Q&A Corner


Can a married person join the consecrated state?


To join a diocesan or pontifical right religious order, secular institute, or a diocesan hermit, one must be single/unmarried in the eyes of the Church, or be lawfully separated from one’s spouse and given a dispensation by the Holy See (rarely given).  One of the defining characteristics of the consecrated state is that it is a state of public continence, of celibacy.  In other words, no one can cohabit with a spouse and be admitted to the consecrated state.  However, married people may join the lay/secular branches of religious orders or secular institutes.

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