Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Rescript Dispensing a Deacon from the Obligations of Holy Orders, August 1998.


Most Holy Father,

NN __________, deacon of __________, humbly requests the dispensation from the obligations assumed with the sacred order of the sacred diaconate for the reasons presented to Your Holiness.

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The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

August ____, 1998

in virtue of the special faculties granted to it by His Holiness John Paul II, Pope, and have considered the circumstances existing in this case, grants the petition with the following provisions:

1. The dispensation has effect from the moment of its being granted.

2. The rescript of the dispensation is to be made known to the petitioner by the competent ordinary, and inseparably includes the dispensation from celibacy and at the same time loss of the clerical state. The petitioner cannot separate the two elements, accept the first and turndown the latter. If the petitioner is a religious, the rescript contains also a dispensation from vows. Furthermore the rescript carries with it an absolution from censures, insofar as this is necessary.

3. Notification of the dispensation granted is to be made in the baptismal register of the petitioner’s parish [i.e., in which he was baptized].

4. The ecclesiastical authority to whom it belongs to notify the petitioner of the rescript should exhort him to take part in the life of the People of God in a manner consonant with his new mode of life, to give edification, and thus to show himself to be a loving son of the Church.

5. Furthermore, some work of piety or charity will be imposed on him.

6. The notification of the dispensation can be made either personally by an ecclesiastical notary or actuary, or by registered mail. The petitioner must return one copy of the rescript that he has signed as a sign of his receiving and accepting of the dispensation and its precepts.

7. At an opportune time, the competent ordinary will send to the Congregation an account of the fulfillment of the notification, and if there is any wonderment on the part of the faithful, a prudent explanation will be given.

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All things to the contrary notwithstanding.

From the offices of the Congregation, on August ___, 1998.

G.M. Agnelo

Archbishop, Secretary

Vincentius Ferrara

Under Secretary




W.H. Woestman, The Sacrament of Orders and the Clerical State: A Commentary on the Code of Canon Law (Ottawa: Saint Paul University, 2006): 334.