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Keighleigh Smith wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Do Catholic priests take vows?
  • And if so, what specifically are they?


  { Do Catholic priests take vows and if so, what specifically are they? }

Mike replied:

Hi Keighleigh,

Thanks for the question.

I believe the vow a diocesan priest takes are the same as a religious priest:

  • poverty
  • chastity, and
  • obedience where:
    • the diocesan priest vows obedience to the local bishop, and
    • the religious priest vows obedience to his religious Order Superior.


Fr. Jonathan replied:

Dear Keighleigh,

Actually, diocesan priests do not take vows like religious.

We promise obedience and celibacy.

We do not promise poverty We get a salary, pay taxes, and buy our own cars, unlike religious.

All of us, however, are called by the Gospel and Canon Law to live simple lives when it comes to material things.

Fr. Jonathan

Mike replied:

Hi Fr. Jonathan,

I heard that transitional deacons on EWTN radio took vows of take poverty, chastity, and obedience, so was wondering how diocesan priests take different vows seeing I though becoming a deacon was a stepping stone to priesthood.


Fr. Jonathan replied:


Once again, the difference in vows can be accounted for in the difference between Religious Priests, like those at EWTN, and Secular Priests.

The big one is poverty — I never took that vow.  Consequently:

  • I receive a salary
  • I pay taxes
  • I buy my own car, and
  • pay my own insurance on it.

A religious priest doesn't own anything and doesn't pay taxes.  He uses the order's car and the order pays the insurance on it.

Remember — we came first — religious life developed out of diocesan priesthood, not the other way around.

Fr. Jonathan
[Related posting]

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