12. EXTRACTS FROM OFFICIALS AND CIRCULARS


MASS FOR BENEFACTORS
April 9, 1993
The diocese receives subsidies from the Pontifical Societies, Rome, Each priest in our diocese is requested to offer one Mass at the beginning of each year for these benefactors of the diocese.


THE PROVIDENT FUND
April 9, 1993
The Provident Fund money (Employee's share and the parish/institution's share of each permanent employee is to be kept in the bank as a separate account. This account shall be operated by the employee concerned and the Parish Priest jointly. The P.F. money should be regularly deposited to the Bank.


LOAN TO EMPLOYEES
April 9, 1993
From the Parish loan may be given only to a permanent employee and that too from his Provident Fund only. The amount of loan should normally not exceed the employee's total share of deposit.


APPOINTMENT AND DISMISSAL OF EMPLOYEES
September 29, 1993
• Nobody should be employed in a permanent vacancy (for a permanent post) without the prior approval of the Bishop of the Diocese.
• For the dismissal of any permanent employees prior approval of the Bishop is required.
• If any employee's resignation has been once accepted he may not be employed again, without the Bishop's consent.
• The assistant priests should not appoint anybody to a permanent post nor should they dismiss any permanent employee.


DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
August 30, 1993
Projects for social development may be sent to the funding agencies only in consultation with or with the approval of the Director of Palli Unnayan Samiti, Baruipur or the Bishop of Baruipur.


MASSES AT THE CONVENT
March 28, 1994
The Parish Priest should arrange for a Mass to be offered once in every week or at least once a fortnight in the convents where the Blessed Sacrament is preserved in his parish (can. 934, 2)


MASSES AT THE SUBSTATIONS
March 28, 1994
At the sub-stations of a parish, the offering of the Mass for the people may not be stopped as a means of correction of faults or any other reason without prior consultation with and approval of the Bishop.


CONVALIDATION OF MARRIAGE
March 28, 1994
For the convalidation of a marriage, the contracting marriage parties must fulfil the requirements of the Canon Law; and they must have a legal age for the marriage. Nothing extra may be demanded from the contracting parties or their parents.


SANCTIONS IN THE CHURCH
March 28, 1994
The Church being a Spirit filled community of love and salvation, she normally uses methods of persuasion and fraternal correction in order to foster church order and common welfare. However, being a society made up of weak human beings, she may as last resort, have to resort to penal sanctions against those who commit serious offence against divine law or church discipline.

In the church there cannot be a punishment without a law.

Only those who have legislative power (Pope, for the Universal Church, Bishop or the Major Superior within his region) can make penal laws and fix punishments for violation of these laws (can. 1315, 1)

The local ordinary can make penal laws and impose penalty on violation of those. Penalty in these cases can be imposed only after trial or issuance of a decree.

Parish Priests, Parish Councils, Parish Committees of Panchayats have no right to impose religious punishment (e.g. denial of sacraments) on the sins of the faithful.

“The diocesan bishops are to take care that as far as possible any penalties which are to be imposed by law are uniform within the same city or the region.” C.1316.


MASS INTENTIONS
February 20, 1995
All the parish priests in the diocese of Baruipur are expected to follow canon no. 534 which says: When he has taken possession of the parish, the parish priest is bound on each Sunday and holy days of obligation in his diocese (August 15 & December 25) to apply the mass for the people entrusted to him. If he is lawfully impeded from this celebration, he is to have some one else apply the mass on these days or apply it himself on other days.


ON WHO CAN RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION
December 16, 1995
Instructions from the Holy See indicate that “Communicatio in Sacris” (Intercommunion) is prohibited since reception of the Eucharistic Body of Christ presumes full, complete and conscious membership in the ecclesial Body of Chirst. However, reception is possible under following conditions:

• The non-Catholic Christian in question must make a spontaneous request. That is, the Catholic Priest may not initiate the procedure.
• The non-Catholic must possess the same Eucharistic faith as the Catholic Church.
• The individual must be in a situation such that he or she would be deprived or the Eucharist from his or her community for a prolonged period of time.
• There must be grave necessity. (e.g. time of religious persecution).
• The practice of admitting non-Catholics to Holy Communion at weddings, funerals, blessings of churches and other such occasions is strictly forbidden.


INTENTION OF SEVERAL DONORS
January 11, 2002
By its decree of February 22, 1991 the Congregation of Clergy permits priests to celebrate one mass for the intention of several donors, provided the following conditions are followed:

• The donors must knowingly and willingly agree to have their intentions fulfilled in one single mass.
• The date and time of this mass is to be duly announced
• Its frequency is at most twice in a week (Cf. Commentary of Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland, p. 518)
• The parish may retain amount fixed for one mass and forward the rest to the diocesan treasurer for the expenses of seminarians.

In the parishes this answers a need felt for a long time. Most of the faithful attend mass only on Sundays and they wish that one of the Sunday masses be celebrated for their intentions. In the past due to multiplicity of intentions the donors felt disappointed when they were told that the mass would be offered during the week days. This decree offers a reasonable solution. However the parish clergy is bound to observe the norms. Hence if one or other donor insists that his intention be applied at a single mass, this wish is to be respected and possibly the parish clergy will tell him that they can oblige him only at weekday mass (Cf. Life and Worship, November 5, 2000.)


MATTERS REGARDING FINANCES
January 11, 2002
• Any matter connected with finances, budgets, payments, continuation of the projects and presentation of new projects should be directly dealt with the treasurer who also is the secretary of the finance committee. Before finalizing any matters he will discuss with the bishop, and, if need be, finance committee. Finance committee is responsible for all finances of the diocese.

January 01, 2004
Bishop shall not answer any letter connected with projects and financial matters.

January 01, 2004
• From January all the buildings in the diocese shall be supervised by the secretary of the Finance Council. He will fix the mode of building i.e. Through a contractor or direct construction. If it is done through a contractor he will find a contractor, work out a contract and sign the contract in the name of the diocese. For all this he will take the advice and co-operation of the local priests.

March 21, 2006
• In all the bank accounts of the diocese i.e. Parishes, Commissions and Diocesan Institutions the Bishop shall be the first signatory of the accounts. The Treasurer of the diocese the second and the parish priest/ priest-in-charge, rector, director or secretary of the institute or commission will be the third signatory.
• All high value cheques of the diocese, institutions and commissions shall be signed by any two of the three signatories. Rupees five lakh (Rs. 5,00,000.00) and above shall be considered high value of our institutions and parishes.
• No Parish, Commission of Institution should keep in their possession at any time more than fifty thousand (Rs. 50,000.00) in cash.


GUIDELINES FOR HANDING OVER OF CHARGES
February 11, 2002
The following guidelines are to be followed for handing over the charges of Parish Priests, Priest-in-charge, Heads of Diocesan Schools, Institutions and Commissions.

• The Bishop or his delegate will be present during handing over of an office.
• An inventory of the Parish / Institution will be made by the outgoing priest. This will include furniture, electrical fittings, sound systems, crockery, cutleries, cooking utensils, vehicles etc. Every parish is expected to have an inventory of the Parish kept up to date every year. The new incumbent will check this inventory as he takes over.
• Land documents, files (Including Minutes of Meetings, Newsletters etc.) registers, bank books, vehicles, previous audited statements, bills and papers connected with electricity, telephone, land tax, gas connections, project files, papers relating to ongoing-projects, should be listed and handed over to the new incumbent.
• The inventory and accounts should be prepared in three copies one for the Parish / Institution and one for the Bishop's Office and one for the personal copy for the out-going priest. It is preferable that auditing is done at the time of transfer with the Statement of Accounts with receipts, bills and vouchers.
• It is understood that all claims from the Parish / Institutions will have to be expressed and settled before the person-in-charge leaves the office. No claim from the new incumbent will be entertained after the handing over.


ON BISHOP'S PASTORAL VISIT
July 03, 2002
One of the purposes of Bishop's Pastoral visit is to get the Parish Priest plan for pastoral activities together with all his helpers viz. Priests, religious men & women, catechists, parish council and different parish pious associations. Pastoral visits help bishop and the parish priests to know the concerns of individuals and groups.

During the pastoral visits the Bishop will meet:
• Each of the Fathers and Brothers individually
• All the Fathers together
• Religious in their communities
• Fathers and Religious together for a pastoral planning of the Parish
• Catechists
• Parish councils, groups of associations like S.V.P., C.L.C., AICUF, Legion of Mary etc.

Bishop shall see the following registers kept in the parishes:
• Baptism
• Marriage
• Burial
• Record of Masses received and said
• Cash & Ledger Book

Parish Priests are to plan the pastoral visit and make a programme for the Bishop to meet different people mentioned above.


DOCUMENTS NEEDED FOR AUDIT
March 31, 2003
• Completed cash and ledger books
• Completed trail balance sheet for the whole year
• Receipt & Payment Vouchers of the year, properly arranged and numbered,
• Original record of daily marketing in case of maintaining separate bazaar khata).
• Bank Statement (of parish/hostel/school/institution) from 1st April 2002 31st March 2003 (photocopy will suffice)
• Salary register of the year. If the same register is to be used for consecutive years, send only the photocopy of the relevant pages.
• Bank statement of the security fund account (S) of the employee (S) from 1st April 2002 31st March 2003. (Photo copy will suffice)
• Photocopy of the fixed deposit certificates (as on 31st March 2003) of the parish/hostel/school/institution, if there is nay (with you).

The photocopy of the documents mentioned in No. 5,6 & 8 are to be submitted for audit along with the ledger book. Do not send the original bank Passbooks and Salary Register if they are used for consecutive years.


PROFESSIONAL TAX
October 16, 2003
The Profession Tax officers repeatedly came for enquiry because our income tax returns reflect so many permanent staff with security fund and yet no profession tax had been paid. Hence with the advice of the auditor, the diocese had decided to pay the Profession Taxes for all the Permanent Staffs from 1st April 2004. Hence when salary is paid, Profession Tax has to be paid to the Profession Tax office within 21 days of the following month. So you are required to maintain salary register for all permanent staff where the profession tax has to be reflected.


ROLE AND FUNCTION OF THE EDUCATION BOARD
October 26, 2004
To streamline educational ministry in the diocese.
• To organize catechetical instruction in all schools with some uniformity.
• To conduct examination for catechism from class IV to Class X.
• To advice on School problems referred to the Bishop after having been
• discussed by the management.
• To organize educational Awards and incentives; to promote literacy, to be
• concerned of school drop outs and gather statistics on education matter
• To advice on Sponsorships and Education Aid.


BAPTISM FOR THE CHILDREN BORN OUTSIDE THE CHURCH MARRIAGE
January 20, 2005
In our diocese there had been a long standing custom of not baptizing the children born outside the church marriages. With a new understanding among the Canon lawyers working in this region, it has been proposed to allow Baptism of such children, if the following conditions are fulfilled:

• The one with previous bond has petitioned the Inter-diocesan Tribunal to annul his or her marriage and it has pronounced a NEGATIVE judgement according to the Canon Law of the Catholic Church.
• The request to baptize their children should accompany a photo-copy of the Negative judgement of the Tribunal.


TERMS OF OFFICE BEARERS IN THE DIOCESE
March 21, 2006
• In the meeting of the board of consultors held on December 19, 2005 a proposal was made to fix the term of office to the Rector of Samarpan and Directors of different Commissions to three years. It was also said that the term could be renewed twice to a maximum 09 years. The proposal was ratified in the meeting held on March 16, 2006. This shall become a rule from April 01, 2006 for the office of Rector, Directors and Secretaries in our diocese.
• The priests working in Samarpan, Palli Unnayan Samiti, Dishari, Paribar Jyoti and other institutions in the diocese having full time priests will be supported for their board and lodge and the monthly allowance by the institute itself. The Bishop will recommend the projects on their behalf. Due to the dearth of income in the diocese no subsidy will be given to these institutions from the diocesan fund.
• Palli Unnayan Samiti will have a separate community from April 2006. Board and lodge of the Fathers shall be looked after by Palli Unnayan Samiti.
• In all the bank accounts of the diocese i.e. parishes, commissions, diocesan institutions, the bishop shall be the first signatory of the accounts. The treasurer of the diocese the second and the parish priest/priest-in-charge, rector, director or secretary of the institute of commissions will be the third signatory.
• All high value cheque of the diocese, institutions, commissions shall be signed by any two of the three signatories. Rupees five laks (Rs.5,00,000.00) and above shall be considered high value for our institutions and parishes.
• No parish, commission or institution should keep on their possession at any time more than Rupees Fifty thousand (Rs. 50,000.00) in cash.


COLLECTION AND BINATION MASSES
January 31, 2011
The following collections are to be sent to the diocese:
• African Missions, to be forwarded to Rome for African Missions.
• Holy Childhood Society, to be forwarded to Rome through National Director, PMS.
• Support to Holy Father, to ne forwarded to Rome through the Nunciature
• Diocesan Seminarians
• Peter’s Pence, to be forwarded to Rome through Nunciature
• Society of St. Peter, to be forwarded to Rome through Nunciature
• For Holy Land, to be forwarded to Rome, through Nunciature
• Mission Sunday, to be forwarded to Rome, through National Director, PMS.
• World Communication Day, to be forwarded to CBCI, New Delhi
• Collection for the orphans (any one mass)
• The Collection on the Parish Feast day (those who do not celebrate parish feast day, any other prominent feast day) shall be sent to the diocesan treasurer for the support of the diocese.

In the diocese a collection is made for Lenten Campaign during the season of Lent. The collections to be sent to Palli Unnayan Samiti.

Each parish / institution contributes every year a fixed amount to the Central Pool of Funds. The amount fixed (Rs.500.00 per Parish at least) is to be sent to the diocesan treasurer. He will forward the collected amount to CBCI Centre, New Delhi.

• Fathers are reminded that stipends for bination masses should be sent to the diocesan treasurer. Proceeds from bination masses are used for the education of seminarians.
• By its decree of February 22, 1991 the Congregation of Clergy permits priests to celebrate one mass for the intention of several donors, provided the following conditions are followed:
• The donors must knowingly and willingly agree to have their intentions fulfilled in one single mass.
• The date and time of this mass is to be duly announced.
• Its frequency is at most twice in a week (Cf. Commentary of Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland, .518).

The Parish may retain amount fixed for one mass and forward the rest to the diocesan treasurer for the expenses of seminarians.

In the parishes this answers a need felt for long time. The faithful attend mass only on Sundays and they wish that one of the Sunday masses be celebrated for their intentions. In the past due to multiplicity of intentions the donors felt disappointed when they were told that the mass would be offered during the week days. This decree offers a reasonable solution. However the parish clergy is bound to observe the norms. Hence if one or other donor insists that his intention be applied at a single mass, this wish is to be respected and possibly the parish clergy will tell him that they can oblige him only at week day mass (Cnf. Life & Worship, November 5, 2000).

• By the norms of canon 534 of CIC, all the parish priests have to celebrate every Sunday and on two days of obligation (August 15, & December 25) a mass for the people. On February 20, 1995 a circular was given to this effect. This is only a reminder to all the parish priests to offer the mass.

If for some reason a parish priest cannot offer mass for the people as directed by C534 on a Sunday, he may offer that mass on a weekday at the earliest.


ELECTION
2011
April 27, is the day of general elections for the assembly in our diocese. Everyone must fast and pray for peaceful, fair and free elections within the diocese, in the state of West Bengal and in the country. I urge every catholic and all people of good will with voting rights to discharge, with utmost seriousness, the civic duty placed on their shoulders. Everyone who has a right to vote must exercise his / her vote at the time of election. Keeping away from such responsibility would mean abdication of one’s democratic right and duty.

We had indicators to tell that all is not well in this state. Poor have remained poor and development has taken a back seat. Seven social sins propagated by Mahatma Gandhi have been conveniently forgotten. They are:
1. Politics without principles
2. Wealth without work
3. Pleasure without conscience
4. Knowledge without character
5. Commerce without morality
6. Science without humanity
7. Worship without sacrifice.

Therefore vote for the one who:

• Stands for and is led by values that promote human dignity, social equality, religious harmony and national integrity;
• Will protect the fundamental rights of all citizens as guaranteed in the Constitution of India;
• Will work for overall development of the poor and marginalized;
• Will preserve and promote social cohesion, communal harmony and cultural plurality;
• Will genuinely address the social problems, such as unemployment, discrimination against certain sections of society and religious fundamentalism;
• Will endeavour to remove corrupt and unethical practice in all levels of society;
• Will work for the integral development of his/her constituency, and at the same time keep the national perspective in mind;
• Will promote true religious values and will not exploit religion for sectarian and divisive purposes.

Let us all pray that we may elect a worthy government at the State level. I earnestly ask all our catholic priests, sisters and leaders not to recommend one party for support.


LITURGY
November 25, 2011
From the first Sunday of Advent 2011 the new English Translation of Missal is effective all over India including in our diocese. Wherever Mass is offered in English kindly follow the new Missal from November 27, 2011. Taking this opportunity, I want to bring in some of the observations on liturgical celebrations in our diocese. Different liturgical practices confuse people. Hence we fall back to what is universally practiced on important things while maintaining our customs and practices approved by the C.C.B.I. The following are general guidelines which seek to rectify some of the practices which are not in keeping with the universal liturgical practices. Hence, I urge you to follow these guidelines while celebrating Eucharistic Celebrations in the diocese of Baruipur.

1. Location of Eucharistic Celebration: In ordinary circumstances Masses are to be celebrated in churches and chapels. On special occasions and in missionary situations, holy Masses may be celebrated in another appropriate or properly decorated place. Masses may never be offered in houses where the church is present in the area.
2. Liturgical dress for the Eucharistic celebration is alb or white cassock, stole and chasuble for the main celebrant and alb or white cassock and stole for the concelebrants, if a sufficient number of chasubles are not available. Use of liturgical shawls with stole is permitted only for Masses celebrated in squatting posture.
3. The altar has the prime importance at the time of Eucharistic celebration hence at the entrance procession the bow is always directed towards the altar. Due importance to the altar requires that we do not deposit unnecessary things. Objects like, announcement book, sprinkler, censor, cruets of water and wine, ciborium etc. are to be kept on a separate table known as credence table.
4. Proper liturgical Books (Missals and Lectionaries) are to be used for the Mass. Using a Sunday leaflet for Mass prayers and scriptural readings does not befit the great mystery that we celebrate. Henceforth, only the New Bengali Missal published in 2002 shall be used. We accept it with all its limitations until a more acceptable one is brought out in future.
5. A specially designated lectern is to be used for all the scripture readings, responsorial psalms, and homily. The proclamation of the Word should not be done from the altar or a movable stand. Preferably, a separate lectern could be used for making announcements, publishing of banns, giving commentaries, conducting the singing or for giving welcoming and thanksgiving speeches etc.
6. Readings: the readers are to be instructed not to announce the title of the day (e.g. year A 33rd Sunday of the year, etc.) the chapter and verses and the summary of the reading but announce only the book from where the particular reading is taken and proceed to proclaim the actual text of the word of God.
7. At Responsorial Psalm, hymns composed of psalms / canticles are recommended. If no appropriate hymn is available psalm proper should be read and responded to by the people. The responsorial part can be sung while the rest can be read aloud.
8. Non-ordained persons (catechist, a religious and seminarian) may preach only during the non-Eucharistic Sunday services or at the para-liturgical services where a priest or a deacon is not present.
9. Prayers of the faithful is the prerogative of the people to offer prayers at this time. They should be trained and encouraged to make these prayers prepared or spontaneous and the priest only introduces and concludes the prayers.
10. Standing Posture: At the prayer when the priest invites the people by saying, “Pray brethren that our sacrifice…” all the people stand and continue to stand till the end of “Holy, Holy …”
11. No spontaneous prayers can be added to the Eucharistic canon.
12. Doxology: The Eucharistic prayer ends with the doxology. They shall be encouraged to sing or proclaim loudly their affirmation with their response, “Amen”.
13. The prayer for peace shall not be recited by the people but by the presiding priest alone and all respond to it with “Amen”.
14. Communion Distribution: The communion under the species of bread can be given either in tongue or in hand. Whereas, the communion under both the species is to be given only in tongue. Passing around chalice and ciborium for Holy Communion even in Mass in small groups / convents is not permitted.
15. Should non-baptised or non-Catholics be preset at the Eucharistic celebration they are not to be given sweets, flowers, etc. as Prasad as a substitute for Holy Communion.
16. Main Celebrant’s Role: Opening Prayer, prayer over offerings, preface, Eucharistic canon and post communion prayer are the prerogatives of the Main celebrant. Gospel reading, homily and the designated parts of the Eucharistic prayer may be given to the concelebrants.
17. The final blessing is to be given only by the main celebrant.

Proper catechesis should accompany the implementation of nos. 6, 9, 10, 12, 13 and 14 which are pertaining to people.


DIRECTOR OF SEMINARIANS
The role of the director of seminarians who acts on behalf of the bishop of the diocese is:

1. To be overall in charge of the seminarians, this includes major and minor, those who are in the seminary or in regency. The director is a friendly guide of the seminarians in their spiritual journey.
2. When the seminarians are in the seminary, rector is in charge of the seminarians and during the regency; the parish priest/priest-in-charge is in charge of ordinary life of the seminarian. Any extra ordinary things of finance, permissions or discipline, is referred to the director or seminarians.
3. Extra permissions are granted by the director of seminarians.
4. All admissions and dismissals are done by the bishop in consultation with the people concerned (admissions in consultation with the vocation promoter and the staff of Samarpan who interview the candidates and dismissals with consultation with rectors of the seminaries).

All the seminarians and the rectors of the seminary are requested to contact the director of the seminaries in connection with finance, permissions, holiday and placements etc


FINANCE COMMITTEE IN PARISHES
May 15, 2012
Canon 537 had made the finance committee mandatory in each parish. It is to assist the pastor in the administration of temporal good in the parish. Lay persons are to be members of the finance committee.

In the last priests council held on January 17, 2012 it was decided that from Financial Year 2012-2013 every parish should have a Finance Committee.

Norms:
1. Finance Committee includes all the priests in the parish. It may include some members of the parish council and superiors of the religious houses.
2. Maximum number could be seven and minimum five.
3. It must have at least three meetings during a year.
4. Finance Committee must be formed by July 01, 2012 and the names of the finance committee must reach my office by July 15, 2012.

Duties:

1. To advise the parish priest of parish budget and parish finances.
2. To advise the ways and means for raising finance needed for the parish.
3. At the advice of the parish council major repairs or alternations in the parish property could be considered. These should be reflected upon with the help of the parish finance committee before seeking permission from the diocesan finance committee.


STOLE FEES AND OTHERS
April 09, 2012
Stole fees and other charges in the diocese from April 10, 2012 will be as follows:

Mass Stipend        Rs. 75.00
Certificates (Baptism, Marriage & Death)   Rs. 20.00
Pre-nuptial inquiry      Rs. 200.00
Marriage dispensation (fro each)    Rs. 30.00

From the month of April 2012 priests allowance shall be Rs. 1500.00 P.M. Holyday Allowance is Rs. 3000.00 P.Y.


SEXUAL MISCONDUCT AND ABUSE OF MINORS
March 26, 2014

All clerics are bound, in a special way, to pursue holiness on account of their consecration through the sacrament of Holy Orders as they called to become more suitable instruments of Christ the eternal Priest in have accepted as a part of their sacramental life is celibacy, which implies observance of perfect and perpetual continence for the Kingdom of God (can. 277). This obligation of celibacy constitutes not merely a juridic obligation, but its appropriateness rests on theological and spiritual grounds, thereby symbolizing the essence of priestly ministry.

We are grateful to God for the many priests in the vineyard of the Lord who accept and live celibacy in an exemplary manner and inspire people through their sacrificial life. However, unfortunately there are also a few, who fail to live their commitment and bring damage to persons and scandal to the Church. The Church takes such offense/crime against celibacy a grave sin. Besides moral implication, the disobedience to live the life of celibacy is punished with severe penalties, including dismissal from clerical state. Morever, the sexual abuse of minors by a cleric is a grave delict (offence) reserved to the Holy See, and the offender is subject to severe penalties, including dismissal from the clerical state, if the case so warrants. Under civil law too, the sexual abuse of minors is a grave crime and an offender may be subject to severe penalties, including incarceration, fines, and / or monetary damages.

The Diocese of Baruipur recognizes sexual abuse by clergy constitutes one of the most serious breaches of trust in human relationships, and that it can have devastating consequences for the victim and his or her family, for the Church Community at large, and for the cleric involved. Therefore, to deal with abuse that has occurred and to prevent further problems in the future, the Diocese of Baruipur will follow the policies and norms that are set forth in the Code of Canon Law, Motu Prorio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela (30 April 2001) as updated on 21 may 2010 on norms concerning delicta graviora, including the sexual abuse of minors, Special Faculties to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and by the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India.

1. Among the norms on sexual misconduct / abuse, we highlight the following canons in order to make clear the crime and the canonical consequences:

(a) Can. 1394 § 1 Without prejudice to the provisions of can. 194, § 1, n. 3, a cleric who attempts marriage, even if only civilly, incurs a latae sententiae suspension. If, after warning, he has not reformed and continues to give scandal, he can be progressively punished by deprivations, or even by dismissal from the clerical state.
(b) Can. 1395 § 1 Apart from the case mentioned in can. 1394, a cleric living in concubinage, and a cleric who continues in some other external sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue which causes scandal, is to the punished with suspension. To this, other penalties can progressively be added if after a warning he persists in the offence, until eventually he can be dismissed from the clerical state.
(c) Can. 1395 § 2 A cleric who has offended in other ways against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue, if the crime was committed by force, or by threats, or in public, or with a minor under the age of eighteen years, is to be punished with just penalties, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state if the case so warrants.

2. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reserves to itself more grave delicts against morals. This means that this sexual offence comes under the competence of this Congregation and that the Diocesan Bishop is bound to send the report of the initial investigation of the matter to the Congregation and follow its directives. Article 6 of the Norms concerning Graviora delicta states :

   §1. The more grave delicts against morals which are reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are :
   1. the delict against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue committed by a cleric with a minor below the age of eighteen years; in this case, a person who habitually lacks the use of reason is to be considered equivalent to a minor.
   2. the acquisition, possession, or distribution by a cleric of pornographic images of minors under the age of fourteen, for purposes of sexual gratification, by whatever means of using whatever means or using whatever technology;
   §2. A cleric who commits the delicts mentioned above in § 1 is to be punished according to the gravity of his crime. Not excluding dismissal or deposition.

3. In the Context of sexual offences we are dealing with acts against the Sixth Commandment. A canonical offense against the Sixth Commandment (can. 1395 § 2) need not be a complete act of sexual intercourse. Nor, to be objectively grave, does an act need to involve force, physical contact, or a discernible harmful outcome. Moreover, imputability (moral responsibility) for a canonical offence "is presumed upon external violation.

4. The notion of "sexual abuse of minors" includes not only the physical acts but also non-physical, verd and visual (e.g. showing pornography to them). The notion that is employed in dealing with the matter shall be the one that concurs with the interpretation and jurisprudence of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, while taking into account also the civil law.

5. In dealing with issues of sexual abuse involving clergy, the Diocese will retreat all allegations of sexual abuse seriously. The Bishop will forward the petitions alleging a case of sexual misconduct or abuse of minors to the Preliminary Enquiry Committee, who will determine the Circumstances known at the time of the determination, a prudent person/s would conclude that there is a significant possibility that an incident occurred or has been perceived as having occurred.

6. Considering the nature of each individual case and its impact, during the Preliminary Investigation and by means of an administrative act, the Bishop may withdraw the accused from ministry and issue precepts to which is he is bound. This is an administrative measure and does not constitute a final verdict on the petition that is being investigated.

7. In cases concerning sexual abuse of minors, when the Bishop after having obtained the report of the Preliminary Investigation determines that it is probable that the crime of sexual abuse against a minor a cleric has been committed, he closes the Preliminary Investigation (can. 1718, § 1) and notifies the Congregation of the Doctorine of the Faith by sending all relevant documents and his votum, giving his opinion of the case, suggestion for future action, and a request for derogation from prescription. At that time, the Bishop may apply the precautionary measures mentioned in canon 1722 pending the outcome of the investigation process: removal of the accused from sacred ministry or from ecclesiastical office or function; imposing or prohibiting residence in a given place or territory; and prohibiting public celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist.

8. Even in those individual cases which in the judgment of the competent authority may not warrant dismissal from clerical state, the reassignment or return of a priest to ministry is excluded if such ministry is a danger for minors or a cause of scandal for the community.

9. The distinction between canonical and civil offence will be maintained according to the specific laws that govern them. Consequently, even if the civil courts do not find a particular sexual act a crime under the civil law, the same act can constitute a canonical offence under canon law as priests are bound by the obligation of perfect and perpetual celibacy.

10. The diocese will cooperate with any investigation by civil/state authorities as a required by law in matters of aforesaid cases that have been placed in their domain.

11. The diocese or the diocesan Bishop cannot be held legally responsible for the acts that the priest performs by transgressing the universal and particular canonical norms. For the unfaithfulness to law and the norms of the Bishop and in addition, for failure to live according to the manner demanded by the ecclesiastical laws and policies, the priest who perpetrated the crime shall be personally answerable and responsible.

12. The priest who perpetrate the said offences shall be responsible to bear the expenses of the proceedings in the court, expenses incurred for his defense, and to pay for penalties imposed by the courts. In cases where out of court settlement is done as per law and it involves a payment of compensation to the victim, the offending priest shall be liable. In all these cases, the diocese shall not bear any responsibility for any kind of payment to be made.

13. It is the policy of the Diocese that if a priest or deacon is involved in sexual misconduct he may be held financially responsible for counseling or appropriate treatment for the person(s) injured. However, the Diocese will make efforts to see that no person abused by a priest will be denied psycho-spiritual treatment because the priest involved in unable to pay for it.

14. In order to provide a safe environment, the diocese has made adequate efforts to educate priest in areas that concern the sexual celibacy and the consequences of transgressing the norms relating to this area. More specific norms will be brought out in the course of time having taken into account the approved policies of the Episcopal Conference.

Conclusion :
Priests are called to be "representatives of God" and they should live the holiness of God: "Be holy as my heavenly Father is holy." Life of celibacy forms part of priestly life and ministry, and therefore it should be a life of witness to our faith and fidelity. Addressing the priest who perpetrated sexual crimes against minors, Pope Bendict XVI said : "You betrayed the trust that was placed in you by innocent young people and their parents, and you must answer for it before Almighty God and before properly constituted tribunals. You have forfeited the esteem of the people of Ireland and brought shame and dishonor upon your confreres. Those of you who are priests violated the sanctity of the sacrament of Holy Orders in which Christ makes himself present in us and in our actions. Together with the immense harm done to victims, great damage has been done to the Church and to the public perception of the priesthood and religious the (Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland).

In order or guarantee and protect the gift of celibacy in a climate of serenity and spiritual possible difficulties, priests should avoid possible difficulties and use appropriate spiritual, pastoral and psychological measures. They should conduct themselves with due prudence with those whose familiarity and company could be a possible danger for fidelity to this gift or could cause scandal amongst the faithful. I request every priest to see in priestly celibacy, an evangelical value and a sign of radical testimony of following Christ. Let us live this precious gift with love and generosity. This would empower us to easily adhere to Christ with an undivided heart and dedicate ourselves freely to the service of God and His people.



FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY
March 26, 2013
The temporal goods of the Church are ecclesiastical goods and they have a spiritual purpose (canon 1254). All those who deal with the financial and temporal goods of the Church, whether they are bishops, priests or lay persons, do not become the owners of goods but only their stewards. They cannot deal with finances and goods of the Church according to their will and use them for their benefit, but they are seriously obliged to administer them with all honesty and integrity, and be accountable to the authorities and faithful according to the norms of the Church, whether universal or particular.

The Diocese of Baruipur provides all the clergy adequate knowledge and resources on the norms to be followed in the acquisition, administration and the alienation of goods. While the norms of the Church on Church finances, properties and temporalities are expected to be known and observed by every priest having one or the other role in their administration. The relevant norms that have been published in our circulars and the diocesan directory 2012.

I request every priest and religious holding any diocesan ecclesiastical office or function to follow with utmost care all the norms on administration of finances and temporal goods. The norms are meant to promote a spirit of confidence, accountability and transparency as well as ecclesiastical discipline and good governance. These have also the objectives of ascertaining the money and goods are used for the specific purposes and to remove corruption and financial impropriety that result in economic and moral loss to the Church. The manner how church people administer finances of the Church demonstrates the personal integrity and concerns the witness to Gospel values in priestly life.

I bring to the kind attention of every priest that when financial and temporal irregularities come to the notice of the Bishop, he will study the matter and ask the concerned priest to set right the matter. This means, the priest having the financial responsibility will be held accountable to make good the loss or deficit incurred on account of the irregularities during his term, that is, from the time of his assuming the office until the time of his legitimate handing it over/cessation. Even if the irregularities come to light later on, but within a period of two years, the priest who administered the finances/goods during the time remains accountable, unless the Bishop after consulting the College of Consultors extends the prescription period in individual cases and in more grave situations.

In case the priest fails to own up the irregularities in the accounting and the diocese considers the needs to employ the services of experts, such as chartered accountant, who after due investigation also concur that irregularities have been committed in the administration of temporal goods, the concerned priest shall also be liable to pay the professional fees of the experts employed for the case. Further, norms of the church make room for removing anyone from office who fails to follow the norms of the diocese in the financial matters and refrain the Bishop from assigning anyone office if he does not get the moral certainly of priest's capacity for honesty and financial integrity.

The diocese hall not be responsible for unauthorized loans sought or/and for personal money advanced for matters of administration that forms part of the office entrusted, except as per norms and with due authorization. There shall be no scope for nay priest to claim from any authority or institution his 'personal money' advanced without due authorization towards any project or administration. In the event of any claim, unauthorized advance, even if there it exists, shall be deemed as donation. The priest, while is not permitted to obtain personal loans or borrow money from others, shall be solely responsible for its repayment as per the condition laid down by his creditor. The diocese shall hve no responsibility or entertain no liability whatsoever in this matter. In case of inability of the priest to repay in time, and this situation results in creditors seeking repayment and interferes with one's assigned ministry with an adverse impact in the place of ministry/diocese, he shall be removed from the ministry.

The aforesaid policies have been stated here in the light of many cases that are coming up in some of the dioceses and we need to take care that such problems do not recur in our diocese. While I know that there is a lot of good will, honest approach and desire for accountability in financial matters on the part of our priests, nevertheless these policies and reminder has the potential of preventing reprehensible situations and assuming responsibility for actions. Day after day, priests work tirelessly and selflessly to fulfil the Church's mission as established by Jesus, only to find some within the community casting suspicions on them due to the highly publicized mismanagement and deceptions of very few. By establishing and submitting to a system of financial accountability and stewardship, priests and other faithful involved in Church's financial adminitration can eliminate unnecessary suspicion of financial mismanagement and mistrust. My kind request to all that any norms should be seen in the light of the values they protect and promote as well as the good of the person, the institution, and the diocese. In other words, as we say at Mass : ".....For our good and good of all his holy Church."

We are called to be good stewards of temporal goods of the Church. If priests prove to be lacking in financial integrity, it is a unlikely that they will have a consistent or spiritually auspicious ministry. If we cannot be trusted with the lesser things of money, how can we be trusted with the greater things of spiritually influencing the direction of people's spiritual lives? (cf. Lk 16:19-11). For this reason, every priest must avoid the slightest appearance of compromise, misappropriation or embezzlement such as obtaining expense money for expenses never incurred, use of forgery such as double receipts, theft of church offerings, and accounting irregularities. The faithful observance of all the guidelines and honest approach to financial affairs will remove any temptation from those who have access to church funds by carefully controlling those funds, and, protect them from the possibility of false or unfounded allegations. It is essential that the ministers of the Church have a reputation of honesty and become examples of integrity, efficiency and transparency.


LAST WILL BY THE DIOCESAN FATHERS
January 12, 2015
Making of a last will by the diocesan Fathers was discussed in the meeting of the diocesan priests held on October 20, 2015 and in the board of consultors held on October 21, 2014. It was proposed that all the diocesan priests make a last will and hand it over the bishop in a sealed envelope.

“Will” as defined under section 2(h) of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, means “the legal declaration of the intention of a testator with respect to his property which he desires to be carried into effect after his death”

A will can deal with important matters, other than testamentary gifts, such as the appointment of the executor of the testator’s personal Choice and the inclusion of funeral and burial wish.

In making will it is not necessary to use any technical words. Section 74 of the Indian Succession Act 1925 provides that it is not necessary to use any technical words or terms of art in a will, but only that the wording be such that the intention of the testator can be known therefrom. No particular form is also prescribed for the will to be made.

The registration of the will is optional under sec.18 of the Registration Act.

Testator may personally deposit with the person concerned his WILL in a sealed cover superscribed with the name of the testator with a statement of the nature of the document, that is “LAST WILL and TESTAMENT OF………………………..”

May I request all the diocesan Fathers to make a LAST WILL and hand it over to me in a sealed envelope latest by MARCH 31, 2015.

Later on, when you need to make any changes in the last will, you can write the changes and hand it over to the Bishop.

If I do not get the will by the said time, I presume you are not interested or willing to write your last will and the diocese will decide about the disposal of your personal things and decide the place of burial.

If some one needs help to make the will, Fr. Faustine Brank (Advocate) is willing to render needed help


vacations
April, 2017
The situation of vacations in the diocese is in a poor condition. For the coming scholastic year that begins in July we shall not have any one in the second year of Samarpan minor seminary. We have just one theologian in four years of theology. Assessing situation of vocations in the diocese, in the meeting of the board of consultors held on January 05, 2017, it was proposed that in the future we could take candidates after passing in Madhyamic examination. The selected candidates would stay in Samarpan for three years, first two years they would attend nearby Higher Secondary school and follow a time table set up by rector and staff of Samarpan. In the third year they would have an intense course of spiritual orientation. Hence this year two batches shall be admitted to Samarpan, one for H.S. studies and another one after H.S. studies.

The following criteria shall be followed for the recruitment of candidates for our diocese.
1. The candidates should be coming from the parents who are sacramentally and legally married.
2. The candidates should be Roman Catholic for at least three years.
3. The candidates should be practicing Catholic and co-operating with church activities such as altar boys, youth group, SCC.
4. Candidates should pass Madhyamic exam or Uccho Madhyamic exam with at least 50%.

All the parish priests are to work hard for vocations for the diocese and religious life.

In the same meeting of the board of consultors it was proposed to accept vocations from outside the diocese.


PARISH PASTORAL SUPPORT, PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL AND FINANCE COMMITTEE
April, 2017
In the annual priests meeting it was proposed that the Bishop gives guidelines on Parish Pastoral Support, Parish Pastoral Council and Finance Committee in the parish and institutions in the diocese.
1. All the parish priests shall collect a minimum of Rs. 10/- (Rupees ten) per month from all the families in the parish. Those who are not practicing this are requested to put in practice from this financial year starting from April 01, 2017.
2. In the same meeting it was observed that many parishes have pastoral councils. Those who do not have form pastoral councils by April 2017. The statues for the Parish pastoral council are given in the directory 2015 in Pages no. 85-87.

All the parishes and institutions shall have also finance committees by April 30, 2017. The rules for finance committees are in directory of 2015 page no. 72. Finance committee of the institutions shall be made up of the first five members of the governing board.


OFFICE HOURS OF THE BISHOP’S HOUSE
January, 2018
Office hours of the Bishop’s House are 9.00 a.m. – 12. 30 p.m. and 1.30 p.m.5.00 p.m. on weekdays and on Saturdays 9.00 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.

Bishop is available at Bishop’s House from 8. 30 a.m. – 12.15 p.m. for any one who wants to meet. Fathers, Brothers and sisters are welcome to drop for any casual business or a friendly visit.

Bishop is available, with prior appointment, from 2.00 p.m. – 6.00 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays when he is at home. Bishop’s programme is given in the news letter every month.

Due to the pastoral engagements of the Bishop and of the Fathers in Bishop’s House, offices will not be open Saturday afternoon and Sunday whole day.

Kindly inform the lay people who visit Bishop’s House from far away villages that they run the risk of returning without completing their work if they come out of office hours or on Saturday afternoons and on Sundays.


As the pastor of the diocese Bishop is available to the people when they want to see him. If the catechist and lay people want to visit Bishop for a friendly visit they are always welcome. But if they come to discuss any official matter they must get a letter from the parish priest.
Bishop’s secretary is available for making programmes for the bishop for parish or institutions or convents.

In the absence of the bishop, Vicar General administers the diocese in the name of the Bishop. Over and above ordinary power the Vicar General, he is asked to deal with the land. Any matter connected with purchase, sale, alteration of the land should be dealt directly with the Vicar General. Before finalizing any matters he will discuss with the bishop, Board of consultors and, if need be, finance committee.

Any matter connected with finances, budgets, payments, continuation of the projects and presentation of new projects should be directly dealt with the treasurer who also is the secretary of the finance council. Before finalizing any matters he will discuss with the bishop, and, if need be, place the matter in the finance committee. Finance committee is responsible for all finances of the diocese. In the absence of Fr. Soumen Malik, kindly contact Fr. Jonas Singh.


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