Congregation for Bishops, The competency of a diocesan administrator to grant dimissorial letters, 4 July 2013, Private.
During a Vacant See, a U.S. Diocesan Administrator sent a request to the Holy See, in light of c. 272, which requires the See to be vacant for at least one year, and the Administrator to gain the consent of the College of Consultors, in order for him to grant incardination. The Administrator asked if, having the unanimous agreement of the College of Consultors, the appropriate Dicastery of the Holy See would make provision so that he, the Diocesan Administrator, could issue a dimissorial letter so that the diaconal ordination of a very qualified and approved seminarian might take place as previously scheduled, even though the Diocesan See had been vacant for only about one month. The response of the Congregation for Bishops follows.
CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPSVatican City
4 July 2013
Prot. N. ________
Very Reverend ________,
The Apostolic Nuncio in the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, has forwarded to this Congregation your request for permission to issue a dimissorial letter for ________, a seminarian at ________, whose diaconate ordination is scheduled to take place in ________ of this year.
You will note that a Diocesan Administrator, with the consent of the College of Consultors, can grant dimissorial letters for the ordination of deacons or priests, provided that the Ordinary has not already denied these (Cf. Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops, no. 242; Code of Canon Law, c. 1018 §1, 2°; §2). Therefore, as Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of ________, you may proceed accordingly with the dimissorial letter for ________.
With assurance of prayers and good wishes, I remain,
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Marc Cardinal Ouellet
Congregation for Bishops, The competency of a diocesan administrator to grant dimissorial letters, 4 July 2013, Private, CLSA, Roman Replies and CLSA Advisory Opinions, 2014, 9-10.