Sacred Ordination

– Fr. Mathew Kochupurackal

The word ‘order’ in Roman antiquity designated an established civil body, especially a governing body. Ordination means incorporation into an ordo. Since ancient times, tradition has named certain established bodies in the Church. They were called taxies or ordines. And so the liturgy speaks of the ordo episcoporum, ordo presbterorum and ordo diaconorum. Other groups also receive the name of ordo: catechumens, virgins, spouses, widows, etc. Integration into one of those bodies in the Church was accomplished by a rite called ordinatio, a religious and liturgical act which was a consecration, a blessing or a sacrament.

Today the word ordinatio is reserved for the sacramental act which integrates a man into the order of bishops, presbyters, or deacons, and goes beyond a simple election, designation, or institution by the community, of it confers a gift of the Holy Spirit that permits the exercise of a sacred power (potestas sacra) which can come only from Christ himself through his Church. Ordination is called consecratio, for it is a setting apart and an investiture by Christ himself for his Church. They laying of hands by the bishop, with the consecratory prayer, constitutes the visible sign of this ordination (Catechism of the Catholic Church (hereafter CCC) nos. 1537 – 1538).

The Latin code c. 1008 reads as follows: “By divine institution some among Christ’s faithful are, through the sacrament of order, marked with an indelible character and are thus constituted sacred ministers; thereby they are consecrated and deputed so that, each according to his own grade, they fulfil, in the person of Christ the Head, the offices of teaching, sanctifying and ruling, and so they nourish the people of God.”

The Eastern code c. 743 makes a more direct reference to the apostolic character of orders, “Through sacramental ordination celebrated by a bishop in virtue of the working of the Holy Spirit, sacred ministers are constituted, who are endowed with the function and power the Lord granted to his apostles, and in varying degrees share in the proclamation of the gospel, shepherding and sanctifying the people of God”.

The formulation of the Eastern canon is inspired by the oriental patristic theology. It has a pneumatological dimension and reflects the teaching of the Second Vatican Council. The sacred ministers re first and foremost Christ’s faithful ‘who are incorporated as they are into Christ through baptism and are constituted the people of God; and so, participating in their own way in the priestly, prophetic and royal function of Christ, and are called, each according to his condition, to exercise the mission which God has entrusted to the Church to fulfil in the world” (c. 7§1). Those of the faithful who are marked by holy order are appointed in the name of Christ to feed the Church with the word and the grace of God”. (LG 11). CIC c. 1008 states tht the bishops, presbyters and deacons fulfil the three fold function in persona Christi. But I doubt whether it is doctrinally correct that the deacons also act in persona Christi. CCEO c. 743 has left out the imagery of in persona Christi.

C. 323 § 1 defines the sacred ministers: “Clerics, who are also called sacred ministers, are Christ’s faithful who, chosen by the competent authority, re deputed through a gift of the Holy Spirit received in sacred ordination to be ministers of the Church participating in the mission and power of Christ, the Pastor”. Difference between sacred ministers and other faithful occurs by means of sacred ordination, by virtue of which sacred ministers are distinguished as bishop, presbyters and deacons (c. 325). “It is clear from tradition – a tradition expressed especially in the liturgical rites and in the usage of the Church both Eastern and western – that through the imposition of hands and the words of consecration the grace of the Holy Spirit is conferred and the sacred character is imprinted” (LG 21).

In the first schema of the Eastern code of the title of the canons on orders was called De sacramento sacredotii.1 .In order to include also the deacons the name was not sufficient. So the name De sacra ordinatione was adopted.2 CIC keeps the title De Ordine, because it is traditionally used in the Latin Law and it includes also ordination.3 In fact, both the codes treat here in this section more of sacred ordination rather than of sacred order.

Orders in the Catholic Church are episcopate , presbyterate and diaconate (CCEO c. 325, CIC. c. 1009). CCEO intends to call them major clerics. But CIC has abolished the concept of minor clerics and major clerics.4 CCEO c. 327 speaks of constituting ministers other than bishops, presbyters and deacons for serving the people of God or for exercising functions in the sacred liturgy, and calls them minor clerics.5 CIC also speaks of ministries and exercising them for a suitable period of time before being promoted to diaconate (c.1035§1). But CIC does not call them minor clerics, because those ministries can be on a stable basis entrusted to lay men (cirri laici) who possess the age and qualifications determined by decree of the conference of bishops in accord with the prescsribed liturgical rite (c. 230)

According to the Eastern tradition, the minor orders are inserted in the ecclesiastical hierarchy according to the level of each one. In this context, the explanation given in Instruction for Applying the Liturgical Prescriptions of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches published by the Congregation for the Eastern Churches on January 6, 1996 in no.73 draws our attention: “Whoever has received these orders (minor orders), therefore, is no longer a lay person, but becomes a member of what the liturgical books of most Eastern Churches call the “clergy’ or “Sacred Orders”. The difference between minor Orders and ministries entails consequences also in the way of interpreting can. 358 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches: it affirms that a candidate is enrolled as a cleric in the eparchy for whose service he is ordained, unless according to the norm of particular law of his own Church sui iuris, he has already been enrolled in the same eparchy”. That means, as per CCEO different from CIC6 , there is the possibility of ascribing a person to an eparchy as cleric with the reception of a minor order, if the particular law of that Church sui iuris permits.

Both CIC and CCEO prescribe holy orders as diriment impediment to marriage (CCEO c. 795§1, 1 o; CIC c. 1087). CIC is correct in using the term ‘holy orders’, because by ‘holy orders’ it means episcopate, presbyterate and diaconate only. But CCEO should have specified the term with the qualification ‘major’ since it speaks also of minor orders that are not diriment impediments to valid marriage.

Impediments to Receiving or Exercising Sacred Orders

CIC calls ‘irregularities and impediments’.7 But CCEO uses only the word ‘impediments’. The first schema was similar to CIC. A number of observations were made on the canons. The study group wished to drop out the concept of irregularity and simple use the term impediments which exclude because of one reason or other a candidate from the reception of a sacred order and from the exercise of it.

There was a question whether the elimination of the term ‘irregularity’ is prudent. Is it not good that the discipline of the Church in this matter be uniform in the whole church, both East and West? The answer was tht such uniformity is not necessary and the term ‘irregularity’ is not known in the East. Moreover, no difference exists in this matter between CIC and CCEO.8

Minister of Sacred Ordination

The minister of sacred ordination is only a bishop, who possesses the fullness of priesthood and the height of the sacred ministry (LG 21, 26). Apostolic Canon 2 prescribes, “Let a presbyter, deacon, and the rest of the clergy, be ordained by one bishop:.”9

6. CIC c. 266§1. A person becomes a cleric through the reception of diaconate and is incardinated into the particular church or personal prelature for whose service he has been advanced.
7. CIC c. 1041. irregular for receiving; 1042. impeded from exercising; 1044 §1. irregular for exercising; 1044 § 2. impeded from exercising.
8. Nuntia 28 (1989) 102.
9. Apostolic Canons represent the very early canon law of the Church, that the canons which make up the collection are of various dates, but that most of them are earlier than the year 300.
Sacred Ordination is effected by the imposition of hands and with the prayer prescribed in the liturgical text of the Church. In the schema there was no mention of the imposition of hands and of the prayers. It is necessary for validity.10

Mandate and Episcopal Ordination

In the patriarchal, major archiepiscopal and metropolitan Churches sui iuris, Episcopal ordination is reserved, besides to the Roman Pontiff, to the patriarch (c. 86§1, 2 o), the major archbishop (c. 152), metropolitan who presides over a Church sui iuris (c. 159, 1o), the provincial metropolitan (133§1, 1o)11 or by another bishop with their lawful mandate (c.745). In the Latin Church, bishops are consecrated by the Roman Pontiff or by another bishop with pontifical mandate (c. 1013).

A bishop lawfully ordained is a true bishop but he can exercise his office only in hierarchical communion with the head of the college (the Roman Pontiff) and its members (See LG 22, CCEO c. 49). Both the bishop who confers Episcopal ordination upon someone without mandate and the one who receives ordination are punished with major excommunication.12 It is a penal crime reserved to the Roman Pontiff.13

Both the codes insist tht a bishop be ordained by three bishops of the same Church sui iuris (CIC c. 1014; CCEO c. 746§1). CCEO permits to admit the second and third bishop from other Churches sui iuris, if bishops of the same Church sui iuris as the first ordaining bishop cannot be present (c. 746§2). The Latin Church, applying the principle of recourse to parallel passages, may adopt this norm (CIC c. 17). Conferral of an Episcopal ordination by a single bishop is permitted only with a dispensation from the Apostolic See as per CIC. But CCEO does not speak anything about dispensation. However, it permits such a conferral only in cases of extreme necessity (for example, war, persecution etc.) CIC c. 1014 exhorts that all the bishops who are present at the function consecrate the bishop-elect. Such a prescription is not seen in CCEO14.

Unless Episcopal ordination is conferred by three bishops, it was considered as an invalid conferral according to the early canons. But as per CCEO norm, it does not affect validity. But this Eastern tradition is to be conserved and implemented. It is a very ancient practice of the Church. Apostolic Canon 1 states, ‘Let a bishop be ordained by two or three bishops”. The Council of Nicea I prescribes, “It is by all means proper that a bishop should be ordained by all the bishops in the province; but should this be difficult, either on account or urgent necessity or because of distance at least by three [‘…]” Such a norm has been confirmed by c.3 of Council of Nicea II (787), c.19 of the Synod of Laodicea (347/381) and c.6 of the Synod of Sardica (343 – 344).

10. Nuntia 15 (1982) 45
11. CCEO does not speak of any mandate in case a patriarch, a major archbishop, a metropolitan who presides over a Church sui iuris or a provincial metropolitan ordains a bishop.
12. CCEO c. 1459 § 1.
13. CCEO c. 1060 § 1, 3°
14. The Pontifical of the Syro Malabar Church (p. 82) prescribes that the bishops who are present at the ordination embrace the newly ordained as a sign of receiving him to the college of bishops.
Collegial character of the episcopacy is manifest with the presence of all the bishops at least three in the Episcopal Ordination. It is a sign of communion among the bishops. Even though a bishop is the head of the local community, he forms part of the college of the bishops which is modeled after the college of the Apostles. The communion that existed in the apostolic college is to manifest in the communion among bishops. By the presence and prayers of all the bishops in the region this communion is expressed and the catholicity of the Church is proclaimed.

CCEO c. 746§ 2 states that the second and third bishops are of the same Church sui iuris as the first ordaining bishop. It is to express the special kind of communion that is to exist among the bishops of the same Church sui iuris. The canon further states tht if second and third bishops cannot be present from the Church sui iuris of the first ordaining bishop, they can be of another Church sui iuris, even the Latin Church.

Dimissorial Letters

Dimissorial letters are of very ancient tradition. Dimissorial letter is an act by which the proper bishop authorizes another bishop to ordain his subject. An ordination without the proper dimissorial letter is unlawful but still valid. A bishop who administers an ordination without such a letter is punishable under c. 1459 § 2 which states, “A bishop who administered diaconal or presbyteral ordination to someone against the prescriptions of the canons, is to be punished with a suitable penalty”.

Canon 6 of the Council of Chalcedon (451) prescribes, “Neither presbyter, deacon, nor any of the ecclesiastical order shall be ordained at large, nor unless the person ordained is particularly appointed to a church in a city or village, or to a martyry (a chapel raised over a martyr’s grave), or to a monastery. And if any have been ordained without a charge, the Holy Synod decrees, to the reproach of the ordainer that such an ordination shall be inoperative and that such shall nowhere be suffered to officiate”.

C. 750 § 1. With due regard for cc. 472, 537 and 560 § 1, the following can give the dimissorial letter;

1° one’s proper eparchial bishop;

2° the administrator of the Patriarchal Church and also, with the consent of the eparchial consultors, the administrator of an eparchy.

§ 2. The administrator of a Patriarchal Church is not to grant dimissorial letters to those who were rejected by the Patriarch, nor the administrator of the eparchy to those who were rejected by the eparchial bishop.
C, 427. The superior of a monastery sui iuris can grant dimissorial letters to the local eparchial bishop, or to the bishop designated by the patriarch in the case of a stauropegial monastery.15

C. 537. The major superior of a congregation grants dimissorial letters to the eparchial bishop of the place in which the candidate has a domicile. He can grant it to another bishop, if the eparchial bishop of the place has given permission, if the local bishop is of another Church sui iuris, if he is absent, or if the eparchy is governed by an administrator who is not a bishop.

C. 560 § 1 speaks of the major superiors of the societies of common life. The prescription of c. 537 is to be followed in this case.

C. 751. Dimissorial letters are not granted unless all the testimonials which are required by law have been obtained. The testimonials required by law are established in cc. 767 – 772 regarding those things which must precede sacred ordination. The authority who is to grant the dimissorial letter must not grant it unless he has obtained the certificates and documents required by law. It is not up to the ordaining bishop to collect them but rather it is the duty of the authority who admits the candidate to sacred ordination.

C. 753. The one granting the dimissorial letters or his successor can, for a just reason, revoke them, but once they are granted, they do not expire if the one granting them ceases to exercise his office through resignation or another reason

The Proper Eparchial Bishop in the case of Ordination

The bishop of the eparchy in which the candidate has domicile and the bishop of the eparchy which the candidate wants to serve (that is, a deacon who has domicile in the eparchy of Kothamangalam (Syro-Malabar), but wishes to serve the eparchy of Mananthavady (Syro Malabar). Both the eparchial bishops of Kothamangalam and Mananthavady do not need dimissorial letters). But if the candidate is ascribed to a Church sui iuris different from that of the ordaining bishop, he needs the permission of the Apostolic See. If a candidate is a member of the patriarchal Church and has a domicile or quasi-domicile within the territorial boundaries of the same Church, the permission of the Patriarch is enough. E.g. the permission of the Major Archbishop is enough for a candidate who has domicile or quasi domicile in the eparchy of Pala (Syro Malabar) to be ordained by the bishop of Vijaypuram (Latin). Such ordination does not bring about transfer from the proper Church sui iuris.

15. The Patriarch or Major Archbishop can for a grave reason, having consulted the eparchial bishop and with the consent of the permanent synod [Permanent synod is composed of the Patriarch/Major/Archbishop and four bishops designated for a period of five year term (c. 115§ 1)] concede a monastery the status of a stauropegial monastery. Such a monastery is directly subject to the Patriarch/Major Archbishop.

Permission to Ordain.

In another eparchy, a bishop is prohibited from celebrating a sacred ordination without the permission of the eparchial bishop, unless the particular law of a Patriarchal Church with regard to the patriarch establishes likewise.

This prescription is made on the basis of the principle of territoriality which every bishop is to follow. The first Council of Constantinople c. 2 stated, “And let not bishops go beyond their dioceses for ordination or any other ecclesiastical ministrations, unless they be invited”. This principle was confirmed in LG 23.

Particular Law of the Syro Malabar Church Art. 150. “The Major Archbishop celebrates the Sacred Ordination in another eparchy after informing the concerned eparchial bishop”. That is, the Major Archbishop informs, while the other bishops require permission.

Subject of Sacred Ordination

Only vir baptizatus is able to receive sacred ordination validly (c. 754). CCC states that our Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry.16 The college of bishops, with whom the presbyters are united in the priesthood, make the college of the twelve an ever present and ever active reality until Christ’s return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord Himself. For this reason the ordination of the women is not possible.17

No one has the right to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. Indeed no one claims this office for himself; he is called to it by God (Heb. 5:4). Anyone who thinks he recognizes the signs of God’s call to the ordained ministry must humbly submit his desire to the authority of the Church, who has the responsibility and right to call some one to receive Orders. Like every grace, this sacrament can be received only as an unmerited gift (CCC 1577 – 1578)

Pope John Paul II quoting Pope Paul VI says, “Your Grace (Archbishop of Canterbury) is well aware of the Catholic Church’s position. She holds tht it is not admissible to ordain women due to the very reasons: 1) The example recorded in the Sacred Scripture of Christ’s choosing only men; 2) The Church’s practice; her living teaching authority which has consistently excluded women from receiving ordination”,18 Also Mary, the Mother of God did not receive this mandate. But it did not reduce her dignity. The Pope says that the Church is incompetent to do what the Lord has not done. This declaration of the Pope is not a dogma. Still, it is very near to

16. Cf.Mk. 3: 14-19; Lk.6 12-16; 1 Tim. 3: 1-13, 2 Tim. 1:6; Tit. 1: 5-9; St. Clement of Rome, Ad Cor.42, 4:44, 3.
17. Cf. Ioannes Paulus II, Epistula Apostolica, “Mulieris dignitatem”, 15-08 – 1988, AAS 80 (1988) 1653 – 1729, nn. 26-27; Sacra Congregatio pro Doctrina Fidei, Declaraio, “Inter insigniores”, 15-10 – 1976, AAS 69 (1977) 98 – 116
18. Ioannes Paulus II, Epistula Apostolica, “Ordinatio sacredotalis” AAS86 (1994) 545 – 548, Congregatio pro Doctrina Fidei, “Responsum ad dibium circa doctrinam in Epist. Ap. “Ordinatio sacredotalia’ traditam “, 28 – 10 – 1995, AAS 87 (1995) 1114.

dogma. It is infallible because the Roman Pontiff proclaims this as a doctrine of a moral (though not properly of faith) with a definitive act (c. 597 § 1).

C. 755 speaks about deacons destined for the presbyterate, not about permanent deacons. The eparchial bishop or major superior as the case may be can prohibit a deacon from advancing to presbyterate, but only for a most serious reason either public or occult. The reason can be an impediment or irregularity, a censure, incompatible behaviour, disqualifying and uncorrected vice, etc. However, against the decision of the eparchial bishop or major superior, the deacon has the right to make recourse to the superior ecclesiastical authority as per cc. 996 – 1006 concerning recourse against administrative decrees.

Requirements for Candidates for Sacred Ordination

There was a question whether the reception of the chrismation with holy Myron is necessary for the valid reception of the sacred ordination. In the initial text the canon, was: Sacram ordinationem valide recipit solus vir baptizatus.19 But there was a proposal to include the reception of the sacrament of chrisamtion with holy Myron for the validity. The proposal was accepted and the canon was reformulated like: Sacram ordinationem valide recipit solus vir baptizatus et sancto myro unctus20 The canon appeared also in the 1986 Schema as c. 749.21 Later, oppositions came from the members (6). Their demand was to suppress the clause of the reception of the sacrament of the chrismation as a factor necessary for validity. The reasons they indicated were: 1) It is not fair to introduce a new requirement for validity: 2) It is not prudent to admit an innovation in the absence of certainty that does not contradict some theological truth. Accordingly, the clause was cancelled and the reception of the sacrament of chrismation was placed as a factor for the lawfulness of the reception of the sacred ordination.22 Thus, the final text was exactly the same as the initial text. The norm of CIC is also the same. (cc. 1024, 1033).

Celibate and Married Clergy

The term “celibate” (Latin, caelebs, akin to Sanskrit, kevala, “simple, not complex, absolute, single”) refers not only to virgins but also widows and widowers, that is, persons not bound by the bond of marriage. While the western Church increasingly restricted sacred ministry to the celibate clergy since the fourth century, precisely with c. 33 of the Council of Elvira, Spain23 , the Eastern Churches legally reserved episcopacy to the celibate since the sixth century24 but continued to allow other clerics the option to be celibate or married.

19. Nuntia 7 (1978) 57.
20. Nuntia 15 (1982) 48
21. Nuntia 24 – 25 (1987) 137.
22. Nuntia 28 (1989) 101.
23. Placuit in totum prohibere episcopis, presbyteris et diaconis vel omnibus positis in ministerio abstinere se a coniugibus suis et non generare filios. Quicuque vero fecerit, ab honore clericatus exterminetur.
24. The Council of Trullo (692) c.12 forbade the bishops and c. 13 permitted other clerics with the condition that they marry before their ordination.
There are married and celibate clergy in the Eastern Churches (c. 373). Twenty out of twenty two Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris admit married clergy. The two Churches of exception are Syro Malabar and Syro Malankara Churches. Clerical celibacy is obligatory in the Latin Church. CIC c. 1037 prescribes. “An unmarried candidate for the permanent diaconate and a candidate for the presbyterate is not to be admitted to the order of diaconate unless in a prescribed rite he has assumed publicly before God and the Church the obligation of celibacy or professed perpetual vows in a religious institute”, CCC no. 1580 states, “In the Eastern Churches a different discipline has been in force for many centuries: while bishops are chosen solely from among celibates, married men can be ordained as deacons and presbyters. This practice has long been considered legitimate: these presbyters exercise a fruitful ministry within their communities. However, priestly celibacy is held in great honour in the Eastern Churches and many priests have freely chosen it for the sake of the Kingdom of God. In the East as in the West a man who has already received the Sacrament of Holy Orders can no longer marry.”

In admitting married men to sacred orders, particular law of each Church sui iuris is to be followed in the Eastern Churches. If there exist special norms established by the Apostolic See, they are to be observed. In order that a synod of bishops wishes to make a norm against such special norms, the permission of the Apostolic See is needed.

Matter for reflection: According to OE 4 and 5, the Eastern discipline is to be observed by the Easterners every where without any territorial restriction. This is principle. In practice, however, territorial restriction has been imposed on the married clergy. In 1880’s Greek-Ruthenian Catholics from West Ukaraine and Sub-Carpathian regions started to emigrate in their thousands to the American continent. Ministry by their married clergy aroused the protest of the Latin bishops, who reported “gravissimum scandalum” of their faithful. So the Congregation of the Propagation of Faith decreed on October 1, 1890 forbidding Greek Ruthenain married clergy to go and reside in USA. In 1913 it decreed that only celibates were to be ordained priests in Canada. Congregation for the Eastern Churches issued three decrees in 1929-1930, forbidding married priests of the Eastern Churches to minister at first in the United States, then in Canada, Central and South America and Australia. Deprived of ministry in their Eastern rite, as sheep wandering without a shepherd, the Greek Ruthenians ended up in their thousands in the Orthodox fold. Who is responsible for that? We have to remember that these prohibitions are still in force. We have to think whether the so called scandal caused by the married clergy or the scandal of pedophilia caused by the celibate clergy tarnishes the face of the Church in America? I think, it is high time that the Latin Church and those Eastern Churches who follow the discipline of the Latin Church think of legislating on married clergy especially in a situation in which a number of married priests from the Orthodox Church, Anglican Church and other protestant Churches come to the Catholic Church.25 The new situation calls for a revised legislation, particularly in regard to the types of ministry than can be carried out by these priests.

25. The news paper The Times of India, dated Wednesday October 21, 2009, on the front page reports under the title Vatican opens arms on Anglicans that “Pope Benedict XVI approved a new church provision that will allow, Anglicans to convert while maintaining many of their distinctive spiritual and liturgical traditions”. Certainly there will be married presbyters and even bishops from the Anglican Church coming to the Catholic Church. The situation will definitely necessaite appropriate legislations in the Catholic Church.

Age prescribed for diaconate is 23 completed and presbyterate 24 completed (c. 759). The particular law can fix a higher age. Dispensation: up to one year – the eparchial bishop or major superior. More than one year to the patriarch in the case of a candidate who had domicile or quasi domicile within the territorial boundaries; otherwise to the Apostolic See.


Necessity of philosophical and theological studies before one can be admitted to presbyterate is prescribed by c. 760. At least six years – two complete years for philosophy and full four years for theology.

For permanent deacons – curriculum of studies is to last for three years. Particular Law of the Syro Malabar Church Art 59 § 1. The candidates (to permanent diaconate) shall undergo at least three years of philosophical and theological studies.

Impediments to Receiving or Exercising Sacred Orders

CIC calls irregularities and impediments.26 But CCEO uses only the word impediments. The first schema was similar to CIC. A number of observations were made on the canons. The study group wished to drop out the concept of irregularity and simply use the term impediments which exclude because of one reason or other a candidate from the reception of a sacred order and form the exercise of it.

There was a question whether the elimination of the term ‘irregularity’ is prudent. Is it not good that the discipline of the Church in this matter be uniform in the whole Church, both East and West? The answer was that such uniformity is not necessary and the term ‘irregularity’ is not known in the East. Moreover, no difference in discipline exists in this matter between CIC and CCEO.27

C. 762 speaks of certain impediments:

1°. The expression ‘psychic illness’ must be considered in relation to the ministry which the candidate is due to undertake.

2°. Apostacy, heresy or schism – the mentality behind is to be given importance.

26. CIC c. 1041. irregular for receiving; 1042. impeded from exercising; 1044 § 1. irregular for exercising; 1044 § 2. impeded from exercising.
27. Nuntia 28 (1989) 102.
3°. This impediment is to safeguard the sanctity of marriage and enforce the norms on impediments of sacred order (c. 804), public perpetual vow of chastity (c. 805) and the bond of a preceding marriage (c. 802).

4°. A cleric is to uphold the dignity of life. The impediments mentioned are agains it.

5°. Mutilation. Unwillingness to respect the gift of God.

6°. Abuse of sacred orders.

7°. Exercise of activities tht are irreconcilable with sacred ministry.

8°. Neophyte

The Things that must Precede Sacred Ordination.

C. 769. To admit a candidate to sacred ordination, the following documents are required:-

1. A personally signed declaration by which the candidate states that he intends to freely and voluntarily receive the sacred order and accept the obligations attached to it; the certificate of the last sacred ordination; if it is a question of the first sacred ordination, the certificate of baptism, chrismation and minor orders;

2. Certificate of marriage and the written consent of the wife for the married candidate;

3. Certificate of studies;

4. Testimonial letters of the Rector or the Superior.

5. Testimonial letters of the parish priest after having published in the parish church;

6. Testimonial letters of other eparchial bishops, if they are needed.

C. 771 speaks about publishing the names of the candidate in the parish church.

The Particular law of the Syro Malabar Church Art. 148 § 1. “The names of candidates to sacred Orders whether eparchial or others are to be announced during the Sacred Liturgy on two consecutive days of obligation in the parish church of the candidate.

§ 2. This publication is to be made at least two months before the date of ordination.

§ 3. After the publication the parish priest shall submit a report about the candidate to the authorities concerned as early as possible”.

C. 773 exhorts: “As any other sacrament, sacred ordination, being an action of the Church, is to be celebrated with the participation of as many faithful as possible. It is in conformity with the tradition of the Church that the sacred ordination is celebrated on Sundays and feast days”.