Office of the Chancellor
The Chancellor's role is to gather, arrange, and safeguard the acts of the Diocesan Curia in the archive, as well as to act as an ecclesiastical notary and secretary. Code of Canon Law, 482.
The term notary and secretary indicates that the Chancellor has a role in drafting official curial documents, recording official minutes of certain meetings, authenticating documents, and witnessing certain act and events. C. 484. According to Canon Law, acts of the curia which are to have ecclesiastical juridic effect must be signed by the Chancellor. C. 474. The Chancellor also has a role in permitting individuals into the archive and/or allowing documents to be examined. CC. 487-488. Per canon 382 §3, the Chancellor also plays a small role when a new bishop is appointed, “[a] bishop takes canonical possession of a diocese when he personally or through a proxy has shown the apostolic letter in the same diocese to the college of consultors in the presence of the chancellor of the curia, who records the event.” See also, c. 404. Finally, the Code of Canon Law allows for a diocese to expand the role of the chancellor where, in canon 482 § 1, it states "unless particular law establishes otherwise."
In the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, in addition to the duties listed above in Canon Law, the Chancellor serves as the corporate secretary for the Diocese and is a member of the corporate board of directors. The Chancellor also serves on the Bishop’s Administrative Team, as well as on various other diocesan councils, committees, and boards, providing input to strategic decisions that affect the various areas of the Curia’s responsibilities. The Chancellor is also the Chairman of the Policy Development Committee and coordinates and guides the development of diocesan policies and procedures in collaboration with the diocesan departments or offices responsible for their assigned area of expertise or responsibility. The current Chancellor is also the Bishop’s Liaison to the Diocesan Special Panel and Diocesan Review Board. The Chancellor performs his archival duties through supervision of the Office for Archives and Records Management and in collaboration with the Director of that Office.
The current Chancellor, James A. Bock, Jr., is also the diocesan General Counsel. A General Counsel is an attorney and is the chief legal officer of a corporation. The General Counsel provides legal advice, interpretation, and guidance to the Diocesan Bishop and other officials of the Diocesan Curia in basic matters of civil law regarding routine diocesan activities. The General Counsel also selects, coordinates, and reviews the work of outside legal counsel for more complex or specialized matters of civil law. Chancellor Bock is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Missouri and has been admitted to the Bars of the Southern District of Illinois, United States District Court as well as the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
Thank you for taking the time to contact the Office of the Chancellor! Whether it is via email, phone or mail, we look forward to hearing from you.
Office of the Chancellor
1615 West Washington St.
Springfield, Illinois 62702-4757