Series - Status Animarum (SA)

The Synod of Augsburg in 1548 obliged parish priests to keep a record regarding the adhesion of the parishioners to the Catholic teachings. The Council of Vienne in 1557 gave explicit instructions for parish priests to note those that failed to adhere to the Paschal Precept and report them to their Vicar General. The Councils of Narbonne in 1551, and particularly that of Mediolanese of 1565, gave similar instructions. In 1614, Pope Paul V extended this universally by obliging the parish priests to keep a Liber de Statu Animarum. The 1983 revision of the Codex Juris Canonici withdrew the obligation of parish priests to keep the Status Animarum records. Although these are ecclesiastical records, the Status Animarum records could also be considered Malta's earliest censuses.