In this archdiocese, parishes have not been officially organized as separate civil law entities under California law, except the
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, a corporation sole (RCALAcorp) incorporated under the laws of the State of California and under the control of the archbishop, is the corporate entity that generally holds formal legal title to the real property and other physical assets of the parishes; a separate corporation sole under the control of the archbishop holds the assets of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. See the
Archdiocese of Los Angeles Organization Chart – Canonical Structure and the
Civil Overview section (under Canonical and Civil Organization).
Although canon law grants each parish the right to manage its assets, the archdiocese has a limited number of officially organized civil law entities. Given the absence of such civil law structures, no pastor/administrator, lay administrator, or individual parishioner has the legal ability to contract on behalf of the civil entity RCALAcorp. This right resides solely in the archbishop or his attorneys-in-fact, or in some cases, the chief financial officer of the archdiocese.
Under civil as well as canon law, all parish assets are held for the benefit of the parish and its faithful. The pastor/administrator, other ministerial personnel, and all staff and volunteers of each parish are responsible for parish operations and for oversight and stewardship of the parish assets. Consistent with those roles and responsibilities, for certain purposes under California civil law, a parish may be treated as an unincorporated association.