Congregation for the Clergy, Rescript of dispensation of a deacon from clerical obligations, 11 June 2011, Private.


(Dispensation from the Obligations associated to Ordination)

Prot. N. 2011 XXXX/D


[N.N.], a deacon of the Arch/Diocese of …, having prostrated himself at the feet of Your Holiness humbly seeks a dispensation from the obligations undertaken in the Sacred Order of the Diaconate for the reasons presented in the report to Your Holiness.


on 11 June 2011

by reason of the special faculty granted to it by the Supreme Pontiff, POPE BENEDICT XVI, attentive to the particular circumstances associated with the present case, grants the request in accord with the following considerations:

1. The Dispensation takes effect from the moment of notification;

2. The rescript of dispensation, which must be communicated as soon as possible to the petitioner by the competent Ordinary, includes inseparably the dispensation from sacred celibacy and simultaneously the loss of the clerical state. It is never permissible for the petitioner to separate these two elements, that is, to accept the former and refuse the latter. If, however, the petitioner is a religious, the Rescript grants also a dispensation from vows. Likewise, it carries with it also, insofar as it is needed, an absolution from censures.

3. Notification of the granting of the dispensation is to be noted in the baptismal register of the petitioner’s parish.

4. The ecclesiastical authority, whose responsibility it is to communicate properly the Rescript to the petitioner, is to exhort him earnestly to participate in the life of the People of God in a manner consistent with his new condition in life, to give good example, and thus to show himself to be a proven son of the Church. At the same time, however, he is to inform him of the following:

a) a dispensed deacon, by this very fact, loses the rights proper to the clerical state, ecclesiastical dignities and offices; he is no longer bound by any obligations connected with the clerical state;

b) he remains excluded from the exercise of sacred ministry; and he cannot, therefore, give a homily, perform a directive office in the pastoral field or exercise the function of parochial administrator;

c) he likewise cannot perform any function in seminaries or equivalent institutions. In other institutions of higher studies, which depend in any manner whatsoever upon ecclesiastical authority, he cannot discharge a directive function;

d) in institutions of higher studies dependent or not upon ecclesiastical authority, he cannot teach any discipline that is properly theological or closely connected with it;

e) in institutions of lesser studies which depend upon ecclesiastical authority, he cannot discharge a directive function or the office of teaching a properly theological discipline. A dispensed deacon is bound by the same law in teaching religion in institutions of this type which do not depend upon ecclesiastical authority;.

f) by this very fact, a deacon dispensed from sacred celibacy and, all the more, one joined in marriage must stay away from places in which his previous condition is known, nor can he function anywhere in the service of a lector or acolyte or for the distribution of Eucharistic communion.

5. The Ordinary of the diocese of the petitioner’s domicile or the place where he is staying, on the basis of his prudent judgment and properly informed conscience, after having heard any interested parties and having well considered the circumstances, can dispense from all the clauses of the rescript noted above under letters e and f.

6. As a rule, these dispensations are conceded only at some period of time following the notification of the loss of the clerical state and are to be granted in writing.

7. Lastly, some work of piety or charity should be imposed upon the petitioner.

8. At an opportune time the competent Ordinary is to send a brief report to this Congregation concerning his carrying out of the notification; and, if there by any wonderment on the part of the faithful, he is to provide a prudent explanation.

All other contrary provisions not withstanding.

From the Halls of the Congregation on this date, 11 June 2011.

Mauro Card. Piacenza


(Most Reverend) Celso Morga Iruzubieta

Archbishop Secretary

Date of Notification: ________


Signature of the Petitioner as a sign of acceptance


Signature of the Ordinary

Congregation for the Clergy, Rescript of dispensation of a deacon from clerical obligations, 11 June 2011, Private.