1.3 Language and Weight of Policy Statements
(Policies contain requirements, recommendations, and permissions. Any individual entry must be read carefully in order to understand its weight and scope. This document attempts to distinguish among them in the following manner. It usually expresses any requirement, necessary obligation, necessary duty or necessary course of action by words and phrases such as “must”, “is to”, “has to”, “will” and “shall.”
A recommendation expresses a preference by the diocesan bishop for a certain way of action or decision even though several legitimate choices are available. Recommendations reflect a “best practice” approach in the general sense of that term.
However, recommendations may vary in weight from the strong to the relatively less strong, and this document attempts to indicate the weight. The strongest recommendations are expressed by “should” or modified by terms such as “ordinarily” or “normally.” “Urged”, “recommended”, “advised” and “encouraged” express recommendations of lesser weight.
In general, a permission is an action from a competent Church authority that authorizes a person to do something that he or she could not normally do because some norm prevents it or because the person simply lacks power to do it. This document expresses the power to do something or a permission that grants this power by words such as “may” and “can.”)