The Churches records?


#1

Does our Church keep on file EVERY record of baptisms, first Communions, Confirmations, Marriages, Holy Orders, etc.? If a man was once married in a Catholic Church across the country but then moved to another place would it be possible for him to decieve the Church and a woman by marrying into the Church once again? In fact is it possible for him to have been married in a Protestant Church or any other place but then secretly desire to marry a woman in the Church? Would not a marriage license from the state and a marriage record from the Church or any other place be shown if he was once married?


#2

Of course the Church does keep a record. You can not be married again in the Church unless the first marriage is annulled. The Church also has to check with the civil records to see if you are married outside the Church. It is also a grave sin to commit polygamy and conceal your current other marriage.


#3

[quote=J.W.B.]Does our Church keep on file EVERY record of baptisms, first Communions, Confirmations, Marriages, Holy Orders, etc.? If a man was once married in a Catholic Church across the country but then moved to another place would it be possible for him to decieve the Church and a woman by marrying into the Church once again? In fact is it possible for him to have been married in a Protestant Church or any other place but then secretly desire to marry a woman in the Church? Would not a marriage license from the state and a marriage record from the Church or any other place be shown if he was once married?
[/quote]

I think the church must rely on the honesty of the people. It can hardly poll all of the parishes in the country when someone seeks marriage to see if they have been married before. Heck, all you’d have to do is change your name … but you do have to provide at least a baptismal certificate - under normal circumstances. Fire and angry parents can kill that too. I have heard of cases where a person knew they had been baptized but their mother refused to say where so they could not prove it. Love you too, mom!


#4

[quote=J.W.B.] Does our Church keep on file EVERY record of baptisms, first Communions, Confirmations, Marriages, Holy Orders, etc.?
[/quote]

Yes, it does. Your records are kept at your church of record-- the place you were baptized.

[quote=J.W.B.] If a man was once married in a Catholic Church across the country but then moved to another place would it be possible for him to decieve the Church and a woman by marrying into the Church once again?
[/quote]

Anything is possible, if the person were bent on deception and found someone to collude with them, but this is unlikely. The marriage is recorded with the baptismal certificate.

In fact is it possible for him to have been married in a Protestant Church or any other place but then secretly desire to marry a woman in the Church? Would not a marriage license from the state and a marriage record from the Church or any other place be shown if he was once married?

Yes, this is definitely possible. The Catholic Church does not have records from other denominations or civil authorities. There is no central database of marriage records shared between states. I would think it would be easy to conceal a marriage outside the church.


#5

This is interesting thread. My Younger brother who is 19 was baptized in the Latin Rite Church but not as a infant. It was sometime around age 10 or so. He left the Church as teenager and now think’s he’d like to come back. The trouble is he cannot remember whether he went through confirmation or not. What should he do?


#6

[quote=1ke]Yes, it does. Your records are kept at your church of record-- the place you were baptized.

Anything is possible, if the person were bent on deception and found someone to collude with them, but this is unlikely. The marriage is recorded with the baptismal certificate.

[/quote]

In fact is it possible for him to have been married in a Protestant Church or any other place but then secretly desire to marry a woman in the Church? Would not a marriage license from the state and a marriage record from the Church or any other place be shown if he was once married?

Yes, this is definitely possible. The Catholic Church does not have records from other denominations or civil authorities. There is no central database of marriage records shared between states. I would think it would be easy to conceal a marriage outside the church.

But Roman Army said that the Church has to check the civil authorities, is that so? Also, you cannot get married in a Church UNLESS you first get a civil license to give to your Church right? So in that way when the Church checks with the civil authorities (providing he doesn’t change his name) they can see if one was once married.

If you are married in NY state you cannot get a second marriage license unless your divorced and then the Church will see that anyways right? But is it possible to get a marriage license in NY, but then go to another state and get another marriage license without being divorced?


#7

[quote=philipmarus]This is interesting thread. My Younger brother who is 19 was baptized in the Latin Rite Church but not as a infant. It was sometime around age 10 or so. He left the Church as teenager and now think’s he’d like to come back. The trouble is he cannot remember whether he went through confirmation or not. What should he do?
[/quote]

He must contact his baptismal parish and get a new baptismal certificate which will show all sacraments received. When a person is confirmed, married, ordained, or professes religious vows that information is reported to the baptismal parish and entered on the permanent record. Periodically all parish records are sent to the diocese for microfilming so the diocese has archival sacramental records. This is covered in canon law, and the particular law of each diocese. The pastor is directly responsible for recording sacramental information. If a baptized Christian enters into full communion with the Catholic Church through profession of faith, confirmation and first communion, that data is recorded in the parish baptismal record, along with the information about the date and place of his baptism, and marriage if any. The baptismal record may not be changed, but facts such as legal name change, adoption etc. may be entered and the court documents appended to the record (with a notation of what information is to be placed on a new copy of the baptismal certificate). Annulments are entered, also dispensations if required for marriage in that section as well.

The person must present a new, recent baptismal certificate showing all sacraments received if he is being confirmed, married or ordained outside his baptismal parish where he is known.


#8

Sometimes the record keeping system gets jammed. In my case I was baptised prior to being adopted at around 2 months of age. I had a baptism certificate with a name that is not the one I assumed after being baptised. Many years later my baptism certificate went awol and the church that did the baptism (according to the original certificate) does not have a record of it. I went to catholic child services in attempt to get a copy through their system but so far have had no response. For whatever reasons or of the particular situation at the time it appears that the baptism may not have been recorded or that it might be prejudicial to the privacy of persons associated with my birthing process.


#9

[quote=philipbenedict]Sometimes the record keeping system gets jammed. In my case I was baptised prior to being adopted at around 2 months of age. I had a baptism certificate with a name that is not the one I assumed after being baptised. Many years later my baptism certificate went awol and the church that did the baptism (according to the original certificate) does not have a record of it. I went to catholic child services in attempt to get a copy through their system but so far have had no response. For whatever reasons or of the particular situation at the time it appears that the baptism may not have been recorded or that it might be prejudicial to the privacy of persons associated with my birthing process.
[/quote]

it was the responsibility of your adoptive parents to first obtain a new civil birth certificate, then take it to your baptismal parish to record the facts of the adoption, and name change, with your baptismal parish, and to obtain a new baptismal certificate in your new name, which would not show the name of the birth parents. If they did that, then the original record is not changed - under canon law it cannot be altered or changed - but the info on the adoption is added, with a copy of the court records and new name appended to the record, with a notation that a new baptismal certificate will show only the adoption name and parents, with the date of the original baptism. If they did not do that, your baptismal parish will have the record only under the birth name. It was the responsibility of the person who baptized you to see that the original information was entered, and if there were privacy considerations with a notation on who that information should be released to. As a matter of form, baptismal records are only released to the individual or the parents, not to any third party, except another Catholic church upon your request. No third party can ask for a copy of your baptismal certificate.

Try requesting in writing from the office of the bishop of the diocese where you were baptized, giving both your birth name and new name, parents names (both if you know them) approximate date and the baptismal parish. Request the archivist of the diocese to look it up and obtain a copy for you.

sometimes parishes do not maintain a good finding aid to locate the records, which is the pastor’s fault.

by the way, your baptismal certificate should be safeguarded with the same care you give to your birth certificae, SS card and passport, for the same reasons.


#10

[quote=puzzleannie]He must contact his baptismal parish and get a new baptismal certificate which will show all sacraments received. When a person is confirmed, married, ordained, or professes religious vows that information is reported to the baptismal parish and entered on the permanent record. Periodically all parish records are sent to the diocese for microfilming so the diocese has archival sacramental records. This is covered in canon law, and the particular law of each diocese. The pastor is directly responsible for recording sacramental information. If a baptized Christian enters into full communion with the Catholic Church through profession of faith, confirmation and first communion, that data is recorded in the parish baptismal record, along with the information about the date and place of his baptism, and marriage if any. The baptismal record may not be changed, but facts such as legal name change, adoption etc. may be entered and the court documents appended to the record (with a notation of what information is to be placed on a new copy of the baptismal certificate). Annulments are entered, also dispensations if required for marriage in that section as well.

The person must present a new, recent baptismal certificate showing all sacraments received if he is being confirmed, married or ordained outside his baptismal parish where he is known.
[/quote]

This does not sound right. I was baptized in one church and confirmed in another church.
Now I recently needed to obtain my baptismal certificate, so I had to go to my baptismal church. They did a search of their log books and found the record of my baptism and wrote a baptismal certificate.
The point is, that that certificate does NOT show a record of my confirmation.
You speak as if there is a record on file that is indexed by my name and contains all the sacraments that I’ve recieved. I can tell you that is NOT the case. The record is indexed by DATE and consists of entries in a log book. In order to find my baptism, they satarted searching the book from the date of my birth forward.


#11

I have to ask you here, Why safeguard any of these records? They are all on file with thier respective authorities and are replaceable.
In the case of a baptismal certificate, I needed one recently for an anullment and they said I could not give them any copy I already had anyways, I had to give them a “fresh” certifiied copy that was no more than 6 months old.
So in particular, why keep your baptismal certificate? I expect that when I go to get married in the Church, they will want a fresh one then too.


#12

When you meet with the priest, you sign a form that says you are free to marry.

The Church does not “check with” the state.

Yes, you must have a civil license to get married in the Church. The state license procedure varies from state to state, but I know of no check that is done to see if the person is married in that state or another. In my state, the license application merely asks you to answer Yes/No questions about prior marriages, current marital state, etc.

It’s the honor system.

So, yes, you could go get a license in State A and then another in State B and probably within State A also if they do not do a check.


#13

[quote=philipmarus]This is interesting thread. My Younger brother who is 19 was baptized in the Latin Rite Church but not as a infant. It was sometime around age 10 or so. He left the Church as teenager and now think’s he’d like to come back. The trouble is he cannot remember whether he went through confirmation or not. What should he do?
[/quote]

Contact the church where he was baptized. If he was confirmed in that church or any other, then it will be noted with his baptismal certificate. If he were confirmed in another church, they would send the record to the church that maintains his baptismal record.


#14

[quote=scm]This does not sound right. I was baptized in one church and confirmed in another church.
Now I recently needed to obtain my baptismal certificate, so I had to go to my baptismal church. They did a search of their log books and found the record of my baptism and wrote a baptismal certificate.
The point is, that that certificate does NOT show a record of my confirmation.
You speak as if there is a record on file that is indexed by my name and contains all the sacraments that I’ve recieved. I can tell you that is NOT the case. The record is indexed by DATE and consists of entries in a log book. In order to find my baptism, they satarted searching the book from the date of my birth forward.
[/quote]

It should show a record of your Confirmation. You have one church of record, your baptismal church. All records from other churches are forwarded to that church.


#15

[quote=1ke]It should show a record of your Confirmation. You have one church of record, your baptismal church. All records from other churches are forwarded to that church.
[/quote]

It does not show it.
Perhaps because I only asked for a baptismal certificate. But everyone here seems to think it will contain the confirmation record too, and I can say mine certainly did not have it.


#16

[quote=1ke]It should show a record of your Confirmation. You have one church of record, your baptismal church. All records from other churches are forwarded to that church.
[/quote]

Not necessarily true. Recently, I needed record of my baptism, confirmation, & marriage. All three were at different churches. The church where I was baptized said that if I obtained for them certificates from the other two churches, they would enter the sacraments on my record there, but they were dependent on me getting the info for them. My marriage and baptism were relatively easy. I thought my confirmation however would be at the church I now attend. There was no record. Then I remembered that I was actually confirmed at a nearby church (both parishes together) and to my surprise, my record was there. I would have thought that even if I was confirmed in a different building, my record would have been with the parish where my family was registered. Not so.

Patrick


#17

[quote=scm]It does not show it.
Perhaps because I only asked for a baptismal certificate. But everyone here seems to think it will contain the confirmation record too, and I can say mine certainly did not have it.
[/quote]

You should check with the parish. When I needed my Baptism certificate (with all the other Sacraments noted) before my wedding, the priest told me to ask very specifically for those notations. I was amazed that they were all there since I am an Army brat and we moved a lot. This is not to say that mistakes don’t happen but it is quite possible that you just received a copy of the Baptisimal certificate and not the complete record.


#18

When you are confirmed or married it is the obligation of the parish where these sacraments take place to provide that information to the parish of your baptism. If your confirmation does not appear on your baptismal record it was a failure on the part of the parish where that confirmation took place.


#19

[quote=Patrick2340]When you are confirmed or married it is the obligation of the parish where these sacraments take place to provide that information to the parish of your baptism. If your confirmation does not appear on your baptismal record it was a failure on the part of the parish where that confirmation took place.
[/quote]

We must be talking about two different things here. I got a baptismal certificate. There is not even a spot on that certificate where you can put a record of other sacraments.


#20

With thanks to puzzleannie and some of the other posters I was able to obtain the elusive baptismal certificate. Went to the parish where I received my first communion and from their records obtained a baptism date that was different from what was being used in the record searches. Then went back to the parish of baptism and they were able to find me. The date of baptism between the two parishes are different but that is most likely due to the adoption process. My parents said that at the time a lawyer handled all the name changing stuff for both church and government related needs (the parties were completely insulated from each other). The reverse side of the baptism certificate does have slots for the remaining six church sacraments.:slight_smile:


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