5.G.1.4 Responsibility for Registers and Sacramental Records

1. Pastors, rectors, parochial administrators and any others entrusted with the pastoral or temporal care of a parish or church by the diocesan bishop are to see that parochial registers are correctly inscribed and carefully preserved according to canonical and diocesan norms. [1] (For convenience, these following norms will only mention the pastor.)

2. They are to protect all parochial documents of the parish or church, including any archives of closed or merged parishes or institutions committed to its care, by proper and secure storage. [2]

3. They are to see that records of sacraments and related acts are accurately, clearly and promptly entered in the registers as well as annotated or communicated to others when required. They are to maintain these registers securely and permanently.

4. Attentive to the restricted nature of sacramental records, they are to issue sacramental certificates and make the information that they contain available to others only according to the provisions of these norms. [3]

5. They are to keep a printed and current copy of these norms where the registers are stored and used, so that they may be easily referenced and applied.

6. Those whom they delegate to care for records, prepare sacramental certificates or supervise the authorized inspection of registers, are to be familiar with and observe these norms as well.

7. Those who administer confirmation, matrimony or other actions that must be recorded in the baptismal register, must notify the proper pastor or place of archive so that the new information may be entered or annotated promptly and accurately.

8. The chancellor, vice-chancellor and archivist exercise their responsibilities toward diocesan and parochial documents according to direction of the diocesan bishop and the norms of law. [4] The chancery directs the recording of ordinations, permanent religious professions and similar matters.

9. The judicial vicar cares for records and documents pertaining to “marriage cases” according to the norms of law.

[1] c. 535; c. 486. A “pastoral coordinator” is considered entrusted for purpose of this subsection.

[2] Ibid. c. 555 treats the duty of the vicar forane regarding records of parishes in the vicariate. 

[3] c. 535 §4.

[4] c. 482 §1.

Date approved by Bishop

Posted by
Msgr. S. J. Raica, chancellor