CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION, ACCESS TO SACRAMENTAL RECORDS
Sacramental records are of a mixed nature of personal and public information. They are private in
that they were created in circumstances presumed to be private and confidential. They are public
in that they will stand in civil law as valid and authentic evidence when an appropriate civil record
does not exist. However, they are not open to immediate examination and inspection by anyone
for whatever reason.
CERTIFICATES CERTIFYING THE RECEPTION OF SACRAMENTS
All persons have the right to be furnished with an authenticated certificate of their own sacramental
records. These records, however, are not only of value to the persons named in the registers.
Research, whether historical, genealogical, sociological, demographic, etc., is also a valid reason
for permitting access to these records, provided that rules of access protect the legitimate right of
privacy of persons named in the registers. It is the responsibility of the Bishop of the Diocese of
Cheyenne, acting in and through the pastors, the equivalent in canon law, parish secretaries or
other responsible persons of the various parishes, to supervise how these records are used, by
whom and for what purposes.
No information from sacramental records is to be provided over the phone or by other electronic
means. The same restrictions of access apply to copies as to original records.
Any member of the Christian faithful has a right to obtain a certificate of a sacrament he or she
has received, and which was recorded in a sacramental register. Only that person, the parents of a
minor, one with legal guardianship of another, a pastoral minister at another Catholic parish, or a
diocesan official has this right. If the person is deceased, a descendant may also request the record.
Once an adoption has been completed, only the adoptive parents have a right to the child’s
certificate until the child reaches the age of majority.
PROCEDURES FOR ACCESS TO SACRAMENTAL RECORDS
1. A person requesting his or her own sacramental record or certificate may:
a. make the request in person by providing the pastor, or his equivalent in canon law a signed
sacramental certificate request form (see Appendix C-please click here for the form) along with proof of identity (photo
ID) if the person is unknown to the pastor or authorized delegate.
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b. make the request in writing by mail, fax or e-mail using the sacramental request form and
a copy of proof of identity (photo ID)
c. email it to [email protected] with heading "Sacramental Certificate Request"
2. A person requesting a family member’s sacramental record or certificate (e.g., the parent of a
minor child requesting that child’s sacramental information or an adult child of an infirm or
deceased parent), if unknown to the pastor his equivalent in canon law, must provide proof of
guardianship, power of attorney or executor status along with the signed record request, following
procedures described above.
3. Requests for sacramental records made by government or corporate agencies (e.g., Social
Security Administration, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, insurance companies, etc.)
should be accompanied by a release form or power of attorney signed by the person whose
record is requested (or signed by a legally qualified guardian of that person) authorizing the
release of the information to the agency.
4. Subpoenas and other court orders demanding that sacramental records be submitted should be
accepted, but no records are to be released before consulting with legal counsel.
5. Certificates issued directly to a parish or other church authority for canonical purposes (e.g., for
inclusion in a Prenuptial File or in a Tribunal proceeding) should be clearly marked, preferably
with a red ink stamp, "For Canonical Purposes Only.”