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Clergy amputees


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#1 Algernon

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 10:23 PM

I learned recently that no one can be ordained to the priesthood who is missing a body part, including a finger or toe. Is this true? That is the reason for this? Does this include a kidney, or appendix, or tonsils? Can a blind man serve as a priest?

 

Thanks,

A



#2 Rdr Thomas

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 11:53 PM

It appears to be from Apostolic Canon 77:

 

http://www.antiochia..._ordination.pdf



#3 Algernon

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 12:10 AM

Sorry...That should say "What is the reason for this?"



#4 Algernon

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 12:11 AM

It appears to be from Apostolic Canon 77:

 

http://www.antiochia..._ordination.pdf

 

Thank you.

That doesn't say anything about missing fingers or toes, though. And it doesn't explain why.


Edited by Algernon, 11 June 2015 - 12:15 AM.


#5 Rdr Thomas

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 01:06 AM

Well, a widely accepted canonical authority would seem to be "why" right?  :-)

 

As far as explanations:  Apostolic Canon 78 (listed immediately after) says that the deaf or blind may not be made a bishop "...that the affairs of the Church may not be hindered".

 

Unfortunately the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers reference that I have does not have any additional commentary.  I can say that I know of at least one priest who very nearly was ruled canonically ineligible at his ordination because he has a tremor in his hand.  The idea is that you cannot ordain someone who might, through some physical infirmity, mishandle the Holy Gifts.  Thus the reasoning "...that the affairs of the Church may not be hindered".

 

Musing on this for a few minutes, I might add that such an infirmity might also preclude the presbyter or bishop from "working the Lord's vineyard" so to speak.  The shepherd has to tend his flock.



#6 Kosta

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 08:03 AM

Usually the clergy are to imitate Christ who was the unblemished lamb. Amputations is seen as a physical blemish. The church has also frowned upon anyone who self mutilates themselves, seeing it as defilement and even self murder.

On the other hand some disabilities which occur through no fault of oneself and wont hinder ministry, can be overlooked. But if some disabilities can hinder or make a bishops duties impossible to carry out then he cannot be ordained. So if a person is missing fingers and cannot cross himself or won't be able to properly bless the laity would disqualify him from the priesthood.




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