American-Cassinese Congregation

The Constitutions and the Directory

 

Supplementary Material

 

NORMS FOR FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS
of the
American-Cassinese Congregation
of Benedictine Monasteries

Approved by the 48th General Chapter,  June 18, 2004

A.  Ordinary Expenditures

NFT 1. Each monastery is to establish norms for financial transactions.

NFT 2.1. Each monastery is to establish an annual operating budget for the monastery itself.  According to the custom of the monastery, either the monastic chapter or the council of seniors is to approve this budget and receive regular reports on performance (cf. D 34.1).

NFT 2.2. Budgets for apostolic works and any other endeavors over which a monastery has fiduciary responsibility are to be prepared and reviewed according to the established procedures of each monastery (cf. D 34.1).

B. Extraordinary Expenditures

NFT 3. Any Expenditure not included in the monastery budget is to be considered extraordinary (cf. D 34.2.1 and D 34.3.1). The following norms govern these transactions:

  1. In amounts not in excess of $5,000 or $50 per capitular, whichever is greater, the abbot acts by his own judgment. The monastic chapter may establish a lower amount and other conditions
  2. In amounts not in excess of $30,000 or $500 per capitular, whichever is greater, the consent of the council of seniors is required. The monastic chapter may establish a lower amount and add other conditions.
  3. For larger amounts, the consent of the monastic chapter is required. The monastic chapter may establish a lower amount and add other conditions.
C. Indebtedness

NFT 4. The monastery is encouraged to consult the financial counselors on matters of debt.

NFT 5. The council of seniors of the monastery may request the financial counselors to review the indebtedness plan before voting on the proposal.

NFT 6. In all instances of contracting a debt, the authorization of the abbot must be given in writing. If the amount exceeds the limits established in the norms for extraordinary expenditures, the consent of the council of seniors (NFT 3.2) or of the monastic chapter (NFT 3.3) is also needed (cf. D 34.3.1).

NFT 7. For any transaction which could worsen the patrimonial condition of a monastery1, and exceeds the sum fixed by the Apostolic See2, the abbot is to obtain also the approval of the President, with the consent of his council, and of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (D 34.3.2).

D. Alienation of Property

NFT 8. In all instances of alienation of stable patrimony3,  the authorization of the abbot must be given in writing. If the value (appraisal) of the stable patrimony to be alienated exceeds the limits established in the norms for extraordinary expenditures, the consent of the council of seniors (NFT 3.2) or of the monastic chapter (NFT 3.3) is also needed (cf. D 34.3.1).

NFT 9. If the value (appraisal) of the stable patrimony exceeds the amount defined by the Apostolic See2, the abbot is to obtain also the approval of the President with the consent of his council, and of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (D 34.3.2).

NFT 10. If precious art having historical value, or an item given to the monastery as a result of a vow is to be alienated, the abbot is to obtain the consent of the monastic chapter, of the President, with the consent of his council, and of the Congregation for Institutes of  Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (D 34.3.2).

E. Special Authority of the President and his Council

NFT 11. In urgent cases and for the good of the monastery, the President, with the consent of his council, may impose immediate restrictive financial norms on a monastery, including norms related to indebtedness and the granting of leases (D 115.2.7 and D 125.2.4).

NFT 12. The President, with the consent of his council, may impose restrictive financial norms on any monastery whose financial reports indicate that for three consecutive years the monastery has incurred a financial loss (deficit) in current funds before any voluntary transfer to or from any other fund (D 115.2.7 and D 125.2.4).

NFT 13. Regardless of the imposition of restrictive financial norms, the President, with the consent of his council, may still authorize an extraordinary expenditure that incurs additional debt, after examining a written projection showing the feasibility of amortizing the total debt.

NFT 13. In urgent cases and for the good of the monastery, the President, with the consent of his council, may impose immediate restrictive financial norms on a monastery, including norms related to indebtedness and the granting of leases (D 115.2.7 and D 125.2.4).

NFT 12. The President, with the consent of his council, may impose restrictive financial norms on any monastery whose financial reports indicated that for three consecutive years the monastery has incurred a financial loss (deficit) in operating funds before any voluntary transfer to or from any other fund (D 115.2.7 and D 125.2.4).

NFT 13. Regardless of the imposition of restrictive financial norms, the President, with the consent of his council, may still authorize an extraordinary expenditure that incurs additional debt, after examining a written projection showing the feasibility of amortizing the total debt.

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1 With regard to borrowing money:

If a monastery has no debt and desires to borrow money in an amount that exceeds the limits of the Apostolic See (see footnote 2 below), it must seek the approval of the president's council and that of the Apostolic See.

For a monastery with existing debt, the patrimonial condition is "worsened" if the amount of the monastery's liquid unrestricted net assets after the new borrowing is less than what it had been after the previous borrowing.

2 Apostolic See limits:   2004: Canada $4,294,330 CD; Mexico $400,000 US; Puerto Rico $250,000 US;
    2008: United States $5,699,000 US.

3 Stable patrimony includes all real property contiguous with the monastery and any other real property designated as stable patrimony by the monastic chapter.

 

 

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