Thursday, June 26, 2014

Your parish is also a corporation

Parishes in the Archdiocese of New York are also corporations.  They are incorporated under New York State Religious Corporation Law (RCL).  The members of the corporation are the parish/corp's 5 member board of trustees.  The board members are the Cardinal, the Vicar General of the archdiocese, the parish pastor and 2 lay trustees appointed by the pastor.

After a church closes, the real estate lingers on as a corporate asset.  In order to do anything with that property that is different from the terms of corporation (operate a house of worship), a majority of the board members must vote affirmatively of the proposed action.

To view RCL in action via the case of Our Lady of  Vilnius, visit the New York State Court of Appeals web archive page and click on the link for "No. 231 Blaudziunas v. Egan." You will need Windows Media Player to view this video.

CLICK HERE to go directly to video.

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