Asked by: Umer Gabriel
religion and spirituality christianity

What does it mean to defrock a cardinal?

Last Updated: 7th January, 2020

The Vatican recently “defrocked” Theodore McCarrick, a former cardinal and the retired archbishop of Washington D.C. McCarrick was found guilty of a number of crimes including sexual abuse of minors. “Defrocking,” as the name suggests, means the removal of the vestments, or clothing, symbolic of being a priest.

Click to see full answer.

Similarly one may ask, what does defrocking a cardinal mean?

Defrocking, unfrocking, or laicization of clergy is the removal of their rights to exercise the functions of the ordained ministry. The term defrocking implies forced laicization for misconduct, while laicization is a neutral term, applicable also when clergy have requested to be released from their ordination vows.

Beside above, is defrocking the same as excommunication? Excommunication is the most severe form of ecclesiastical penalty and is used only as an absolute last resort. Excommunicants remain Catholic because of baptism and still obligated to attend Mass, but they are deprived of all sacraments (except for the Sacrament of Penance).

Accordingly, what does it mean to defrock a priest?

defrock. If they leave the church, they are said to be defrocked: their gown is taken away. Although it is still common to refer to defrocked priests (priests who have left the priesthood for one reason or another), the word does not have a generally-used meaning outside of the clergy.

What does Laicization mean?

In the canon law of the Catholic Church, the loss of the clerical state (commonly referred to as laicization or laicisation) is the removal of a bishop, priest or deacon from the status of being a member of the clergy.

Related Question Answers

Dragos Schmolck


What will happen to Cardinal McCarrick?

McCarrick submitted his resignation from the College of Cardinals in July 2018, and his resignation was accepted by Pope Francis. After a church investigation and trial, he was found guilty of sexual crimes against adults and minors and abuse of power. McCarrick was dismissed from the clergy in February 2019.

Aiyun Massat


What can laicized priests do?

When a priest is laicized, he is prohibited from performing sacraments, such as hearing confession or blessing and bestowing the Eucharist (also known as Communion). But, laicized priests may be able to marry and don't have to abide by rules such as celibacy, according to the Catholic News Agency. .

Iona Mohosoev


What does Deflocked mean?

Definition of defrock. transitive verb. 1 : to deprive of the right to exercise the functions of office a defrocked priest. 2 : to remove from a position of honor or privilege.

Sohail Gansky


What are last rites called now?

When administered to those on the point of death, the sacraments of Penance, Anointing of the Sick and Viaticum (Holy Communion administered to someone who is dying) are sometimes mistakenly called the last rites.

Valter Chushig


What happens if a priest breaks his vows?

Under Roman Catholic law, it is forbidden for a priest to disclose information — under any circumstances — obtained in the form of religious confession. If a priest breaks what's called "the sacred seal of confession," he will be subject to excommunication from the church.

Sharron Lupandin


Is a laicized priest still a priest?

Laicized priests are still considered priests in the Catholic Church. The defrocking means they are free of the rights and responsibilities of the position. They may not present themselves as priests in their dress nor perform sacraments such as celebrating Mass or hearing confession.

Jamison Horoshko


Can a laicized priest say Mass?

A priest who has been laicized or suspended or excommunicated is not to say Mass, but the Mass, if still said, is considered valid.

El Carreton


How many cardinals are in the US?

There are 34 active Roman Catholic archbishops in the United States. (Five are also cardinals, which means they vote in papal elections.)

Gisell Ekkenga


Do Catholic priests fall in love?

How priests find themselves falling in love. It is true that some priests "fall in love" the way most of us think about that: They meet someone to whom they are drawn; they get to know them; they get physical; they get sexual.

Siena Moidu


Can a retired priest marry?

In some cases, laicized Catholic priests are allowed to marry by special dispensation. In Eastern Orthodox Churches, and Eastern Catholic Churches (which latter are in full communion with Rome), married men may be ordained to any order except as bishops, and one may not marry after ordination as a subdeacon.

Karina Engelhoven


What does Exclaustration mean?

In the canon law of the Catholic Church, exclaustration is the official authorization for a member of a religious order (in short, a religious) bound by perpetual vows to live for a limited time outside their religious institute, usually with a view to discerning whether to depart definitively.

Niklas Kreideweis


Can a priest be excommunicated?

Excommunicated priests must stop performing their clerical duties and can no longer take communion (although they can still attend Mass). The purpose of excommunication is not to drive priests away but to make them repent. Once they do, they are usually welcomed back into “full communion.”

Teonila Dyer


Can priests get married?

Throughout the Catholic Church, East as well as West, a priest may not marry. In the Eastern Catholic Churches, a married priest is one who married before being ordained. The Catholic Church considers the law of clerical celibacy to be not a doctrine, but a discipline.

Oiartza Cassangue


What are the rankings in the Catholic Church?

Hierarchy of the Catholic Church
  • Pope.
  • Cardinal. Cardinal Vicar.
  • Moderator of the curia.
  • Chaplain of His Holiness.
  • Papal legate.
  • Papal majordomo.
  • Apostolic nuncio.
  • Apostolic delegate.

Vardan Mingrelsky


How many priests have left the Catholic Church?

Worldwide, the number of priests in 1970 was 419,728. In 2017, there were a total of 414,582 priests. While the total number of priests worldwide has therefore remained about the same since 1970, the Catholic population has nearly doubled, growing from 653.6 million in 1970 to 1.229 billion in 2012.

Maximiliano Cuezva


How many cardinals are there in the Catholic Church?

They are summoned to a meeting at the Vatican which is followed by the Papal election - or Conclave. There are currently 203 cardinals from 69 countries. The rules of the Conclave were changed in 1975 to exclude all cardinals over the age of 80 from voting. The maximum number of cardinal electors is 120.

Adam Guarino


What are the powers of apostolic administrator canon law?

Characteristics. Apostolic administrators of stable administrations are equivalent in canon law with diocesan bishops, meaning they have essentially the same authority as a diocesan bishop. They are restricted by canon law in what they can do to the diocese they temporarily administer.

Sujing Sanvicente


Is excommunication still practiced?

Excommunication severs one from communion with the Church; excommunicated Catholics are forbidden from receiving any sacrament and refused a Catholic burial, but are still bound by canonical obligations such as attending Mass or fasting seasonally. They are still Catholics per se, but are separated from the Church.

Bakartxo Deme


What is the purpose of excommunication?

Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure used to end or at least regulate the communion of a member of a congregation with other members of the religious institution who are in normal communion with each other. The word excommunication means putting a specific individual or group out of communion.