Church and Law 2 (15) 2013, 2: 115-132

The Procedure of Obtaining a Dispensation from Celibacy in the Latin Church at the Request of the Presbyter


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Krzysztof Ossowski


J.C.D. Candidate, Faculty of Canon Law, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw

Dewajtis 5, PL-01-815 Warszawa



In the modern world, a dispensation from celibacy of presbyters is hotly debated problem and very thought provoking issue among both clerics and the lay Christian faithful. It also raises universal interest of media and public opinion.

The Author analyses the legal status in force and the practice of the Apostolic See concerning the obtaining a dispensation from the obligations of sacred ordination validly received in the Latin Church at the request of the presbyter, included celibacy. In the first part of the article, provisions regulating an issue of dispensation from celibacy of presbyters are presented. Attention is paid at the competences in the procedure of granting the dispensation and the legal grounds for it. In the second part, the Author shows different stages of the proceedings in order for obtaining a dispensation at the request of the presbyter which are the proceedings before the ordinary and then in the Congregation for the Clergy. In the last part of the article, the Author presents the legal effects of the rescript of the Apostolic See.

Słowa kluczowe: duchowny, posługa kapłańska, czystość, reskrypt, Kongregacja ds. Duchowieństwa

Key words: cleric, priestly ministry, purity, rescript, Congregation for the Clergy