On Parochial Board on Church Temporalities

A. RATIONALE

In Church law, the Parish is a juridic person (Canon 515, par 3 CIC). As such, it has the right to own properties (Canon 1255 CIC) in order to attend to its standing temporal requirements which are primarily “the organization of divine worship, the provision of decent support for the clergy, and the exercise of the works of the Apostolate and of charity, especially for the benefit of those in need” (Vat. II: Presbyterorum Ordinis, no. 17). 

Intimately linked with the right of ownership is the right of administration whose primary functions are the preservation and amelioration of temporal goods or material assets be these real properties or movable resources, and their application to the objectives intended in their acquisition, retention and improvement. 

The Parish Priest or his equivalent is the Administrator of the temporalities of the Parish (Canon 532 CIC; Vat. II: Presbyterorum Ordinis, no. 17; Directory on the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops, no. 133). Church law accordingly provides that all Administrators must have advisers in order to carry out effectively their function and to attend efficiently to their delicate task (Canons 1281-1288 dC). Consistent with this particular norm, Canon 537 CIC specifically provides that each Parish must have a Board on Church lemporalities regulated by universal Church law and moderated by more concrete provisions enacted by the competent Church authority. 

The Decrees of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines expressedly stipulates in accordance with Canon Law that the pertinent and necessary guidelines for this Board should be drawn, disseminated and authorized by the competent Church Authority (FCP-II: Decree 127) for mandatory observance (Idem: Decree 120). 

B. NATURE

The Parochial Board on Church Temporalities (PBCT) is an auxilio-advisory Body to the Office of the Parish Priest or his equivalent in the administration, i.e., the preservation, amelioration and fruition, of the movable and immovable temporal goods of the Parish. 

C. COMPETENCE

1. While according to Church law the temporal goods owned by a Parish fall under the direct and immediate administration of the Parish Priest or his equivalent in representation of the Parish owner thereof (Canons 532, 1279 CIC), before the laws of the Republic of the Philippines however, all Church temporalities in a given ecclesiastical territory are owned by the Roman Catholic Arch/Bishop of the place as a Corporation Sole.

2. Church law states that the administration of Church temporalities owned directly by any juridical person therein are subject to prudential regulations and normative provisions enacted by the Arch/Bishop of the place (Canon 1276 CIC) precisely in order to ascertain the correct and prudent administration of these ecclesiastical goods according to the finalities behind their acquisition and retention (Canon 1260 CIC).

3. The auxilio-advisory competence of the PBCT has reference to the temporal assets — cash, movable, fixed — owned by the Parish and clearly not subject to direct accounting before the legitimate superior arch/diocesan Administrator through periodic external audit by the Office of the Archdiocesan Oeconomus under the authority of the Archbishop.

4. In the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, Pangasinan, the amount limit set down by the Archbishop for extraordinary administration by the Parish Priest or his equivalent whereby for validity the latter must have the duly written permission of the Archbishop prior to its transaction, is Phil. one million and above (Cf Canon 1281 par. 2, CIC).

5. In the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, Pangasinan, the amount limit set down by the Archbishop for ordinary administration by the Parish Priest or his equivalent whereby for validity the latter must have the duly recorded consultation with the Parish Pastoral Council, is from Phil. Pesos nine hundred ninety nine thousand to Phil. Pesos two hundred fifty thousand (Cf Canon 1281 par 1 CIC).

6. In the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, Pangasinan, the amount limit set down by the Archbishop for ordinary administration by the Parish Priest or his equivalent subject only to his own administrative prudence and discretion, is any amount lower than Phil. Pesos two hundred fifty thousand. 

D. FUNCTIONS

The Parochial Board on Church Temporalities has the following primary functions:

1. To carefully list down, periodically review and accordingly watch over the Parish movable properties and fixed assets according to the Book of Inventory of the Parish, and to keep this safe in the Parochial Office in line with the provision of Canon 1283 CIC.

2. To advise the Parish Priest or his equivalent on the ways and means of preserving the tenure and maximizing the use of the material resources of the Parish in cash and in kind (PCP II: Decree 120), and to do other administrative functions enjoined by the Parish Priest or his equivalent for the better administration of parochial temporalities.

3. To plan and supervise periodic fund-raising activities for special Parish projects, to see to it that the funds are accordingly applied for the intention, and to render proper public accounting of the funds received and disbursed according to the principle of financial transparency, all in close collaboration and coordination with the Parish Priest or his equivalent (Idem: Decree No. 119). 

E. MEMBERSHIP

1. Appointment

The Members of the Parochial Board on Church Temporalities are appointed by the Parish Priest or his equivalent after consulting with the Parish Pastoral Council, committing their Appointments to writing as a matter of policy (Canon 156 CIC). 

2. Composition

The Parochial Board on Church Temporalities is to be composed of at least three but not more than seven Members of the Christian faithful from the Parish. 

3. Qualifications

Church temporalities or ecclesiastical goods have a rather peculiar nature. These financial assets or material holdings validly and licitly acquired and owned by juridical persons in the Church such as Parishes and their equiparates are fundamentally and ultimately intended to sustain and promote Church apostolic goals and pastoral concerns. Nevertheless on account of their economic value although with inherent religious dimensions, they are also ruled not only by Church law but also by Civil law and by the world of commerce.

Wherefore, it is a canonical requirement that Church temporalities or ecclesiastical goods be administered in collaborative endeavor among Members of the Christian Faithful who are competent in Church law, Civil law and the world of commerce. In addition to their expertise, the Members of the Parochial Board of Temporalities should be outstanding in their integrity since Church financial administration must be marked by scrupulous honesty (Canon 492 par 1 CIC). 

4. Restriction

Persons related to the Parish Priest or his equivalent up to the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity — second cousins — are ipso facto excluded from membership in the Parochial Board of Temporalities (Canon 492 par 3 CIC). 

5. Tenure

Church law expressedly provides that the Members of the Parochial Board of Temporalities shall have a five-year office of service, open to indefinite re-appointments for other five-year terms (Canon 492 par 2 CIC).

At the start of their tenure of service, the Board Members take the Oath of Office whereby they profess the Catholic Faith, pronounce their commitment to the functions of the Board and pledge the standard confidentiality required in their task (Canon 471 dId). 

F. OFFICERS

1. The Parish Priest presides over all the meetings of the Parochial Board on Church Temporalities.

2. The Board has a Treasurer who should be one of the Members of the Board, appointed by the Parish Priest after consultation with the Board for a tenure of five years, open to indefinite re-appointments for other five-year ternis. The Treasurer acts as the Property Custodian of the Parish, records all receipts and disbursements, keeps all fmancial papers and/or contractual instruments, and gives at least an annual Income and Expenses Statement to the Board, at the start of the incumbency of a new Parish Priest or his equivalent.

3. The Board has a Secretary who is not a Board Member, appointed by the Parish Priest at his option with no term of office, who writes the minutes of the Board meetings, makes the needed communications, keeps the pertinent Board records, and attends to other secretarial tasks given by the Parish Priest.

4. The Board has an external Auditor who is not a Board Member, appointed by the Parish Priest with no tenure after consultation with the Members of the Board. His primary function is to examine yearly at least the Financial Books of the Board, at the start of the incumbency of a new Parish Priest or his equivalent. 

G. MEETINGS

1. The Parochial Board on Church Temporalities has its regular meetings in the months of February, April, June, August, October and December of every year according to predetermined date, time and place.

2. At the instance of the Parish Priest or of majority of the Members, the Board may have as many special meetings as necessary according to duly pre-agreed date, time and place.

3. The order of the Board meeting is as follows:

a. Opening Prayer.

b. Scripture Reading.

c. Shared Prayers/Common Songs.

d. Reading, correction and approval of previous minutes.

e. Business arising from the minutes.

f. Agenda proper.

g. Next meeting date, time and place.

h. Closing Prayers and blessing. 

H. MODIFICATIONS

In order to make the Parochial Board on Church Temporalities more effective in its necessary auxilio-advisory role in the administration of ecclesiastical goods for the glory of God and in service to His People, with the approval of the Archbishop, this Directory may be modified in part or revised as a whole upon the recommendation of all the Vicars Forane and in consultation with all the Parish Priests or their equivalents in the Archdiocese.

 

CHRIST OUR GOOD SHEPHERD, BE WITH US ALWAYS!

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