The application requires that canonical reasons be given for requesting the permission, which might include the spiritual good of the couple; the probability of conversion of a non-Catholic; the validation of a previously invalid marriage, among others. It also asks the cleric to describe the reasons the couple is seeking the permission.
The chancellor will review the petition and reply within 30 days. If the request is declined, the reasons for refusal will be included in the letter, and the decision of the archbishop is final.
"People take getting married very seriously," Barr reflected. She told the Catholic Review that wanting to get married "in their grandmother's field, behind the family home" is an important reason.
The norms note that "In a ceremony outside the parish or approved Catholic chapel location, a Liturgy of the Word ceremony with Exchange of Consent and blessings is permitted," and that "all liturgical norms for weddings continue to apply."
This norm also permits a priest to celebrate a wedding Mass at a location outside a parish or Catholic chapel; but "given the varied venues the policy did not want to oblige that a Mass be celebrated," Sean Caine, vice-chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, told CNA.
The Baltimore archdiocese noted that requests for venues outside the archdiocese would require the permission of the local bishop and cannot be guaranteed, though the chancery "will work with other dioceses to try to secure the requisite permissions."
The Catholic Review suggested that popular venues outside the Archdiocese of Baltimore could include the Eastern Shore or Chesapeake Bay, much of which is in the Diocese of Wilmington.
Caine said that there have been requests for venues outside the Baltimore archdiocese, and that nearby dioceses have indicated a willingness to accommodate these requests, "on a case by case basis as long as it involved a cleric from the Archdiocese of Baltimore."
The permission to use other locations is a one-year experiment. It will be reviewed after a year, and the archdiocese is "keeping detailed records to be able to determine the efficacy of the process as well as its impact on our community," Caine indicated.
While their processes are distinct, the Diocese of Helena and the Diocese of Harrisburg both have similar policies for permitting weddings outside of parishes.