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Can't be too careful

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 10, 2005

My friend, a priest, has been asked by friends to celebrate a wedding in another diocese. But before he can do so, the other diocese requires him to furnish a letter from his own bishop, certifying that he... See if you can guess which one:

  • Assents to all the Roman Catholic Church teaches as revealed by God.
  • Is a priest in good standing with the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Agrees to offer Mass according to the rubrics promulgated by the Roman Catholic Church.
  • or
  • Has gone through a criminal background check.

(Hint: It's only one of the above.)

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Show 6 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jun. 14, 2005 4:44 PM ET USA

    It's the second one. These days the fourth one is automatically included in that, or no letter would be given. It seems that not a moments thought is ever given to the other two.......yet.

  • Posted by: Canismater - Jun. 11, 2005 8:34 AM ET USA

    Should you become a priest to satisfy that sublime call welling up within you to build up the Body of Christ? Don't waste your time. Become a lawyer instead and affect church policy, direct church resources, provide vision and direction to your local diocese, and fulfill the great USCCB commission: "Go out and avoid litigation with all men. Protect yourself from civil and criminal action in the name of the patrimony, the policy, and public opinion.Amen." (Brother, can you spare a dime?)

  • Posted by: Zoromyster - Jun. 10, 2005 4:11 PM ET USA

    No question -- it's the background check. It's required by the USCCB new policy on sex abuse. Every cleric, lay minister or administrator of a parish has to be fingerprinted and checked for criminal background. Makes one feel real good when they volunteer for their parish ministries.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 10, 2005 4:06 PM ET USA

    Have all the priests, bishops, seminarians, chancery officials, and seminary instructors in that other diocese undergone (and passed) a criminal background check?

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Jun. 10, 2005 2:31 PM ET USA

    Presently, our diocese requires only the second and fourth... yet, I would, in a heartbeat, want to see all four required of every priest visiting the diocese... and required of every priest already serving in the diocese! Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, brother... AMDG.

  • Posted by: frjimc - Jun. 10, 2005 11:02 AM ET USA

    Unless it's "Is a priest in good standing . . ." there IS something new under the sun! Priests seeking to celebrate sacraments in other dioceses have been canonically required to produce such a letter (called in Latin a celebrat) since at least the promulgation of the "new" Code in 1983. If your friend was required to present a letter certifying that he'd gone through a criminal background check -- well, there's a new one!

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