Decree for the Protection and Confidentiality of Parish Registers

As decreed by Bishop Richard W. Smith.

In addition to the parish priest, only the following persons are to have access to the parish registers, and only to fulfill their tasks or functions: persons holding a pastoral mandate in the parish; persons holding a mandate from the Chancery Office for the signature of Acts and Certificates; persons working in the parish Secretary’s Office.

Under no circumstance, can access be given to the parish registers to any other person without prior authorization. No direct consultation is authorized, whether for historical, genealogical or any other research. Acts and Certificates of registers are solely given to persons affected by these documents. No information on the contents of the registers can be given by telephone or by any other similar means, without previous authorization from the Chancery Office. No photocopy, photograph or reproduction of the registers, by any method whatsoever, can be made.

The enforcement of this Decree is the responsibility of the parish priest, thus providing a safe place for the parish registers, and for controlling access to parish registers by authorized individuals only.

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