301 – Regulations for Visiting Clergy

Last Updated: 10/30/2016

I. Purpose

When a cleric from outside of the Archdiocese seeks permission to engage in ministry within the Archdiocese, whether that ministry involves an official assignment or a single event such as a wedding or funeral, the following procedure applies. This is necessary to ensure compliance with Safe Environment requirements as well as to arrange for the necessary civil certifications, such as registering ordination credentials with the State of Minnesota.


II. Definitions

“Archbishop” means the sitting Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis (or the appointed Apostolic Administrator).

“Archdiocese” means that certain corporate entity formed, maintained and existing under Minnesota Section 315.16 with the Minnesota Business Name: “The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis”.

“Clergy” means any persons ordained – bishops, priests, and deacons – who administer the rites of the Catholic Church.

“Cleric” means a member of the Clergy.


III. Policy

The receiving parish, school, or institution should contact the Chancellor for Canonical Affairs with the name of the cleric, his home diocese, contact information, and information about the event or ministry which will bring him to the Archdiocese (dates, location, purpose). This information can be sent via email (chancellor@archspm.org) or telephone (651-291-4437).

When the cleric requests permission to minister for a single event or for a period of less than 21 days, a recent (dated within the last 6 months) Testimonial of Suitability (Letter of Good Standing) must be presented to the Office of the Chancellor for Canonical Affairs before permission is given or credentials are issued. It is the responsibility of the visiting cleric to request this letter from his diocese or religious order. Once the Testimonial is received, a letter of authorization will be issued by the Chancellor for Canonical Affairs. The parish, school, or institution will be copied on the letter to the visiting cleric informing him that permission has been granted. Without the letter of authorization, ministry is not permitted.

When a cleric intends to minister for a period of more than 21 days, the same procedure regarding the Testimonial will be followed. In addition, an Application for Faculties of an Extern Priest or Deacon must be submitted by the clerics Ordinary or religious superior.  The cleric must comply with the Archdiocesan Essential 3 safe environment requirements relating to background checks, safe environment training and the code of conduct.[1] The Chancellor for Canonical Affairs oversees this process and will provide notice in writing to the applying cleric and the applicable parish, school, or institution when the Essential 3 requirements have been completed. Until that written notification is made, the cleric must not engage in ministry in the Archdiocese after the initial 21-day period has expired.

To facilitate completing these requirements before the period of ministry is to begin, the Chancellor for Canonical Affairs should be notified as soon as possible but not less than one month prior to the date the cleric plans to commence ministry.

[1] See Settlement Agreement, section 5.1.i. dated December 12, 2015 between the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Ramsey County Attorney, Ramsey County District Court File No.: 62-JV-15-1674; County Attorney File No.: 2138749