Canon Law – Legal Bishops’ Use of The Faithful’s Money

Some years ago I was at a parish that had a “capital campaign” to raise money to build a new multi-million dollar education building. The faithful were shown the survey of the land to be purchased onand drawings of the new building. Once the money was raised, I was told that there was a directive from powers beyond the parish level that the parish must use the money to build a new church, not an education building. I raised the issue that the money had been collected for an education building. I said that my family and others had been defrauded. Promptly a representative of the parish finance council contacted me and said that, if I wanted, our donated money would be refunded. I found out that, under canon law, money collected for one purpose cannot then be used for another purpose. (As an aside, the new church building was built, and, some years later, God flooded it, completely). I was then asked by the pastor personally to leave the parish. Since it was not his, I stayed.

Canon law – the Church’s own law – says this:

“Canon 1267, §3: Offerings given by the faithful for a specified purpose may be used only for that purpose.”

“Canon 1300: The intentions of the faithful who give or leave goods to pious causes . . . are to be most carefully observed, even in the manner of the administration and the expending of the goods . . . . “

I am unaware of any “Capital Campaign To Raise Money To Pay Off Sexual Assault Victims Of Priests & Bishops” in any parish or diocese in America; of a “Pay For Priest & Prelate Predators Campaign,” or of a fundraiser “For The Pastoral Malpractice Of Bishops Who Enabled, Fostered , And Shuttled Abusers & Criminals.” In short, I am aware of no Catholic in the USA who donated money for the bishops to use to pay off claims against the Church and against them. It would be very surprising if, court-sealed, secret settlement documents do not include the provisions that all claims against the bishops personally are also settled, and ended, by the agreements.

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Editor’s note: Carefully check your parish’s annual financial accounting summary and pay special attention to any and all insurance costs listed therein, especially for health care, disability, workmen’s compensation and similar items. It’s very likely that you will find these costs to be anywhere from thirty to fifty percent higher than they should be, since many parishes are forced to pay a silent “tax” in order to refill the coffers of the dioceses’ “secret insurance fund” used to help pay off past settlements or to prepare for future settlements.   

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