5.G.2.2 Entry or Change of Sacramental Record by Use of Authentic Document or Declaration

1. An authentic civil document may be used to enter or modify a record when it proves that

   a. civil adoption or legal guardianship has been completed, or

   b. parentage has been determined or denied by a process of civil law, or

   c. a change of name has been effected in civil law (see #5.G.2.4 Name Changes), or

   d. a factual error, such as of name, place or date, exists (see further at #5.G.2.3).

2. The entry or change is to be made only with the approval of the pastor who is to initial and date the record. The document itself or a true copy is to be kept permanently in the separate supplemental file and cross referenced with the register as to its page number and date.

3. When an authentic ecclesiastical document is lacking to prove baptism or confirmation,

   a. The sworn declaration of a single witness above suspicion, or the oath of the person who received baptism at an adult age, is sufficient unless it is prejudicial to someone (e.g., a marriage case would depend on someone’s baptismal status). [1]

   b. Form MB, the Prenuptial Affidavit, may be used for the declaration. However, if the declaration or oath is given only orally for some reason, it is to be committed to a written document and signed at least by the pastor. (The “affidavit” contained in the Parish Christian Initiation Manual is not sufficient for this purpose.)

   c. The pastor is to initial and date the entry. The document or a true copy is to be kept permanently in the supplemental files and cross referenced with the register as to its page number and date.

4. When a Catholic marriage through the use of extraordinary canonical form is asserted [2] or there is no authentic record of marriage, the matter is to be referred to the chancery.



[1] cc. 875-876 and 894; see c. 1573. 

[2] c. 1116.


Date approved by Bishop


Posted by
Msgr. S. J. Raica, chancellor