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Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service (CSAS)Procedures Manual

Testimonial of Suitability Supply Clergy

Testimonials of Suitability for Public Active Ministry

These arrangements apply to all Roman Catholic Clergy who are, or will be engaging on a temporary basis in any form of public Active Ministry (including the public celebration of the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Reconciliation or other religious services) while within the territory of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, having come from outside that territory.

These arrangements include those situations where a priest takes responsibility for a parish in relation to supply activities and supersede any previous policy on Supply Priests and their suitability for ministry. They will remain in effect until revised and updated policy and procedures are issued.

The same arrangements are also to be applied with regards to non-ordained religious who are or who will be engaging in any form of public Active Ministry.

The term "religious" includes any member of an institute of consecrated life or society of Apostolic life, and the term "Province" includes any equivalent circumscription within an institute, such as a region or abbey.

Long-term or permanent assignments will require similar testimonials, suitably adapted.  In the case of clergy, these assignments will include the granting of habitual Diocesan faculties.  Permanent assignments involving diocesan clergy will also require the observance of the canonical requirements regarding incardination.

The exercise of public Active Ministry within a diocese always requires the approval of the Diocesan Bishop.

Major Superiors should also seek the same testimonials when an individual from outside their jurisdiction undertakes a temporary ministry entirely under the jurisdiction of the Institute.

Diocesan Clergy

Diocesan Clergy, who will be engaging in public Active Ministry in any Diocese within the territory of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, having come from outside that territory, will require the prior permission of the Diocesan Bishop to undertake that ministry. Permission will only be granted if the Diocesan Bishop obtains satisfactory written confirmation from the individual's own Bishop that he is a Cleric in good standing and that there are no concerns, allegations or criminal convictions relating to any maltreatment of and /or sexual misconduct with children or adults.

This permission can only be given for the specified period of ministry in the receiving Diocese, not exceeding a period of 12 months.

A specimen document (Testimonial of Suitability for Ministry - Diocesan Clergy) is in the Forms Library.

Religious who are Attached to a Province Whose Territory Includes all or Part of the Territory of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales

Religious who will be engaging in public Active Ministry in any Diocese within the territory of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales may do so with the permission of their Major Superior provided that they are attached to a Province whose territory includes all or part of the territory of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. Permission will only be granted if the Major Superior is satisfied that the individual is in good standing and that there are no concerns, allegations or criminal convictions relating to any maltreatment of and/or sexual misconduct with children or adults.

A copy of this written permission should be sent by the Major Superior to the relevant Bishop and is valid for a period not exceeding 12 months from the date of issue.

Specimen documents (Testimonial of Suitability for Ministry - Religious Clergy/Testimonial for Suitability for Ministry - Non-ordained Religious) are contained in the Forms Library.

Religious who are Attached to a Province Whose Territory is Outside the Territory of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales

Religious who are attached to a Province whose territory is outside the territory of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, and who will be engaging in public Active Ministry in any Diocese within the territory of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, will require written confirmation from the Major Superior with jurisdiction in England and Wales that the individual has permission to exercise ministry from his/her own Major Superior, that he/she is in good standing and that there are no concerns, allegations or criminal convictions relating to any maltreatment of and /or sexual misconduct with children or adults.

It is the responsibility of the Major Superior with jurisdiction in England and Wales to obtain this written confirmation from the individual's own Major Superior as to his/her suitability for ministry.

A copy of this written permission should be sent by the Major Superior with jurisdiction in England and Wales  to the relevant Bishop and is valid for the specified period of his/her stay within England and Wales, but not exceeding a period of 12 months from the date of issue.

Specimen documents (Testimonial of Suitability for Ministry - Religious Clergy/Testimonial for Suitability for Ministry - Non-ordained Religious) are contained in the Forms Library and may be used to obtain information from the individual's own Major Superior as well as providing information to the receiving Bishop.