birth, defect of

A canonical impediment caused by illegitimacy of birth, that is birth out of lawful wedlock, whereby one is impeded from receiving orders licitly, and is inhibited from exercising the orders he may have received illicitly; it also renders one ineligible to be a higher superior in a religious order, or to be admitted into an ecclesiastical seminary. The defect may be cured by the subsequent marriage of the parents, or by a papal rescript, or by religious profession, or by a dispensation; but such legitimatization does not remove the impediment against receiving the cardinalate, or consecration as a bishop, abbot, or prelate nullius.

New Catholic Dictionary

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