Catholic Parish Registers and Genealogists

Remember the controversy over the Catholic Church refusing access to the Mormon Church, which wanted to make copies of parish registers?

Well, over in Ireland the Catholic Church let the National Library make photocopies–but now two Bishops are upset that the library is actually letting people look at them. One bishop claims he holds the copyright!

It seems there is some simony involved, too.

The Diocese of Cloyne, for example, charges a €25 ($37) per family fee for a search of its registers, plus €3 ($4.40) per entry found.

Wow! That’s outrageous! This is for people who want to find out about their own families! And these all date to before 1881–so how can anyone claim “copyright”?!

The library made the decision after extensive legal review, and is standing firm.

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