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Omar Vinterfröjd wrote:

To whom it may concern!

  • Can a person with Asperger's syndrome become a priest?

Omar

  { Can a person with Asperger's syndrome become a priest? }

Mike replied:

Dear Omar,

Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner.

From my layman's view, the issues involved with having Asperger's syndrome appear to be many.

That said, as Catholics, we believe in two types of priesthood, the universal priesthood we all share with Jesus and, the ministerial priesthood, (e.g. being a Catholic priest.)

None of us on the team are qualified to make any medical assessment, one way or another, as we are not priests.

The best thing to do, if you feel a call to the priesthood is to make an appointment with your local pastor or priest and, in lieu of your illness, talk to him about your desires and where you feel you could serve in the Church.

If he tells you that your illness prevents you from becoming a Catholic priest, search for the next best way you can serve in the Church using your universal priesthood, as a lay Catholic.

This is what the Catechism states on the topic:

Two participations in the one priesthood of Christ

1546 Christ, high priest and unique mediator, has made of the Church "a kingdom, priests for his God and Father." (Revelation 1:6; cf. Revelation 5:9-10; 1 Peter 2:5-9) The whole community of believers is, as such, priestly. The faithful exercise their baptismal priesthood through their participation, each according to his own vocation, in Christ's mission as priest, prophet, and king. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, the the faithful are "consecrated to be . . . a holy priesthood." (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 10 § 1)

1547 The ministerial or hierarchical priesthood of bishops and priests, and the common priesthood of all the faithful participate, "each in its own proper way, in the one priesthood of Christ." While being "ordered one to another," they differ essentially. (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 10 § 2)

  • In what sense?

While the common priesthood of the faithful is exercised by the unfolding of baptismal grace — a life of faith, hope, and charity, a life according to the Spirit —, the ministerial priesthood is at the service of the common priesthood. It is directed at the unfolding of the baptismal grace of all Christians. The ministerial priesthood is a means by which Christ unceasingly builds up and leads his Church. For this reason, it is transmitted by its own sacrament, the sacrament of Holy Orders.

I hope this helps,

Mike

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