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Skip Navigation LinksADLA Administrative Handbook > Chapter 2 - Parish Governance > 2.3 - Parish Life > 2.3.4 - Financial and Stewardship Responsibilities

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​​​​The administration of the goods of the parish is carried out by the pastor/administrator under the vigilance of and in accord with instructions of the archbishop, who retains the right to intervene in case of negligence (Canons 1276 and 1279.1).

In temporal matters, the archdiocese establishes the parameters of transactions and contracts that can be executed by parish and school locations. Transactions that exceed these parameters and every transaction regarding real property require the approval (and usually the signature) of the archbishop; his legally approved delegate or an attorney-in-fact for The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, a corporation sole (RCALAcorp); or the designated officer of the pertinent civil law entity in the archdiocese. This is also the reason the archbishop and the moderator of the curia are cosigners on parish bank accounts and why parishes are precluded from initiating or defending any civil litigation in the name of the parish. The details of these financial management policies are in Banking Relationship​. Questions on these matters should be referred to the office referenced in this Administrative Handbook, or if one is uncertain, to the Office of the Legal Counsel at the Archdiocesan Catholic Center.

The Archdiocesan Catholic Center, under the direction of the archbishop, has been organized to support parishes and serve the needs of the faithful and the different organizations within the archdiocese. The Archdiocesan Catholic Center regularly distributes the financial and other parameters for those transactions and contracts that can be executed at parish and school locations and those that must be referred to the Archdiocesan Catholic Center. Details of these policies and parameters are described throughout this Administrative Handbook. Any questions on these matters should be referred to the office at the Archdiocesan Catholic Center that is referenced in this Administrative Handbook, or if one is uncertain, to the Office of the Legal Counsel​ at the Archdiocesan Catholic Center.

Canon law contains general norms for pastors on the administration of parish property, goods, and finances (Canons 1284–1287). These include the following matters:

Finance​​ – Keeping accurate financial records; budgeting; implementing and monitoring financial controls; overseeing fiscal planning and stewardship; managing parish assets; paying archdiocesan assessments; complying with federal, state, and archdiocesan reporting requirements; working with the Parish Finance Council and enlisting its help in preparing budgets and financial reports to be issued to the parish; overseeing school finances; see Financial Management

Physical Plant – Maintaining the buildings and grounds; ensuring an adequate size and number of facilities for parish activities and worship services; coordinating expansion, development, and redevelopment of facilities with the Archdiocesan Catholic Center

Real Estate – Initiating recommendations to the archdiocese regarding sale, acquisition, or lease of real estate; filing property tax exemption applications on qualified parish property; paying property taxes on any non-exempt parish properties; adhering to archdiocesan policies and procedures set forth in the Administrative Handbook on the use of pa​rish real property

Risk Management/Insurance – Ensuring safety of persons and premises by taking reasonable measures to prevent accidents; coordinating with the Archdiocesan Catholic Center on proper insurance coverage for parish vehicles, property, and activities; reporting incidents in a timely and accurate manner (e.g., accidents, fires, injury, serious illness, death, or other insurable events or losses); maintaining and archiving the documents and records on which property and contractual rights of the parish are based

Legal Issues – Being familiar with legal status and requirements affecting the parish; complying with all federal, state, and local laws that apply to the parish and its lay and religious personnel; overseeing the implementation of all parish policies, procedures, and guidelines as defined by the archdiocese; assuming responsibility for parish safe e​nvironment​; overseeing community affairs and adhering to policies established by the archdiocese or parish to assure preservation of the tax-exempt religious status

This Administrative Handbook chapter focuses on the financial and management aspects at a parish that may be more practical in nature but are essential to allowing for the stewardship needed to foster a full community.