|Code of Canon Law|
IntraText - Text
TEMPORAL GOODS AND THEIR ADMINISTRATION
Can. 634 §1. As juridic persons by the law itself, institutes, provinces, and houses are capable of acquiring, possessing, administering, and alienating temporal goods unless this capacity is excluded or restricted in the constitutions.
§2. Nevertheless, they are to avoid any appearance of excess, immoderate wealth, and accumulation of goods.
Can. 635 §1. Since the temporal goods of religious institutes are ecclesiastical, they are governed by the prescripts of Book V, The Temporal Goods of the Church, unless other provision is expressly made.
§2. Nevertheless, each institute is to establish suitable norms concerning the use and administration of goods, by which the poverty proper to it is to be fostered, protected, and expressed.
Can. 636 §1. In each institute and likewise in each province which is governed by a major superior, there is to be a Finance officer, distinct from the major superior and constituted according to the norm of proper law, who is to manage the administration of goods under the direction of the respective superior. Insofar as possible, a Finance officer distinct from the local superior is to be designated even in local communities.
§2. At the time and in the manner established by proper law, Finance officers and other administrators are to render an account of their administration to the competent authority.
Can. 637 The autonomous monasteries mentioned in ⇒ can. 615 must render an account of their administration to the local ordinary once a year. Moreover, the local ordinary has the right to be informed about the Financial reports of a religious house of diocesan right.
Can. 638 §1. Within the scope of universal law, it belongs to proper law to determine acts which exceed the limit and manner of ordinary administration and to establish what is necessary to place an act of extraordinary administration validly.
§2. In addition to superiors, the officials who are designated for this in proper law also validly incur expenses and perform juridic acts of ordinary administration within the limits of their function.
§3. For the validity of alienation and of any other affair in which the patrimonial condition of a juridic person can worsen, the written permission of the competent superior with the consent of the council is required.
Nevertheless, if it concerns an affair which exceeds the amount defined by the Holy See for each region, or things given to the Church by vow, or things precious for artistic or historical reasons, the permission of the Holy See itself is also required.
§4. For the autonomous monasteries mentioned in ⇒ can. 615 and for institutes of diocesan right, it is also necessary to have the written consent of the local ordinary.
Can. 639 §1. If a juridic person has contracted debts and obligations even with the permission of the superiors, it is bound to answer for them.
§2. If a member has entered into a contract concerning his or her own goods with the permission of the superior, the member must answer for it, but if the business of the institute was conducted by mandate of the superior, the institute must answer.
§3. If a religious has entered into a contract without any permission of superiors, he or she must answer, but not the juridic person.
§4. It is a fixed rule, however, that an action can always be brought against one who has profited from the contract entered into.
§5. Religious superiors are to take care that they do not permit debts to be contracted unless it is certain that the interest on the debt can be paid off from ordinary income and that the capital sum can be paid off through legitimate amortization within a period that is not too long.
Can. 640 Taking into account local conditions, institutes are to strive to give, as it were, a collective witness of charity and poverty and are to contribute according to their ability something from their own goods to provide for the needs of the Church and the support of the poor.