he could not be admitted to our local seminary. The reason I heard was because he was an illegitimate child.

I also read in the Catholic Encyclopedia that illegitimacy was indeed an impediment from receiving the sacrament of holy orders.  Thanks to your post I learned about the canons regarding the impediments to ordination.

Now I am curious, does the law prohibiting illegitimate children from becoming priests still hold?  The current Canon Law does not seem to include it. –Kevin Continue reading

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Laypeople Can Always Baptize–But When Should They?

Q: My son was married to a non-Catholic girl for 7 years, and they have three boys. Just after she gave birth to the third, my daughter-in-law snapped and ran out on my son, taking the children with her and moving to [a city over a thousand miles away]. It’s been a nightmare.

After fighting a legal battle, she got a divorce and custody of the kids, whom my son is required to support. He can only visit them every few months, since they’re so far away and travelling there is expensive. Needless to say she isn’t raising the boys Catholic, so when my son visits them he takes them to Sunday Mass, and tries to teach them the catechism basics on his own as best he can.

The baby wasn’t baptized in their parish church, because my daughter-in-law ran off before there was even time to arrange it. My son intends to baptize him on his next visit himself. The baby isn’t in danger of death, but my son says that if he doesn’t baptize him, he’ll never get baptized because the mother will never allow it. Is there any problem with him doing this? –Liz Continue reading

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If the Church Has Never Permitted Divorce, Why Did Henry VIII Expect the Pope to Give Him One?

Q: I understand that the Catholic Church does not approve of divorce.  But I do not understand why Henry VIII asked the Pope to grant him a divorce from his wife, and expected the Pope to grant it.  Was there perhaps a loophole for royalty back in the 16th century? –Derek Continue reading

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Marriage and Quasi-Domiciles

Q: For four years our son was away at college, over 500 miles from home. He just graduated and is now engaged to a girl he met at school, and they want to get married in our parish here.

Our son attended Mass regularly the entire time he was at school.

In his last year of school, we got a new pastor at our parish here at home. He’s now refusing to marry our son because he says he doesn’t know who he is! Father insists that if you’re a parishioner, you should be coming to Mass regularly at the parish, and if you’re not a parishioner, you can’t be married in the parish.

We’re at a loss. Kids go away to school all the time, and during that time they obviously don’t go to Sunday Mass at their home parish every week. We’ve never heard of a college-graduate having this problem… what can we do? –Roger Continue reading

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Do Catholics Have to be Confirmed Before Getting Married?

Q: In our parish RCIA program, I have a couple that were married civilly, but plan to marry next year in the Catholic Church back in her hometown. Both are baptized Catholic and have received Holy Communion, but neither has been confirmed.

They were told by the priest that will marry them that they need to get confirmed or he cannot do their wedding.  I’m telling them that they first need to get married in the Church or they cannot get confirmed.  How can we resolve this? –Mike Continue reading

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