American-Cassinese Congregation

The Constitutions and the Directory

 

Part I: Matters Pertaining to the Individual Monasteries

Chapter II: The Abbot and Governance of the Monastery

Article 5: The Temporal Goods of the Monastery and their Administration

C 33. The monasteries of the Congregation have the right to acquire, possess, administer, and alienate temporal goods. This right is to be exercised in accordance with universal law and the proper law of the Congregation, and with all due concern for simplicity in the community’s way of life and for the requirements of justice in the contemporary world (CIC 634). They should contribute, when they can, to the needs of the Church and of the poor, especially of poor monasteries; in all their use of material goods they should be mindful of the Christian tradition of stewardship.

D 33. In all monasteries of the Congregation the fiscal year is computed from the first day of July to the thirtieth day of June.

C 34.1. The procurator shall administer the temporal goods of the monastery under the direction of the abbot and in accordance with universal law (CIC 636-638; 1279-1289) and the proper law of the Congregation. He shall have the authority to pay items of regular expenditure and to make contracts in the monastery’s name relating to the ordinary administration of the monastery’s goods.

D 34.1. The procurator is to make regular reports to the abbot about the business he is transacting. He is to present periodic reports to the council of seniors and an annual summary report of the fiscal year to the chapter.

C 34.2. Acts that exceed the limit and manner of ordinary administration and the conditions for positing such acts are determined in the proper law of the Congregation (CIC 638.1).

D 34.2. 1. An expenditure not mentioned in C 34.1 is to be considered "extraordinary" and for such expenditure the authorization of the abbot is needed; and, if the amounts exceed those fixed by the general chapter in the financial norms of the Congregation, the consent of the council of seniors or the monastic chapter is also needed.

D 34.2. 2. The granting of a lease of land or property for a term of more than one year requires the authorization of the abbot. If the lease will have a notable effect on the interests of the community, the council or, in more serious cases, the chapter is to be consulted.

D 34.2. 3. The granting of a lease for an indefinite period of time or for a definite period of time extending beyond nine years requires the consent of the chapter.

D 34.3. 1. The alienation by way of sale, gift, or mortgage of any of the monastery’s lands, houses, or investments (apart from simply changing investments); or the contracting of debts (apart from short-term loans for a period of less than one year) requires the authorization of the abbot given in writing; and, if the value exceeds the sum fixed by the general chapter in the financial norms of the Congregation, the consent of the council of seniors or the monastic chapter is also needed.

D 34.3. 2. For the alienation or the contracting of debts referred to in D 34.3.1 that exceeds the sum fixed by the Apostolic See, for the alienation of items of precious art or of historical value, and for the alienation of anything donated to the monastery as a result of a vow, the following are required:

  1. the written authorization of the abbot;
  2. the consent of the monastic chapter;
  3. the written authorization of the President, with the consent of his council;
  4. the written consent of the Apostolic See (CIC 638.3).

D 34.3. 3. No monastery of the Congregation may separate itself from its academic apostolate by transferring its financial and legal responsibility to outside interests without adequate compensation to the monastery and a responsible guarantee of the assumption of the associated obligations. Before such a transfer can be made, the approval of the President of the Congregation acting collegially with his council must be obtained. The President and his council may require that the approval of the general chapter be obtained.

C 35. Each autonomous monastery is to present to the President and his council an annual audit bearing unqualified attestation by an independent certified public accountant. The monasteries are to submit these reports not only for their own internal operations but also for those apostolic and charitable activities for which they may be legally or financially responsible.

D 35.1. Each abbey is to have its independent certified public accountant answer points of financial interest not specifically covered by the audit report.

D 35.2. If a management letter regarding the financial operation of the member abbey is available, it is to be attached to the questionnaire and submitted to the President and his council. In particular cases this letter may be required by the President.


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