306 – Pagella – Faculties for Priests

ARCHDIOCESE OF SAINT PAUL AND MINNEAPOLIS
CLERGY BULLETIN
May 26, 2011
Pagella of Faculties, Revised

FACULTIES FOR PRIESTS

With due regard being given for the diversity of Orders, the faculties of priests are to be interpreted in the light of the general and specific norms given in the Code of Canon Law and the particular law of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

The provisions of the Code of Canon Law state that priests ‘share in the priesthood of Christ and, as his ministers under the authority of the Bishop, are consecrated to celebrate divine worship and sanctify the people’ (canon 835, §2). The Code also reminds us that ‘Liturgical actions are not private but are celebrations of the Church itself as the ‘sacrament of unity’, that is, the holy people united and ordered under the Bishops’ (canon 837, §1).

Moreover, ‘since clerics all work for the same purpose, namely, the building up of the Body of Christ, they are to be united among themselves by a bond of brotherhood and prayer and are to strive for cooperation among themselves according to the prescripts of particular law’ (canon 275).

It is my hope that the following faculties will assist priests in fulfilling their sacred ministry, in union with their Archbishop and all the bishops, as well as the deacons, consecrated men and women, and lay faithful of this Archdiocese.

Given at Saint Paul, Minnesota, this 26TH day of May in the year of Our Lord 2011. All things to the contrary notwithstanding.

The Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt

Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Jennifer Haselberger

Chancellor for Canonical Affairs


Faculties of All Priests

  • A priest receives these faculties from the Archbishop or his delegate by letter.
  • A priest may carry out all the roles and liturgical rites which the approved ritual books assign him at the parish, church, or chapel to which he is assigned. A priest must obtain the permission of the pastor, chaplain, etc., when carrying out liturgical rites outside the parish, church, or chapel of his assignment. The liturgical rites are to be carried out in accord with the appropriate liturgical norms and canons of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • A priest incardinated into the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, or who is entrusted with pastoral responsibilities in the Archdiocese by the Archbishop, may hear confessions habitually and give absolution (canon 966, §2). A priest who is a member of a religious order and who is in residence in this Archdiocese may exercise his habitual faculty with at least the presumed permission of his religious superior (canon 967, §2). Other priests who wish to exercise this faculty in the territory of the Archdiocese should request permission to do so following the procedures for visiting clergy.
  • Priests who have been given these faculties may absolve from the censures reserved to the Ordinary by law found in canon 1398 and canon 1364, §1i. This includes the power to absolve, for the first time only, a person who has incurred the censure for procuring an abortion. When exercising this faculty, the penitent is to be instructed that an excommunication is incurred when an abortion is knowingly and freely procured. For all subsequent abortions, special permission from the Archbishop is needed to absolve from the censure with due regard for the provisions of canon 976ii and canon 1357, 3iii.
  • Priests are reminded that the proper place for hearing sacramental confessions is a church or oratory (canon 964, §1). Priests are also reminded of the complementary legislation for canon 964, §2, which states:

Provision must be made in each church or oratory for a sufficient number of places for sacramental confessions which are clearly visible, truly accessible, and which provide a fixed grille between the penitent and the confessor. Provision should also be made for penitents who wish to confess face-to-face, with due regard for the Authentic Interpretation of canon 964§2 by the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, 7 July 1998.

  • Priests are dispensed from the obligation to pray the Liturgy of the Hours whenever one attends the funeral of a bishop, priest, or deacon
  • General delegation is given to each and every priest incardinated into the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, or who is entrusted with pastoral responsibilities in the Archdiocese by the Archbishop, to assist at marriages within the confines of the Archdiocese when at least one of the parties is of the Latin rite (canon 1109). The faculty is also given to subdelegate a specific priest or deacon for a specific marriage (canon 1111 ). Permission of the proper pastor should be obtained for marriages outside the parish or institution to which the priest is assigned. Priests are also reminded that credentials of ordination need to be filed with a county in Minnesota prior to witnessing a marriage. This is generally done by the Chancery at the time that a priest receives the grant of faculties.

Faculties of Priests Assigned to a Parish

In addition to what is listed above, priests assigned to a parish have the following faculties:

  • For a just cause, priests assigned to parish ministry may celebrate Mass twice on a weekday. If pastoral need requires it, priests assigned to parish ministry may celebrate Mass three times on Sundays and other holy days of obligation (canon 905, §2, and Clergy Bulletin Volume XI. No. 5, Revised)
  • Priests assigned to a parish may baptize a person over fourteen years of age, without reference to the Archbishop (canon 863). The sacrament of Confirmation should be conferred immediately following baptism.
  • Priests assigned to parishes are delegated to appoint, without reference to the Archbishop, suitable persons from their own parishes to serve as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Individuals selected for this ministry are to complete a program of formation prior to being commissioned according to the Rite of Commissioning Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (Book of Blessings, chapter 63).
  • Priests assigned to a parish have my delegation to confirm Catholics aged eighteen or older who have been in the RCIA program at their parish. This faculty may be used only if the Catholic seeking Confirmation is properly disposed, not bound by any canonical impediments, and has had an extensive course of preparation through RCIA or another approved program. Such Catholics are encouraged to be confirmed at a ceremony distinct from the Easter Vigil (Clergy Bulletin Volume XV, Number l, Revised).
  • Priests assigned to a parish have my delegation to confirm Catholics preparing for marriage or the validation of a civil ceremony, provided that the instruction is properly and fully completed and the sacrament of Confirmation is administered prior to the wedding taking place (Clergy Bulletin Volume XV, Number l, Revised).
  • Priests assigned to a parish may permit children to be given ecclesiastical funerals if their parents intended to baptize them but they died before their baptism (canon 1183, §2).
  • Priests assigned to a parish are delegated to grant permission for a funeral liturgy to be celebrated in the presence of cremated remains. Prior to giving this permission, the priest must consider the reasons for the request and receive the necessary assurance that the cremated remains will be handled with reverence and will be buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium.
  • The faculties and delegation given to priests assigned to a parish may be exercised by parochial vicars and assistant priests, within the parish to which they are assigned, with at least the presumed consent of the pastor.

Faculties of Priests Assigned to Other Communities of the Faithful

The following faculties are also extended to priests assigned as chaplains to canonically established communities of the faithful:

  • To baptize a person over fourteen years of age, without reference to the Archbishop (canon 863). The sacrament of confirmation should be conferred immediately following baptism.
  • The faculty to appoint, without reference to the Archbishop, suitable persons from their own communities to serve as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Individuals selected for this ministry are to complete a program of formation prior to being commissioned according to the Rite of Commissioning Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (Book of Blessings, chapter 63).
  • Delegation to confirm Catholics aged eighteen or older who have been in the RCIA program in that community. This faculty may be used only if the Catholic seeking Confirmation is properly disposed, not bound by any canonical impediments, and has had an extensive course of preparation through RCIA or another approved program. Such Catholics are encouraged to be confirmed at a ceremony distinct from the Easter Vigil (Clergy Bulletin Volume XV, Number I, Revised).
  • Delegation to confirm Catholics preparing for marriage or the validation of a civil ceremony, provided that the instruction is properly and fully completed and the sacrament of Confirmation is administered prior to the wedding taking place (Clergy Bulletin Volume XV, Number I, Revised).
  • To permit children to be given ecclesiastical funerals if their parents intended to baptize them but they died before their baptism (canon 1183, §2).
  • To grant permission for a funeral liturgy to be celebrated in the presence of cremated remains. Prior to giving this permission, the priest must consider the reasons for the request and receive the necessary assurance that the cremated remains will be handled with reverence and will be buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium.

Faculties of Priests Appointed as Deans

In addition to what is listed above, priests appointed as Deans have the following faculty, which endures for only so long as the priest serves as a Dean:

  • Deans are delegated for the installation of pastors in the deanery which they represent (canon 527, §2).

Loss or Expiration of Faculties

Faculties delegated herein to priests incardinated into the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis are valid until revoked or restricted by law or precept.

Faculties delegated to priests incardinated into some other particular church or religious institute who are entrusted with pastoral responsibilities in the Archdiocese by the Archbishop are valid as long as these maintain legitimate residence and ministry within the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, or until revoked or restricted by law or precept. Legitimate ministry is some external apostolate subject to the authority of the Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, or at least known to and approved by him.

All other general clerical faculties granted by the Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis or his predecessors, except those contained in this  Pagella or in universal law, or given personally or by virtue of an office in which the delegate continues, are hereby revoked.


i Can. 1398 A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication. Can. 1364 §1. Without prejudice to the prescript of can. 194, §1 , n. 2, an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication; in addition, a cleric can be punished with the penalties mentioned in can. 1336, §1, nn. 1, 2, and 3.

ii Can. 976 Even though a priest lacks the faculty to hear confessions, he absolves validly and licitly any penitents whatsoever in danger of death from any censures and sins, even if an approved priest is present.

iii Can. 1357 §I. Without prejudice to the prescripts of can. 508 and 976, a confessor can remit in the internal sacramental forum an undeclared latae sententiae censure of excommunication or interdict if it is burdensome for the penitent to remain in the state of grave sin during the time necessary for the competent superior to make provision.
§2. In granting the remission, the confessor is to impose on the penitent, under the penalty of reincidence, the obligation of making recourse within a month to the competent superior or to a priest endowed with the faculty and the obligation of obeying his mandates; in the meantime he is to impose a suitable penance and, insofar as it is demanded, reparation of any scandal and damage; however, recourse can also be made through the confessor, without mention of the name.
§3. After they have recovered, those for whom an imposed or declared censure or one reserved to the Apostolic See has been remitted according to the norm of can. 976 are also obliged to make recourse.