Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Retention of documents concerning dispensed priests, 12 June 1998, Private.


A question was posed to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments concerning the retention of certain documents relative to priests who have been dispensed from the obligations of priesthood. The motivation for this question was the concern about limited physical space in which to store documents. Three specific questions were proposed: (1) Is it permissible to destroy the original acts of completed petitions in the secret archives? (2) Which documents are to be kept in the file of the dispensed priest? (3) Must the above documents be maintained within the secret archives or may they be kept in the diocesan archives? The Congregation responded in English.




OFFICE OF THE BISHOP

DIOCESE OF _____

405/1998

12 June 1998

His Eminence Jorge Arturo Cardinal Medina Estevez

Prefect, Congregation for Divine Worship and the

Discipline of the Sacraments

Piazza Pio XII, 10

00 193 Rome, Italy

Your Excellency:

Because of limited physical space within the diocesan secret archives, the chancellor of the Diocese _____ of has proposed that certain documents be destroyed relating to priests who have been dispensed from the obligations of priesthood. Several questions have arisen regarding this issue:

1. Is it permissible to destroy the original acts of completed petitions in the secret archives?

2. Which documents are to be kept in the file of a dispensed priest?

3. Must the above documents be maintained within the secret archives or may they be kept in the diocesan archives?

Your direction in this matter is most welcomed. With sincere esteem and in

thanksgiving for your ministry to the Universal Church, I am,

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Diocesan Bishop




CONGREGATIO DE CULTU DIVINO ET DISCIPLINA SACRAMENTORUM

Prot. N. _____

Your Excellency:

This Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments had received your letter dated _____, concerning practices of conservation of documents relative to files of priests who have been dispensed from the obligations of the Priesthood.

After an attentive study of the question, the Congregation would counsel that one copy of the complete acts of such cases is to be retained in the secret archives of the Diocese, along with the rescript of the Holy Father granting the rescript of dispensation from the obligations of the Priesthood. In retaining such documents, and in retaining them in the secret archives, the Diocese will have ready access to information pertaining to dispensed priests which would be necessary in a variety of situations, including the situation of dispensed priests who later desire to be readmitted to active ministry.

Hopefully this information will be of service to you, Your Excellency, on this matter, with every good wish and fraternal regard, I am,

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Secretary




Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Retention of documents concerning dispensed priests, 12 June 1998, Private, CLSA, Roman Replies and Advisory Opinions, 2001, 12-13.