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Prepared by Fr. Jason Gray, November 12, 2005
Copyright © 2005 by Fr. Jason Gray
All rights reserved
Other persons are permitted to copy, distribute, or display this work with the following provisions: Reproduction of this work must contain proper attribution to the author. No reproduction of this work is allowed for commercial purposes. This text may not be used to produce a derivative work, whether by altering, transforming, or building on this text.  Other permissions to copy, distribute, display, or reprint this work require the expressed permission of the author. This document is cited as follows:
Gray, Jason A., References to Statutes in the Code of Canon Law; available from http://www.jgray.org/docs/statute_canons.html; Internet; accessed 1 January 2006.
Appendix: The text of the canons cited
I. Statutes in general
See the text of these canons.
In a general sense, statutes are the ordinances that govern an "aggregate" of persons or things (c. 94 §1). While statutes govern juridic persons, statutes can govern other entities that are not juridic persons, such as some private associations of the faithful. Therefore, the term "aggregate" is general in nature and can indicate a college, a group, or an association of persons. It can also indicate a collection of things, such as a fund of monies or temporal goods.
Statutes should define several things (cf. c. 94 §1):
If the statutes are promulgated through an act of legislative power, other prescripts in the law in canons 7-22 should be considered (c. 94 §3).
II. Statutes of Juridic Persons
See the text of these canons.
In simple terms, a juridic person is an artificial construct under canon law that allow a group of person or things to function and be treated under canon law as a single unit.
A more thorough definition is given by Kennedy: "A juridic person... is an artificial person, distinct from all natural persons or material goods, constituted by competent ecclesiastical authority for an apostolic purpose, with a capacity for continuous existence and with canonical rights and duties like those of a natural person... conferred upon it by law or by the authority which constitutes it and to which it is also accountable under canon law." [From Robert T. Kennedy, "Juridic Persons" in New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, ed. John P. Beal et al. (New York/Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2000) 155. Italic text added.]
All juridic persons should have statutes (c. 117).
Juridic persons are constituted either by the law or by the grant of competent authority (c. 114 §1). The statutes should specify the competent authority who constituted the juridic person, as this is generally the same authority who approves the statutes or changes to the statutes. This is also generally the same authority to whom the juridic person is accountable.
Juridic persons are constituted for a purpose that is in keeping with the mission of the Church. This purpose may pertain to works of piety, the apostolate, spiritual or temporal charity. A juridic person is to serve a truly useful purpose in the Church and should have the means necessary to achieve its purpose (c. 114). This purpose and those things related to the purpose should be indicated in the statutes.
The statutes of a juridic person should specify who represents the juridic person and who acts in its name. For some public juridic persons, the person who governs the juridic person is defined by law (c. 118). Furthermore, the statutes of a juridic person that is made up of things should define who directs those assets (c. 115 §3).
The statutes of a juridic person that is made up of persons should define whether it operates collegially, rendering decisions by common counsel; otherwise it is non-collegial (c. 115 §2).
If it is anticipated that a juridic person will grow over time, it may need to be divided into parts. In this case, the statutes may provide some rules for this process and the appropriate way to divide the assets of the juridic person (c. 122). This consideration is optional.
The statutes should indicate how a juridic person is dissolved. Juridic persons may be extinguished if it is legitimately suppressed, or if it ceases to act for a hundred years. A private juridic person may be extinguished if it has ceased to exist in the judgment of competent authority in the case of a private juridic person. The statutes of private juridic persons should define any other ways in which it may be dissolved. The statutes of public juridic persons should acknowledge the manner in which it may be suppressed in law (c. 120). Although no one desires to ponder the end of a juridic person, many difficulties can be avoided if the question of the extinction of the juridic person is anticipated in the statutes. In particular, the statutes should indicate how the assets are distributed if a juridic person is extinguished (c. 123). In the case of a public juridic person, the statutes should conform to any provisions in law that govern the distribution of its assets.
III. Statute provisions regarding elections
See the text of these canons.
Especially if the juridic person is collegial, the statutes should specify the rules governing elections and decision making if it differs from the rules specified in canon 119.
In any elections, the statutes may specify what happens if an election is delayed. If the statutes are silent in this regard, the provisions of canon 165 apply. The statutes may give the right to vote by letter or proxy (c. 167 §1). The statutes may forbid an election by compromise (c. 174 §1). The statutes may specify any formalities to be observed before an election is considered valid (c. 176).
IV. Statutes of Associations of the Faithful
See the text of these canons.
All associations of the faithful are to have their own statutes (c. 304). Their statutes should define the following items which are related to the elements mentioned earlier in canon 94:
The statutes should define several aspects of its membership. The statutes should define the conditions for membership, the manner in which a member is received, the reasons for which a member may be dismissed and the manner in which dismissal takes place. The statutes should define the rights, privileges, indulgences and other spiritual favors that members enjoy (c. 306-308).
The statutes should define the manner in which it issues particular norms, holds meetings, designates its leaders and administrates its goods (c. 309).
V. Statutes of Public Associations
See the text of these canons.
The statutes of a public association are approved by ecclesiastical authority. Revisions are also approved by ecclesiastical authority (c. 314). They undertake endeavors in keeping with their character according to the norm of their statutes, always under the higher direction of ecclesiastical authority (c. 315).
The statutes should define how a person who defects from the faith or who is excommunicated is dismissed from the association. The process of dismissal should provide for the opportunity of recourse to ecclesiastical authority (c. 316 §2).
The statutes should define the role that ecclesiastical authority has in confirming, installing, or appointing the moderator of a public association (c. 317 §1). For a religious institute, the statutes define the role that the superior has in nominating or confirming the moderator and chaplain (c. 317 §2). A chaplain cannot be the moderator of the association unless the statutes provide for this (c. 317 §3). The statutes should also define the manner in which the moderator is removed for a just cause (c. 318 §2).
The statutes should define the way in which the association administers goods (c. 319 §1). The administration of temporal goods is also governed by the canons of Book V of the code.
VI. Statutes of Private Associations
See the text of these canons.
Private associations of the faithful are not recognized unless competent authority has reviewed its statutes (c. 299 §3). The statutes determine the manner in which the faithful guide and direct a private association (c. 321). If it is a juridic person, the private association’s statutes must be approved by ecclesiastical authority (c. 322 §2).
The statutes should define the manner in which a private association designates its moderator and other officials, the manner in which it administers its goods, the manner in which it ceases to exist and the distribution of its assets after dissolution (cc. 324 §1, 325 §1, 326 §§1, 2).
VII. Statutes governing Temporal Goods
See the text of these canons.
The acquisition, retention, administration, and alienation of temporal goods are governed by the statutes of the juridic person, as well as by other provisions of the law (c. 1257).
The statutes should determine who administrates the temporal goods if it is not the one who immediately governs the juridic person. The ordinary may intervene in the case of negligence by an administrator or if a juridic person does not have an administrator (c. 1279). The statutes should indicate the procedure to be followed if an administrator is unable to act, negligent in his or her action, or removed from office.
The statutes should determine the composition and role of the finance council of a public juridic person (c. 1280). Private juridic persons should provide a structure for administrating temporal goods.
The statutes should define which acts are ordinary administration which may be placed freely by the administrator and which acts are extraordinary administration. Furthermore, the statutes should define what procedures are to be followed to place an act of extraordinary administration (c. 1281 §§1, 2). These procedures may include consulting with other groups or individuals or obtaining the consent of other groups or individuals.
The statutes should define who is competent to alienate the assets of a juridic person according to the value or type of asset. A public juridic person that is not subject to the diocesan bishop must determine the competent authority to make this decision in the statutes (c. 1292 §1). Furthermore, for public juridic persons, the statutes must conform with the norms on alienation expressed in canons 1291-1294 (cc. 1295).
VIII. Statutes of Conferences of Bishops
See the text of these canons.
The following observations about the statutes for a conference of bishops is presented for the purposes of better understanding how the code applies the principles on statutes to a particular ecclesiastical body. What is true of a conference of bishops may be valuable by analogy with other juridic persons.
|Statutes should determine who has a deliberative and a consultative vote and in what matters the counsel or consent of a group of persons is required.|
|Statutes should determine the various structures in the governance of a juridic person and the purpose of each.|
|Statutes should define the functions of each of the officers and what actions they are allowed to take.|
|Statutes should determine the frequency of ordinary meetings and the manner of convening extraordinary meetings.|
IX. Statutes for Presbyteral Councils
See the text of these canons.
The following observations about presbyteral councils offer insight into the ways statutes may be used in the code.
|Statutes should define who approves them, and should be attentive to other norms that may be operative if there are any.|
|Statutes should determine which officers are ex-officio, elected, or appointed; how officers are elected or by whom they are appointed; who is eligible to vote and who is eligible to be elected; the length of a term of office.|
X. Statutes for Chapters of Canons
See the text of these canons.
The following observations about a chapter of canons offer insight into the ways statutes may be used in the code.
|Statutes should indicate not only who has the right to approve the statutes, but who has the right to propose amendments to the statutes. The persons who may propose amendments may be different from the person who approves amendments.|
|Statutes should define the leadership, the compensation of any member, and the frequency of meetings. But the statutes should also define the subject matters that may be addressed, any conditions that are imposed for an action to be licit, and even conditions imposed for a valid action.|
|Statutes may allow for certain functions to be entrusted to someone who is not a member of the group. For example, the statutes may allow for financial actions to be entrusted to a person who is truly expert, even if not a member.|
XI. Other Examples of Statutes
See the text of these canons.
The following list provides the other circumstances in the code in which statutes are mentioned. These circumstances provide additional insight into the use of statutes in the code.
|The statutes may provide structure for those who are not in positions of leadership to exercise a certain decision making capacity.|
|Although it is easy to think of associations with temporal ends or that manage temporal assets, an association can have an entirely spiritual purpose. The spiritual nature of the association does not diminish the need for statutes to define the way in which the association functions.|
|Statutes may define not only the inner workings of the association or group, but also the manner in which it will relate to other persons or groups outside itself.|
|A diocesan pastoral council is not mandatory. However, when one exists, statutes help define its purpose and make its manner of acting more effective.|
|One way of looking at statutes is to identify the obligations and the rights. These two go hand in hand. Certain persons are obligated to do or provide something. Certain persons have a right to receive a benefit or a privilege. This observation gives rise to two cause-and-effect questions: Do the statutes indicate that a person receives benefits precisely because they have accepted the burden of a certain obligation? If the statutes provide a benefit to one person, do they also impose an obligation upon another person to provide the benefit?|
|Some groups should incorporate liturgical norms in the statutes, beyond other practical norms governing officers, membership, and finances.|
|Although the writing of statutes may seem difficult or fruitless, statutes exist to protect the work of the juridic person or association. Statutes insure its stability.|
|Statutes can govern the manner in which separate juridic persons cooperate or interact with one another.|
|Statutes can include norms that govern the formation or continuing education of members.|
|Statutes should indicate both the qualification for membership or for office, as well as the reasons for removal or dismissal as well as the procedure to be followed.|
|Statutes may indicate that an oath is to be taken when joining a group, when assuming an office, or at other specified intervals.|
|Statutes should determine the purpose of the juridic person, the authority of leaders, and the administration of assets. However, statutes can also determine the ownership of assets, especially if this may be called into question.|
XII. Summary Observations about the Content of Statutes
The preceding study of canons has identified many factors that should be considered in the composition of statutes. Consideration of these factors can help insure that newly composed statutes are well crafted and comprehensively address the essential elements for an ecclesiastical entity.
However, it may be cumbersome to sift through all of the preceding citations to determine what matters need to be included in statutes. The following list of factors summarize the important elements of statutes in a systematic way. Theses observations are grouped so that they may be easily considered, especially by anyone who prepares statutes for an ecclesiastical entity.
Statutes are required for juridic persons and associations as well as some other entities such as a presbyteral council or diocesan pastoral council. Not all associations of the faithful are juridic persons, nor are all juridic persons associations of the faithful. In addressing the factors to consider in composing statutes, a general term is needed that can refer to these various structures that require statutes under canon law. For the purposes of this section, these ecclesiastical entities will be referred to as "groups." Although "group" is not a canonically technical term, it will be understood as applying to juridic persons (whether composed of persons or things, and whether public or private), associations of the faithful (whether public or private), and other entities that require statutes.
The purpose of the group
The statutes of a group serve a very important function in clarifying the purpose of an ecclesiastical entity and guiding its action. By considering the use of statutes under canon law, it is hoped that statutes may be used in an effective manner by groups within the Catholic Church in the future.
The text of the canons cited in each section is provided for reference.
I. Statutes in general (text of canons)
Can. 94 §1. Statutes in the proper sense are ordinances which are established according to the norm of law in aggregates of persons (universitates personarum) or of things (universitates rerum) and which define their purpose, constitution, government, and methods of operation.
§2. The statutes of an aggregate of persons (universitas personarum) bind only the persons who are its legitimate members; the statutes of an aggregate of things (universitas rerum), those who direct it.
§3. Those prescripts of statutes established and promulgated by virtue of legislative power are governed by the prescripts of the canons on laws.
II. Statutes of Juridic Persons (text of canons)
Can. 114 §1. Juridic persons are constituted either by the prescript of law or by special grant of competent authority given through a decree. They are aggregates of persons (universitates personarum) or of things (universitates rerum) ordered for a purpose which is in keeping with the mission of the Church and which transcends the purpose of the individuals.
§2. The purposes mentioned in §1 are understood as those which pertain to works of piety, of the apostolate, or of charity, whether spiritual or temporal.
§3. The competent authority of the Church is not to confer juridic personality except on those aggregates of persons (universitates personarum) or things (universitates rerum) which pursue a truly useful purpose and, all things considered, possess the means which are foreseen to be efficient to achieve their designated purpose.
Can. 115 §1. Juridic persons in the Church are either aggregates of persons (universitates personarum) or aggregates of things (universitates rerum).
§2. An aggregate of persons (universitas personarum), which can be constituted only with at least three persons, is collegial if the members determine its action through participation in rendering decisions, whether by equal right or not, according to the norm of law and the statutes; otherwise it is non-collegial.
§3. An aggregate of things (universitas rerum), or an autonomous foundation, consists of goods or things, whether spiritual or material, and either one or more physical persons or a college directs it according to the norm of law and the statutes.
Can. 117 No aggregate of persons (universitas personarum) or of things (universitas rerum), intending to obtain juridic personality, is able to acquire it unless competent authority has approved its statutes.
Can. 118 Representing a public juridic person and acting in its name are those whose competence is acknowledged by universal or particular law or by its own statutes. Representing a private juridic person are those whose competence is granted by statute.
Can. 120 §1. A juridic person is perpetual by its nature; nevertheless, it is extinguished if it is legitimately suppressed by competent authority or has ceased to act for a hundred years. A private juridic person, furthermore, is extinguished if the association is dissolved according to the norm of its statutes or if, in the judgment of competent authority, the foundation has ceased to exist according to the norm of its statutes.
§2. If even one of the members of a collegial juridic person survives, and the aggregate of persons (universitas personarum) has not ceased to exist according to its statutes, that member has the exercise of all the rights of the aggregate (universitas).
Can. 122 If an aggregate (universitas) which possesses public juridic personality is so divided either that a part of it is united with another juridic person or that a distinct public juridic person is erected from the separated part, the ecclesiastical authority competent to make the division, having observed before all else the intention of the founders and donors, the acquired rights, and the approved statutes, must take care personally or through an executor:
1º that common, divisible, patrimonial goods and rights as well as debts and other obligations are divided among the juridic persons concerned, with due proportion in equity and justice, after all the circumstances and needs of each have been taken into account;
2º that the use and usufruct of common goods which are not divisible accrue to each juridic person and that the obligations proper to them are imposed upon each, in due proportion determined in equity and justice.
Can. 123 Upon the extinction of a public juridic person, the allocation of its goods, patrimonial rights, and obligations is governed by law and its statutes; if these give no indication, they go to the juridic person immediately superior, always without prejudice to the intention of the founders and donors and acquired rights. Upon the extinction of a private juridic person, the allocation of its goods and obligations is governed by its own statutes.
III. Statute provisions regarding elections (text of canons)
Can. 119 With regard to collegial acts, unless the law or statutes provide otherwise:
1º if it concerns elections, when the majority of those who must be convoked are present, that which is approved by the absolute majority of those present has the force of law; after two indecisive ballots, a vote is to be taken on the two candidates who have obtained the greater number of votes or, if there are several, on the two senior in age; after the third ballot, if a tie remains, the one who is senior in age is considered elected;
2º if it concerns other affairs, when an absolute majority of those who must be convoked are present, that which is approved by the absolute majority of those present has the force of law; if after two ballots the votes are equal, the one presiding can break the tie by his or her vote;
3º what touches all as individuals, however, must be approved by all.
Can. 165 Unless the law or the legitimate statutes of a college or group have provided otherwise, if a college or group of persons has the right of election to office, the election is not to be delayed beyond three months of useful time computed from the notice of the vacancy of the office. If this limit has passed without action, the ecclesiastical authority who has the right of confirming the election or the right of providing for the office successively is to make provision freely for the vacant office.
Can. 167 §1. When the notice of the convocation has been given legitimately, those present on the day and at the place determined in the same notice have the right to vote. The faculty of voting by letter or proxy is excluded unless the statutes legitimately provide otherwise.
§2. If one of the electors is present in the house where the election occurs but cannot be present at the election due to ill health, his or her written vote is to be sought by the tellers.
Can. 174 §1. Unless the law or the statutes provide otherwise, an election can also be done by compromise, provided that the electors, by unanimous and written consent, transfer the right to elect on that occasion to one or more suitable persons, whether from among the membership or outside it, who are to elect in the name of all by virtue of the faculty received.
§2. If it concerns a college or group composed of clerics alone, those commissioned must be ordained; otherwise the election is invalid.
§3. Those commissioned must observe the prescripts of the law concerning elections and, for the validity of the election, the conditions attached to the compromise agreement which are not contrary to the law; conditions contrary to the law, however, are to be considered as not having been attached.
Can. 176 Unless the law or the statutes provide otherwise, the person who has received the required number of votes according to the norm of can. 119, n. 1 is considered elected and is to be announced as such by the one presiding over the college or group.
IV. Statutes of Associations of the Faithful (text of canons)
Can. 304 §1. All public or private associations of the Christian faithful, by whatever title or name they are called, are to have their own statutes which define the purpose or social objective of the association, its seat, government, and conditions required for membership and which determine the manner of its acting, attentive, however, to the necessity or advantage of time and place.
§2. They are to choose a title or name for themselves adapted to the usage of time and place, selected above all with regard to their intended purpose.
Can. 305 §1. All associations of the Christian faithful are subject to the vigilance of competent ecclesiastical authority which is to take care that the integrity of faith and morals is preserved in them and is to watch so that abuse does not creep into ecclesiastical discipline. This authority therefore has the duty and right to inspect them according to the norm of law and the statutes. These associations are also subject to the governance of this same authority according to the prescripts of the canons which follow.
§2. Associations of any kind are subject to the vigilance of the Holy See; diocesan associations and other associations to the extent that they work in the diocese are subject to the vigilance of the local ordinary.
Can. 306 In order for a person to possess the rights and privileges of an association and the indulgences and other spiritual favors granted to the same association, it is necessary and sufficient that the person has been validly received into it and has not been legitimately dismissed from it according to the prescripts of law and the proper statutes of the association.
Can. 307 §1. The reception of members is to be done according to the norm of law and the statutes of each association.
§2. The same person can be enrolled in several associations.
§3. Members of religious institutes can join associations according to the norm of their proper law with the consent of their superior.
Can. 308 No one legitimately enrolled is to be dismissed from an association except for a just cause according to the norm of law and the statutes.
Can. 309 According to the norm of law and the statutes, legitimately established associations have the right to issue particular norms respecting the association itself, to hold meetings, and to designate moderators, officials, other officers, and administrators of goods.
V. Statutes of Public Associations (text of canons)
Can. 314 The statutes of each public association and their revision or change need the approval of the ecclesiastical authority competent to erect the association according to the norm of can. 312, §1.
Can. 315 Public associations are able on their own initiative to undertake endeavors in keeping with their own character. These endeavors are governed according to the norm of the statutes, though under the higher direction of the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in can. 312, §1.
Can. 316 §1. A person who has publicly rejected the Catholic faith, has defected from ecclesiastical communion, or has been punished by an imposed or declared excommunication cannot be received validly into public associations.
§2. Those enrolled legitimately who fall into the situation mentioned in §1, after being warned, are to be dismissed from the association, with due regard for its statutes and without prejudice to the right of recourse to the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in can. 312, §1.
Can. 317 §1. Unless the statutes provide otherwise, it is for the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in can. 312, §1 to confirm the moderator of a public association elected by the public association itself, install the one presented, or appoint the moderator in his own right. The same ecclesiastical authority also appoints the chaplain or ecclesiastical assistant, after having heard the major officials of the association, when it is expedient.
§2. The norm stated in §1 is also valid for associations which members of religious institutes erect outside their own churches or houses in virtue of apostolic privilege. In associations which members of religious institutes erect in their own church or house, however, the nomination or confirmation of the moderator and chaplain pertains to the superior of the institute, according to the norm of the statutes.
§3. In associations which are not clerical, lay persons are able to exercise the function of moderator. A chaplain or ecclesiastical assistant is not to assume that function unless the statutes provide otherwise.
§4. Those who exercise leadership in political parties are not to be moderators in public associations of the Christian faithful which are ordered directly to the exercise of the apostolate.
Can. 318 §1. In special circumstances and where grave reasons require it, the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in can. 312, §1 can designate a trustee who is to direct the association for a time in its name.
§2. The person who appointed or confirmed the moderator of a public association can remove the moderator for a just cause, after the person has heard, however, the moderator and the major officials of the association according to the norm of the statutes. The person who appointed a chaplain can remove him according to the norm of cann. 192–195.
Can. 319 §1. Unless other provision has been made, a legitimately erected public association administers the goods which it possesses according to the norm of the statutes under the higher direction of the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in can. 312, §1, to which it must render an account of administration each year.
§2. It must also render to the same authority a faithful account of the expenditure of the offerings and alms which it has collected.
VI. Statutes of Private Associations (text of canons)
Can. 299 §1. By means of a private agreement made among themselves, the Christian faithful are free to establish associations to pursue the purposes mentioned in can. 298, §1, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 301, §1.
§2. Even if ecclesiastical authority praises or commends them, associations of this type are called private associations.
§3. No private association of the Christian faithful is recognized in the Church unless competent authority reviews its statutes.
Can. 321 The Christian faithful guide and direct private associations according to the prescripts of the statutes.
Can. 322 §1. A private association of the Christian faithful can acquire juridic personality through a formal decree of the competent ecclesiastical authority mentioned in can. 312.
§2. No private association of the Christian faithful can acquire juridic personality unless the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in can. 312, §1 has approved its statutes. Approval of the statutes, however, does not change the private nature of the association.
Can. 324 §1. A private association of the Christian faithful freely designates its moderator and officials according to the norm of the statutes.
§2. A private association of the Christian faithful can freely choose a spiritual advisor, if it desires one, from among the priests exercising ministry legitimately in the diocese; nevertheless, he needs the confirmation of the local ordinary.
Can. 325 §1. A private association of the Christian faithful freely administers those goods it possesses according to the prescripts of the statutes, without prejudice to the right of competent ecclesiastical authority to exercise vigilance so that the goods are used for the purposes of the association.
§2. A private association is subject to the authority of the local ordinary according to the norm of can. 1301 in what pertains to the administration and distribution of goods which have been donated or left to it for pious causes.
Can. 326 §1. A private association of the Christian faithful ceases to exist according to the norm of its statutes. The competent authority can also suppress it if its activity causes grave harm to ecclesiastical doctrine or discipline or is a scandal to the faithful.
§2. The allocation of the goods of an association which has ceased to exist must be determined according to the norm of its statutes, without prejudice to acquired rights and the intention of the donors.
VII. Statutes governing Temporal Goods (text of canons)
Can. 1257 §1. All temporal goods which belong to the universal Church, the Apostolic See, or other public juridic persons in the Church are ecclesiastical goods and are governed by the following canons and their own statutes.
§2. The temporal goods of a private juridic person are governed by its own statutes but not by these canons unless other provision is expressly made.
Can. 1279 §1. The administration of ecclesiastical goods pertains to the one who immediately governs the person to which the goods belong unless particular law, statutes, or legitimate custom determine otherwise and without prejudice to the right of the ordinary to intervene in case of negligence by an administrator.
§2. In the administration of the goods of a public juridic person which does not have its own administrators by law, the charter of the foundation, or its own statutes, the ordinary to whom it is subject is to appoint suitable persons for three years; the same persons can be reappointed by the ordinary.
Can. 1280 Each juridic person is to have its own finance council or at least two counselors who, according to the norm of the statutes, are to assist the administrator in fulfilling his or her function.
Can. 1281 §1. Without prejudice to the prescripts of the statutes, administrators invalidly place acts which exceed the limits and manner of ordinary administration unless they have first obtained a written faculty from the ordinary.
§2. The statutes are to define the acts which exceed the limit and manner of ordinary administration; if the statutes are silent in this regard, however, the diocesan bishop is competent to determine such acts for the persons subject to him, after having heard the finance council.
§3. Unless and to the extent that it is to its own advantage, a juridic person is not bound to answer for acts invalidly placed by its administrators. A juridic person itself, however, will answer for acts illegitimately but validly placed by its administrators, without prejudice to its right of action or recourse against the administrators who have damaged it.
Can. 1292 §1. Without prejudice to the prescript of can. 638, §3, when the value of the goods whose alienation is proposed falls within the minimum and maximum amounts to be defined by the conference of bishops for its own region, the competent authority is determined by the statutes of juridic persons if they are not subject to the diocesan bishop; otherwise, the competent authority is the diocesan bishop with the consent of the finance council, the college of consultors, and those concerned. The diocesan bishop himself also needs their consent to alienate the goods of the diocese.
Can. 1295 The requirements of cann. 1291–1294, to which the statutes of juridic persons must also conform, must be observed not only in alienation but also in any transaction which can worsen the patrimonial condition of a juridic person.
VIII. Statutes of Conferences of Bishops (text of canons)
Can. 450 §1. To a conference of bishops belong by the law itself all diocesan bishops in the territory, those equivalent to them in law, coadjutor bishops, auxiliary bishops, and other titular bishops who perform in the same territory a special function entrusted to them by the Apostolic See or conference of bishops. Ordinaries of another rite can also be invited though in such a way that they have only a consultative vote unless the statutes of the conference of bishops decree otherwise.
§2. Other titular bishops and the legate of the Roman Pontiff are not by law members of a conference of bishops.
Can. 451 Each conference of bishops is to prepare its own statutes which must be reviewed by the Apostolic See and which are to organize, among other things, the plenary meetings of the conference which are to be held and to provide for a permanent council of bishops, a general secretariat of the conference, and also other offices and commissions which, in the judgment of the conference, more effectively help it to achieve its purpose.
Can. 452 §1. Each conference of bishops is to elect a president for itself, is to determine who is to perform the function of pro-president when the president is legitimately impeded, and is to designate a general secretary, according to the norm of the statutes.
§2. The president of a conference, and, when he is legitimately impeded, the pro-president, presides not only over the general meetings of the conference of bishops but also over the permanent council.
Can. 453 Plenary meetings of a conference of bishops are to be held at least once each year and, in addition, whenever particular circumstances require it, according to the prescripts of the statutes.
Can. 454 §1. By the law itself, diocesan bishops, those who are equivalent to them in law, and coadjutor bishops have a deliberative vote in plenary meetings of a conference of bishops.
§2. Auxiliary bishops and other titular bishops who belong to a conference of bishops have a deliberative or consultative vote according to the prescripts of the statutes of the conference. Nonetheless, only those mentioned in §1 have a deliberative vote in drawing up or changing the statutes.
Can. 457 It is for the permanent council of bishops to take care that the agenda for a plenary session of a conference is prepared and that decisions made in plenary session are properly executed. It is also for the council to take care of other affairs which are entrusted to it according to the norm of the statutes.
IX. Statutes for Presbyteral Councils (text of canons)
Can. 496 The presbyteral council is to have its own statutes approved by the diocesan bishop, attentive to the norms issued by the conference of bishops.
Can. 497 In what pertains to the designation of members of the presbyteral council:
1º the priests themselves are freely to elect about half, according to the norm of the following canons and of the statutes;
2º according to the norm of the statutes, some priests must be ex officio members, that is, members who are to belong to the council by reason of the office entrusted to them;
3º the diocesan bishop is freely entitled to appoint others.
Can. 498 §1. The following have the right of election, both active and passive, in constituting a presbyteral council:
1º all secular priests incardinated in the diocese;
2º secular priests not incardinated in the diocese and priests who are members of some religious institute or society of apostolic life, who reside in the diocese and exercise some office for the good of the diocese.
§2. To the extent that the statutes provide for it, the same right of election can be conferred on other priests who have a domicile or quasi-domicile in the diocese.
Can. 499 The manner of electing members of the presbyteral council must be determined in the statutes in such a way that, insofar as possible, the priests of the presbyterium are represented, taking into account especially the different ministries and various regions of the diocese.
Can. 501 §1. Members of the presbyteral council are to be designated for a time determined in the statutes, in such a way, however, that the entire council or some part of it is renewed within five years.
§2. When a see is vacant, the presbyteral council ceases and the college of consultors fulfills its functions. Within a year of taking possession, a bishop must establish the presbyteral council anew.
§3. If the presbyteral council does not fulfill the function entrusted to it for the good of the diocese or gravely abuses it, the diocesan bishop, after having consulted with the metropolitan, or, if it concerns the metropolitan see itself, with the suffragan bishop senior in promotion, can dissolve it but must establish it anew within a year.
X. Statutes for Chapters of Canons (text of canons)
Can. 505 Each and every chapter, whether cathedral or collegial, is to have its own statutes, drawn up through a legitimate capitular act and approved by the diocesan bishop. These statutes are neither to be changed nor abrogated except with the approval of the same diocesan bishop.
Can. 506 §1. The statutes of a chapter are to determine the constitution of the chapter and the number of canons, always without prejudice to the laws of its foundation. They are to define those things which the chapter and individual canons are to do in the performance of divine worship and ministry. They are to determine the meetings in which the affairs of the chapter are handled and establish the conditions required for the validity and liceity of those affairs, without prejudice to the prescripts of universal law.
§2. The statutes are also to define the compensation, whether stable or to be given on the occasion of the performance of some function, and, attentive to the norms issued by the Holy See, the insignia of the canons.
Can. 507 §1. One of the canons is to preside over the chapter; other offices are also to be constituted according to the norm of the statutes, after the practice prevailing in the region has been taken into consideration.
§2. Other offices can be entrusted to clerics who do not belong to the chapter; through these offices they assist the canons according to the norm of the statutes.
XI. Other Examples of the Need for Statutes (summary of canons)
Can 237 §2. An interdiocesan seminary is not to be erected unless the conference of bishops, if the seminary is for its entire territory, or the bishops involved have obtained the prior approval of the Apostolic See for both the erection of the seminary and its statutes.
Can 239 §3. The statutes of a seminary are to provide ways through which the other moderators, the teachers, and even the students themselves participate in the responsibility of the rector, especially in maintaining discipline.
Can. 278 §1. Secular clerics have the right to associate with others to pursue purposes in keeping with the clerical state.
§2. Secular clerics are to hold in esteem especially those associations which, having statutes recognized by competent authority, foster their holiness in the exercise of the ministry through a suitable and properly approved rule of life and through fraternal assistance and which promote the unity of clerics among themselves and with their own bishop.
§3. Clerics are to refrain from establishing or participating in associations whose purpose or activity cannot be reconciled with the obligations proper to the clerical state or can prevent the diligent fulfillment of the function entrusted to them by competent ecclesiastical authority.
Can. 295 §1. The statutes established by the Apostolic See govern a personal prelature, and a prelate presides over it as the proper ordinary; he has the right to erect a national or international seminary and even to incardinate students and promote them to orders under title of service to the prelature.
§2. The prelate must see to both the spiritual formation and decent support of those whom he has promoted under the above-mentioned title.
Can. 296 Lay persons can dedicate themselves to the apostolic works of a personal prelature by agreements entered into with the prelature. The statutes, however, are to determine suitably the manner of this organic cooperation and the principal duties and rights connected to it.
Can. 297 The statutes likewise are to define the relations of the personal prelature with the local ordinaries in whose particular churches the prelature itself exercises or desires to exercise its pastoral or missionary works, with the previous consent of the diocesan bishop.
Can. 513 §1. A pastoral council is constituted for a period of time according to the prescripts of the statutes which are issued by the bishop.
Can. 548 §1. The obligations and rights of a parochial vicar, besides being defined in the canons of this chapter, diocesan statutes, and the letter of the diocesan bishop, are more specifically determined in the mandate of the pastor.
Can. 562 The rector of a church, under the authority of the local ordinary and observing the legitimate statutes and acquired rights, is obliged to see to it that sacred functions are celebrated worthily in the church according to the liturgical norms and prescripts of the canons, that obligations are fulfilled faithfully, that goods are administered diligently, that the maintenance and beauty of sacred furnishings and buildings are provided for, and that nothing whatever occurs which is in any way unfitting to the holiness of the place and the reverence due to a house of God.
Can. 605 The approval of new forms of consecrated life is reserved only to the Apostolic See. Diocesan bishops, however, are to strive to discern new gifts of consecrated life granted to the Church by the Holy Spirit and are to assist promoters so that these can express their proposals as well as possible and protect them by appropriate statutes; the general norms contained in this section are especially to be utilized.
Can. 709 Conferences of major superiors are to have their own statutes approved by the Holy See, by which alone they can be erected even as a juridic person and under whose supreme direction they remain.
Can 788 §3. It is for the conference of bishops to issue statutes which regulate the catechumenate by determining what things must be expected of the catechumens and by defining what prerogatives are to be recognized as theirs.
Can. 810 §1. The authority competent according to the statutes has the duty to make provision so that teachers are appointed in Catholic universities who besides their scientific and pedagogical qualifications are outstanding in integrity of doctrine and probity of life and that they are removed from their function when they lack these requirements; the manner of proceeding defined in the statutes is to be observed.
Can. 816 §1. Ecclesiastical universities and faculties can be established only through erection by the Apostolic See or with its approval; their higher direction also pertains to it.
§2. Individual ecclesiastical universities and faculties must have their own statutes and plan of studies approved by the Apostolic See.
Can. 833 The following are obliged personally to make a profession of faith according to the formula approved by the Apostolic See: 2º those promoted to the cardinalatial dignity, according to the statutes of the sacred college.
Can. 1232 §1. The local ordinary is competent to approve the statutes of a diocesan shrine; the conference of bishops for the statutes of a national shrine; the Holy See alone for the statutes of an international shrine.
§2. The statutes are to determine especially the purpose, the authority of the rector, and the ownership and administration of goods.