TO: ALL PARISH PRIESTS / PASTORS, PARISH ADMINISTRATORS, CHAPLAINS, RECTORS OF SHRINES IN THE DIOCESE OF PARAÑAQUE
RE: POLICY ON PARISH RECTORY
Canon 533, 1 The pastor is obligated to reside in a parish house close to the church. In particular cases, however, the local ordinary can permit him to live elsewhere, especially in a house shared by several presbyters, provided there is just cause and suitable and due provision is made for the performance of parochial functions.
The parish rectory is considered as the official residence of the priests (pastor, parochial vicar, parish administrator, retired, attached and guest priests). Just as he is expected to be closer to Christ through his spiritual life, he is also expected to be closer to his parishioners through his pastoral ministry. His “constant” presence in the parish is essential in order for the parishioners to have an easy access of the sacraments if they seek for them.
In order for the parish priest to properly and effectively exercise his parochial functions, he is obliged to stay in the parish rectory situated near the church. Hence, care should be observed in order to maintain the utmost privacy and dignity of the place as the home of clergy.
In keeping with our Diocesan Statues, Canon Law and Policies on Transfer, we emphasize the following points;
1. No relative, in all degrees, should stay more than three weeks in the parish rectory. The sensitivity of the parishioners should always be taken into utmost consideration. The latter regard the rectory as the private home of their parish priest. This should always be respected and safeguarded by us.
2. No relative should be hired or employed as personnel of the parish rectory up to the third degree of consanguinity (#7 of DOP CIRCULAR NO. 2017- 004). Exception to this rule should be referred to the bishop in writing, stating the valid reason of the matter. Hence, the bishop should be the one to decide whether or not to approve the request.
3. Parish priests should always exercise with utmost prudence the reception of guests in the rectory for an overnight stay or beyond the time as instructed in #2.
4. In the absence of the parish priest, the appointed parish administrator should stay in the parish rectory. Otherwise, he needs to seek permission from the bishop in writing.
Please be guided accordingly.
REV. FR. CARMELO O. ESTORES