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About the authorCathy Caridi, J.C.L., is an American canon lawyer who practices law and teaches in Rome. She founded this website to provide clear answers to canonical questions asked by ordinary Catholics, without employing all the mysterious legalese that canon lawyers know and love. In the past Cathy has published articles both in scholarly journals and on various popular Catholic websites, including Real Presence Communications and Catholic Exchange.
- Canon lawyers are not responsible for the content of canon law. The Supreme Legislator is. Only Pope Francis can change the Code of Canon Law, so if you're not happy with what the law says, please take it up with him.
Please check the Archives first–it’s likely your question was already addressed.
Unsigned/anonymous questions are not read, much less answered (why is it necessary even to mention this?).
Category Archives: Holy Orders
Can the Bishop Refuse to Ordain Me Because I’m Too Old?
Q: I’m interested in becoming a permanent deacon, but the director of the program in my diocese says the upper age limit, which I have passed, is set by canon law. He wrote to me, “The upper age limit for … Continue reading
Posted in Clergy Issues, Holy Orders Tagged canon law, Catholic, deacon, diaconate, ordain, ordination Comments Off on Can the Bishop Refuse to Ordain Me Because I’m Too Old?
Why Can’t These Priests Ever Celebrate a Valid Catholic Wedding?
Q1: Can a laicized Catholic priest ever validly marry a Catholic couple? —Courtney Q2: My best friend is going to marry a divorced Catholic man, and she asked me to be a bridesmaid… her pastor said that her fiancé would … Continue reading
Posted in Holy Orders, Marriage, Sacraments Tagged canon law, Catholic, marriage, priest, validity Comments Off on Why Can’t These Priests Ever Celebrate a Valid Catholic Wedding?
Can a Priest Have His Ordination Annulled?
Q: Some years ago my diocese had to settle a number of sex-abuse lawsuits, all involving the same priest. More recently I learned that in the chancery, the diocesan staff had considered making the claim that the priest’s ordination was … Continue reading
Posted in Clergy Issues, Holy Orders, Sacraments Tagged canon law, Catholic, ordination, priest, validity Comments Off on Can a Priest Have His Ordination Annulled?
What Do You Do With the Deacon Who Refuses to be Ordained a Priest?
Q1: We have a seminarian in our diocese, who spent a summer in my parish. He was expecting to become a priest several years ago, but the bishop declined to ordain him. Nobody knows why. Today he’s just a deacon … Continue reading
Posted in Clergy Issues, Holy Orders, Sacraments Tagged canon law, Catholic, deacon, diaconate, ordination Comments Off on What Do You Do With the Deacon Who Refuses to be Ordained a Priest?
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 … Continue reading
Posted in Clergy Issues, Holy Orders Tagged bishop, canon law, Catholic, illegitimate, ordination, priesthood, seminarian Comments Off on Why Would an Illegitimate Man be Barred from the Priesthood?