4.6.3 Protection of Personal Privacy and Confidential Records

1. All parishes, schools, diocesan offices, and any other program, group or association subject to the diocesan bishop are bound to carefully observe the right of persons to protect their own privacy. [1]

2. Personnel are to observe the following norms for protecting the rights of parishioners, students, employees and others for whom they provide a service. They are to be applied with suitable adjustment in the case of electronically stored information, including the internet.

3. Personal addresses, phone numbers and email addresses are not to be published in parish directories or similar publications that are publicly accessible without prior permission of the persons listed.

4. Discretion is to be exercised in publishing the personal phone numbers of individuals in parish bulletins or other media. This may be done only with permission of an adult. The phone number of a minor is never to be published without the explicit permission of the parent or legal guardian.

5. Except for diocesan approved fund raising efforts or with the approval of the diocesan bishop, bulk lists are not to be given to commercial or nonprofit third parties. They are never to be sold. (See #6.E.4 on capital fundraising.)

6. Unless pertaining to routine statutory employment and labor reporting, requests by a government authority for individual or bulk information about parishioners, students or others who are provided service by parishes, schools or diocesan offices are to be directed to the diocesan legal counsel.

7. Subpoenas and other court orders demanding that records be handed over should be accepted, but no records should be handed over to the server. In cases where the pastor or other agent has been served a subpoena, the diocesan legal counsel is to be contacted.

8. Other requests made by government or corporate agencies (i.e., Social Security Administration, immigration authorities, insurance companies, etc.) should be accompanied by a signed release (use form) by the person whose record is requested (or a legally qualified guardian) authorizing the release of the information.

9. Other requests by non government sources (such as civil attorneys or pursuant to legal action) are also to be directed to the diocesan legal counsel.

[1] c. 220.

Date approved by Bishop

Posted by
Msgr. S. J. Raica, chancellor