Are Catholics Registered with the Vatican?

I wasn’t sure where to put this. . .This may be a silly question but I’m going to ask anyway :o

Are all baptized/confirmed Catholics registered in Rome? Are our names sent there and recorded in a book? I know after the Rite of Election, our names are recorded in a book but maybe that’s just for the local Archdiocese?

No.
Mormons do that.

Yes. The names are recorded and your behavior is tracked. Misbehave enough and you get a ruler squad sent to your door late at night. No one expects the Sisters of the Long Ruler!:smiley:

I think the recording and keeping of names is decentralized down to the parish level. At least that fits with my experience.

Yes and Jack Chick cracked the codes on those super computers that the Vatican has, we must stop him, he has inside information!!! :smiley:

But in all seriousness no, I would assume that according to the number of baptisms there is some sort of census that occurs within each Diocese. As far as the book of the elect is concerned, I do know that this information goes to the Diocese.

I thought it was diocese level.

I want my name registered at the Vatican.:thumbsup:

It could be. My knowledge is great enough for me to state that the names aren’t all collected in Rome and that it is a decentralized system. At what level below Rome, I’m just guessing on my past experience with tracking down records for my family.

The most traditional and common answer is at the parish level. Anyone who has done any geneological research can confirm this, as well.

However, it is also the practice in some dioceses that confirmation records are kept duplicatively at the diocesan level, especially in those dioceses where the bishop is the exclusive minister of the sacrament.

All that said, the notion of a global database of sorts does have some merit, and could have applications useful to the Church beyond sacramental record keeping (statistical reference, etc). Who knows - we now have a Pope who uses Twitter, perhaps one day we’ll be part of a global Catholic directory. Catholic LinkedIn? Count me in! :thumbsup:

Psssst don’t tell him about the GPS in the Rosaries. :wink:

I think the recording and keeping of names is decentralized down to the parish level. At least that fits with my experience.

I think that the minimum required. After Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, many diocese in our part of the country started digitizing the Sacramental records and archiving them at the diocisan level for safekeeping. I expect diocese that have experienced lots of parish consolidations or splits might have done the same.

Sacramental records are kept at the parish level. Even the diocese doesn’t keep track of them. For instance, I’m getting married this summer in the diocese I was born in, and I had to obtain copies of my baptismal record from my childhood parish directly, to get the green light from the archdiocese to marry.

It is all kept at the parish level. The official point of your sacrament records is the parish of your baptism. When you receive another sacrament (confirmation, matrimony, or holy orders) that is sent to your parish of baptism and recorded there.
That way, if you ever request a new baptism record, it will be annotaed with all of your sacrament records and you do not have to request different records from different parishes.
At least that is the way it is supposed to work

Yes, and they likely required a newly issued one so it had all of the annotations.

As others have said, records are handled by individual Parishes. In the case of a Parish closing or being consolidated, the records would usually be moved to the next nearest Parish.

As far as I know, the Diocese only tracks numbers (total numbers of registered Catholics per Parish, and other demographic types of things).

This setup usually works well, but it has its challenges. I recently had a heck of a time (as an RCIA coordinator) trying to help somebody get their Baptismal record from a small Parish in Bolivia. She was Baptized as an infant, but had not continued in the faith. Decades later she went through the RCIA program and was prepared for Confirmation and First Eucharist, but was unable to produce the Baptismal certificate.

We ended up having to get a signed affidavit from her mother certifying that she had witnessed her daughter’s Baptism, with the details thereof, and they all had to certify that she had received none of the other Sacraments. With that, the Diocese allowed her to move forward and receive.

So decentralized record-keeping is usually very logical and efficient for an organization as big as the Catholic Church, but it is prone to these kinds of occasional difficulties ;). Believe me, there is no central database at even the Diocese level, at least not at any that I’ve dealt with. There’s certainly no central database at the Vatican!

Google the term “sacramental record keeping”, and you will have at your fingertips the record keeping guidelines of several major U.S. dioceses / archdioceses.

Correct…all at the local parish you belong to. We have two Catholic churches in the town where I live and I was baptized at St Mary’s, but I go to St. Johns. I sponsored someone for RCIA years ago and I recall them having to contact St. Mary’s to get my records to confirm that I was indeed able to sponsor someone.

But it is true that we all have guns hidden in our homes and we are waiting on the pope to give us the secret signal. :smiley:

Primary records are kept in the parish where the person was baptized.

Many dioceses now make duplicates of parish originals to safeguard them in case the parish set should become lost (due to fire, natural disaster, theft, etc).

I lol’d

To my great dismay, when I took over as parish bookkeeper, tracking even at the parish level can be entirely inadequate.

I mean, they hadn’t bothered to put my family in the system; even though I had been the music director for three years. There were countless “RIP” people. I’m not kidding.

The readings Sunday compare the Good Shepherd to the inept “hired hand”; it fails to mention the not-so-well-meaning volunteer.

No. I’m quite sure the Vatican has no clue that I even remotely exist. I mean, the Archdiocese seemed completely unaware that there was even a Mission Church in our little count-for-nothing town. It’s taken me many years of repeated calls to have us listed in any of the directories or on the website.

As a database designer, I couldn’t even fathom the requirement to track a billion names across the globe over countless lifetimes. What would your primary key be? Here in the US, we used to use SSN until that became a security issue, some systems still do however.

I couldn’t imagine.

Could we use a UUID? :slight_smile:

What are you talking about? It’s a simple, consecutive system. Mary was number 00000000001; Joseph 00000000002; Elizabeth 00000000003; John the Baptist 00000000004; Andrew 00000000005; Simon 00000000006; and so on. There are rooms full of clerks at the Vatican tracking this stuff (by hand, still; sigh).

I’m Christian number 27,238,582,697.

It’s based on Biblical practice: “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: When thou shalt take the sum of the children of Israel according to their number.” Exodus 30:11-12.

This is how we know when the final trump will sound: when we get to Christian number 99,999,999,999, we’ll have run out of numbers. There aren’t any leading zeros left.

(Disclosure to the literalists reading this: That’s all just a joke. :D)

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.