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​17.4.3 Sacramental Record Certificates​

​The Handbook for Sacramental Records sets forth the policies and procedures for issuing certificates relating to sacramental records. B​ecause these types of church documents can have significant evidentiary weight in civil and criminal proceedings, those issuing sacramental record certificates should adhere strictly to the following requirements.​

  • Certificates may be issued only to the parents of a minor, someone with legal guardianship of another, a bona fide pastoral minister at another Catholic parsh, and a diocesan tribunal official. When the parents of a minor child are separated or divorced, both parents, regardless of legal custody, are presumed to have the right to a certificate.​

  • The request for a certificate must be made in writing in person at a parish.

  • The person making the request must present a valid photo identification (e.g., school identification card, driver license, passport).

  • Individuals making a request ​who cannot come to the parish where the sacramental records are kept should make a request at the parish near them; that parish can then make the request on their behalf after confirming their identity and authority to obtain the certificate.

  • Requests by electronic means of communication may only be accepted from another Catholic parish or a diocesan tribunal official or a Catholicy agency.

 


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