What does the Chancellor do?
The office of Chancellor is mentioned several times in the Code of Canon Law. Here are the most relevent entries:
ARTICLE 2: THE CHANCELLOR, OTHER NOTARIES AND THE ARCHIVES
Can. 482 §1 In each curia a chancellor is to be appointed, whose principal office, unless particular law states otherwise, is to ensure that the acts of the curia are drawn up and dispatched, and that they are kept safe in the archive of the curia.
§2 If it is considered necessary, the chancellor may be given an assistant, who is to be called the vice-chancellor.
§3 The chancellor and vice-chancellor are automatically notaries and secretaries of the curia.
Can. 483 §1 Besides the chancellor, other notaries may be appointed, whose writing or signature authenticates public documents. These notaries may be appointed for all acts, or for judicial acts alone, or only for acts concerning a particular issue or business.
§2 The chancellor and notaries must be of unblemished reputation and above suspicion. In cases which could involve the reputation of a priest, the notary must be a priest.
Can. 484 The office of notary involves:
1° writing acts and documents concerning decrees, arrangements, obligations, and other matters which require their intervention;
2° faithfully recording in writing what is done, and signing the document, with a note of the place, the day, the month and the year;
3° while observing all that must be observed, showing acts or documents from the archives to those who lawfully request them, and verifying that copies conform to the original.
Can. 485 The chancellor and the other notaries can be freely removed by the diocesan Bishop. They can be removed by a diocesan Administrator only with the consent of the college of consultors.
Can. 487 §1 The archive must be locked, and only the Bishop and the chancellor are to have the key; no one may be allowed to enter unless with the permission of the Bishop, or with the permission of both the Moderator of the curia and the chancellor. §2 Persons concerned have the right to receive, personally or by proxy, an authentic written or photostat copy of documents which are of their nature public and which concern their own personal status.
From: Archbishop Robert Carlson
Date: July 22, 2009
Re: Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis
I am very pleased to announce to you today that I have appointed Nancy J. Werner, currently the Chancellor of the Diocese of Saginaw, as the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. Nancy Werner is a highly qualified individual and possesses an outstanding record as a collaborator in ministry and administration. She holds an undergraduate degree in Religion and Philosophy, as well as a Masters in Pastoral Administration from Regis University in Denver. Nancy brings to the Archdiocese over twenty-six years of parish, diocesan and national leadership experience. The occasion of this appointment gives me the opportunity to name a highly qualified woman to a senior position within the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. Nancy will begin her work in mid-August, after completing her transfer from Saginaw, and will have her office located at the Catholic Center.
At the same time, I am pleased to appoint Reverend Monsignor Jerome Billing to the office of Chancellor for Canonical Affairs of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. In this capacity, Monsignor Billing will be responsible for marriage dispensations as well as the oversight of the Archdiocesan Archives. In addition, Monsignor Billing is appointed Promoter of Justice and Defender of the Bond for the Metropolitan Tribunal, where his physical office will be located.
In the near future, I will announce the creation of a revised governing structure, with a new organizational chart, for the administrative and ministerial operations of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis.
I look forward to working closely with Nancy Werner and Monsignor Billing in their new responsibilities.
And behold a woman that was in the city, a sinner, when she knew that He sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment; and standing behind at His feet, she began to wash His feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment. St. Luke vii. 37,38