Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rome does not allow bishops to close parishes

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. 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. 121 If aggregates of persons (universitates personarum) or of things (universitates rerum), which are public juridic persons, are so joined that from them one aggregate (universitas) is constituted which also possesses juridic personality, this new juridic person obtains the goods and patrimonial rights proper to the prior ones and assumes the obligations with which they were burdened. With regard to the allocation of goods in particular and to the fulfillment of obligations, however, the intention of the founders and donors as well as acquired rights must be respected.

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:

1/ 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;

2/ 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.

Can. 369 A diocese is a portion of the people of God which is entrusted to a bishop for him to shepherd with the cooperation of the presbyterium*, so that, adhering to its pastor and gathered by him in the Holy Spirit through the Gospel and the Eucharist, it constitutes a particular church in which the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of Christ is truly present and operative.

Can. 373 It is only for the supreme authority to erect particular churches; those legitimately erected possess juridic personality by the law itself.

Can. 374 §1. Every diocese or other particular church is to be divided into distinct parts or parishes.

§2. To foster pastoral care through common action, several neighboring parishes can be joined into special groups, such as vicariates forane.†

Can. 515 §1. A parish is a certain community of the Christian faithful stably constituted in a particular church, whose pastoral care is entrusted to a pastor (parochus) as its proper pastor (pastor) under the authority of the diocesan bishop.

§2. It is only for the diocesan bishop to erect, suppress, or alter parishes. He is neither to erect, suppress, nor alter notably parishes, unless he has heard the presbyteral council.

§3. A legitimately erected parish possesses juridic personality by the law itself.

Can. 516 §1. Unless the law provides otherwise, a quasi-parish is equivalent to a parish; a quasi-parish is a definite community of the Christian faithful in a particular church, entrusted to a priest as its proper pastor but not yet erected as a parish because of particular circumstances.

§2. When certain communities cannot be erected as parishes or quasi-parishes, the diocesan bishop is to provide for their pastoral care in another way.
*college of priests
noto bene: color highlighting not in original, nor footnotes and their marks

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