ARCHDIOCESE OF SAINT PAUL AND MINNEAPOLIS
December 7, 2011
MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM LIMITS FOR FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION INCLUDING CORPORATE ACTION
Reverend and dear Fathers,
On March 31, 2010, new USCCB complementary legislation regarding canon 1292 §1 of the Code of Canon Law came into effect. This legislation establishes the new minimum and maximum limits for alienation of property and other notable transactions by public juridic persons subject to the local bishop, which includes parishes, schools, and other institutions. A copy of the decree of promulgation is attached.
As a result of the promulgation of this legislation, I have determined that changes are necessary to Archdiocesan particular law as it relates to alienation of property and other important transactions by parishes and other institutions. Prior to this time, parishes and institutions were required to seek a proxy for civil corporate action when the financial amount of a transaction was in excess of $30,000. In order to bring this amount into harmony with the new complementary norms, I am lowering that amount to $25,000, effective immediately.
Therefore, effective immediately, financial transactions by parishes, schools, and institutions which are in excess of $25,000 are no longer considered acts of ordinary administration, and consequently prior to completing such transactions the consent of the Archbishop must be sought and received. In addition, for alienation of property worth more than $25,000 as well as other transactions which, according to the norm of the law, can worsen the patrimonial condition of the parish, school, or institution to a corresponding amount1, the consent of the Archbishop as well as the Archdiocesan Finance Council and the College of Consultors is required.
Transactions which could worsen the patrimonial condition of the juridic person may include initiating a program of financing by the issuance of instruments such as bonds, mortgages or incurring other debt. It may also include the transfer of rights such as easements, liens and options. In this Archdiocese it also includes resolving an individual or aggregate claim(s) by financial settlement in excess of $25,000.
Transactions which require the consent of the Archbishop will normally require a proxy for civil corporate action. In cases involving the alienation of property or other transactions which can worse the patrimonial condition of the public juridic person, additional information will be required and parishes, schools, and other institutions should contact the Chancery prior to presenting the request for approval to determine what documentation will be sufficient for those purposes. Every effort will be made to return a timely response to the request. However, parishes, schools, and other institutions should be aware that the required consultations may take several weeks to complete.
Given at Saint Paul, Minnesota, this 7th day of December, in the year of Our Lord 2011. All things to the contrary notwithstanding.
The Reverend John C. Nienstedt
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Chancellor for Canonical Affairs
1The complementary legislation establishes as the minimum limit $25,000 or 10% of the prior year’s ordinary annual income. However, for the purpose of clarity, the particular law in this Archdiocese caps acts of ordinary administration at $25,000, and also requires a proxy for any transaction in excess of $25,000. Therefore, the 10% criteria is not applicable.