Can widowed or divorced people enter religious life?
A widowed person can, of course, enter religious life, all else being equal (i.e. that there are no other impediments present, such as having responsibility for the rearing of children). Just as a widowed person is free to marry, so he or she is free to commit to religious life.
A divorced person is not free to enter religious life. See Code of Canon Law, Can. 721, 3. A divorced person is still married in the eyes of the Church unless he or she has received an annulment, in which case the person is free to remarry or enter religious life.
Most popular questions
- Why are there so many different religious organisations?
- Why are there so many different religious orders?
- Would entering a religious community mean that I would have to sever my relationships with family and friends?
- If I request information about joining a religious organisation, will I be pressured into joining?
- Do religious communities offer a trial period?
- I feel I have a specific charism to youth outreach. Can I live this charism out as a priest, or must I follow the charism of the order I join?
- If I don’t believe that Christ is really present in the Eucharist, can I still become a priest?
- School was never something I really liked. Is the study part of formation very hard?
- Why do I have to be celibate to be a priest?
- Are religious orders different from one another? If so, how are they different?