Frequently Asked Questions | Personalty of a Priest | Information for Parents | Seminary 

The Imperial Roman Church certifies clergy primarily through its jurisdictions the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome and the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate. The church maintains a high standard for its clergy and religious in accordance with the nature of a clerical or religious vocation. Applicants seeking to be admitted to the clergy or religious orders of the of the church are generally accepted from those known personally to a current cleric (or a religious in the case of a postulant to a religious order) of the Patriarchate or Catholicate with significant interaction for at least one year.* Service with this missionary-based jurisdiction constitutes service only within the Anglican Patriarchate or Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate and does not imply service within or communion with any canonically defined ordinary jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthordox Churches, or worldwide Anglican Communion. Those whose intention is parochial ministry should consider a vocation with their local Roman Catholic diocese, Eastern Orthodox eparchy, or, for Anglicans, the Anglican Ordinariate.

What is Pontifical Orthodox Old Catholicism?

Basic Principles of Pontifical Orthodox Old Catholic Clergy

Click here to complete a vocations enquiry form online.

Those interested in the Franciscan Third Order Regular should follow this link.

Application Phase

Candidates must complete the formal application, undergo a background investigation usually performed by Oxford Document Management, and submit the results of a psychological evaluation by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist. Candidates must take the Clerical Oath (permanently binding upon their admission to the clerical state), the Oath Against Modernism, and the Application Oath. (Click here for the text of these oaths.) Upon admission, all applicants, seminarians, and clergy accept the de facto authority and jurisdiction of the Apostolic See of the Catholicate. Successful candidates at the end of the Application Phase pass to the Interview Phase.

Interview Phase

Candidates must be interviewed in person by a panel of no fewer than three persons, two of whom must be clerics (or, in the case of an application for a religious order, at least one must be a religious and another a religious or cleric). The third may be a cleric, a religious, or a lay official. Those clerical candidates who successfully complete the Interview Phase pass to the Postulant Phase. (Religious candidates who successfully complete this phase continue with the posulancy and novitiate according to the customs of their order.)

Postulant Phase

The clerical postulancy lasts generally for up to 6 months. This is a time of continued discernment. At the end of this phase, successful postulants are admitted as Minor Seminarians in the Apostolic See's official seminary, Pontifical Georgian College, and invested with the clerical cassock.

Minor Seminary

This period of instruction is designed to be done either in conjunction alongside the last two years of a general baccalaureate degree or after completion of a baccalaureate degree. Successful completion leads to the Diploma of Sacred Theology and admission to Major Seminary. Minor Seminarians usually receive First Tonsure and the Orders of Porter and Lector along the course of their studies. Minor Seminary is required of all candidates and may progress faster for those already with a baccalaureate degree.

Major Seminary

This period of rigorous instruction and practice is typically 4 years in duration. Seminarians must be in residence at an approved ecclesiastical facility and may have additional residency requirements at other facilities for the purpose of ensuring the highest possible level of training and experience. The course of study is subdivided into 8 levels, each corresponding roughly to a semester. Seminarians typically receive the Orders of Exorcist and Acolyte at the end of Level 3 and Level 4 respectively. The Sub-Diaconate is usually conferred at the middle of the third year after passing the required ordination examinations. The Diaconate is typically conferred at the end of the third year, after interviews and passing the General Ordination and Liturgical Examinations for the Diaconate. Successful completion of the Major Seminary course leads to the Licenciate of Sacred Theology.

Ordination Candidate Phase

Those who have successfully completed the Licenciate of Sacred Theology and have been ordained to the Diaconate may petition for ordination to the Presbyterate. This requires an oral examination by a Board of Examining Chaplains, a written General Ordination Examination, a written General Liturgical Examination, and other practical examinations as required. Those who pass these examinations may petition to their bishop to be admitted and ordained to the Presbyterate. Ordination is at the final discretion of the jurisdictional bishop.

 * Occasionally exceptions may be granted for those recommended by a cleric of the Roman or Anglican Communions or Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions.


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