Congregation for the Clergy, Loss of the clerical state and dispensation from all obligations connected with ordination, including celibacy, 31 May 2012, Private.
In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI granted the Congregation for the Clergy three special faculties for dismissal of clerics from the priesthood and the obligations of celibacy in certain circumstances. The following case was submitted to the Congregation for the Clergy as an application of the third of the special faculties granted by Pope Benedict XVI. The rescript from the Congregation follows.
CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGYProt. N. ____
His Excellency, Bishop of ____, humbly petitions the declaration of loss of the clerical state and the dispensation from sacred celibacy and from all the obligations connected with sacred ordination for Mr. ____ belonging to the same [arch]diocese.
31 May 2012
The instruction has been completed and everything required has been done, the petition is accepted and the loss of the clerical state is granted to the aforementioned priest by a supreme and unappealable decision that is not subject to recourse.
The dispensation from sacred celibacy and from all the obligations connected to holy orders is also granted to the same priest according to the following reasons:
1. The loss and dispensation take effect from the moment of mentioned decision.
2. The competent Ordinary of the place will inform the priest of the rescript of the loss and dispensation; these two can never be separated. In addition to this, the rescript includes the absolution of censures insofar as this is necessary.
3. Annotation of the loss and dispensation will be made in the baptismal register of the parish of the same priest.
4. With regard to the canonical celebration of marriage, if this is to take place, the norms laid down in the Code of Canon Law are to be applied; the Ordinary should see to it that such arrangements are carried out with caution and without outward display.
5. The ecclesiastical authority whose responsibility it is to communicate the rescript to the petitioner should earnestly exhort him to participate in the life of the People of God in a manner which is in harmony with his new condition in life, that he give good example, and thus show himself to be an upright son of the Church. But at the same time, he should take note of those things which follow:
a) The dispensed priest is also relieved of all rights proper to the clerical state, and dignities and ecclesiastical offices connected with the clerical state; he is no longer bound by the other obligations of the clerical state;
b) he remains excluded from the exercise of the sacred ministry, with the exceptions mentioned in canons 976 and 986, §2 of the Code of Canon Law, and therefore may not give a homily. Nor is he able to exercise a supervisory office in the pastoral sphere, or perform the function of parochial administrator;
c) he likewise cannot perform any function in seminaries and equivalent institutions. In other institutions of higher studies, which depend in any manner whatsoever upon ecclesiastical authority, he cannot exercise a supervisory position or a teaching post;
d) in other institutions of higher studies which do not depend upon ecclesiastical authority, he cannot teach any theological discipline;
e) in institutions of lower studies which depend upon ecclesiastical authority, he cannot discharge a supervisory position or teacher. A dispensed priest is bound by the same law concerning teaching religion in institutions of this type which do not depend on ecclesiastical authority;
6. The Ordinary will see to it, insofar as possible, that the new condition of the priest is not an occasion of scandal to the faithful.
7. Concerning the notification of the loss [of the clerical state] and dispensation, the present document will be read to the priest by a notary or ecclesiastical actuary, and will be signed by both.
8. At a proper and opportune time, the competent Ordinary must send a copy of the rescript signed by the priest recognizing his reception and acceptance of this rescript and also of the restrictions. If this is not done, the whole effect of the rescript remains. Then he will send to the Congregation a report of the notification and provide a prudent explanation if there was admiration of the faithful.
9. The Chancellor of the competent curia will draw up and sign a receipt of this rescript if the priest so desires and give it to him for his use.
All contrary provisions notwithstanding.
From the office of the Congregation, on the 12th day of June, 2012
Maurus Card. Picenza
+Celsus Morga Iruzubieta
Titular Archbishop of Alba marittima
Congregation for the Clergy, Loss of the clerical state and dispensation from all obligations connected with ordination, including celibacy, 31 May 2012, Private, CLSA, Roman Replies and Advisory Opinions, 2012, 18-20.