Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life, Dating, and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Holy Orders-Priesthood
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Billy Barbee wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • What part can a divorced man have in the Catholic Church?
  • Can they be a Deacon, Priest, Bishop, etc.
  • Do you have to be a virgin to be a priest?

I'm (SDA) Seventh-day Adventist so I don't know everything. I'm divorced and would like to know.

God bless,

Billy Barbee

  { Can a divorced man be a Deacon, Priest, or Bishop and do you have to be a virgin to be a priest? }

Bob replied:


There is no pre-requisite for virginity for those ordained:

  • deacons
  • priests, or
  • bishops.

So, men that have been married earlier in life can become ordained plus most deacons are currently married. There is however the vow to celibacy in the Roman Catholic priesthood (which means once one is ordained they cannot marry, however, for deacons if they are already married, it only applies when their spouse is deceased).

In the Orthodox churches married men may be ordained to the priesthood and sometimes Protestant clergy who convert to Catholicism are already married so they have the privilege that belongs to the eastern rites in their married status.

So to sum up, once ordained, no more getting married. Marriage must precede ordination.

That is pretty much the universal rule for both Catholic and Orthodox Churches.


Bob Kirby

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Hi, Billy —

To answer your question specifically about divorce and ordination:

If a man has an annulment of his marriage, then he could potentially become a seminarian but the Bishop would be prudent to read the annulment to see if he is a suitable candidate.

Fr. Jonathan

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.