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The Sanctifying Function of the Church » The Sacraments » Orders » Those to be ordained
Canon 1024. Only a baptised man can validly receive sacred ordination.
Canon 1025. §1 In order lawfully to confer the orders of priesthood or diaconate, it must have been established, in accordance with the proofs laid down by law, that in the judgement of the proper Bishop or competent major Superior, the candidate possesses the requisite qualities, that he is free of any irregularity or impediment, and that he has fulfilled the requirements set out in can. 1033--1039. Moreover, the documents mentioned in can. 1050 must be to hand, and the investigation mentioned in can. 1051 must have been carried out.

§2 It is further required that, in the judgement of the same lawful Superior, the candidate is considered beneficial to the ministry of the Church.

§3 A Bishop ordaining his own subject who is destined for the service of another diocese, must be certain that the ordinand will in fact be attached to that other diocese.
The Sanctifying Function of the Church » The Sacraments » Orders » Those to be ordained » Requirements in those to be ordained
Canon 1026. For a person to be ordained, he must enjoy the requisite freedom. It is absolutely wrong to compel anyone, in any way or for any reason whatsoever, to receive orders, or to turn away from orders anyone who is canonically suitable.
Canon 1027. Aspirants to the diaconate and the priesthood are to be formed by careful preparation in accordance with the law.
Canon 1028. The diocesan Bishop or the competent Superior must ensure that before they are promoted to any order, candidates are properly instructed concerning the order itself and its obligations.
Canon 1029. Only those are to be promoted to orders who, in the prudent judgement of the proper Bishop or the competent major Superior, all things considered, have sound faith, are motivated by the right intention, are endowed with the requisite knowledge, enjoy a good reputation, and have moral probity, proven virtue and the other physical and psychological qualities appropriate to the order to be received.
Canon 1030. The proper Bishop or the competent major Superior may, but only for a canonical reason, even one which is occult, forbid admission to the priesthood to deacons subject to them who were destined for the priesthood, without prejudice to recourse in accordance with the law.
Canon 1031. §1 The priesthood may be conferred only upon those who have completed their twenty-fifth year of age, and possess a sufficient maturity; moreover, an interval of at least six months between the diaconate and the priesthood must have been observed. Those who are destined for the priesthood are to be admitted to the order of diaconate only when they have completed their twenty-third year.

§2 A candidate for the permanent diaconate who is not married may be admitted to the diaconate only when he has completed at least his twenty-fifth year; if he is married, not until he has completed at least his thirty-fifth year, and then with the consent of his wife.

§3 Episcopal Conferences may issue a regulation which requires a later age for the priesthood and for the permanent diaconate.

§4 A dispensation of more than a year from the age required by §§1 and 2 is reserved to the Apostolic See.
Canon 1032. §1 Aspirants to the priesthood may be promoted to the diaconate only when they have completed the fifth year of the curriculum of philosophical and theological studies.

§2 After completing the curriculum of studies and before being promoted to the priesthood, deacons are to spend an appropriate time, to be determined by the Bishop or by the competent major Superior, exercising the diaconal order and taking part in the pastoral ministry.

§3 An aspirant to the permanent diaconate is not to be promoted to this order until he has completed the period of formation.
The Sanctifying Function of the Church » The Sacraments » Orders » Those to be ordained » The prerequisites for ordination
Canon 1033. Only one who has received the sacrament of sacred confirmation may lawfully be promoted to orders.
Canon 1034. §1 An aspirant to the diaconate or to the priesthood is not to be ordained unless he has first, through the liturgical rite of admission, secured enrolment as a candidate from the authority mentioned in cann. 1016 and 1019. He must previously have submitted a petition in his own hand and signed by him, which has been accepted in writing by the same authority.

§2 One who has by vows become a member of a clerical institute is not obliged to obtain this admission.
Canon 1035. §1 Before anyone may be promoted to the diaconate, whether permanent or transitory, he must have received the ministries of lector and acolyte, and have exercised them for an appropriate time.

§2 Between the conferring of the ministry of acolyte and the diaconate there is to be an interval of at least six months.
Canon 1036. For a candidate to be promoted to the order of diaconate or priesthood, he must submit to the proper Bishop or to the competent major Superior a declaration written in his own hand and signed by him, in which he attests that he will spontaneously and freely receive the sacred order and will devote himself permanently to the ecclesiastical ministry, asking at the same time that he be admitted to receive the order.
Canon 1037. A candidate for the permanent diaconate who is not married and likewise a candidate for the priesthood, is not to be admitted to the order of diaconate unless he has, in the prescribed rite, publicly before God and the Church undertaken the obligation of celibacy, or unless he has taken perpetual vows in a religious institute.
Canon 1038. A deacon who refuses to be promoted to the priesthood may not be forbidden the exercise of the order he has received, unless he is constrained by a canonical impediment, or unless there is some other grave reason, to be estimated by the diocesan Bishop or the competent major Superior
Canon 1039. All who are to be promoted to any order must make a retreat for at least five days, in a place and in the manner determined by the Ordinary. Before he proceeds to the ordination, the Bishop must have assured himself that the candidates have duly made the retreat.
The Sanctifying Function of the Church » The Sacraments » Orders » Those to be ordained » Irregularities and other impediments
Canon 1040. Those bound by an impediment are to be barred from the reception of orders. An impediment may be simple; or it may be perpetual, in which case it is called an irregularity. No impediment is contracted which is not contained in the following canons.
Canon 1041. The following persons are irregular for the reception of orders:

1° one who suffers from any form of insanity, or from any other psychological infirmity, because of which he is, after experts have been consulted, judged incapable of being able to fulfil the ministry;

2° one who has committed the offence of apostasy, heresy or schism;

3° one who has attempted marriage, even a civil marriage, either while himself prevented from entering marriage whether by an existing marriage bond or by a sacred order or by a public and perpetual vow of chastity, or with a woman who is validly married or is obliged by the same vow;

4° one who has committed wilful homicide, or one who has actually procured an abortion, and all who have positively cooperated;

5° one who has gravely and maliciously mutilated himself or another, or who has attempted suicide;
[NB see Authentic Interpretation of canon 1041, 4º-5º, 31.V.2016]

6° one who has carried out an act of order which is reserved to those in the order of the episcopate or priesthood, while himself either not possessing that order or being barred from its exercise by some canonical penalty, declared or imposed.
Canon 1042. The following are simply impeded from receiving orders:

1° a man who has a wife, unless he is lawfully destined for the permanent diaconate;

2° one who exercises an office or administration forbidden to clerics, in accordance with cann. 285 and 286, of which he must render an account; the impediment binds until such time as, having relinquished the office and administration and rendered the account, he has been freed;

3° a neophyte, unless, in the judgement of the Ordinary, he has been sufficiently tested.
Canon 1043. Christ’s faithful are bound to reveal, before ordination, to the Ordinary or to the parish priest, such impediments to sacred orders as they may know about.
Canon 1044. §1 The following are irregular for the exercise of orders already received:

1° one who, while bound by an irregularity for the reception of orders, unlawfully received orders;

2° one who committed the offence mentioned in can. 1041, n. 2, if the offence is public

3° one who committed any of the offences mentioned in can. 1041, nn. 3, 4,5,6.

§2 The following are impeded from the exercise of orders:

1° one who, while bound by an impediment to the reception of orders, unlawfully received orders;

2° one who suffers from insanity or from some other psychological infirmity mentioned in can. 1041, n. 1, until such time as the Ordinary, having consulted an expert, has allowed the exercise of the order in question.
Canon 1045. Ignorance of irregularities and impediments does not exempt from them.
Canon 1046. Irregularities and impediments are multiplied if they arise from different causes, not however from the repetition of the same cause, unless it is a question of the irregularity arising from the commission of wilful homicide or from having actually procured an abortion.
Canon 1047. §1 If the fact on which they are based has been brought to the judicial forum, dispensation from all irregularities is reserved to the Apostolic See alone.

§2 Dispensation from the following irregularities and impediments to the reception of orders is also reserved to the Apostolic See:

1° irregularities arising from the offences mentioned in can. 1041, nn. 2 and 3, if they are public;

2° an irregularity arising from the offence, whether public or occult, mentioned in can. 1041, n. 4;

3° the impediment mentioned in can. 1042, n. 1.

§3 To the Apostolic See is also reserved the dispensation from the irregularities for the exercise of an order received mentioned in can. 1041, n.3 but only in public cases, and in n. 4 of the same canon even in occult cases.

§4 The Ordinary can dispense from irregularities and impediments not reserved to the
Holy See.
Canon 1048. In the more urgent occult cases, if the Ordinary or, in the case of the irregularities mentioned in can. 1041, nn. 3 and 4, the Penitentiary cannot be approached, and if there is imminent danger of serious harm or loss of reputation, the person who is irregular for the exercise of an order may exercise it. There remains, however, the obligation of his having recourse as soon as possible to the Ordinary or the Penitentiary, without revealing his name, and through a confessor.
Canon 1049. §1 In a petition to obtain a dispensation from irregularities or impediments, all irregularities and impediments are to be mentioned. However, a general dispensation is valid also for those omitted in good faith, with the exception of the irregularities mentioned in can. 1041, n. 4, or of others which have been brought to the judicial forum; it is not, however, valid for those concealed in bad faith.

§2 If it is question of an irregularity arising from wilful homicide or from a procured abortion, for the validity of the dispensation even the number of offences must be stated.

§3 A general dispensation from irregularities and impediments to the reception of orders is valid for all orders.
The Sanctifying Function of the Church » The Sacraments » Orders » Those to be ordained » The required documents and investigation
Canon 1050. For a person to be promoted to sacred orders, the following documents are required:

1° a certificate of studies duly completed in accordance with can. 1032;

2" for those to be ordained to the priesthood, a certificate of the reception of the diaconate

3° for those to be promoted to the diaconate, certificates of the reception of baptism, of confirmation and of the ministries mentioned in can. 1035, and a certificate that the declaration mentioned in can. 1036 has been made, if an ordinand to be promoted to the permanent diaconate is married, a certificate of his marriage and testimony of his wife’s consent.
Canon 1051. In the investigation of the requisite qualities of one who is to be ordained, the following provisions are to be observed:

1° there is to be a certificate from the rector of the seminary or of the house of formation, concerning the qualities required in the candidate for the reception of the order, namely sound doctrine, genuine piety, good moral behaviour, fitness for the
exercise of the ministry, likewise, after proper investigation, a certificate of the candidate’s state of physical and psychological health;

2° the diocesan Bishop or the major Superior may, in order properly to complete the investigation, use other means which, taking into account the circumstances of time and place, may seem useful, such as testimonial letters, public notices or other sources of information.
Canon 1052. §1 For a Bishop to proceed to an ordination which he is to confer by his own right, he must be satisfied that the documents mentioned in can. 1050 are at hand and that, as a result of the investigations prescribed by law, the suitability of the candidate has been positively established.

§2 For a Bishop to proceed to the ordination of someone not his own subject, it is sufficient that the dimissorial letters state that those documents are at hand, that the investigation has been conducted in accordance with the law, and that the candidate’s suitability has been established. If the ordinand is a member of a religious institute or a society of apostolic life, these letters must also testify that he has been definitively enrolled in the institute or society and that he is a subject of the Superior who gives the letters.

§3 If, not withstanding all this, the Bishop has definite reasons for doubting that the candidate is suitable to receive orders, he is not to promote him.

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