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Can I Become a Priest if My Marriage Was Annulled?


A listener named Jack asks Father Dave if it is possible for him to become a priest after having his marriage annulled. Jack explains that he had thoughts of becoming a priest before getting married, and now that his marriage is annulled, those thoughts have returned. He also shares that he has a son under the age of 18, and wonders if the Church would allow him to pursue priesthood at this time.

Father Dave responds that while men are able to pursue priesthood after an annulment, there are certain conditions when children are involved. “You have some time to discern,” Father Dave says. “Because you have a 13-year-old son, the Church wouldn’t entertain the idea of you entering the seminary at least until he is no longer a dependent… You love your son and will continue to love him into adulthood, but for right now, you have a responsibility to raise him. The Church sees that as your primary responsibility at least until he is 18.”

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“If it is not genuinely the Holy Spirit calling you, then this desire might go away in these five years that you’re raising your son. But if it is God calling you to the priesthood, it’s not going anywhere.” Father Dave encourages him to reach out to priests who know him and could help him along with the discernment process in the meantime.