letters dimissory

Granted by a bishop to an individual, born or resident in his diocese, to enable him to be ordained by another bishop. The presumption was that the bishop granting the letter dimissory had already established that the individual was sufficiently qualified to be ordained. Sometimes, however, letters dimissory was also the term used to describe to describe a testimonial issued by the bishop on behalf of a clergyman who was leaving his diocese to seek employment elsewhere.