Can. 1273 The Roman Pontiff, by virtue of his primacy of governance, is the supreme
administrator and steward of all ecclesiastical goods.
Can. 1274 ß1 In every diocese there is to be a special fund which collects offerings
and temporal goods for the purpose of providing, in accordance with Can. 281, for the
support of the clergy who serve the diocese, unless they are otherwise catered for.
ß2 Where there is as yet no properly organized system of social provision for the
clergy, the Episcopal Conference is to see that a fund is established which will furnish
adequate social security for them.
ß3 To the extent that it is required, a common reserve is to be established in every
diocese by which the Bishop is enabled to fulfill his obligations towards other persons who
serve the Church and to meet various needs of the diocese, this can also be the means by
which wealthier dioceses may help poorer ones.
ß4 Depending on differing local circumstances, the purposes described in ßß2 and 3
might better be achieved by amalgamating various diocesan funds, or by cooperation between
various dioceses, or even by setting up a suitable association for them, or indeed for the
whole territory of the Episcopal Conference itself.
ß5 If possible, these funds are to be established in such a manner that they will have
standing also in the civil law.
Can. 1275 A reserve set up by a number of different dioceses is to be administered
according to norms opportunely agreed upon by the Bishops concerned.
Can. 1276 ß1 Ordinaries must carefully supervise the administration of all the goods
which belong to public juridical persons subject to them, without prejudice to lawful
titles which may give the Ordinary greater rights.
ß2 Taking into account rights, lawful customs and the circumstances, Ordinaries are to
regulate the whole matter of the administration of ecclesiastical goods by issuing special
instructions, within the limits of universal and particular law.
Can. 1277 In carrying out acts of administration which, in the light of the financial
situation of the diocese, are of major importance, the diocesan Bishop must consult the
finance committee and the college of consultors. For acts of extraordinary administration,
except in cases expressly provided for in the universal law or stated in the documents of
foundation, the diocesan Bishop needs the consent of the committee and of the college of
consultors. It is for the Episcopal Conference to determine what are to be regarded as
acts of extraordinary administration.
Can. 1278 Besides the duties mentioned in Can. 494 ßß3 and 4, the diocesan Bishop may
also entrust to the financial administrator the duties mentioned in Can. 1276 ß1 and Can.
Can. 1279 ß1 The administration of ecclesiastical goods pertains to the one with
direct power of governance over the person to whom the goods belong, unless particular law
or statutes or legitimate custom state otherwise, and without prejudice to the right of
the Ordinary to intervene where there is negligence on the part of the administrator.
ß2 Where no administrators are appointed for a public juridical person by law or by
the documents of foundation or by its own statutes, the Ordinary to which it is subject is
to appoint suitable persons as administrators for a three-year term. The same persons can
be re‚appointed by the Ordinary.
Can. 1280 Every juridical person is to have its own finance committee, or at least two
counselors, who are to assist in the performance of the administrator's duties, in
accordance with the statutes.
Can. 1281 ß1 Without prejudice to the provisions of the statutes administrators act
invalidly when they go beyond the limits and manner of ordinary administration, unless
they have first received in writing from the Ordinary the faculty to do so.
ß2 The statutes are to determine what acts go beyond the limits and manner of ordinary
administration. If the statutes are silent on this point, it is for the diocesan Bishop,
after consulting the finance committee, to determine these acts for the persons subject to
ß3 Except and insofar as it is to its benefit, a juridical person is not held
responsible for the invalid actions of its administrators. The juridical person is,
however, responsible when such actions are valid but unlawful, without prejudice to its
right to bring an action or have recourse against the administrators who have caused it
Can. 1282 All persons, whether clerics or laity, who lawfully take part in the
administration of ecclesiastical goods, are bound to fulfill their duties in the name of
the Church, in accordance with the law.
Can. 1283 Before administrators undertake their duties:
1ƒ they must take an oath, in the presence of the Ordinary or his delegate, that they
will well and truly perform their office;
2ƒ they are to draw up a clear and accurate inventory, to be signed by themselves, of
all immovable goods, of those movable goods which are precious or of a high cultural
value, and of all other goods, with a description and an estimate of their value; when
this has been compiled, it is to be certified as correct;
3ƒ one copy of this inventory is to be kept in the administration office and another
in the curial archive; any change which takes place in the property is to be noted on both
Can. 1284 ß1 All administrators are to perform their duties with the diligence of a
ß2 Therefore they must:
1ƒ be vigilant that no goods placed in their care in any way perish or suffer damage;
to this end they are, to the extent necessary, to arrange insurance contracts;
2ƒ ensure that the ownership of ecclesiastical goods is safeguarded in ways which are
valid in civil law;
3ƒ observe the provisions of canon and civil law, and the stipulations of the founder
or donor or lawful authority; they are to take special care that damage will not be
suffered by the Church through the non‚observance of the civil law;
4ƒ seek accurately and at the proper time the income and produce of the goods, guard
them securely and expend them in accordance with the wishes of the founder or lawful
5ƒ at the proper time pay the interest which is due by reason of a loan or pledge, and
take care that in due time the capital is repaid;
6ƒ with the consent of the Ordinary make use of money which is surplus after payment
of expenses and which can be profitably invested for the purposes of the juridical person;
7ƒ keep accurate records of income and expenditure;
8ƒ draw up an account of their administration at the end of each year;
9ƒ keep in order and preserve in a convenient and suitable archive the documents and
records establishing the rights of the Church or institute to its goods; where
conveniently possible, authentic copies must be placed in the curial archives.
ß3 It is earnestly recommended that administrators draw up each year a budget of
income and expenditure. However, it is left to particular law to make this an obligation
and to determine more precisely how it is to be presented.
Can. 1285 Solely within the limits of ordinary administration, administrators are
allowed to make gifts for pious purposes or Christian charity out of the movable goods
which do not form part of the stable patrimony.
Can. 1286 Administrators of temporal goods:
1ƒ in making contracts of employment, are accurately to observe also, according to the
principles taught by the Church, the civil laws relating to labor and social life
2ƒ are to pay to those who work for them under contract a just and honest wage which
will be sufficient to provide for their needs and those of their dependents.
Can. 1287 ß1 Where ecclesiastical goods of any kind are not lawfully withdrawn from
the power of governance of the diocesan Bishop, their administrators, both clerical and
lay, are bound to submit each year to the local Ordinary an account of their
administration, which he is to pass on to his finance committee for examination. Any
contrary custom is reprobated.
ß2 Administrators are to render accounts to the faithful concerning the goods they
have given to the Church, in accordance with the norms to be laid down by particular law.
Can. 1288 Administrators are not to begin legal proceedings in the name of a public
juridical person, nor are they to contest them in a secular court, without first obtaining
the written permission of their proper Ordinary.
Can. 1289 Although they may not be bound to the work of administration by virtue of an
ecclesiastical office, administrators may not arbitrarily relinquish the work they have
undertaken. If they do so, and this occasions damage to the Church, they are bound to