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​​​2.2.2 Civil Law Structure

​In this archdiocese, parishes have not been officially organized as separate civil law entities under California law. However, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels is a separate civil corporation sole. 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. See the Archdiocese of Los Angeles​​ Organization Chart – Canonic​al 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. 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 community. The pastor/administrator, other ministerial personnel, and all staff and volunteers of each parish are responsible for parish operations and stewardship of the parish assets in accordance with their respective roles in the parish. Consistent with those roles and responsibilities, for certain purposes under California civil law, a parish may be treated as a religious unincorporated association.​​

2-24-2021


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