Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Catholic man, ordained as an orthodox priest, seeks reconciliation with the Catholic Church, 2005, Private.


A man who was baptized Catholic left the Catholic Church to become a member of the Episcopal Church. He married and became an Episcopalian minister. He left the Episcopal Church, joined the Albanian Orthodox Church and was ordained a priest for that Church. Subsequently, he departed from the Orthodox Church and sought readmission to the Catholic Church as a layperson. He was not seeking to exercise priesthood. The question concerning the procedure for readmission was posed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. What follows is the Congregation's response, in English:




Congregatio Pro Doctrina Fidei

Your Excellency,

The Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of _____, wrote to this Congregation asking for instructions on how to proceed in relation to the case of a baptized Catholic, who defected and became firstly an Episcopalian minister, then a married priest in the "Albanian Orthodox Church." He now requests readmission in the Catholic Church as a lay man.

Your Excellency may absolve the petitioner from the censures incurred once you have ascertained the sincerity of his repentance and of his desire to return to the Church. After a public profession of the Catholic faith, he may be readmitted to full communion ut laicus ad omnes iuris effectus, firma manente irregularitate ad ordines recipiendos et exercendos (cf. can. 1041, §2 and can. 1044, §1). The dispensation from the above-mentioned irregularities is reserved to the Holy See.

I take the opportunity to offer to Your Excellency my sincere respects and best wishes,

Yours devoted in Christ,

+Angelo Amato, SDB

Titular Archbishop of Sila

Secretary




Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Catholic man, ordained as an orthodox priest, seeks reconciliation with the Catholic Church, 2005, Private, CLSA, Roman Replies and Advisory Opinions, 2005, 27-28.