Wednesday, August 02, 2006

How To "Close" a Parish Under Canon Law

Well, isn't THIS interesting?

In his letter, sent in March and distributed to U.S. bishops in mid-July, Cardinal Castrillon said that most parish closings fall under the provisions of Canon 121 or Canon 122 of the church's Code of Canon Law, not Canon 123.

His congregation was concerned that "erroneous use of Canon 123 in the dioceses of the United States is not uncommon," he said.

...elsewhere in the country, however, it has not been uncommon for bishops to treat such a change as the extinction of a parish under Canon 123, with part or all of the suppressed parish's assets reverting to the diocese.

He said Cardinal Castrillon's letter gives notice to the bishops that the Congregation for Clergy, which has Vatican oversight over the disposition of parish property, has decided that "as a matter of equity, that's unfair.

"He said that Canon 19, which governs in cases where there are gaps in church law, is the basis for Cardinal Castrillon's decision even though it is not explicitly cited in the letter.

I recall at least TWO parish "closings" in this Archdiocese where the rather substantial financial assets of the parishes were scooped up by the Archdiocese.

S'pose they'll send the money back?

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