POLICIES AND STATUTES OF THE DIOCESE OF RATNAPURA


INTRODUCTION

The Mission of the Catholic Community of the Diocese of Ratnapura/Province of Sabaragamuwa is none other than the Mission of Jesus Christ Himself. As a Diocese, we are called upon to bear witness to the same Mission of Christ. It is the duty of the Presbyteral family to facilitate the participation of the Local Community of the Diocese in this Mission, and to shepherd it to a sense of pastoral order and discipline. It is for this purpose that these policies/statutes are proposed and implemented in the Diocese.

These policies/statutes have been formulated by a Policy-making/Statute-making committee of priests, chaired by the Bishop. They have studied the pastoral issues, peculiar to our Diocese, which is totally missionary, and have formulated the following policies/statutes as guidelines to help our clergy and people in their pastoral and spiritual lives. All matters which fall within the parameters of these policies/statutes are handled by the Parish Priests. Any matters which are not covered by these policies/statutes are referred to the Bishop for advice and guidance.

The following policies/statutes have been formulated and discussed by the relevant committee. They were further discussed by the Diocesan Prebyterium and were approved by it, subject to certain amendments, at its meeting held on the 10th October 2013, presided over by the Bishop.

The section on "Varia" is a later addition which was discussed and approved by the Diocesan Prebyterium at its meeting, held on the 10th March 2014, presided over by the Bishop.

These policies/statutes come into effect in the Diocese of Ratnapura from the date they are promulgated by the Bishop.

1. DIOCESAN CURIA

The Curia is established according to the canons 469-474. Accordingly the Diocesan Curia is composed of those institutes and persons who assist the Bishop in governing the entire diocese, especially in direct pastoral action, in providing for the administration of the diocese and in exercising judicial power. The appointment of those who fulfil an office in the diocesan curia belongs to the diocesan Bishop. All who are admitted to an office in the curia must promise to fulfil their office faithfully and observe secrecy within the limits and according to the manner determined by law or by the Bishop (Canons 470-471). Bishop presides at the Diocesan Curia meetings. The Ex-Officio members are as follows:

  1. The Vicar General (Canons 473-475, 477-481)
  2. The Episcopal Vicar (Canons 473, 476-481)
  3. Chancellor (Canons. 482-491)
  4. Procurator General (Canons. 492-494)
  5. Judicial Vicar (Canons. 475-481)

The duration of the term of office of the Vicar General, the Episcopal Vicar, the Chancellor, the Procurator General and the Judicial Vicar is five years and are subjected to extension or termination. The Ordinary of the diocese, according to canon 481, can terminate the term of office of the above-mentioned Ex-Officio curia members before the above-mentioned time for grave reasons.

2. STRUCTURES OF COLLABORATION

  1. Diocesan Synod
  2. Council of Priests (Senate of Priests)
  3. College of consulters
  4. Diocesan Pastoral Council
  5. Diocesan Finance Committee

2.1. DIOCESAN SYNOD

The diocesan synod is summoned by the Ordinary of the Diocese at least once in ten years. The diocesan synod is governed by the canons 460-468.

2.2. COUNCIL OF PRIESTS (PRESBYTERAL COUNCIL/SENATE OF PRIESTS)

The Council of Priests is established from the Diocesan Presbyterium. The role of the Council of Priests is to assist the Bishop in the governance of the Diocese so that the pastoral welfare of the people of God, entrusted to the Bishop may be most effectively promoted (Canons 495-501). The total number of the Council of Priests is twenty (20). Ten (10) of them, that is, half of the Council of Priests, are elected by the Presbyterium and the others are Ex-Officio members and five, appointed by the Bishop. The Composition of the Council of Priests:

2.2.1. Ex-Officio Members

  1. Vicar General
  2. Episcopal Vicar/s (if any)
  3. Procurator General
  4. Chancellor
  5. Judicial Vicar

2.2.2. Five members, appointed by the Bishop

2.2.3. Ten priests elected by the Presbyterium through a confidential

2.2.4. Method of election

  • Bishop will circulate ballot papers to priests listing those who are eligible to be elected as members of the Council of Priests.
  • Ballot papers have to be returned by registered post before a stipulated date without being signed.
  • The priests are requested to vote for ten names of their choice.
  • Ballot papers have to be scrutinized by the Bishop together with two Tellers elected by the presbyterium. Tellers have to take an oath, placing their right hand on the Bible, pledging themselves to confidentiality.

2.2.5 Priests who can be elected as members of the Council of Priests

  • Since the Ex-Officio members are already part of the Council of Priests by virtue of their office, they do not come under the list of names for election for the Council of Priests.
  • All secular priests, incardinated into the diocese, living in Sri Lanka.
  • Priests who are living in the Diocese and exercise some useful ministry even if they are secular priests who are not incardinated to the Diocese or priest- members of Religious Institutes.

2.2.6 Priests who can vote

  • All secular priests, incardinated to the Diocese, living in Sri Lanka
  • Priests who are living in the Diocese and exercise some useful ministry even if they are secular priests who are not incardinated to the diocese or priest- members of Religious Institutes.

2.3 COLLEGE OF CONSULTERS /BISHOP'S COUNCIL)

From among the members of the Council of Priests, the Diocesan Bishop freely appoints not fewer than six and not more than twelve priests, whose term is for a period of five years until the new members are appointed by the Bishop (canon 502).

2.4 DIOCESAN PASTORAL COUNCIL

The diocesan Pastoral Council is constituted in accordance with Canons 511- 514.

2.5. DIOCESAN FINANCE COMMITTEE

The Diocesan Finance Committee is constituted in accordance with Canons 492 - 494.

3. PARISH ADMINISTRATION

The parish structures which assist the parish priests in the pastoral administration of their respective parishes are as follows: where there is more than one Church the Parish Priests are to have two separate structures, namely, Parish Pastoral Council (PPC), representing the total parish as a whole, and Church Working Committees (CPC) for each of their respective Churches. (Main church and substation churches)

3.1. Parish Pastoral Council (PPC)

Every parish is obliged to have a Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) with the Parish Priest as the Ex-officio President and the Assistant Parish Priest/s as the Ex-officio Vice President/s. In a parish where there is no assistant parish priest, a lay person is elected as the Vice President. The rest of the composition of the PPC is as follows:

  1. Members, representing the Religious or Apostolic Institutes within the parish boundaries

  2. Lay leaders of the main Church: e.g. zonal leader
  3. Two from each Substation community
  4. One from each parish lay association
  5. Three members, appointed by the Parish Priest

The office-bearers are appointed or elected for a three-year period, and can be re-appointed or re-elected for a further period of three years. No office bearer can hold the same office more than twice successively. This rule does not apply to the Parish Priests and Assistant Parish Priests, who function as Ex-officio Presidents and Vice-presidents respectively. The PPC meets at least three times a year (for further information please refer to the Parish Pastoral Council hand book, printed in vernaculars).The PPC functions on an advisory capacity.

3.2. Church Working Committees (CWC)

The composition of Church Working Committees is done at the discretion of the Parish Priest. The Parish Priest or the Assistant Parish Priest, delegated by the Parish Priest, presides over the meetings. The main Church and other substations have their own CWC. The scope of these Committees is to discuss and decide on the matters, pertaining to their respective Churches or communities. They may meet whenever the need arises. They will have their own office bearers. The CWC functions on an advisor

4. APPOINTMENTS AND TRANSFERS

4.1. The Bishop consults the priest, concerned before the transfers or appointments are made. Once such transfers are finalised they should be notified to the priests in writing in order that they may become effective.

All priests should with a sense of obedience and zeal accept such transfers and appointments. Transfers should be effective systematically and without delay to ensure smoothness and effectivity.

The process should start at least three months prior to the date on which the transfers take effect, both the presbyterium and the faithful ought to be informed of such transfers one month ahead of the date of their effectivity.

4.2 When the priests go on transfer they should hand over to their successor all accounts of the parish or institution, completed parish registers, inventory book and any other important documents. This handing over should be done in the presence of the Dean or the Vicar General or the Procurator General or the Chancellor or a delegate of the Bishop on a day convenient to all the parties concerned. The outgoing office- holders are required to assist their successors with a sense of genuine concern for the well-being of the diocese, the parish, the institution and its pastoral needs.

The successor should give due consideration to the continuity of the work, carried out by his predecessor for a considerable period of time for the good of the parish. The incoming priest needs to use his prudence and discretion in carrying out his pastoral commitments.

Personal items or properties of the out-going or the in-coming Parish Priests do not fall under the category of the common parish belongings to be entered in the inventory book. Having mentioned them under the "remarks" column of the inventory book when necessary, the priests can take them away with them. While using such personal items, the priests should not neglect what belongs to the parish or the institution.

4.3 Appointment to the office of Parish Priest is normally for three to five years. Assistant Parish Priests are appointed for a period of one year as a general rule. After a three- year period as Assistant he may be appointed as Parish Priest. The Bishop may act otherwise when a pastoral need arises. All Directors of Apostolates and Chaplains are normally appointed for a period of three years, subject to extension at the discretion of the Bishop.

4.4 Parish priests, Directors, Chaplains and Heads of Institutions ought to establish stability in office for the welfare of their parishes, institutions, apostolates, chaplaincies and for the spiritual welfare of priests themselves. Hence, the Bishop may not transfer them before completing the period, stipulated in no.

4.5 However, if it is for the good of the individual priest, the diocese, parish, institution or people, the Bishop may transfer a priest even before the stipulated period of office is completed. The Bishop has to do so with due respect to the dignity of the priest, concerned.

Further, for the good of the diocese or if the necessity arises, the Bishop may even extend the stipulated period of office of a priest, mentioned above.

4.6 As a general rule, a priest is appointed as a Diocesan Director only after completing at least three years of service as a priest.

4.7 Religious and "Fidei Donum" Priests

4.7.1. Contracted Religious

The Diocese may assign a parish or an institution to a Religious Congregation, entering into a contract, mutually signed both by the Local Ordinary and the Major Superior of the respective Religious congregation.

In the case of Religious priests on contract, all transfers or appointments ought to be regulated in accordance with the terms, stipulated in the contract. This also has to be done in consultation with the Religious Superior of the aforesaid Congregation.

4.7.2. Fidei Donum" Priests and non- Contracted Religious Priests.

At the same time, the Diocese welcomes priests from Religious Congregations and other Dioceses who wish to serve our Diocese on the basis of "Fidei Donum", under the guidance of the Bishop. Such priests are at the disposal of the Bishop with regard to their transfers and appointments. They enjoy the ordinary facilities and privileges of an incardinated diocesan priest, mentioned in the statutes of the Diocese.

4.7.3. All priests of Religious Congregations, both those on contract and on the basis of "Fidei Donum", are expected to adhere to the diocesan rules and policies, and work under the guidance of the Bishop. This applies also to the diocesan priests of another Diocese, serving in our Diocese on a "Fidei Donum" basis.

4.8. Religious Communities, both men and women

4.8.1. The Diocese welcomes Communities of different Religious Congregations provided they are prepared to work in accordance with the diocesan pastoral plan and policies.

4.8.2. A Religious Congregation which wishes to begin a community in the Diocese has to enter into a written contract with the Bishop of the Diocese.

4.8.3. If the house and the property of the Religious Community belong to the Diocese, major renovations are looked after by the Diocese.

5. PARTICIPATION IN COMMON PROGRAMMES

Participation at annual retreats, diocesan seminars, monthly recollections, presbyteral meetings and deanery meetings is OBLIGATORY. In case one is prevented from participating, due to unforeseen or emergency circumstances, the Bishop should be informed immediately. These however, should be of a serious nature and he may excuse himself with the explicit permission of the Bishop.

6. MAINTENANCE OF PRIESTS

6.1. All the Priests, incardinated into the Diocese of Ratnapura, the Religious Priests and the Priests on the "Fidei Donum" basis serving under the pastoral guidance and jurisdiction of the Diocesan Bishop, are entitled to be maintained by the Diocese, with the exception of those communities of Religious Priests who have a different agreement with the Bishop.

6.2. Maintenance paid to parishes has to be just and equal with the exception of self-sufficient or semi self-sufficient parishes.

6.3. Those parishes that receive an extra income are expected to credit the cash to the parish accounts. Those who receive less income should try to generate some income with the help of the Parish Pastoral Council.

6.4. All the priests who receive funds for the parish or on behalf of the Parish or on behalf of the Diocese from the diocesan centre or from elsewhere are duty bound to submit quarterly accounts regularly within the close of the next month to the Procurator General. This includes all funds received on behalf of the Diocese or the Parish. The Priests who are handling construction projects are duty bound to present a full record of all income and expenditure in respect of the project for the purpose of records, once it is completed.

6.5. If even after a warning a priest does not send quarterly accounts, the subsequent allowance may be withheld.

6.6. Similarly quarterly accounts of various apostolates, chaplaincies and institutions must be submitted regularly. The funds for the above mentioned needs can be withdrawn only when they are needed and in amounts, required for those needs. Every year the directors of the apostolates should present a report of work, done in the previous year, an audited annual statement of accounts and a proposed plan of work for the following year together with its budget and suggest their own ways and means of raising funds for the implementation of the plan of action in question.

6.7. Proper certified receipts should be presented together with the accounts in order to facilitate annual diocesan auditing.

6.8. Collections for PMS, Home for Elders and other diocesan collections (i.e. Sunday Mass full collection and the collection through the envelopes, both in the main Church & in the substations) stipulated by the Bishop should be forwarded to the Procurator General's office within one month of the collections.

7. THE PRIESTS' WELFARE BOARD

7.1 There should be a Priests' Welfare Board (PWB) in order to assist the Bishop in the

Following matters:

  • Spiritual welfare of priests
  • Sabbatical leave
  • Retirement
  • Sickness and medical care
  • General matters on the welfare of the priests
  • Pension scheme for young priests (those not registered under Opus Securitatis)

7.2. It lays down guidelines on all such matters, ensuring that whatever is best is done for the well-being of the priests, while ensuring fair treatment for all. It will also execute such guidelines faithfully under the guidance of the Bishop.

7.3. The Welfare Board is presided over by the Bishop and its other members are;

7.3.1. Ex Officio

  • The Vicar General
  • The Chancellor
  • The Procurator General
  • The Rector of the Minor Seminary

7.3.2. Nominated

- Four other members, nominated by the Presbyterium or volunteers

7.4. Welfare of the Clergy

7.4.1. Diaconate

7.4.1.1. Five cassocks and an alb are provided by the Diocese to the Ordinandus.

7.4.1.2. If the Ordination to the diaconate takes place in the Diocese, the refreshments for the immediate family members (not exceeding 15) are provided by the Diocese.

7.4.2. Ordination to the Priesthood

7.4.2.1. Each Ordinandus is provided with Rs. 25,000.00 for his Priestly Ordination expenses.

7.4.3. Jubilee Celebrations of the Priesthood

7.4.3.1. Diocesan celebrations are held only for silver and golden jubilees of Priestly Ordinations. The Priests Welfare Board (PWB) has to set guidelines for such celebrations.

7.4.4. Sabbatical year and holidays

7.4.4.1. After 15 years in priestly service a priest may apply for one year sabbatical leave on his own expenses either within the country or outside. No financial support is made available by the Diocese.

7.4.4.2. After 25 years in priestly service, a priest may apply for a period of three years, if the particular priest has not already taken any prior sabbatical leave. If the priest has already taken a year of sabbatical leave, he can take only two years of sabbatical leave at the completion of 25 years in the Priesthood. No financial assistance is provided

7.4.4.3. A priest is entitled for one month vacation each year. The vacation can be spent outside the country only by those priests who have completed five years in the priesthood. The priest should find a temporary replacement and see to the expenses of the substituting priest. All expenses should be borne by the individual priest.

7.4.5. Higher Studies of Priests

7.4.5.1. A priest may be sent for higher studies either within the country or outside the country after three years of ministry in the diocese.

7.4.5.2. Personal studies can be done by individual priests at their own cost to assist them to grow in pastoral skills without hindering the pastoral care due to the parish or to the apostolate.

7.4.5.3. The stream of studies should be chosen, considering the talents and taste of the individual, the need of the diocese in consultation with the Bishop.

7.4.5.4. These policies are not applicable for those who are qualified for the College of Education.

7.4.5.5. The duration of studies should be specified from the inception. Any extension has to be approved by the Bishop and the Priests' Welfare Board.(PWB)

7.4.5.6. When choosing priests for higher studies, the priest's seniority in the Priesthood should be considered and respected.

7.4.5.7. On-going formation of priests is considered obligatory, more especially during the first five years of the priestly ministry. All priests are however encouraged to participate periodically in courses and seminars which would further enhance their spiritual and pastoral formation and growth. Participation in longer and regular courses will have to be approved by the PWB.

7.5. Mission Appointments

7.5.1. At the discretion of the Bishop, a priest can be sent for mission in a Diocese overseas on the basis of an agreement between the Ordinaries of the two Dioceses. A priest, thus sent on mission overseas, is obliged to help his native Diocese financially by giving it regularly fifty percent (50%) of his earnings.

7.6. Medical Care

7.6.1. All medical needs of the priests are looked after by the Diocese. If a priest falls sick, the PWB should be informed of it, and it shall attend to all his necessities and provide him with the best medical assistance available.

7.6.2. If the sickness is serious and long-lasting, the Bishop will make some arrangement to see that his ministry in his parish or institution is carried out.

7.6.3. However, in the case of an expensive surgery of a priest, (e.g. costing more than Rs 400,000.00), the Diocese, on account of its much limited economic resources, would be happy to be helped financially by the priest with his personal funds, if he can afford it.

7.6.4. The ordinary medical care of the members of the supportive staff should be well looked into. In the case of extraordinary or more serious cases, the Diocese/Parish/Institution should give them a helping hand.

7.7. Retirement

7.7.1. Under normal circumstances a priest retires on completion of seventy five (75) years.

7.7.2. A retired priest of the diocese has the right to enjoy his retirement and the Diocese has the obligation to provide his legitimate needs.

7.7.3. Retired Home at Eheliyagoda can be made available for retired priests with a staff and a common vehicle.

7.7.4. The PWB will provide guidelines if the retired priest decides otherwise.

7.8. Funerals

7.8.1. The ordinary place of burial for the deceased priests of the Diocese is the cemetery at Dehigahapitiya. However, the personal wish of the priest is respected.

7.8.2. All expenses of the funeral are born by the Diocese.

7.8.3. The Priests of the Diocese are requested to celebrate at least two Holy Masses for the repose of the soul of their deceased brother priest within the same month.

7.8.4. The death of a priest has to be announced with the ringing of church bells in all parishes.

8 PROPERTIES AND NEW CONSTRUCTIONS

8.1 With regard to the sale and purchase of properties, the requirements of Canon Law (1290-1298) and the supplementary norms of the Sri Lankan Catholic Bishops' Conference are to be observed.

8.2 Church properties should always be properly maintained.

8.3. The originals of the Deeds and plans should be kept in the Chancellery and copies in the mission houses. If any Deed is to be taken away for some purpose, the priest concerned should see to it that he returns them to the Chancellery as early as possible. Proper records should be maintained of such removals and returns of original Deeds.

8.4. Proper data of the parish and substations, historical and geographical have to be maintained.

8.5. Any dispute regarding properties should be brought to the notice of the administration and they must attend to them immediately and urgently.

8.6. Settlement of families in Church land is absolutely prohibited except in cases where such land has been bought or demarcated for such purposes with the approval of the Bishop and the Presbyteral Council.

8.7. Renovations, adaptations, extensions, alterations and any other structural changes to any existing churches, mission houses, other diocesan buildings or structures, even with ones own private funds or donations from benefactors, should not be done without the explicit written permission of the Bishop who will decide in consultation with the College of Consultors. In such situations, the priest in question needs to work with the existing Building Committee.

8.8. The same rule, (no.8.7.), applies to the permanent installation of statues and the permanent construction of any other buildings, either facing the public roads or in the church compound itself.

8.9. Priests are encouraged to develop properties and make them productive, within their parish boundaries in consultation with the Central Administration, if necessary.

8.10. The development agricultural properties (outside the parish boundaries) should be done only in consultation with the Central Administration and the Diocesan Finance Committee.(DFC)

8.11. Funds received as reimbursement from road/land acquirements or from the sale of land should be credited to the diocesan central fund. The parish priest or the parish community has no right to claim such funds.

8.12. Income generating properties, already maintained by the diocesan administration are continued to remain the same.

8.13. Valuable items belonging to the parish or the institution cannot be removed or sold without the explicit permission of the Bishop.

8.14. Valuable flora & fauna, belonging to the parish should not be arbitrarily sold or donated by the priests.

9. TRAVELLING & VEHICLES

9.1. Travelling expenses paid to each parish should be proportionate with the volume of the pastoral ministry in the parish. A diocesan vehicle, where necessary, is provided to a priest specifically for his pastoral ministry which is the major factor in providing it to him. It is unto the Bishop to consider the pastoral needs of the parish or institution and to provide vehicles to the priests in consultation with the College of Consultors.

9.2. Vehicles provided to priests by the Diocese, unless they are set apart for particular institutions or parishes, even though registered as the properties of the Diocese, have to be personally maintained by the priests who use them. They can take them with them when they go on transfer. When a priest retires from active ministry, he has to return the vehicle in good condition to the Diocese.

9.3. The institutions and apostolates for which vehicles are set apart are the Minor Seminary, the Diocesan Pastoral Centre, Vianney House,Bulutota, Sethmini-Caritas Ratnapura and the Youth apostolate. The priests, concerned, are not allowed to take these vehicles with them when they go on transfer.

9.4. All diocesan vehicles must be properly maintained. Each vehicle should have a running chart. A separate maintenance account is recommended.

9.5. When a new vehicle is bought, certain amount of money is given for carpeting, seat-covering and roof-covering. No money is spent by the Diocese for other accessories, such as fog lights, dashboard covers, cd/dvd players; aloe wheels and radios, rotating seats and the like.

9.6. Minor repairs to all diocesan vehicles should be done with local funds of the parish or the institution. This includes servicing, tyre punctures, battery charging, break adjustments, replacing of oil filters, diesel filters etc.

9.7. Prior approval of the Procurator should be obtained for all major repairs or replacements of the spare parts of the vehicles.

9.8. Costs for any repairs done without consulting the proper authorities are not reimbursed.

9.9. Personal vehicles that are being used for different apostolates enjoy the same facilities as the diocesan vehicles.

9.10. A diocesan vehicle could be lent to another priest in the diocese in an emergency or for pastoral necessity with the prior approval of the Procurator General for a temporary period, but cannot be lent to a lay person for a personal use under any circumstances.

9.11. If the priest goes out of the country for more than two weeks, his vehicle should be left in the Bishops House. In this context, he is never permitted to leave it at his own home, or with his friends or relations, unless the vehicle is his private property.

9.12. No seminarians, including deacons, both diocesan & religious, serving or residing in the Diocese, are allowed to drive diocesan vehicles, including motor cycles, even if they possess driving licenses.

10. PRIESTLY FORMATION

The effective continuity of apostolate of the Diocese and the effective fulfilment of our mission would depend, to a larger extent, on the quality and dedication of those who follow us as priests. Hence, the seminary formation becomes the all important priority of the diocesan plan.

The witness of the individual life every priest is the best advertisement for vocations. Hence, we as priests should be an example to our youth and seek, through prayer and other means, to stimulate vocations among the children and youth in the parishes. It is the duty of every priest to promote vocations.

a. Minor Seminary

  1. The Rector of the Minor Seminary should study each candidate thoroughly especially with regard to his faith, family background, age, psychological fitness, physical fitness and aptitude for studies. The marriage of the parents should be regular at the moment of admitting the student to the seminary. He keeps the Bishop informed of these candidates.
  2. At least one year of spiritual formation at the Minor Seminary is of an absolute necessity for any candidate prior to his promotion to the Major Seminary.
  3. The Bishop should visit the Minor Seminary frequently and meet the seminarians individually.
  4. The Rector in consultation with the staff members and the Bishop can decide on the dismissal of a candidate.
  5. The candidates, seeking entrance to the Minor Seminary ought to be preferably those who have already passed G.C.E. O/L examination. Younger candidates also may be admitted if deemed necessary.
  6. The Diocese supports and maintains the Minor Seminary.
  7. The Bishop appoints a priest, at least ten years in Diocesan service, as the Rector of the Minor Seminary. He should be spiritually oriented, exemplary, effective and capable of handling this all important responsibility.
  8. The Bishop appoints a Magister Spiritus in consultation with the Rector.

b. Major Seminarians

  1. The Bishop personally follows up the progress of these candidates and assists them to grow in their own commitment to the priesthood and in the spirituality of a diocesan priest.
  2. All disciplinary matters, including dismissal of such students, are decided upon by the Bishop in consultation with the Rector, staff of the major Seminary and his own College of Consultants.
  3. According to the needs of the Diocese, it is up to the Bishop to decide on sending some or all major seminarians for theological studies in seminaries overseas.
  4. The Bishop himself or his delegate plans the holiday, pastoral exposure and language immersion programmes of the major seminarians and assists them personally.
  5. Recruitment of ex-seminarians
    1. If any candidate has been asked to leave any diocesan or religious minor seminary, such seminarians are not recruited into our Diocese. If any student has left any religious or diocesan minor seminary on his own, he can be taken into consideration. Any candidate should spend at least one year of formation in our minor seminary.
    2. Any major seminarians, both diocesan and religious, who have been asked by their respective superiors to leave, and those who wish to cross over, while studying in the major seminary or in a religious community, from their respective diocesan or religious seminary, are not admitted into our Diocese.
    3. Major seminarians, who have left their respective dioceses or religious congregations, on their own for different reasons, and if they wish to enter the Diocese after some years, may be considered. However, such seminarians should spend at least one year of formation and probation in the Diocese, prior to their official admission. Such admissions have to be done by the Bishop in consultation with the College of Consulters.
    4. Any candidate of a late vocation should not exceed the age of thirty five.
    5. In consultation with the authorities of the Major Seminary and his own College of Consulters, the Bishop decides on the Ordination of candidates to the Sacred Orders of Diaconate and Priesthood.
  6. VARIA.
    1. Family books may be issued to couples in irregular marriage, provided their marriage cannot be canonically rectified in the Church. A short note has to be made by the Parish Priest in such family books to the effect that the marriage cannot be canonically rectified. However, it is to be noted that such couples are not permitted to receive Holy Communion. No family books are issued to couples in irregular marriage, if their marriage can be canonically rectified in the Church. Once rectified, the family books can be issued.
    2. Those who have been living in a parish as their domicile for more than six months, and at present have left that parish, may be permitted, on request, to have their mortal remains interred in the cemetery of the parish which they have left.
    3. The mortal remains of non-catholic spouses, married to Catholics, are not permitted to be interred in the catholic cemetery of the parish; nor is it permitted to demarcate a special area for their burial either within or adjoining the catholic cemetery.
  7. Promulgated by Rt Rev Cletus Chandrasiri Perera OSB, Bishop of Ratnapura on the 27th June, 2015 at the Celebration of the Annual Feast of the Minor Seminary of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Kegalle.



    + Cletus Chandrasiri Perera OSB

    Bishop of Ratnapura

    27th June 2015


Bishop Cletus Chandrasiri

Bishop Cletus Chandrasiri Perera O.S.B.
Diocese of Ratnapura Sri Lanka.


2017-11-21

Catholic Bishops Conference

2017-11-25

Meeting of the Diocesan Liturgy Commission at Bishop s House, Avissawella

2017-11-26

Blessing and Feast of the Church at Karundapona, Utuwankande Parish


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