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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 pastor/adminstrator represents the parish in all juridic affairs. He is to see to it that the goods of the parish are administered in accord with the norms of Canons 1281-1288 and the corresponding policies of the archdiocese of Los Angeles. The archbishop is responsible for carefully supervising the administration of all the goods which belong to the parishes; he retains the right to intervene in case of negligence of the pastor/administrator (Canons 1276 and 1279 §​1).

In temporal matters, the archdiocese establishes the ​mimimum and maximum dollar amounts of the value of goods, subject to transactions, etc. that may be executed by the pastor/administrator; for example, leasing contracts,c onstruction projects, purchases, or investments,​ Transactions exceeding 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. The archbishop and the moderator of the curia are cosigners on parish bank accounts. Parishes are precluded from initiating or defending civil litigation in the name of the parish. The details of these financial and management policies are in Banking Relationship​. Questions on these matters should be referred to the appropriate office referenced in this Administrative Handbook, or if one is uncertain, to the Office of the Legal Counsel.

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 by the pastor/administrator and those that must be referred to the Archdiocesan Catholic Center. Details of these policies and parameters are described throughout this Administrative Handbook. 

Canon law contains general norms on the administration of parish property, goods, and finances (Canons 1282–1287). 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, local 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 parish 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 both canonical and civil 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 and the parish to assure preservation of the tax-exempt religious status.