1. Regarding correction of names – what is to be done if:
a) A name has been wrongly spelt.
b) If a name has been changed in the Government Gazette.
c) If a person is commonly known by another name.
d) If in the Baptism Certificate the names were given in the Portuguese form and in the marriage certificates the names are given in the English form.
e) If the party wants the names to be transposed.
a) If it is a clear spelling mistake the same can be corrected without referring the matter to the Local Ordinary or his delegate, but the correction should be initialled and dated.
b) The case should be referred to the Local Ordinary or his delegate with a copy of the Gazette where the name has been changed.
It is not permitted to make alterations in the Register and hence please do not change the name in the Register, but when permission is granted, make a note in the remarks column of the relevant Baptismal/Marriage entry that as per notification in the Government Gazette No. ___ dated ____, the name of ______ has been changed to _______.
Having made this note, the priest concerned may issue a fresh Baptism/Marriage Certificate with the name as it appears in the Government Gazette, but the note made in the remarks column of the Baptism/Marriage entry should also appear in the remarks column of the fresh Baptism/Marriage Certificate.
c) If a person is commonly known by a name other than the one given at the time of baptism, the case should be referred to the Local Ordinary or his delegate and after obtaining the required permission, the following note should be put in the remarks column – “so and so is commonly known as so and so”.
d) If, at the time of baptism, the name(s) was spelt in the Portuguese form and at the time of marriage it was spelt in the English form and if the parties want the names to be spelt in the Portuguese form in the Marriage Certificate, the case should be referred to the Local Ordinary or his delegate and after obtaining the permission the needful could be done. But, when applying for permission, the priest concerned should send the party to the Local Ordinary or his delegate with a letter and the documentary evidence for the same.
e) If a party wants the names to be transposed, a note can be made in the remarks column that “so and so is commonly known as so and so”.
2. What is to be done in case correction of the date of birth is to be made in the Baptism Register?
It is to be noted that at times people give a wrong date in order to obtain a job or admission in schools and then they want this wrong date to be entered in the Baptism Register. This should never be done. At times people put a notification in the Government Gazette changing the date of birth. Even if a notification is put in the Government Gazette, the date of birth in the Baptism Register should not be changed. If, however, there is documentary evidence of the correct date of birth, only then can the correction be made. The party concerned should be asked to get a Municipal Birth Certificate or a letter from the Maternity Home where the child was born.
Courtesy Archdiocese of Bombay Catholic Communication Centre