Ecclesial Term of the Day

Letters Dimissory

Clergy may transfer canonical residence from one diocesan jurisdiction to another by presentation of Letters Dimissory from the ecclesiastical authority of the former diocese to the ecclesiastical authority of the new diocese. It is a testimonial by the ecclesiastical authority of the former diocese (typically a bishop) that the clergyperson has not “been justly liable to evil report, for error in religion or for viciousness of life, for the last three years.” The transfer of canonical residence is dated from the acceptance of Letters Dimissory by the ecclesiastical authority. Letters Dimissory shall be presented if a member of the clergy has been called to a cure in another diocese and shall be accepted unless credible information is received concerning the character of the clergyperson that would call for a canonical inquiry and presentment.

Now, who can tell me why “letters” is plural? Because there are so many on the page?

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