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Cooperation in abortion, homicide, attempted suicide ruled obstacles to priestly ordination

September 15, 2016

Men who have been involved in homicide, abortion, or attempted suicide should not ordinarily be considered as candidates for the priesthood, the Vatican announced on September 15.

Clarifying a provision (#1041) of the Code of Canon Law, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts said that cooperation in abortion or homicide should be considered an obstacle to ordination. The same would be true of involvement in attempted suicide or grave mutilation," the Council said. The new rulings have the approval of Pope Francis. 

Although the sins involved in these actions can be forgiven, Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta, the secretary to the Pontifical Council, explained that "a warning sign remains" that would weigh against a man's candidacy for the priesthood. A bishop could remove the obstacle, allowing ordination, in a particular case. 


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Sep. 17, 2016 12:55 AM ET USA

    I agree with clair5327. As a younger man, I had been deluded into thinking that abortion was merely a medical "procedure," a simple removal of unwanted tissue, such as a wart. However, on seeing the blood everywhere in the operating room after an abortion, and the grogginess of the woman who was just recovering from the anesthesia, I realized that abortion does not remove a wart; to the contrary, it ends the life of an innocent child. This event steeled my resolve to be prolife.

  • Posted by: claire5327 - Sep. 16, 2016 1:37 AM ET USA

    "Your sin no matter how great is but a drop in the ocean of my mercy!" Jesus said that to St. Faustina. As long as a person repented with a Truthful heart, there is not sin jesus will not forgive! If someone with a past that doesn't mean that person can not change as the Prodigal Son. Often the Repented makes better priest, or nuns or parents or employees!

  • Posted by: mwean7331 - Sep. 15, 2016 6:58 PM ET USA

    Gee, I would have thought that would go without saying?