Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, Priests’ Manual, 25 September 2008.

Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA

(Ordinariatus Castrensis - USA)

Priests’ Manual

The policy and procedural matters contained herein, constitute normative and particular law.

25 September 2008

The Archdiocese for the Military Services, U.S.A.

Office Location: 1025 Michigan Avenue, N.E. Washington, D.C. 20017

Mailing Address: Post Office Box 4469 Washington, D.C. 20017-0469

E-Mail Address:

Web Page:

Chancery: (202) 719-3600

FAX: (202) 269-9022

Tribunal: (202) 719-3603

Sacramental Records: (202) 719-3605

This document is for use by currently endorsed clergy of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA.































Prologue - The Canonical Development of the Archdiocese for the Military Services:

In view of the vastly changed political realities of the twentieth century, the Church acknowledged the need of dealing with military chaplaincies on a permanent basis. On 25 April 1951, an Instruction, Sollemne Semper, proposed norms for canonically establishing permanent vicariates for the apostolate to military personnel. The Military Ordinariate in the United States had been functioning for some years by then in New York, but usually under ad hoc and war time faculties. Other countries operated in much the same way. Sollemne Semper brought together the ecclesiastical and canonical concepts that should govern the unique pastoral ministry for military personnel. It was made specific for the United States in a subsequent decree, Mysticam Petri Naviculam, of 8 September 1957. The Decree formally erected the Military Vicariate and spelled out who constituted the Vicariate and how it should operate. The Archbishop of New York was constituted the Military Ordinary, and The Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of New York became the First Instance Court for the cases of its subjects. The Military Ordinariate operated as a separate organization in the New York Chancery Building, with its own staff and auxiliary bishops.

On 15 December 1975, Archbishop Joseph Ryan was installed as Coadjutor to the Military Vicar. He cared for the day-to-day administrative work of the Ordinariate for Terence Cardinal Cooke. He attended to the gradual creation of a Tribunal department that would ultimately be devoted totally to military people. After Cardinal Cooke died on 6 October 1983, it was determined that the Vicariate should take on its own independent character, not as an added role for the Archbishop of New York but with its own proper Ordinary, and to function as a separate ecclesiastical entity Therefore, after the interregnum, during which Archbishop John O'Conner of New York served as Apostolic Administrator, Archbishop Ryan was named as Ordinary of a new and separate archdiocese. He was directed to move its offices to the Nation's capital. In two ceremonies, in New York on 25 March 1985 and then in Washington at the National Shrine on 30 April 1985, the separation from the Archdiocese of New York took place, and Archbishop Ryan was installed as the First Ordinary by the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Pio Laghi.

While these developments were taking place in our country, the Holy See restructured all Military Vicariates around the world. A new Constitution, Spirituali Militum Curae, was issued to govern all Catholic chaplaincies. It gave new canonical status as a special form of diocese and created a new office in Rome to deal with all Military Ordinariates. This Constitution was issued on 21 April 1986 and went into effect on 21 July 1986. In the past, the diocese for the military had been called either a Vicariate or Ordinariate, but henceforth each country would adopt a title that seemed best suited to the understanding of its own people, (the canonical designation remaining Ordinariatus Castrensis). The diocese for the military in each country also was to draw up its own statutes, as would any other diocese, outlining in detail how the general Constitution would be implemented. The approved title for the Vicariate in the United States is “The Archdiocese for the Military Services, U.S.A.” Its statutes were approved on 18 August 1987.

Stories about the great individuals who, at one time, served as Catholic chaplains will have to be recounted elsewhere. But there is a rich history there. Our people should know of the heroic contributions of priests like Father (later Archbishop) John Ireland of the Civil War; Father DeSmet, apostle to the Indians; Father Duffy of World War I fame; Father Joseph O'Callaghan — first chaplain to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor; Father Emil Kapaun, prisoner in the Korean War; and Father Vincent Capodanno — another medal of honor winner, and a Maryknoller, who died in Vietnam with his men of the 1st Marine Division. These and many others leave a glorious heritage to all who serve their Church and their country as chaplains.

Chapter 1: General Norms

1. Organizational Structure of the Archdiocese:

1.1. Officials:


Auxiliary Bishops

Vicar General

Episcopal Vicars

Judicial Vicar



1.2. Offices:

1.2.1. Administration: This office is responsible for: office maintenance operations and personnel, public affairs, corporations, newsletter and other duties.

1.2.2. Chancery: This office is responsible for all canonical matters of an administrative nature.

1.2.3. Tribunal: This office is responsible for all canonical matters of a judicial nature.

1.2.4. Sacramental records: Is concerned with: registration of all sacramental ministrations, processing of sacramental certificates, sacramental records archives.

1.2.5. Veterans’ concerns: Is concerned with: endorsements, endorsing agents, VA visits and reports, files and records, Catholic War Veterans.

1.2.6. Chaplain concerns: Is concerned with: endorsements, endorsing agents, recruiting, co- sponsorship, vocations, chaplain candidates, Presbyteral Council, priestly development.

1.2.7. Pastoral support: Is concerned with: confirmation schedules, dispensations, eucharistic ministers, permanent deacons, chapel programs, Cursillo, religious education, Pro-Life and Natural Family Planning, Military Council of Catholic Women.

1.2.8. Finance and Management: Is concerned with: fiscal affairs, budgets, accounting functions, auditing process, income and payments, financial reports, personnel management, logistical functions, computer network management, insurance and property management, address lists.

1.2.9. Development: Is concerned with: fund raising campaigns, contribution acknowledgments, data management for development, and Archdiocesan contracts with contributors

1.3. Consultative Groups:

The Military Archbishop is assisted, in accordance with canon law, by a Presbyteral Council, a Board of Consultors, and a Financial Committee. A Strategic Advisory Board was established in 2002.

1.4. Chaplaincies: The term chaplain as used throughout the AMS and its documentation refers only to ordained Catholic priests who enjoy the faculties of their (arch)diocese of incardination or religious order, and who can celebrate Holy Mass, absolve penitents from sin, and anoint the sick and dying - other pastoral activities not withstanding.

1.4.1. Active Duty Chaplain: Priests who, with the permission of their Ordinaries and the endorsement of the Archdiocese, are full time active duty military chaplains. They enjoy all the faculties of the Archdiocese for the period of their service. All AMS faculties cease upon retirement, separation, or change of component. No priest chaplain holds the canonical title of pastor.

1.4.2. Contract or Auxiliary Chaplains: Priests who, with the permission of their Ordinaries and the endorsement of the Archdiocese, contract to provide specific services at a particular installation where there is need. Endorsement is for the individual installation only and for the duration of the contract. The competent senior chaplain at the installation certifies the need and arranges funding for the contract priest. The latter enjoys all the faculties of the Archdiocese for the period of this service unless otherwise specified.

1.4.3. Reserve Chaplains: Priests who serve in the Reserve component of one of the military services and who have received the permission of their Ordinaries and the endorsement of the Archdiocese for extended active duty (EAD), enjoy all the faculties of the Archdiocese during this period. Military chaplains in the Reserve, and who are not on active duty but have the required permission and endorsement, are bound to one weekend a month training assembly and two weeks per year Annual Training. Those chaplains enjoy the faculties of the Archdiocese, excluding for marriage, only during these Training assemblies or Annual periods.

1.4.4. Department of Veterans Affairs Chaplains: Civilian priests who enter the V.A. chaplaincy need the permission of their Ordinaries and the endorsement of the Archdiocese. These chaplains enjoy all the faculties of the Archdiocese during their period of service as chaplains in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

1.4.5. National Guard Chaplains: Priests who have joined the National Guard (which is under the authority of the particular State as long as it is not federalized), and who have received permission of the Ordinaries and the endorsement of the Archdiocese, enjoy the faculties of the Archdiocese, excluding marriage, only during required training periods.

1.4.6. Civil Air Patrol Chaplain: Civilian priests who enter the Civil Air Patrol, a volunteer service and auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, and who have received the permission of their Ordinaries and the endorsement of the Archdiocese, enjoy the faculties of the Archdiocese, excluding marriage, when they are actually in training programs on military installations or are functioning in official group activities under the supervision of the Air Force.

1.4.7. Chaplain Candidate Program: Seminarians, who have the approval of their Ordinaries and the Military Archdiocese, gain field experience in the pastoral needs of the uniformed military during a summer program in which they work closely with a Catholic chaplain. The candidate is commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant or an Ensign (O-1), and is supported by the military during the summer program. These candidates may serve with Reserve Units not on active duty during the year and under the supervision of a Catholic chaplain. They enjoy no faculties of the Military Archdiocese and are NOT chaplains.

1.5. Co-Sponsorship Program. An agreement between a diocesan bishop whereby men who give evidence of a vocation to the priestly ministry in the military chaplaincy will be co-sponsored throughout their seminary training by the Military Archdiocese and the civilian diocese. Upon incardination and ordination by the diocesan bishop, and after at least three years of priestly pastoral ministry in that diocese, the candidate may apply to serve on active duty in one of the military services for a full career.

1.6. Basic Expectations. All AMS endorsed clergy enjoying the faculties of the Archdiocese shall observe the following: (See also in the Appendix: Basic Expectations.)

1.6.1. Attend an annual spiritual retreat. Attendance at Service-specific retreats satisfies this requirement.

1.6.2. Priests are expected to celebrate Mass daily, in private if necessary.

1.6.3. Military priest-chaplains will attend the annual Priests’ Convocation conducted by the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS).

1.6.4. VA Priest-chaplains will attend the annual conference conducted by the National Conference of V A Catholic Chaplains (NCV ACC).

1.6.5. All priest-chaplains will request of the Archbishop, in writing, permission to be excused from attending the annual Convocation/Conference, stating the extenuating circumstances.

1.6.6. Military priest-chaplains are expected to establish a monthly allotment of at least $100 in support of the AMS.

1.6.7. All AMS endorsed clergy shall submit a Quarterly Report to the Office of the Vicar for Clergy on the appropriate form at the end of March, June, September and December.

1.7. Endorsements, Faculties and Certification. The Military Ordinary has primary jurisdiction over all military and VA installations occupied by US military personnel and their families (Spirituali Militum Curae: Ch V). For the proper governance of his area of jurisdiction, the following are required:

1.7.1. For any priest, permanent deacon, or transitional deacon to minister in any capacity, exclusive of an emergency, within the jurisdiction of the Military Ordinary requires that he apply for and receive from the Military Ordinary the Faculties of the Military Ordinariate. The granting of these Faculties may not be presumed.

1.7.2. A priest wishing to serve in the uniformed services of the United States, or in a VA medical facility, must apply for and receive from the Military Ordinary the appropriate endorsement before AMS faculties may be granted. A priest wishing to serve as a contract chaplain within the AMS, must apply for and receive from the Military Ordinary the appropriate endorsement before AMS faculties may be granted.

1.7.3. A permanent deacon wishing to serve within the AMS must, in addition to items (a)-(d) listed in 1.7.5., must also present to the Military Ordinary a by-name letter of request for his ministry from the senior priest assigned to that military or VA installation. A transitional deacon wishing to serve within the AMS, in addition to items (a)-(d) listed in 1.7.5., must also present to the Military Ordinary not only a by-name letter of request for his ministry from the senior priest assigned to that military or VA installation, but also a letter of permission from the Rector of the seminary.

1.7.4. A Seminarian wishing to serve within the AMS as a chaplain candidate, in addition to items (a)-(d) listed in 1.7.5., must also present to the Military Ordinary a letter of permission from the Rector of the seminary. A Seminarian wishing to participate in the AMS co-sponsorship program, in addition to the items (a)-(d) listed in 1.7.5., must contact the AMS Vocations Director for additional requirements.

1.7.5. Application Process. For those mentioned above in 1.7.2. through 1.7.4,1., the application process requires all or some of the following:

(a) Letter of permission from his Ordinary or Religious superior granting permission for the specific ministry;

(b) A statement of suitability for ministry;

(c) A certificate of completion of child protection training;
(d) A current photograph
(e) A personal interview at the AMS Headquarters

1.7.6. A confirmed Catholic adult wishing to serve as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (EMHC), must apply for and receive from the Military Ordinary the authorization to perform this ministry within the AMS. This process is initiated by the priest-chaplain at the installation where the desired ministry is to be performed. A confirmed Catholic military member (E-5 or above) wishing to serve as a Catholic Lay Leader (LL), or Catholic Representative (CR) must apply for and receive from the Military Ordinary the authorization to perform this ministry within the AMS. This process is initiated by the priest-chaplain possessing oversight over the installation where the desired ministry is to be performed.

1.7.7. A confirmed Catholic adult wishing to serve as a Catechist within the AMS must apply for and receive from the Military Ordinary, a certificate of authorization for that ministry. A training program is required (cf: Chapter 3).

1.7.8. A confirmed Catholic adult wishing to serve as a Coordinator of Catholic Religious Education (CRE) within the AMS must also comply with para 1.7.6. above.

1.8. Recording of Sacraments conferred

1.8.1. The records of sacramental ministrations (Baptism, Confirmation, and Marriage) that take place at a civilian parish are maintained in that civilian parish, regardless of who the officiant is (resident vs. visiting cleric).

1.8.2. Records of Sacraments conferred on any U.S. military installation or facility under the control of the Department of Defense, all VA medical facilities, and oversea U.S. embassies, are maintained by the Sacramental Records Department of the AMS, regardless of who the officiant is. The name of the cleric administering the sacrament of Baptism, Confirmation, or Marriage must be clearly indicated on the AMS form used for recording the event

1.8.3. The priest-chaplain having pastoral responsibility or oversight for that facility shall, immediately following the event, (1) complete the AMS form in black or blue ink, (2) sign it in ink (a photocopied signature is not acceptable), and (3) forward it, together with any accompanying required documentation, to the Sacramental Records Department at the AMS with due regard to the requirements of Canons 535, 877, 895, 1121, 1122 and 1123.

1.8.4. The Sacramental Records Department of the AMS maintains the sacramental archives and the official seal to be applied to sacramental certificates.

1.8.5. Sacramental Certificates. Only the Sacramental Records Department is authorized to issue a Sacramental Certificate.

1.8.6. Priest-chaplains are encouraged to keep their own personal record of sacraments they have administered. However, failure to forward to the AMS all records of baptisms, confirmations, and marriages may cause serious canonical problems.

1.9. Faculties and Dispensations for Archdiocesan Chaplains

NOTE: These faculties are valid as long as the AMS endorsement of the priest is current. AMS Endorsement and Faculties expire, in addition to other Canonical reasons, (1) for all: upon withdrawal by the Military Archbishop and/or upon withdrawal of permission to serve by the cleric’s own Ordinary or Religious Superior; (2) for uniformed chaplains: upon change of component, change of service, retirement or separation; (3) for civilian auxiliary chaplains: upon termination of contract with the military installation.

1.9.1. Baptism: To baptize those who are fourteen years of age or older (Canon 863). Such a candidate may choose the Rite in which to be baptized (Canon 111, §2). Baptism must be administered in a sacred place, i.e., a place permanently set aside for worship (Canon 857). Baptism of one's subjects in a civilian church requires permission of the local pastor (Canon 862). Likewise, to baptize a non-subject on a military installation the chaplain should have the permission of the person's proper pastor. The canonical regulation regarding sponsors (Canons 872-874), proof and registration of Baptism are to be carefully observed.

1.9.2. Confirmation: To confirm at the time of Baptism one who is seven years of age or older, and also one who is already baptized in a non-Catholic Church and is being admitted into full communion of the Catholic Church (Canon 883, §2). Special permission from the Military Archbishop is required in order to confirm validly one who was previously baptized in the Catholic Church but never catechized (Canon 884, §1). In respect to those in danger of death, any priest may confirm (Canon 883, §3).

1.9.3. Eucharist: Bination. To celebrate Mass twice on weekdays for a good reason, and three times on Sundays and Holydays, if a pastoral need requires (Canon 905, §2). To assign Extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Communion (EMHCs), who have been duly mandated by the AMS to assist in the administration of the sacrament when the number of ordained ministers is insufficient to avoid an unreasonable delay (Canon 910, §2). Deleted.

1.9.4. Penance: To hear confessions of members of the AMS (Canon 969, §1). To hear confessions of the Christian faithful anywhere in the world provided the local Ordinary has not refused in a particular case to allow a priest to hear confessions in his jurisdiction (Canon 967, §2). To remit in the internal forum any automatic censure of excommunication or interdict that is not reserved to the Apostolic See and has not been juridically declared (Canon1355, §2). This includes the censure attached to the procurement of abortion (Canon1364, §1). A salutary penance should be imposed. To remit in the internal sacramental forum any automatic censure of excommunication or interdict which has not been juridically declared, if it would be difficult for the penitent to remain in a state of serious sin during the time necessary for the competent authority to provide for the matter (Canon 1357). Recourse should be made within a month, an appropriate penance imposed, and scandal or damage repaired where necessary. To hear confession of anyone in danger of death, and to absolve from all sins and censures, even if an approved priest is present (Canon 976).

1.9.5. Anointing of the Sick: To carry the oil of the sick in order to anoint in case of necessity (Canon 1003, §3). To bless oil (olive oil or any natural vegetable oil) in case of necessity, but only in the actual celebration of the sacrament (Canon 992, §2).

1.9.6. Matrimony: To assist at all marriages of subjects of the AMS (Canons1108-1109). Thisfacultyisnotenjoyed by Reserve Chaplains, National Guard Chaplains, or Civil Air Patrol Chaplains who are not on federal active duty. For liceity, permission of the local pastor is required when the chaplain witnesses the marriage of his own subject in a civilian church (Canon 1115). Likewise, when persons who are not subjects of the AMS marry on a military installation, permission of their proper pastor is to be sought. Registration of all marriages (even with dispensation from canonical form) is made by the chaplain and sent to the AMS Chancery if the ceremony took place on a military installation. If the ceremony took place in a civilian parish, the registration is made in that parish’s marriage register, unless the requirement be that a marriage under the stipulation of dispensation from form be registered with the parish/diocese of the Catholic party. To delegate another priest (or deacon) expressly for a marriage of specific persons to be celebrated on the military installation (Canon 1111). Chaplains and any authorized priest (or deacon) must obtain civil permission (license) from the proper authorities to perform a marriage.

1.9.7. Preaching: To preach everywhere with at least the presumed consent of the rector of a church unless restricted by the competent Ordinary (Canon 764).

1.9.8. Dispensations: To dispense, in individual cases and for a just reason from the Sunday or Holyday obligation and from the observance of fast or abstinence, or to commute the obligation to other pious activities (Canon 1245). To dispense or commute from any private vow or promise one's subjects, and also in the case of visitors on a military installation, provided this does not harm any acquired rights of others (Canon 1245).

1.9.9. Ministry to Non-Catholics. Church funeral rites for non-Catholics are regulated by Canon 1183, liturgical norms, and the prior judgment of the Military Ordinary.

1.9.10. Faculties for Deacons. Permanent Deacons may be issued limited AMS faculties to be used on a specific AMS installation and only for AMS subjects. (See: Deacons in the Military: p. 29.) AMS Diaconal faculties are valid for two (2) years. They expire upon termination of service at the specified installation, change of supervisor, or as otherwise contained in the letter of endorsement. Deacons enjoying the limited faculties of the AMS may not use that fact to be addressed as chaplain or to obtain employment as a chaplain.


1.10.1. Catholic. This term is used throughout the AMS and its documentation to be inclusive of all and only those Churches in communion with the Holy See: this includes the Latin as well as the Eastern Churches.

1.10.2. Chaplain. The term is used throughout the AMS and its documentation to refer only to ordained Catholic priests who enjoy the faculties of their (arch)diocese of incardination or religious order, and who can celebrate Holy Mass, absolve penitents from sin, and anoint the sick and dying — other pastoral activities not withstanding.

1.10.3. Clergy. Men who have been ordained bishops, priests, and deacons in the Catholic Church and who enjoy the faculties of their respective Ordinary or Religious Superior.

1.10.4. Celebret. A document identifying the priest-chaplain as currently enjoying the faculties of the AMS. It is issued only to active-duty priest- chaplains and is valid for 1 year or until retirement/separation - whichever comes first - or is revoked. Current Quarterly Reports must be on file.

1.11. Tridentine Mass. IAW the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, of Pope Benedict XVI, the Latin Mass (extraordinary form) using the Missale Romanum of 1962, is permitted on weekdays (except during the Triduum), and for one Sunday (weekend) liturgy. No admixture of texts from any other Roman Missal is permitted.

1.11.1. The vernacular edition of the Lectionary for Mass may be used in the extraordinary form, and the 1962 calendar (of saints) must be followed.

1.11.2. Priests not trained in the Tridentine liturgy must obtain such training before attempting to celebrate this extraordinary form of the Mass.

Chapter 2: People of God

2.1. Source of Jurisdiction. The Apostolic Constitution of Pope John Paul II, Spirituali Militum Curae, which went into effect 21 July 1986, establishes and regulates a new unique canonical entity, the "diocese for the military." Its official Latin title is "Ordinariatus Castrensis." However, each country may have its own vernacular title, adapted for ease of understanding in that country. Our title, approved by the Holy See, is "The Archdiocese for the Military Services, U.S.A."

2.1.1. This Apostolic Constitution provides the general model for all countries that have Catholic chaplains who minister to the faithful in the armed forces. Since the military structure differs from country to country, as does the Church-State relationship, the Apostolic Constitution calls for statutes to be drawn up in every nation which spell out in sharper detail how this particular “diocese for the military” will operate. The Holy See approved our statutes on 18 August 1987.

2.2. Type of Jurisdiction. This new kind of diocese enjoys a jurisdiction that is both personal and territorial.

2.2.1. Personal, that is, over all Catholics who belong to it regardless of where they happen to be, even in other countries; and

2.2.2. Territorial, that is, over and within the confines of military installations, U.S. diplomatic and government missions abroad, and Veterans Administration facilities.

2.2.3. This jurisdiction is cumulative with the jurisdiction of territorial dioceses and parishes within which the military installation lies, since people in the military retain their Rite (Latin, Byzantine, etc.) and reside within a particular geographic diocese. However, military posts and VA facilities are primarily under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop for the Military Services and secondarily under the jurisdiction of the territorial bishop (Ap Const, para V). In the permanent absence of the Archbishop and AMS endorsed chaplains, the local bishop and local pastor act in their own right.

2.2.4. When no chaplain is present at a particular installation, the local bishop (and pastor) will be the usual authority for and source of marriage dispensations. But when there is a chaplain present, the local bishop should not dispense or delegate without the approval of the Archbishop for the Military Services. The local bishop does not ordinarily delegate or dispense in regard to Confirmation or Marriage on our installations except in cases where the Archbishop for the Military Services, or his delegate, cannot be reached. However, should he do so, that delegation or dispensation is valid.

2.3. Subjects of Jurisdiction. Those who comprise the AMS fall under a variety of categories, both as officials exercising jurisdiction and as subjects belonging to this particular archdiocese. Here mention is made of retired military personnel: they are not subjects of the AMS but have a certain claim to our attention and should be held in high regard.

2.3.1. Clergy. Priests and deacons functioning in the AMS need faculties granted by the Archbishop. The clergy eligible to receive those faculties, thus constituting our Presbyterate, are as follows: Bishops and priests who make up the Curia of the AMS; Military chaplains on active duty in the armed forces; Reserve chaplains on active duty as well as Reserve chaplains on inactive duty (including Army and National Guard) while they participate in scheduled training assemblies. Chaplains of Veterans Administration facilities; Chaplains of the Civil Air Patrol whenever they assist at a military installation; Contract chaplains and auxiliary chaplains, who have received Military Archdiocesan approval, while they are serving military personnel or those in Veterans Administration facilities; Chaplains serving civilian employees of the U.S. Government overseas; Military and civilian chaplains serving the U.S. military academies (West Point, Annapolis, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, and the Merchant Marine Academy); Deacons approved by the AMS to serve on an installation under its jurisdiction, and at the request of and supervision by a priest-chaplain of that installation.

2.3.2. Laity. All Catholics (of any Rite: Latin or Eastern) who belong to any of the following categories are members of the AMS and proper subjects of its ministry: Military personnel on active duty in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard; Reserve officers and enlisted personnel who are on active duty or on Inactive Duty Training, including the Army and Air National Guard; Patients residing in VA facilities; U.S. Civilians employed overseas by the U.S. Government (whether in a military-connected capacity or otherwise); Cadets at the military academies mentioned in above; Members of the Civil Air Patrol when they are living in common on a military installation or as part of a CAP exercise; Civilian employees living at the military academies; Catholic spouses and dependents of military personnel on active duty; Catholic spouses and dependents of diplomatic personnel or of U.S. civilian employees of the U.S. Government who reside with them overseas; Civilian employees of the military who live on military installations such as: technical representative, teachers, technicians, directors of religious education, laborers and domestics serving military families; as well as Catholic spouses and dependents in civil or invalid marriages; Civilian employees of VA facilities when residing in those facilities.

2.3.3. Eastern Rites. All Catholics of the U.S. military are subjects of the AMS, regardless of the Rite. No special permission is needed for the chaplain to baptize or marry military people of the Byzantine Rite, the Maronite, etc. The proper Rite of Ascription should be noted on the Sacramental Record.

2.4. Retired Military Personnel. Retired military persons are not included by our new Apostolic Constitution as being under our jurisdiction, and hence are not our subjects. Retirees and their families belong to the civilian or territorial parish and diocese in which they actually reside. Their participation in sacramental, educational and/or pastoral programs must be with the knowledge and permission of their proper civilian pastor.

2.4.1. The AMS Chancery can only grant permissions and dispensations on behalf of AMS- subjects. Therefore, any request for a dispensation or permission concerning a pending marriage of non- AMS subjects must be obtained from the proper civilian parish and/or (arch)diocesan chancery.

Chapter 3: Teaching Function

3. Religious Education. The religious education program is one of the most important activities on any installation. No matter how well organized and staffed, it should be something in which the chaplain is intimately involved.

3.1. Supervision. The senior priest-chaplain, whether military or contractual, is the Director of Religious Education (DRE) for the Catholic program and is the authority on all matters Catholic.

3.1.2. The Coordinator of Religious Education (CRE) for the Catholic program must be a certificated AMS Catechist. The CRE is responsible to and supervised by the priest-chaplain (DRE).

3.2. The religious education programs throughout the military archdiocese is to be so coordinated that as people are reassigned, they can easily fit into the program(s) at their new installation.

3.2.1. Catechetical Curriculum. The AMS does not currently mandate or endorse a specific catechetical program. However, it reserves the option to do so.

3.2.2. Catechetical literature must be listed in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Conformity List.

3.2.3. The AMS retains final authority over the appropriateness and content of the religious education program, especially at those installations at which a priest-chaplain is no longer assigned.

3.3. Catechists. All catechists utilized on our military installations shall be certificated in that capacity by the AMS.

3.3.1. Certification is valid for 5 years, and is renewable.

3.4. Catechist Training. The AMS has a prescribed catechist training program.

3.4.1. To be certificated as an AMS catechist, an applicant must (1) be a practicing Catholic who has received the sacrament of Confirmation, (2) be recommended by the senior priest at the installation, (3) satisfactorily completed the AMS catechist certificating program, and (4) made application using the appropriate form.

3.4.2. All catechists utilized on our military installations shall have completed a favorable background check as determined by local base/post policy.

3.4.3. All catechists utilized on our military installations shall have completed a training program on the protection of children and young people as called for by the Dallas Charter.

3.5. Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults

3.5.1. Candidates for or in the RCIA program must be informed that they will not be baptized (nor received into the Church) until any marriage case affecting them has been finally adjudicated through the Tribunal.

3.6. Rite of Christian Initiation of Children

Chapter 4: Sanctifying Function

4.1. The Sacrament of Baptism

4.1.1. No one may be validly admitted to the other sacraments without having first received Baptism (c. 842, §1).

4.1.2. For validity, the minister of Baptism must have the intention of baptizing and to do what the Church intends.

4.1.3. Any person not yet baptized is capable of beingbaptized (c.864). Because the reception of Baptism imparts a character it cannot be repeated (c. 845, §1).

4.1.4. If there is doubt about whether someone was baptized or whether Baptism was validly conferred and this doubt exists after a serious investigation, the Baptism may be conferred conditionally (c. 869, §1; c. 845, §2). Otherwise, a Profession of Faith suffices for a baptized person to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.

4.1.5. WHO CAN BE BAPTIZED Adults: For validity, the adult to be baptized must have the intention of receiving baptism. For liceity, the adult must manifest the desire to be baptized, be sufficiently instructed in the truths of the faith and in Christian obligations, be tested in the Christian life by means of the catechumenate, and be exhorted to be sorry for his/hersins (c. 865, §1). The absolute Baptism of an adult remits sins and does not require the intervention of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Infants: For an infant to be baptized licitly, at least one of the parents or the person who lawfully takes their place, consents to it and there is a well- founded hope that the child will be raised in the Catholic faith. If this hope is utterly lacking, the Baptism should be deferred and the reason for the deferral is to be explained to the parents (c. 868, §1). Children of Catechetical age. See para 4.2.8.

NOTE: The fact that parents requesting the baptism for their child "are not registered" and/or do not attend Sunday Mass is not, alone, a ground for deferral of baptism. The preparation for Baptism and its celebration are excellent opportunities to instruct or to remind parents of their duties and responsibilities as Catholic parents. Baptism may be delayed only when there is NO "founded hope" that the child will be raised in the Catholic faith.

4.1.6. Preparation Adults: Are to be prepared in a period of catechumenate according to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. However, adults should not be refused Baptism simply because they are impeded from participation in a formal RCIA program. Other means of instruction should be explored. Infants: Parents of an infant to be baptized as well as the intended godparents are to be suitably instructed about the meaning and obligations of the sacrament

4.1.7. Baptism is to be administered according to the order prescribed in the approved liturgical books
(c. 850). For Adults: The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is to be used. In extraordinary circumstances - that is, when the catechumen has been unable to go through all the stages of the RCIA preparation or when the minister of Baptism is convinced that the catechumen’s Christian conversion is sincere and that he or she is religiously mature — an adult may receive Baptism without delay. Use the Simple Rite for Initiation of an Adult. Unless a grave reason prevents it, an adult to be baptized is to be confirmed immediately after Baptism and participate in the Eucharistic celebration and receive Communion (c. 866). Priest-chaplains may, at any time, receive someone into Full Communion with the Catholic Church, either through Baptism or a Profession of Faith. (See also 4.2.3.)

NOTES OF LAW: What is prescribed for Baptism of adults is applicable to all who have attained the use of reason (approximately seven years old) and are of catechetical age (c. 852, §1). For Infants, Children Under the Age of Seven, or Children Who Habitually Lack the Use of Reason: Use the Rite of Baptism for Children.

4.1.8. Baptismal Name. The baptismal name chosen, by the adult in the case of adult baptism or by the parents for an infant baptism, should either be a Christian name or a name that is not offensive to Christians.

4.1.9. Minister of Baptism The ordinary minister of Baptism is a bishop, priest, or deacon (c. 861, §1). The diocesan bishop should baptize adults who are at least fourteen years or older if he judges it to be expedient (c. 863). Due to the extent of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, priest chaplains are entrusted this responsibility unless a bishop may be visiting an installation for the Easter Vigil.

NOTE OF LAW: Since the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese for the Military Services is personal and territorial, subjects can be baptized on the military installation or elsewhere. Proper procedure dictates that "outside the case of necessity, it is not lawful for anyone, without the required permission, to confer Baptism in the territory of another, not even upon his own subjects" (c. 862). If you are baptizing someone in a civilian parish, please obtain the permission of the pastor to do so.

NOTES OF LAW:(1) In case of necessity (i.e., imminent danger of death), anyone with the proper intention may lawfully confer baptism. However, pastors of souls and specifically priest chaplains are to be solicitous in seeing that the faithful are taught how to baptize correctly (c. 861, §2).(2) In the event that Baptism was not administered by the priest chaplain or other ordinary minister of baptism, the person who baptized is to inform the priest chaplain of the chapel in which the Baptism was administered for recording purposes (c. 878). See para. 4.1.14. Priest chaplains (and deacons who assist them on our installations) are especially entrusted with the administration of Baptism of those on his installation (cc. 530, §1, 548, §2, and 861).

4.1.10. Godparents, Proxy Godparents, and Witnesses Godparents: The godparent(s) assist the adult in Christian initiation. For children, the godparent(s) with the parents present the child for Baptism and help the child to lead a Christian life in harmony with Baptism and to fulfill the inherent obligations of the sacrament (c. 872). There may be one godfather or one godmother or one of each (c. 873). A single godparent may be of either sex. Proxy Godparents: Military people, away from home, may be more likely than others to use a proxy for a godparent who cannot be present. The actual godparent must acknowledge acceptance of that responsibility. Parents may act as proxies. In unusual circumstances, a non-Catholic may be a proxy. Witnesses: Persons who belong to a non- Catholic ecclesial community may serve only as a witness to the Baptism and only with a Catholic godparent (c. 874, p. 5, §2).

4.1.11. Qualifications of godparents for Baptism (also apply to the sponsor for confirmation):

● Designated by the adult who is to be baptized or, in the case of infant baptism, by the parents or those who take their place. When this is not possible, the priest or deacon should choose the godparents.

● Have the intention of performing the role of godparent.

● Have completed their sixteenth year.

● Be a Catholic who is confirmed, has received the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist, and lives a life in harmony with the role to be undertaken.

● Be in good standing with the Catholic Church; that is, not bound by a canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared.

● Not be the father or mother of the person to be baptized (c. 874, §1).

4.1.12. Time and Place Time: Although Baptism may be celebrated at any time, it is preferred that it be celebrated on Sundays or if possible at the Easter Vigil (c.856). On Sunday, the Baptism may be celebrated during Mass to emphasize its communal aspect and its relationship to the Eucharist. For adult baptism, it is preferred that the celebration takes place at the Easter Vigil if possible. For infant baptism, parents are obligated to ensure that Baptism occurs in the first few weeks after birth (c. 867).

NOTE: “... in the first few weeks ..." may be interpreted to allow adequate time for the preparation for baptism. Special considerations may necessitate a longer delay. However, parents should be reminded of their serious obligation to have their child baptized. Place: The proper place for Baptism is in a church, oratory, or chapel. Infants baptized in an emergency situation may be brought at a later time to complete the baptismal ceremony, but omit the pouring of water. See "The Rite of Bringing a Baptized Child to the Church" in the Rite of Baptism for Children. 

4.1.13. Proof of the Baptism. A Certificate of Baptism ordinarily proves baptism. The minister of Baptism ensures that if no godparent is present, there is at least one witness who can attest to the conferral of Baptism (c. 875. 

Recording the Baptism

4.1.14. The record of any Baptism and the supplying of ceremonies for someone baptized in emergency must be sent to our sacramental records department within a week of the celebration. If a convert was received by a profession of faith, the completed record must be sent within a week.

4.1.15. Baptism of an Eastern Catholic. Since we have Eastern Catholics under our cumulative jurisdiction and pastoral care, we must be attentive and sensitive to them and the laws of the Eastern Church as well as the Latin Church. The following important points must be kept in mind when Eastern Catholic parents request Baptism for their child. Membership of Autonomous Ritual Churches. It is not possible to be a "Catholic" - a member "at large" of the Universal Catholic Church. A person is always a member of a specific autonomous ritual Church and only as such is a person a member of the Catholic Church. At baptism, a person is ascribed to an autonomous ritual Church, and Church law determines the Church to which that person belongs. A person, no matter by whom or where or in what liturgical ceremony he or she is baptized, belongs to the autonomous ritual Church to which he or she should belong in accordance with the norms of law. Canons 29-30 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches establish the canonical legislation for Eastern Catholics. From time to time it may become necessary, when it is a question of membership of a Church by reason of baptism, to clarify to which Church a Catholic belongs. To avoid confusion the priest-chaplain should contact the AMS Chancery. In general, the following principles apply: Baptism of children under the age of fourteen: By virtue of baptism, a child is ascribed to the Rite of the Catholic father, or the Church of the mother if only the mother is Catholic, or if both parents by agreement freely request it, with due regard for particular laws established by the Apostolic See; these principles also apply in the case of an adoptive father and mother:

● If only one parent is a Catholic, the child belongs to the Church of that parent; 

● If born of an unmarried mother, the child belongs to her Church; 

● If born of unknown parents, the child belongs to the Church of the legal guardians; 

● If born of non-baptized parents the child is to be a member of the Church of the person undertaking the responsibility to educate the child in the Catholic faith. Baptism of a person fourteen years of age and older: A person of fourteen years of age or older, who requests baptism, is free to choose any RITE. Baptism of an Eastern Catholic by a Priest or Deacon of the Latin Church. A priest or deacon of the Latin Church may not baptize a child of Eastern Catholic parents, unless a priest of the parents' Church cannot perform this holy mystery. The following circumstances constitute unavailability of the priest of the Eastern Churches, and in such cases a priest or deacon of the Latin Church may baptize the child:

● The child is in danger of death; 

● The priest of the Eastern Church is too far away to bring the child to him; 

● The priest of the Eastern Church cannot come to baptize the child. A priest or deacon of the Latin Church who baptizes a child of Eastern Catholic parents must clearly indicate on our Record of Baptism form the fact that the Latin Rite was used, and that the child was ascribed to the specific Eastern Ritual Church to which the child belongs. 

4.1.16. Chrismation. In the Eastern Catholic Churches, Chrismation (known in the West as Confirmation) is always received at the time of baptism. (When there is danger of death, it may be administered later.) If, in the circumstances mentioned above, a Latin priest were to baptize a child belonging to an Eastern Church, unless such a priest has the faculties to administer the Holy Mystery of Chrismation, he must not chrismate the child. The child should be chrismated by a priest of his or her own autonomous ritual Church as soon as possible after baptism. Since some Eastern Catholic children may be attending our religious education programs, they may be involved in sacramental preparation programs. If the child was chrismated at its baptism, any attempt to confirm or "re-confirm" the child is strictly prohibited.

4.2. The Sacrament of Confirmation

4.2.1. The ordinary minister of confirmation in the Western Church is a bishop (c.882). The diocesan bishop administers confirmation personally or arranges that it is administered by another bishop (c. 884). The Military Archbishop and his auxiliary bishops have the right to confirm subjects of the AMS. When this is not possible, a priest-chaplain may formally request of the Military Archbishop that his own bishop or the bishop of the local area be invited, by the Military Archbishop, to confirm on that installation subjects of the AMS. Confirmation preparation “programs” must be coordinated with the military bishops so that they will be able to confer the sacrament.

4.2.2. In the Eastern Churches, presbyters as well as bishops are ordinary ministers of chrismation with holy myron, the Eastern name for confirmation (CCEO c. 694). In the Eastern Churches chrismation is conferred immediately after Baptism (CCEO c. 695) along with Holy Communion.

4.2.3. AMS priest-chaplains by virtue of their office as chaplain must also confirm someone beyond infancy whom they baptize, or someone already validly baptized in a non-Catholic faith group whom they bring into full communion with the Catholic Church through a Profession of Faith (cc. 866; 883, §2). (See also Faculties ..., para. on page 4.) If an individual is in an invalid marriage, it must be rectified before reception into the church, or confirmation, may take place.

4.2.4. AMS priest-chaplains and priests with a pastoral office who receive apostates from the faith back into the Church must confirm them using the Rite of Receiving Baptized Christians into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church.

4.2.5. A priest-chaplain, or any presbyter, may confirm someone in danger of death (c. 883, §3). Confirmation Name. The confirmation name chosen by the individual should either be a Christian name or a name that is not offensive to Christians.

4.2.6. The diocesan bishop administers confirmation personally or arranges that another bishop administers it. If need requires, the diocesan bishop may concede the faculty to a presbyter who may administer the sacrament (c. 884, §1). This will not be done on a habitual basis. The Archbishop or his delegate may grant the faculty to a priest-chaplain to confirm subjects of the AMS based on individual cases and need. A priest-chaplain may not presume either the need for or the granting of the faculty. The conducting of a confirmation “program” does not qualify as a need. The petition for the faculty must be in writing and state the name, marital status, date and church of Catholic baptism and age of each preparing for confirmation. The priest-chaplain personally makes the request to the Vicar General, and must state a valid and serious need. The delegated faculty, if granted, can only be used for those in whose favor the faculty was granted (c. 885, §2). The delegated faculty cannot be subdelegated to another priest nor used for any person(s) other than those named in the petition and delegation. It is valid only for AMS subjects. Deleted.

4.2.7. Deleted .

NOTE OF LAW: The law does not give priests with a pastoral office the faculty to confirm baptized Catholics who have not practiced the faith. The law grants priests the faculty only for those who left the Church or those brought up in or adhered to another faith. Others must be treated as Catholics, even if they have never practiced their baptismal faith. To validly confirm in such cases, priests need the delegated faculty. (See National Statutes for the Catechumenate, approved by the NCCB in U.S. editions of the RCIA).

Initiation of Unbaptized Children of a Catechetical Age

4.2.8. All unbaptized children of catechetical age are to be confirmed and receive the Eucharist at the time of their baptism (cc. 866; 883, 2) (National Statutes #14,18,19). The integrity and unity of the sacraments of initiation are maintained by not delaying the reception of confirmation or Eucharist (RCIA #215). The resources of the religious education program, specialized catechesis, and youth ministry should be utilized in preparing children for Christian initiation. Their sacramental preparation should be distinct from and complementary to their regular course of study in the religious education program. After children are fully initiated, the Christian formation should be continued. At the time their peers are confirmed, they should be asked to renew their baptismal promises with their peers.

Reception into Full Communion of the Catholic Church

POLICY: Adults and children of catechetical age who were baptized in a non-Catholic Christian denomination are formally received into the Church through the Rite of Reception of Baptized Christians into Full Communion of the Catholic Church. (RCIA, Part II, #5).

4.2.9. Candidates, including children of catechetical age, who are received into the full communion of the Catholic Church, are to be confirmed at the same celebration at which they make their profession of faith and partake of the eucharist. Their confirmation isnottobedeferred (c. 866) (National Statutes #35). Children of parents being received into full communion of the Catholic Church are ordinarily received into the Church with their parents. The reception of children into full communion needs to be recorded both in our baptismal records and confirmation records. Baptized children younger than the catechetical age do not go through any ceremony to be received into the Catholic Church. They become members of the Church at the same time as their parents do. The child's original Baptism is to be noted on our baptismal record with a notation that the child was joined to the Catholic Church through the act of the parents' initiation.

Important Notes regarding Eastern non-Catholics to be received into full communion in the Catholic Church.

4.2.10. Eastern non-Catholics who have been baptized in an Orthodox Church received baptism, chrismation (confirmation) and Eucharist at the time of their baptism. They are not to be "re-confirmed." All that is necessary is that they make a profession of faith in the Catholic Church (CCEO c. 897). Eastern non-Catholics received into full communion with the Catholic Church are automatically, by law (CCEO c. 35), ascribed to the corresponding Eastern Catholic Church. They do not become Latin Rite or Roman Catholics even though a Latin Rite priest may be receiving the person into the Church. Eastern non-Catholics received into full communion with the Catholic Church and now, by law, Eastern Catholics, may attend the Roman Mass and receive the sacraments in the Roman Rite. Chaplains who are presbyters of the Eastern Churches can validly administer the chrismation with holy myron, along with Baptism or separate from it, to all members of the faithful of any ritual church, including the Latin Church. For liceity, a presbyter ordinarily administers this sacrament only to members of his own church sui iuris (CCEO c. 696). Therefore, chaplains who are of the Eastern Churches should receive permission from the chancery to licitly confirm Latin Catholics.

Age of Confirmation

“The National Conference of Catholic Bishops, in accord with the prescriptions of Canon 891, hereby decrees that the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Latin rite shall be conferred between the age of discretion and about sixteen years of age, within the limits determined by the diocesan bishop and with regard for the legitimate exceptions given in Canon 891.” — Recognitio issued by Decree of the Congregation for Bishops signed by His Eminence Giovanni Battista Cardinal Re, Prefect … dated May 9, 2001.

4.2.11. Those children who are baptized Catholic, practicing their faith, attending religious education formation, and are to be confirmed, should be at least in the 8th grade. Therefore, Confirmation is to be conferred between 13-16 years of age. Any Confirmation preparation program shall be so scheduled that no student shall be older than 16 at the time of the Confirmation ceremony. A person with a developmental disability who has been baptized cannot be denied confirmation as long as that person desires to belong to the community of faith. The celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation for an adult who has mental retardation should be age appropriate, i.e., they should not be made to feel awkward by being placed at the end of the celebration planned for children. In some cases it may be appropriate for the chaplain to seek delegation to confirm individuals with disabilities during the Easter season. When the priest knows the developmentally disabled person, the individual is apt to be more comfortable and secure, thus ensuring a more fruitful and dignified celebration.

Sponsors for Confirmation

4.2.12. The confirmation sponsor must be a practicing Catholic. The sponsor's duty is to see that the one confirmed acts as a true witness to Christ and faithfully fulfills the duties inherent in this sacrament (c. 892). The qualifications of the sponsor at confirmation are the same as for the godparent at baptism. A parent may not be a sponsor for his or her child at Confirmation. (See cc. 893, §1 and 874) (See also: Qualification for godparents, page 10). It is desirable that one's baptismal godparent also serves as one's sponsor for confirmation (c. 893, §2). This expresses more clearly the relationship between Baptism and confirmation and also makes the function and responsibility of the sponsor more effective. Nonetheless, the choice of a special sponsor for confirmation is not excluded. (See: Rite of Confirmation #5.)

Record of Profession of Faith and/or Baptism, Confirmation, and First Communion

4.2.13. The records of profession of faith, Baptism, Confirmation and first communion must be completed as directed on our forms and sent to our sacramental records department within a week of the celebration (cc. 486, §1; 491, §1; 535, §§1 & 2; and 877, §1). The chaplain must also notify the pastor of the place of Baptism that confirmation was conferred so that he might record it in the baptismal register (cc. 535, §2. (c. 895). While secretaries or chaplains' assistants may assist in this matter, it is the primary responsibility of the chaplain to notarize and ensure that the records are forwarded.

4.2.14. Profession of Faith. A priest-chaplain may receive into Full Communion an already baptized Christian of another denomination at any time through a Profession of Faith. However, he is also to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation, and give First Holy Communion at the same ceremony. If an individual is in an invalid marriage, the Profession of Faith is to be deferred until the marriage has been rectified.

4.2.15. Confirmation “stole.” The use of a “stole” or stole-like garment or over-the-shoulder sash by confirmandi is inappropriate. The stole is a formal vestment that identifies a cleric.

4.3. The Most Holy Eucharist

4.3.1. The Most Holy Eucharist is the Most August Sacrament, in which Christ the Lord himself is contained, offered and received, and by it, the Church continually lives and grows. The Eucharistic Sacrifice is the memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord, in which the sacrifice of the cross is forever perpetuated, and is the summit and source of all worship and Christian life. By means of it the unity of God's people is signified and brought about, and the building up of the Body of Christ is perfected. The other sacraments and all ecclesiastical works of the apostolate are bound up with and directed to the Most Holy Eucharist (Vatican II, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 47; c. 895).

4.3.2. The faithful should hold the Most Holy Eucharist in the highest honor. They should take an active part in the celebration of the Most August Sacrifice, receive it very devoutly and frequently, and revere it with the greatest devotion (c. 898).

4.3.3. Priest chaplains are to instruct the faithful thoroughly and diligently about the doctrine of the Most Holy Eucharist and their obligation to it (c. 898).

4.3.4. The Eucharistic celebration is an action of Christ himself and of the Church. In it, Christ the Lord, through the ministry of the priest, offers himself, substantially present under the appearance of bread and wine, to God the Father, and gives himself as spiritual nourishment to the faithful who are associated with him in his offering. Moreover, the Eucharistic celebration is to be so ordered that all participants derive from it the many fruits for which Christ the Lord instituted it (c. 899, §1, §3).

4.3.5. All the faithful present unite to participate in their own way according to their various orders and liturgical roles (c. 899, §2). Nonetheless,inthe celebration of the Eucharist, deacons and lay persons are not permitted to say prayers, especially the Eucharistic prayer, or perform actions, which are proper to the celebrating priest (c. 907).

4.3.6. The Eucharistic Bread and Wine The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist must be offered in bread, and in wine to which a small quantity of water is to be added (c. 924, §1). It is absolutely forbidden to consecrate the bread or wine alone without the other element, or to consecrate them both outside the Eucharistic celebration (c. 927). The priest chaplain may not consecrate additional bread or wine if, once they are validly consecrated, he finds at Communion time that there is not enough for all of the faithful. The Eucharistic Bread: It is illicit to use any additives whatsoever to the wheat flour and water. (NOTE: Many of the Eastern Catholic Churches use leavened bread.) The Eucharistic Bread: For liceity, in accord with the ancient tradition of the Roman Church, the priest chaplain is to use unleavened bread for the Eucharist (c. 926). Moreover, the Eucharistic bread should be made in such a way that it looks like food and can be broken into parts. Low Gluten Eucharistic Bread: For priests and lay people afflicted with celiac disease, permission may be granted by the Archbishop to use low-gluten Eucharistic bread upon presentation of a medical certificate. Permission will only be in effect as long as the celiac condition continues. For validity, hosts must contain the amount of gluten sufficient to obtain the confection of bread; there must be no addition of foreign materials; and the procedure for making the hosts is not such as to alter the substance of the bread. Special hosts without gluten are invalid matter. The low-gluten host is to be used only for the person(s) granted permission.

4.3.7. The Eucharistic Wine: For validity, the wine must be made from the fruit of the grape vine and not corrupt (c. 924, §3). The following are invalid matter:

● wine from fruit other than grapes;

● wine made chemically (even though it may look and smell of wine);

● wine to which water has been added so that it loses the qualities of wine; 

● wine which has soured and turned to vinegar in the common estimation of persons. Use of Mustum: Mustum is understood to be fresh juice from grapes, or juice that is preserved by suspending its fermentation by means of freezing or other methods which do not alter its nature. "Any commercially produced grape juice whose fermentation process was arrested, even at a very early stage, may be used for mustum. However, those grape juices which have been pasteurized are not proper matter for Eucharist because such pasteurization removes even trace amounts of alcohol produced in the natural fermentation process" (NCCB Committee on the Liturgy Newsletter, vol. 34, May-June 1999, p. 79). For example, ordinary grape juice is not mustum because of additives and the processing of the juice. "The insistence on the purity and integrity of the grape juice used as mustum is to assure that the matter used for the Eucharistic retains, as closely as possible, the characteristics of the matter intended by Christ to become his own Precious Blood." (NCCB Committee on the Liturgy Newsletter, p. 79). Mustum is available from certain altar wine companies and their processes acceptable to Church standards.

4.3.8. Who May Receive the Most Holy Eucharist Anyone baptized in or received into the Catholic Church and who is not prohibited by law, may and must be admitted to Holy Communion (c. 912). Therefore, ministers of the Most Holy Eucharist are to distribute it whenever the faithful request it at a suitable moment and in a suitable place, are properly prepared, and are not prohibited by canon law from receiving it. Those prohibited by canon law: Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted by an imposed or declared sentence as well as those who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion (c. 915). Those conscious of serious sin: Should not celebrate Mass or receive Holy Communion without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess. In this case, the person is obligated to make an act of perfect contrition and resolve to go to confession as soon as possible (c. 916).

TERMS: "Excommunication or interdict by an imposed or declared sentence" is when the excommunication or interdiction becomes publicly known. These individuals are not to receive Holy Communion.

TERMS: A "manifest sin" is one that is publicly known. "Obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin" is when a person persists in a sinful state and does not heed the teachings of the Church or the warnings of Church authorities. This provision is to be applied by the priest chaplain in individual cases after having verified that the person is in a state of serious sin, is obstinately persevering in it, and the sin is publicly known. A doubt about the existence of any of these should be resolved in favor of the person's right to receive Holy Communion.

TERMS: A "grave reason" includes: when a priest cannot omit Mass (weekday or Sunday) without infamy or scandal occurring; when a priest is obliged to celebrate Mass for the faithful; and, when a person cannot omit receiving Holy Communion without causing scandal, such as at a wedding Mass, or family celebration. "No opportunity to confess" may arise when there is no confessor available or an individual cannot get to a confessor without grave inconvenience.

NOTE OF LAW: Those in serious sin are bound to go to confession at least once a year (c.989). Children: To receive Holy Communion, children must have sufficient knowledge and be carefully prepared so that according to their capacity they understand the Mystery of Christ, and are able to receive Holy Communion with faith and devotion (c. 913, §1). Parents and priest-chaplains have the duty to see that children who have reached the age of reason (age 7) are duly prepared to receive Holy Communion as soon as possible after having made their first Penance (c. 914). Children with Developmental Disabilities: Catechetical instruction is to be given to the mentally handicapped (c. 777, 4°). Parents and pastors are obligated to prepare children with developmental disabilities to receive Holy Communion with reverence according to their capacity. In Danger of Death: The Most Holy Eucharist may be administered to children in danger of death as long as they can distinguish the Body of Christ from ordinary food and receive it with reverence (c. 913, §2).

NOTE OF LAW: In Eastern Catholic Churches, infants receive Holy Communion when they are baptized and chrismated provided this is permitted in the liturgical books of each Church sui juris.

4.3.9. Obligation to Receive the Most Holy Eucharist ("Easter Duty”) All the faithful, after they receive First Communion are obligated to receive Holy Communion at least once a year. This precept must be fulfilled during paschal time, but for a just cause may be fulfilled at another time during the year (c. 920).

TERMS: "Paschal time" includes the period from Passion Sunday to Pentecost Sunday, inclusive. In the United States, by special concession of the Holy See, the time for fulfilling the Easter duty extends from the first Sunday of Lent to Trinity Sunday inclusive. This applies to the Archdiocese for the Military Services. However, the paschal precept may be fulfilled at some other time during the year for a just cause. A "just cause" includes being in a remote area where a priest is lacking to celebrate Mass or when a minister is lacking to give Holy Communion. Receiving More Than Once a Day: Those who receive Holy Communion may receive it again on the same day as long as they are actually participating in another Mass. It is not lawful simply to enter Mass during the distribution of the Most Blessed Eucharist in order to receive Holy Communion again (c. 917).

NOTE OF LAW: Receiving the Eucharist three times in one day (trination) is not allowed except in the case of a priest chaplain who must celebrate Mass more than twice in one day (Code Commission Interpretation, June 26, 1984). See following section on "Bination and Trination.” In Danger of Death: Even if they have already received Holy Communion that same day, it is strongly recommended that those in danger of death should receive Viaticum during or outside Mass. Moreover, while danger of death persists, it is recommended that Viaticum be administered frequently but on separate days (c. 921, §2, §3).

4.3.10. The Eucharistic Fast. The Eucharistic fast is a symbol of reverence and of spiritual preparation. A person is to abstain for at least one hour before receiving Holy Communion from all food and drink, except water and medicine (c. 919, §1). However, the sick, the aged, and those caring for them are excused from the Eucharistic fast (c. 919, §3). A priest who celebrates Mass twice or three times on the same day may consume food and drink within the hour before the second or third celebrations (c. 919, §2).

4.3.11. Celebration of the Eucharist

POLICY: Canon 904 sums up the practice of the Latin Church as well as the desires of the Holy Father and the Archbishop for the Military Services; "Remembering that the work of redemption is continually accomplished in the mystery of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, priests are to celebrate frequently: indeed daily celebration is strongly recommended, since even if the faithful cannot be present, it is the act of Christ and the Church in which priests fulfill their principal function." (See para. 1.6.2., page 2.) Mass for the People: Since by the Apostolic Constitution, Spirituali Militum Curae, “… priests who are appointed as chaplains in the Ordinariate enjoy the rights and duties of parish priests," all priests chaplains who enjoy the responsibility of direct care of souls, have the obligation of offering a Missa pro populo (Mass for the people) each Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation. If a priest chaplain has more than one installation or unit to cover pastorally, he is required only to celebrate one Missa pro populo on Sundays and Holy Days. If the priest chaplain is lawfully impeded from this celebration, he is to have another priest apply the Mass on these days or apply it himself on other days. The Archbishop for the Military Services decides whether a Sunday Celebration in the absence of a priest may be held. (See page 21.) All priests may celebrate or concelebrate the three Masses of Christmas, provided that the Masses are at their proper times of day; A priest who concelebrates with the Archbishop or his delegate at a pastoral visitation or concelebrates at a meeting of priests may also celebrate another Mass for the benefit of the people. Time of Celebration. Ordinarily the celebration of the Eucharist can take place on any day or at any hour. However, the following are exceptions: Anticipated evening Masses: on days before a day of obligation may be held only in the evening (c. 1248, §1). The anticipated Mass should not begin before 4:00 pm. Stipends. Priest chaplains are to observe all military and governmental regulations in regard to accepting fees, stipends, or honoraria in performance of their official duties as well as during off-duty hours. Priest chaplains apply to accepting Mass offerings from and celebrating Masses for the faithful under their pastoral care. A priest chaplain may accept the offering for only one Mass per day, except on Christmas (c. 951, §1). The other offerings for binating or trinating are to be sent to the Archdiocesan Seminarian Co-Sponsorship Fund.

4.3.12. Concelebration of the Eucharist. "Concelebration both symbolizes and strengthens the brotherly bond of the priesthood because 'by virtue of the ordination to the priesthood that they share, all are linked together in an intimate brotherhood'" (Eucharisticum mysterium, 47). Concelebration may be permitted several times on the same day but at different times or different places when there is a large number of priests. To ensure proper decorum, no priest is ever to be admitted into a concelebration once Mass has already begun. Since Mass begins with the initial sign of the cross and the greeting, it is not required that all the concelebrants be in the entrance procession. In celebrating and administering the Most Holy Eucharist, priests and deacons are to wear the sacred vestments prescribed by the rubrics (c. 929). If there are more concelebrants than vestments, the concelebrants may omit wearing the chasuble and simply wear the stole over the alb. The principal celebrant always wears the chasuble (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, #209). It is forbidden to have an individual celebration of the Mass in the same church or oratory during a concelebrated Mass (c. 902).

NOTE OF LAW: Catholic priests are prohibited from concelebrating the Eucharist with priests or ministers of churches or ecclesial communities that do not have full communion with the Catholic Church (c. 908). However, concelebration with priests of different Catholic Churches sui juris is allowed with the permission of the Eastern eparchial bishop. The liturgical books of the presider must be observed and the concelebrants must wear the appropriate vestments and insignia of one's own Church sui juris (CCEO, c. 701).

4.3.13 Reception of the Eucharistic Species. When received under both species, Holy Communion forms a more complete sign of the Eucharistic banquet. However, the Eucharistic species may be received under the appearance of bread alone or of wine alone in case of necessity (c. 925). In accord with the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, nos. 281-287, and the USCCB Adaptations of the General Instruction for the Dioceses of the United States of America, no 283, communion under both species may be given at all Masses with the following exceptions:

● not at Masses celebrated in the open with a great number of communicants;

● not at other Masses where the number of communicants is so great as to make it difficult for Communion under both species to be given in an orderly and reverent way;

● not at Masses where the assembled congregation is of such a diverse nature that it is difficult to ascertain whether those present have been sufficiently instructed about receiving Communion under both kinds;

not when circumstances do not permit the assurance that due reverence can be maintained towards the consecrated wine both during and after the celebrations. 
(See NCCB, This Holy and Living Sacrifice: Directory for the Celebration and Reception of Communion Under Both Kinds, 22.)

4.3.14. Reservation of the Most Holy Eucharist. The Eucharistic community exists when the priest is present and leads the celebration. The reservation of the Blessed Sacrament is for the purpose of Viaticum and secondarily for devotion. With the exception of the Holy Thursday Liturgy, the Blessed Sacrament is not normally reserved for the purpose of Communion Services. The Most Holy Eucharist must be reserved on all installations, ships and hospitals to which a priest is assigned. The Most Holy Eucharist must be reserved in a sacred place known by and accessible to the faithful on military installations, ships and hospitals. Ordinarily the Consecrated Hosts are not to be reserved anywhere for longer than three (3) weeks. The tabernacle in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved should be immovable, made of solid and opaque material, and locked in such a way that the danger of profanation is avoided. The tabernacle should be secured firmly to an altar, table, or wall and the key safeguarded by the priest-chaplain. The tabernacle is not shared with other faith groups. The responsibility of safeguarding and care of the Sacrament must never be entrusted to any non-Catholic under any condition. The place in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved is a sacred place that must reflect our belief in the Real Presence. The place must not be used for any other purpose, nor shared with any group. Unless there is grave reason to the contrary, the place in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved is to be open to the faithful for at least some hours every day so that they can pray before the Most Blessed Sacrament. The Sanctuary Lamp is a special lamp indicating and honoring the presence of Christ. It is lighted continuously before a tabernacle in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved. An electric sanctuary lamp may be used where an oil or wax candle cannot be used.


4.3.16. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

NOTE: Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and Catholic Representatives are two distinct ministries. The ordinary ministers of Holy Communion are bishops, priests, and deacons. They exercise this ministry by virtue of their ordination. In the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, a qualified person who has been chosen, thoroughly trained and recommended by a priest-chaplains may be appointed by the Archbishop as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (EMHC). The priest chaplain forwards the name of the individual to the Chancellor and requests the appointment as EMHC. Appointments should not be requested without a need for the service. Limits of Commissioning. EMHCs are commissioned to function on a specific installation. The expiration date of the commission varies from one to three years depending upon the installation, or when the individual is transferred from the installation, or separates from the service – whichever occurs first. The commission is renewable as per paragraph Commissioning should take place during a community celebration according to the rite provided in the Book of Blessings. The Archbishop may revoke the commission on the recommendation of the priest chaplain if the individual no longer fulfills the requirements for this ministry as established below. EMHCs are trained and authorized to assist with the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass. (See: Instruction on Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priests.) EMHCs may also bring Holy Communion to the sick or homebound with the frequency recommended in the revised rite of the Pastoral Care of the Sick. Any person who regularly takes Holy Communion to the sick, either at home or in hospital, is to be trained and appointed. An individual may be commissioned for only this aspect of the ministry, or may perform this service in conjunction with service within the Eucharistic assembly. To establish the connection between the assembly and the sick, EMHCs ideally are sent from the Eucharistic celebration to take Holy Communion to them. Selection and discernment. EMHCs must be fully initiated Catholics (that is: baptized, confirmed, and have received the Eucharist), at least 18 years of age. Additional guidelines may be found in the Appendix. Formation and Training. The priest chaplain provides prospective EMHCs with a time of formation to deepen their understanding of the Holy Eucharist and the ministry they are to undertake. A portion of this formation may be offered for all liturgical ministers (readers, cantors, altar servers) at the same time thus enabling them to have a common understanding of the Eucharist and appreciation of all ministerial roles. Evaluation. The priest-chaplain evaluates all EMHCs. Time should be set aside for the priests and the EMHCs to discuss the evaluation. Topics on practical and spiritual levels include:

● Are they following established procedures?

● Do they show reverence to the Blessed Sacrament?

● Are they serving when assigned or when expected?

● Do they attend any formation or further training sessions held for them?

● Do they have respect for the people to whom they minister?

● Are they growing in their faith in the Holy Eucharist and in their commitment of service to the community? Purification of sacred vessels. This is a function reserved only to clerics.

4.3.17. Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest On Sundays and Holydays when a priest is not available for Mass on an installation, the faithful should be directed to participate at the local Catholic parish. When this is not possible, the faithful should be encouraged to gather for prayer and reflection. To the extent possible the priest-chaplain should train EMHCs to lead the faithful in a Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest. However, the priest- chaplain must request permission each time such a celebration is deemed necessary. This Service does not include the distribution of Holy Communion. On those occasions when the priest- chaplain will be absent for an extended period of time, and there is no civilian Catholic parish within a reasonable distance, he might conclude that a Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest with the distribution of Holy Communion is appropriate. This celebration requires the explicit permission of the Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, or his delegate. This permission may not be presumed. Weekday “Communion Services” are not authorized within the Military Archdiocese. When a duly appointed Permanent Deacon or EMHC has been given permission by the Archbishop’s Office to distribute Holy Communion during a Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest, the statement entitled “Statement: Distribution of Holy Communion at a Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest” is to be read and published in the parish bulletin.

Conditions and Concerns Before a Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest is begun, it must be explained to the faithful that although this Service takes place instead of the Sunday Mass, it is not Mass and should not be regarded as the ideal solution to present circumstances, nor as a surrender to mere convenience. There is to be only one assembly of this kind in each place on any given Sunday (Directory for Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest, #21). This celebration is not substituted for each of the regularly scheduled Masses. If only one Sunday Mass can be offered at a particular locale, it shall be the focus of the Sunday celebration – and no additional celebration in the absence of a priest is authorized. Since the altar is the table of the Holy Sacrifice and of the Paschal Banquet, it is only to be used for the Rite of Communion when the Holy Eucharist is placed on it at the beginning of the communion rite.

4.3.18. Catholic Representative (CR) / Catholic Lay Leader (LL)

(Catholic Representative and Lay Leader are service- specific terms. They may be used interchangeably in this documentation, but with the same meaning.) A CR/LL is an active duty military member, in the grade of E-5 or higher, chosen, trained and supervised by a priest-chaplain to lead a Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest at a deployable location. S/He must be a practicing Catholic in good standing and must be appointed to this ministry as archdiocesan "Catholic Representative” or “Catholic Lay leader" by the Archbishop or his delegate. (See Appendix: Policy for Lay Leaders, Catholic Representatives.) A CR/LL is subject to the applicable formation and evaluation criteria contained in paragraphs 4.3.16.(7-.9). Limits of Commissioning. A CR/LL is appointed for a maximum of one (1) year at a deployable location. The appointment expires at the end of that year, or upon reassignment, separation, retirement – whichever comes first. A CR/LL uses the special forms indicated in the rites for the greeting and blessing, does not use words that are proper to a priest or deacon, and omits those rites, gestures, and texts that are too readily associated with the Mass and which might give the impression that the layperson is a sacred minister, i.e., a priest or deacon. A CR/LL wears dignified clothing for the Sunday celebration or an appropriate military uniform. The CR/LL may wear an alb, but without any other vestment, sign or symbol. The CR/LL does not use the presidential chair. The CR/LL is always to be assisted by other ministers who will proclaim the Scriptures, assist, if need be, in the distribution of Holy Communion (if a commissioned EMHC), sing the psalms and other songs, provide instrumental music, and prepare the place for the celebration.

4.4. The Sacrament of Penance

4.4.1. Pastoral practice regarding the Sacrament of Penance must strictly follow Church teaching and discipline. Particular attention should be given to the Second Vatican Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, to the Instruction introducing the Rite of Penance, and to the pertinent canons of the Code of Canon Law (c. 956-991). Administration of the Sacrament of Penance in the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA shall be in complete accord with all the ritual components of the Rite of Penance as promulgated the First Sunday of Advent, 1973. Every priest chaplain assigned to any pastoral position shall offer ample opportunity for the faithful to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance in the individual form. Various times other than just prior to Mass should be explored.

4.4.2. The Sacrament of Penance shall not be celebrated while a Mass is being offered in the same place. The Rite for Reconciliation of Individual Penitents is ordinarily celebrated either in a confessional or a room provided for reconciliation. Confessionals or other suitable arrangements shall be provided that ensure the anonymity of the penitent.

4.4.3. THE CONFESSOR Faculties (See para. 1.9.4 ff, page 4 ). In addition to revocation by the Archbishop, the faculty for hearing confessions habitually in virtue of being an endorsed priest chaplain in the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, ceases upon loss of ecclesiastical endorsement. Loss of endorsement occurs upon retirement/separation from the Armed Forces or the VA, loss of contract for contract chaplains, or upon revocation by the Archbishop for disciplinary reasons. The sacramental seal of confession is inviolable. It is absolutely forbidden for the confessor to betray the penitent either by words or by any other means for any reason whatsoever. Also bound to the observance of secrecy are interpreters, if there is one, and all others who have gained knowledge in any way of a sinner's confession (c. 983). The confessor who directly violates the sacramental seal incurs the penalty of automatic excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See. If he violates it only indirectly, he is to be punished in accordance with the gravity of the offense. An interpreter or any others who violate the secret are to be punished with a just penalty, not excluding excommunication (c. 1388).

4.4.4. THE PENITENT Church law requires penitents to mention all serious sins, both in number and kind, of which they are aware and which have not yet been individually absolved. Respecting the personal style in which the penitents choose to confess their sins and to discern the movements of the Spirit in their lives, the confessor shall assist penitents to make a complete confession. A penance (also called "satisfaction") shall be assigned by the priest or mutually agreed upon by confessor and penitent and should be appropriate for the individual.

4.4.5. Reconciliation of Several Penitents with Individual Confession and Absolution (Second Form) The Second Form may be used when there are sufficient confessors available, the participants would be properly disposed to a communal celebration, and a proper celebration of the Sacrament can be held. When using the Second Form, absolution is always to be given individually. The physical arrangements for celebration of this Second Form shall enable individuals to approach the confessors either face-to-face or anonymously. The Rite of Penance, with its Appendices, should be used as a resource book in planning penitential celebrations. Communal prayer and singing are integral components of this form. Scripture readings and a homily should also be included. Additional confessors, other priest chaplains and priests from neighboring communities, should always be invited to assist in the communal liturgy.

4.4.6. Reconciliation of Several Penitents with General Confession and General Absolution (Third Form) In the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, under peacetime conditions, there are no generally accepted cases in which the conditions warranting the imparting of general absolution would be foreseen to exist. Should a confessor believe that such conditions exist in individual unit cases, he is required to obtain prior permission of the Military Ordinary or his delegates. If proper permission is obtained from the Archbishop, this Third Form should be celebrated as an integral liturgical action with the usual distribution of liturgical roles. General Absolution must never be attached as a prelude or appendage to another liturgical service, such as the Eucharistic Liturgy, a funeral or a wedding The Code of Canon Law specifies the conditions under which General Absolution may be imparted (Canon 961):

§1. Absolution cannot be imparted in a general manner to many penitents at once without previous individual confession unless:

1° danger of death is imminent and there is insufficient time for a priest or priests to hear the confessions of the individual penitents.

2° there is grave necessity, that is, when in view of the number of penitents, there are not enough confessors available to hear the confessions of individuals properly within a suitable period of time in such a way that the penitents are forced to be deprived for a long while* of sacramental grace or Holy Communion through no fault of their own. Sufficient necessity is not considered to exist when confessors cannot be present due only to the large number of penitents such as can occur on some great feast or pilgrimage.

§2. It belongs to the diocesan bishop to judge whether the conditions required according to the norm of §1, 2° are present. He can determine the cases of such necessity, attentive to the criteria agreed upon with the other members of the conference of bishops.

* (The National Conference of Catholic Bishops has determined that the word “diu” [a long while] in this canon should be understood as "a month.") It should be noted that a penitent receiving general absolution is still required to confess serious sins individually as soon as possible before receiving another general absolution (c. 963). For a penitent validly to receive general sacramental absolution, the penitent must be suitably disposed and intend in due time (usually within a month) to confess serious sins individually. Those participating in the celebration of this Third Form of the Sacrament of Penance shall be instructed about these obligations and the necessity of making an individual confession of serious sins before again having recourse to general absolution unless a just cause intervenes.

4.4.7. Returning Catholics When people return to the Church after a long absence, seeking reconciliation, priest-chaplains, deacons and other pastoral ministers are to be very sensitive to their personal history and unique spiritual needs. They should be warmly received and shall be given an opportunity to engage in a conversion process that will culminate in the Sacrament of Penance. Ordinarily, these penitents should not be included in the Catechumenate with the unbaptized or with Christians seeking full communion with the Catholic Church.

4.4.8. Children and the Sacrament of Penance Formal instruction for the Sacrament of Penance must be separate and distinct from preparation for the first reception of Eucharist so that the integrity of each sacrament is maintained. The parents' right and responsibility to direct the religious formation of their children must be safeguarded and enhanced. For this reason, preparation for first reception of the sacrament shall involve the parent(s) and provide guidance to them in helping prepare their children. Children shall be offered the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance before the first reception of the Eucharist (c. 914). The priest chaplain and his staff shall, when necessary, explain to the parents the Church's discipline in regard to first confession before first Communion and the catechetical reasons for it. In those cases in which a child, because of exceptional reasons and under the guidance of his or her parents, chooses not to receive the Sacrament of penance, he or she shall not be deprived of the right to receive his or her First Holy Communion. The child shall be encouraged to celebrate the Sacrament of penance later so that he or she will not be deprived of it altogether. As with adults, children have the right to celebrate the sacrament face-to-face or from behind a screen. Children shall always be free to choose their own confessor.

4.4.9. Remission of Censures By this faculty a priest-chaplain may remit the excommunication attached to the procurement of an abortion (c. 1398) or that attached to apostasy, heresy, or schism (c. 1364, §1). A salutary penance should be imposed. This faculty may be exercised anywhere in the world on behalf of those who are subjects of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, or who incurred the penalty while a subject of the AMS. This faculty may be exercised on behalf of anyone present on an installation belonging to the military or VA (c. 1355, §2).

FACULTY: Priest chaplains with the faculties of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, can remit in the internal sacramental forum any automatic censure of excommunication or interdict which has not been juridically declared, if it would be difficult for the penitent to remain in a state of serious sin during the time necessary for the competent authority to provide for the matter (c. 1357, §1).

4.5. The Sacrament of Marriage

4.5.1. The marriage of Catholics even if only one party is Catholic, is regulated by divine law and by canonlaw (c.1059). Moreover, the Church recognizes the jurisdiction of the state regarding the civil effects of marriage, e.g., the requirement of a marriage license (although the lack of a license would not affect the validity of a Catholic marriage). Therefore, whenever at least one party is Catholic, Canon Law must be observed. To be sacramental, or ratified, both parties must be baptized, whether Catholic or non-Catholic. If there are two Catholic parties, but from separate Churches sui iuris (e.g., Latin and Melkite), the canon law of both churches is applicable. The marriage of non-Catholic Christians is governed by the laws of their own church or ecclesial community, if it has its own marriage law, or, if it does not have such laws, by the laws of the state. The marriage of two unbaptized persons is regulated by the laws of the state, including laws of religion that may be recognized by the state. All marriages are subject to the divine law as understood by the Catholic Church. All marriages, even between two non-Catholics, must be free of divine law impediments, and the marriage consent must be freely and validly given and received..

4.5.2. Spiritual and Catechetical Preparation. Pastors of souls are obliged to take care that their ecclesiastical community offers the Christian faithful the assistance by which the matrimonial state is preserved in a Christian spirit and advances in perfection. This assistance must be offered especially by:

● Preaching, catechesis adapted to minors, youth, and adults, and even the use of instruments of social communication, by which the Christian faithful are instructed about the meaning of Christian marriage and about the function of Christian spouses and parents;

● Personal preparation to enter marriage, which disposes the spouses to the holiness and duties of their new state;

● A fruitful liturgical celebration of marriage which is to show that the spouses signify and share in the mystery of the unity and fruitful love between Christ and the Church;

● Help offered to those who are married, so that faithfully preserving and protecting the conjugal covenant, they daily come to lead holier and fuller lives in their family (c 1063). The preparation for and celebration of marriage pertains, by reason of pastoral care and the Liturgy, to the Archbishop for the Military Services, to the priest chaplains, deacons, and, at least in some way, to the whole Church community. The engaged couple should be given a review of the fundamentals of Christian doctrine. This should include catechesis both on the doctrine concerning marriage and the family and on the sacrament and its rites, prayers, and Scripture readings so that they may be able to celebrate the sacrament conscientiously and fruitfully. Catholics who have not yet received the Sacrament of Confirmation should do so before being admitted to marriage, if it can be done without grave inconvenience (c.1065, §1). In order for the Sacrament of Marriage to be received fruitfully, spouses are urged especially to approach the Sacraments of Penance and the Most Holy Eucharist (c. 1065, §2).

4.5.4. Premarital Investigation The priest chaplain is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the premarital investigation is conducted even if he does not do it personally. When someone outside the Archdiocese for the Military Services takes care of the investigation and/or other aspects of the preparation for marriage, the proper priest chaplain should be notified by means of an authentic document, i.e., one that is signed, dated, and sealed if possible. Impediments to Marriage (Dispensation Required to Marry Validly)

● Age

● Impotence (Note: Sterility is not impotence)

● Prior Bond of Marriage

● Disparity of Cult/Worship

● Holy Orders

● Public Perpetual Vow of Chastity in a Religious Institute

● Abduction

● Crime

● Consanguinity

● Affinity

● Public Propriety

● Adoption (Legal Relationship) Cases Requiring the Archbishop’s Permission (besides permission for a mixed marriage):

● Transients (vagi), i.e., those who have no domicile or quasi-domicile

● Those whose marriage cannot be recognized or celebrated according to civil law

● Those bound by natural obligations towards another party or towards children from a previous union, e.g., financial need or serious illness

● A person who has notoriously rejected the Catholic faith 

● A person bound by a censure, i.e., excommunication and interdict

● A minor (under 18)

● A proxy as provided in canon 1105 

4.5.5. Mixed Marriages. Before the marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic (baptized or not) can take place, intervention from the AMS Archbishop or his delegates is required. Marriages between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic (MIXED RELIGION): Without the expressed permission of the competent authority, a marriage is prohibited between two baptized persons, one of whom is baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it after Baptism and has not defected from it by a formal act and the other of whom is enrolled in a church or ecclesial community not in full communion with the Catholic Church (c.1124). Withoutthispermission,the marriage is illicit. Marriages between a Catholic and an unbaptized person (DISPARITY OF CULT): Without a dispensation from the impediment of disparity of cult, the marriage is invalid. Conditions necessary for permission or dispensation to be given:

● There exists a just and reasonable cause (c. 1125).

● The Catholic party declares that he or she is prepared to remove dangers of falling away from the faith and makes a sincere promise to do all in his or her power to have all children baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church (c. 1125, 1°). (N.B., The Ecumenical Directory of 1993 is helpful on this point.)

● The non-Catholic party is informed of the Catholic party’s promises so that the non- Catholic party is truly aware of the promise and obligation on the part of the Catholic party (c. 1125, 2°).

● Both parties are to be instructed on the ends and essential properties of marriage that are not to be excluded by either party (c. 1125, 3°). The declaration and promise are made in the presence of a priest or deacon either orally or in writing as the Catholic prefers. If the priest or deacon has reason to doubt the sincerity of the promise made by the Catholic, he may not recommend the request for the permission or dispensation, and should submit the matter to the chancery. (NCCB, “Statement on the Implementation of the Apostolic Letter on Mixed Marriages,” November 16, 1970; CLD 7:730-40.)

4.5.6. Canonical Form: For validity the marriage of all Catholics unless otherwise dispensed must be contracted:

● In the presence of the Archbishop, an AMS endorsed active-duty priest-chaplain, or priest/deacon delegated by either the Archbishop or by an AMS endorsed active-duty priest- chaplain, and

● In the presence of two witnesses. Dispensation from Canonical Form. In the case of mixed marriages and disparity of cult, canonical form is normally to be observed. However, if serious difficulties prevent observing the canonical form, the AMS Archbishop has the right to dispense only AMS subjects from canonical form in individual cases (c. 1127, §2). The Catholic party to the marriage must notify the priest-chaplain, immediately after the celebration of the marriage, that the marriage was celebrated, and where, and that the public form was observed (c. 1121, §3). Recording. If the AMS chancery granted the dispensation from canonical form, the priest-chaplain ensures that the dispensation and celebration of the marriage are recorded. If the ceremony took place on a US military installation, the record and all associated documentation are sent to the AMS Sacramental Records department. If the ceremony took place off-base, the record and all associated documentation are sent to the civilian Catholic parish in whose territory the ceremony took place. If the ceremony is being conducted in other than a Catholic church, the priest-chaplain requesting the dispensation from canonical form must first coordinate with the civilian Catholic parish and inform its pastor of the upcoming marriage taking place within his territory. Additional requirements by the local (arch)diocese may apply.

4.5.7. Liturgical Celebration. The rites to be observed are those contained in the liturgical books approved by the Church or those received by legitimate custom (c. 1119). In order that consent be properly and validly given, the priest or deacon should ask for and obtain the couple’s consent by the formulas in the Rite of Marriage.

4.5.8. Recording the Marriage is to take place as soon as possible after the marriage is celebrated. Marriages on a military installation are recorded with the AMS. Marriages in a civilian parish are recorded in that civilian parish. It is the responsibility of the priest/deacon who officiated at a marriage to have the marriage recorded and all documentation listed in paragraph forwarded to the proper place as indicated in paragraph: 4.5.8. above. The priest/deacon who officiated at a marriage must ensure that notification of the marriage is sent to the church of Baptism of the Catholic spouse(s) (c. 1122). The following documentation is to be collected, completed and signed prior to the wedding ceremony and, together with the completed AMS Record of Marriage form, are to be forwarded directly to the AMS Sacramental Records Department immediately following the ceremony. All documents MUST be originals unless otherwise noted:

● Pre-Marital Investigation form;

● Baptismal Certificate (or POF) for each Catholic (with raised Seal and issued within 6 months of the date of the ceremony);

● Two letters/affidavits of free state for the non-Catholic;

● The Dispensation or Permission as appropriate when one of the parties in not a Catholic;

● The Declaration(s) of Nullity if a party was previously married;

● A copy of the certificate of death of previous spouse if applicable;

● A copy of the current marriage certificate if the ceremony is a convalidation. 

Special Cases

4.5.9. Convalidation is not simply a blessing of an existing invalid marriage. Rather, the valid marriage begins when consent is exchanged during the convalidation ceremony. The marital consent given in the convalidation ceremony must be a new act of the will directed to the marriage which the renewing parties knew or thought was invalid from the beginning (c. 1157). Convalidation: The process whereby a couple’s original marriage consent was invalid and is subsequently made valid by the Church. Even though consent was invalid, the “marital relationship” still exists. Generally, the marriage is recognized as valid by civil law. The consent may be invalid for the following reasons:

● an impediment;

● a defect or lack of canonical form;

● or a defective consent. To convalidate a marriage which is invalid because of an impediment, verify that the impediment has ceased either automatically (e.g., death of a spouse), by a dispensation, or by a change of canon law. To convalidate a marriage which is invalid because of lack or defect of canonical form, inform the couple that the marriage must be contracted anew according to form unless a dispensation from canonical form has been given. (This is the usual reason for a convalidation.) To convalidate a marriage which is invalid because of defective consent, verify that the party who previously did not consent now consents and the consent of the other party must still persevere (c. 1159, §1). 

4.5.10. Radical Sanation: The radical sanation of a marriage is its convalidation without the renewal of consent. It can only be granted by the Apostolic See (in all cases) and the Archbishop in individual cases. A radical sanation includes:

● A dispensation from an impediment if there is one (e.g., a dispensation cannot be given for a prior bond of marriage);

● A dispensation from canonical form if it had not been observed;

● A retroactive validation of the marital consent when the marriage was originally contracted. In other words, the marriage is declared valid from the day consent was originally given. A radical sanation cannot be granted unless the marital consent of both parties perdures (c. 1162). A radical sanation should not be granted unless it is probable that the parties wish to continue in their conjugal life (c. 1161). 

4.6. Anointing of the Sick

4.6.1. In danger of death or some other serious necessity, the Catholic chaplain may anoint baptized non-Catholics who request it, if they express belief in the sacraments and do not have a chaplain of their own available (c. 844). However, the chaplain has to have due regard for the discipline of the other church (e.g., Orthodox) lest the recipient violate the norms of his own communion.

4.6.2. The Sacred Oils are blessed in the Chrism Mass celebrated each year by the Military Bishop. They may also be obtained from the territorial diocese. Old oils are not to be used except for some special necessity. The oils are to be kept "in a fitting manner."

4.7. Holy Orders

4.7.1. Incardination of Clergy. Our Constitution indicates that the AMS is empowered to have its own seminary, to ordain and to incardinate priests. However, although ministry to the people of the military is a special calling, requiring special personal gifts, the AMS is not, for the foreseeable future, in the position to embrace the incardination options. The same applies to permanent deacons. Candidates for the priesthood may, with the approval of their bishop, apply to our co-sponsorship program. The seminarians’ bishop directs the required Seminary training, but the financing of that training is shared between that bishop and the AMS. (See Co-Sponsorship Program, page 2.)

4.7.2. Deacons in the Military. This term applies equally to transitional as well as permanent deacons. The AMS does not incardinate deacons. However, a deacon may function within the structure of the AMS:

● with the written permission of his Ordinary,

● a by-name written request by the senior Catholic priest-chaplain at an installation and

● the approval of the Military Archbishop. A deacon ministers under the supervision of a Catholic chaplain and is designated for a specific installation (c. 517, 2). If reassigned, he must reapply to the Archbishop for faculties IAW with paragraph above. Candidates for the diaconate are required to complete a formation program (c. 1032) specified by the (arch)diocese into which they will be incardinated. Because of territorial considerations, candidates receive that training in the local diocese within which they reside and not from the AMS. Deacons are granted limited AMS faculties. Deacons are not granted the faculty to witness marriage in the AMS. They must receive specific written delegation for each occurrence from an AMS priest-chaplain who does possess the faculty at that installation, or from the AMS Chancellor. Deacons are not granted the faculty to preach in the AMS. This faculty will be granted upon written request to the Chancellor by the AMS priest-chaplain who has requested his services. Persons who have completed their 7th year of age, and who are being received into the Church either by Baptism or a Profession of Faith must also be confirmed and receive Holy Communion by the presbyter at the same ceremony (Canon 866, 882, 883, §2). For this reason, a deacon is not to baptize or receive into the Church anyone who has completed 7 years of age. In this regard, it is appropriate that a deacon who has prepared an adult for baptism or profession of faith presents the candidate to the priest-chaplain who formally receives the individual into full communion.

Chapter 5: Temporal Goods

5. Archdiocesan Support. The Archdiocese receives no financial support from any government agency. Support comes from the following sources:

5.1. Archdiocesan Support Fund (ASF): the offerings received four times a year from a special collection held at each military installation and VA Medical Center.

5.2. The “Palm Sunday Designated Offering”: sponsored by the respective Chiefs of Chaplains. Through this offering, the services contribute to the chaplain’s endorsing organization.

5.3. Appeal to Priests (ATP): the contributions from active and retired chaplains at least on an annual basis.

5.4. Combined Federal Campaign (CFC): the designation of the Archdiocese for the Military Services (CFC # 10046) as the recipient of payroll deductions or one-time gifts from members of the military and federal government employees.

NOTE: The CFC account number may change from time to time. This is outside the control of the AMS. Please check our website homepage for the correct and current CFC account number.

5.5. Gifts from the faithful: Catholic faithful must be given the opportunity to satisfy their obligation for stewardship. Through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, active duty military, retired, reserve and civilian DOD employees can establish a discretionary allotment to benefit AMS.

5.6. All Chaplains have an obligation to arrange for the financial support of the AMS (see para 1.6.6 on page 2).

Chapter 6: Sanctions

Apart from the delicts and sanctions stipulated in Book VI of the Code of Canon Law (1983), there are no particular delicts and sanctions promulgated by the Military Archbishop as of the date of publication of this Priests' Manual.

Chapter 7: Processes

7.1. Due Process: The chaplain is obliged to carry out the responsibilities which the Government and the Catholic Church attach to the chaplaincy. Failure to live up to these responsibilities will lead either to action by military authorities, or to canonical action by religious superiors, or to withdrawal of ecclesiastical endorsement by the AMS. All of this is done in accord with military law or canonical process. While the Archbishop has the grave obligation of safeguarding the spiritual welfare of our people, the chaplain should know that the Archbishop is also dedicated to assisting any priest in difficulty, and will try to provide the pastoral support needed.

7.2. Marriage Tribunal.

7.2.1. The AMS, through its Tribunal, has the canonical competence to judge concerning marriages of the following persons: Catholics now in service (or government employ overseas) who were married by a chaplain (either on one of our installations or elsewhere if they were a subject of the chaplain); Catholics now retired or separated from service, whose marriage took place on one of our installations or by one of our chaplains; Catholics who are not in military or diplomatic service but who were married to persons now on active duty or overseas government duty
(c. 1673, §2); Non-Catholic Christians who were married to persons now on active duty or in government service overseas (c. 1673, §2); Non-Catholic Christians whose marriage took place in military, diplomatic or VA facilities (c. 1673, §1); Catholics or non-Catholics who are now in military or diplomatic service but were not married in a military, diplomatic or VA facility, and whose former spouses are not subjects of the AMS - provided that the diocese where the former spouse lives contacts the spouse and gives its consent (c. 1673, §3); Catholics or non-Catholic Christians who are not subjects of the AMS but wish to marry a subject of the AMS - again, provided that the diocese where the former spouse resides contacts the spouse and gives consent.

7.2.2. The AMS Tribunal has the canonical competency to handle the following types of cases: Formal cases of nullity in marriages between two baptized persons (or one baptized and one unbaptized); Marriages presumed invalid due to presence of an undispensed impediment (usually a prior bond of marriage); Marriages invalid due to a lack of form or a defect in the canonical form of marriage; Marriages to be dissolved by Pauline Privilege; Marriages that may be dissolved by the Holy Father because of non-consummation or by Privilege of the Faith (marriages of a baptized and an unbaptized).

7.2.3. Tribunal Fees. The Marriage Tribunal asks that people who submit court cases would contribute toward the expense involved. This necessity of indicating that there are varying fees for various types of marriage cases is not always clearly understood or appreciated. Obviously, the granting of decisions is not "bought and paid for,” nor is the treatment of a case affected or delayed by lack of any contribution. People are asked to contribute according to their ability. The entire judicial process involves protracted work, trained lay staff, psychological experts, and extensive records and equipment — all of which add a considerable financial burden to the Archdiocese. Some chaplains assist in meeting this problem by providing funds to the Tribunal which are kept in escrow to be used for people whom the chaplain certifies as unable to assist with the cost, either totally or partially. Moreover, a request to satisfy a court fee in installments is readily acceptable.

Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, Priests’ Manual, 25 September 2008. Used with permission.