Congregation for the Clergy, Change in competency to dispense presbyters and deacons from their clerical obligations, 6 July 2005.


The following entry concerns a change of competence regarding non-penal laicization cases presented to the Holy See. The competent dicastery is now the Congregation for the Clergy. Formerly, it was the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. What follows is a letter to all bishops of the United States from Most Reverend William S. Skylstad, President of the USCCB, informing the bishops of this change:




Office of the President

3211 Fourth Street NE

Washington DC 20017

July 6, 2005

Your Eminence/Your Excellency,

I write to inform you that I have received a letter from Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo. In it, he asks that I inform you of the following:

"The Holy Father has decided that competency for dispensing from priestly obligations for Presbyters and Deacons passes now from the Congregation for the Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to the Congregation for the Clergy. This change has been made in order to unify the treatment of issues concerning the life and discipline of the clergy, as the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus (art. 96) indicated. This decision of the Holy Father will be in force August 1, 2005 and will affect all cases addressed to the Holy see after that date."

In view of the importance of this decision, might I suggest that you share this information with your canonical staff and advisors to ensure that any communications involving these issues might be appropriately prepared and addressed.

With prayerful best wishes, I am

Fraternally yours in the Lord,

Most Reverend William S. Skylstad

Bishop of Spokane

President of USCCB




Congregation for the Clergy, Change in competency to dispense presbyters and deacons from their clerical obligations, 6 July 2005, CLSA, Roman Replies and Advisory Opinions, 2005, 10.