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Incardination of Clergy





When a  clerical candidate desires Incardination into any Diocese of the Old Catholic Confederation, the candidate must do the following after consultation with the Vicar for Clergy and the local Bishop:

  1. Write a formal letter to the local Bishop where the clerical candidate has canonical residence petitioning Incardination into his Diocese.
  2. Make an appointment to see his or her “Priest-Mentor” appointed by the local Bishop.
  3. Psychological Examination by the Archdiocesan Psychologist, paid by the candidate.
  4. Prepare the following documents:

                a) Letter of Excardination from one’s current or previous Bishop.

            b) Three Letters of Recommendation from Priests in a canonical Church.

            c) Biographical Statement and Ministry Statement.    

            d) Official Academic Transcripts.

            e) Sealed Original Sacramental Certificates/Documentation, or Notarized Copies of Original Certificates.    

            f) Complete Background Check.  

5.    In general, upon completion of the above application, candidates will meet with the Archdiocesan Commission on Ministry to be examined orally and in written form concerning the one or all of the following areas: 1) Catholic Theology, 2) Sacramental Theology, 3) Church History, 4) Spirituality and 5) Liturgy and liturgical praxis.

6.    Upon acceptance, the newly-Incardinated priest or deacon, must make a public promise of obedience to the local Bishop (usually at the next Sunday Liturgy).

7.   All clerical candidates are expected to make a retreat at a monastery designated by the local bishop prior to ordination or incardination.. All clerics are required to take at least one retreat a year, if possible, during Lent, at a monastery designated by the local Bishop.  

8.  Aside from the social teachings of the Church, clerics may not voice or advocate any political ideology contrary to the Gospel and Apostolic tradition.

9. In general, candidates for Holy Orders are expected to worship at the local OCC parish for at least six months and serve the Mass for at least six months.

10. At the discretion of the local Diocesan Bishop, the clerical candidate (deacon or priest) may be required to be re-ordained "sub conditione" where there is any doubt concerning the Apostolic Succession of the respective Church or ordaining bishop prior to Incardination.

11. In accordance with Canon law, all priests are required to have a Master's degree or equivalent in theology or divinity from a recognized seminary or university. 

12. The Code of Canon Law of the Old Catholic Confederation defines a clerical candidate for Incardination as a priest or deacon who was properly and canonically ordained to Holy Orders by a bishop in Apostolic Succession within a recognized and canonical Church, after a period of spiritual formation and education in philosophy and theology, resulting in a graduate degree in theology from a recognized seminary or university. In the instance of a cleric who was ordained under irregular circumstances, without proper formation and higher education, the candidate would be required to complete spiritual formation and higher education in the sacred sciences as a postulant, as directed by the local bishop. 


For candidates of the Archdiocese of the United States, psychological evaluations are conducted by licensed psychologists at the Greenridge Counseling Center at 6122 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19128. Once a candidate has been accepted as a postulant, he may make an appointment for a psychological evaluation at 215-487-1330. The fee is $900.00, which is to be paid by the candidate directly who must agree to have the final report sent to the Archbishop. The psychological evaluation involves the standard battery of tests, an interview and appointment for feedback. On occasion, for candidates who cannot make an appointment in Philadelphia, psychological evaluations can be conducted by a local  psychologist appointed by the Archbishop.

If you are a priest or a deacon, married or celibate, and wish to become Incardinated into the Archdiocese of the United States or a Suffragan Diocese of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of the Old Catholic Church in the United States under the Synod of Bishops of the Old Catholic Confederation, please contact the Vicar for Clergy by filing out the contact form below. Thank you.

If you are a serious candidate, please take a look at our Vocations Application (PDF), which clergy are also required to complete in the process of Incardination. 

Contact the Office of the Vicar for Clergy
Thank you for contacting the Office of Vocations at the Chancery of the Archdiocese of the United States (Old Catholic Confederation). We will get back to you as soon as possible.
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