5.G.3.1 Issuing Sacramental Certificates to Individuals and Church Authorities

1. Only authenticated certificates of sacramental records are to be issued.

   a. They are to be authenticated by the signature of the pastor and to bear the seal of the parish as well as the date of issue.

   b. It is required that certificates also bear the complete mailing address of the parish / institution that issued them.

2. No certificate of sacramental records is to be issued to any individual unless this right can be established by the information required in the Sacramental Records Request. [1]

   a. Individuals have the right to receive a certificate of their own sacramental records free of charge. Parents and guardians exercise this right respectively for their children and wards (including legally incapacitated or protected persons).

   b. An individual who is unknown to parish personnel must present photographic identification (original or photo copy) to accompany the request. Cases in which the individual cannot present identification should be referred to the diocesan archivist.

   c. Certificates of sacramental records may be provided to Catholic parishes, dioceses, seminaries, religious communities, and tribunals. A baptismal certificate of a Catholic respondent in a marriage case may be provided to the procurator of the petitioner and sent to a church address.

3. Certificates of Sacramental Records With Annotations are to be issued according to the following provisions.

   a. The norms that limit disclosure of adoption, birth outside of marriage, or unknown parentage must always be observed. (See #5.G.4.)

   b. All other annotations in the baptismal registry or the registry of reception must be entered on the certificate. These include ascription to the Church sui iuris and any subsquent transfer.  [2]

   c. Whenever an annotation is empty or missing for First Communion, Confirmation, Marriage, Ordination or Religious Profession, that item is to be reported as “none” or “not given” and never just left empty.

4. However, if a Certificate of Sacramental Records must be issued without annotations, it is to bear the statement that it is issued “For Non Sacramental Purposes” and no annotations of marriage, invalidity, religious profession or orders, etc. are to be reported.

[1] Available from the Archives website. 

[2] c. 535 §2 (De Concordia Inter Codices)

Date approved by Bishop

Posted by
Msgr. S. J. Raica, chancellor