The Holy See
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The Holy See and the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred as the "Contracting Parties");

in order to provide continuous pastoral care to Catholics serving in the Army of the Republic of Lithuania, in a way which is acceptable to both Contracting Parties;

have agreed on the following:

Article 1

1. The Holy See shall establish a Military Ordinariate responsible for the pastoral care of the Catholics serving in the Army of the Republic of Lithuania.

2. In accordance with the Apostolic Constitution Spirituali Militum Curae, the Military Ordinariate shall be headed by a Military Ordinary who has the rights and duties of a diocesan Bishop.

3. The Military Ordinary may at the same time hold the office of a diocesan or auxiliary Bishop.

4. The jurisdiction of the Military Ordinary is personal, ordinary and proper. This jurisdiction shall be exercised cumulatively with the local Ordinaries.

5. The Military Ordinary is a member of the Conference of Lithuanian Bishops.

Article 2

The Military Ordinary shall be freely appointed by the Holy See, and prior notice of his appointment is to be given to the President of the Republic of Lithuania.

Article 3

In co-ordination with the Minister of Defence, the Military Ordinary shall appoint a Vicar General. The Vicar General is at the same time the Head Chaplain of the Army.

Article 4

1. Military Chaplains shall be appointed or dismissed from office by the Military Ordinary in agreement with the local Bishop. In accordance with the provisions of the Canon Law, Military Chaplains shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Military Ordinary, even when they remain incardinated in their own dioceses. Military Chaplains have the rights and duties of a pastor of a personal parish.

2. The Minister of Dunce, in agreement with the Military Ordinary, may grant a special service status to Military Chaplains charged with the pastoral care of Catholics in the major military units. Such Military Chaplains may be incardinated in the Military Ordinariate, according to the norms of Canon Law.

3. The Military Ordinary, in co-ordination with the local Bishop, may also temporarily engage other priests in pastoral ministry.

Article 5

In accordance with the norms of Canon Law, the following persons shall be subjected to the jurisdiction of the Military Ordinary:

(a) Catholic military and civilian personnel serving in the Army of Lithuania;

(b) Catholic members of their families and other Catholics who share the same residence with them;

(c) Catholics attending military schools, working in hospitals and other similar institutions;

(d) Catholics who carry out a task committed to them by the Military Ordinary in a permanent way or with his consent.

Article 6

The curia of the Military Ordinariate will be in Vilnius.

Article 7

The Ministry of Defence shall provide proper material assistance in maintaining the Military Ordinariate and its places of worship, as well as for the other pastoral activities.

Article 8

1. In exercising their pastoral ministry, Military Chaplains shall be bound by the norms of Canon Law, the ordinances of the Military Ordinary, as well as the statutes, rules and regulations of the Army.

2. The duties of a Military Chaplain shall comprise: visiting military units, celebrating Mass and presiding at other acts of worship, administering the sacraments, teaching religion and morals, arranging talks on the topics of religion and moral managing and caring for the church property entrusted to him and performing other pastoral activities.

3. If a Military Chaplain is to be subjected to administrative sanctions, the military authorities shall act in consultation with the Military Ordinary.

 Article 9

1. The Military Ordinary shall have the right to give instructions to Military Chaplains concerning their ministry, to maintain constant relations with them either directly or through his delegates, and to supervise them in the places of their ministry.

2. Military Chaplains shall regularly report to the Military Ordinary on their activities.

Article 10

The Conference of Lithuanian Bishops and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Lithuania will agree upon specific regulations for the Military Ordinariate concerning practical aspects of the pastoral ministry of Military Chaplains, as well as their terms and conditions within the military structure.

Article 11

Should any divergences arise in the future concerning the interpretation or implementation of this Agreement, the Contracting Parties will proceed by common accord to an amicable solution.

Article 12

This Agreement shall enter into force from the moment of reciprocal notification of the fulfilment by the Contracting Parties of the procedures necessary for its entrance into force.

Done in Vilnius on 5 May 2000 in two copies in English and Lithuanian, both texts being of equal force.

For the Holy See   For the Republic of Lithuania


*A.A.S., vol. XCII (2000), n. 11, pp. 809-813


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