Thursday, July 2, 2015


As Part II* of our preparation to understand the significance of THE BRONZE SHOE, we are now going to review the following section of Church Law. I will highlight the main points and provide layman's notes. Yes, it's a bit difficult to read, but give a go. 



Can. 1290 The general and particular provisions which the civil law in a territory has established for contracts and their disposition are to be observed with the same effects in canon law insofar as the matters are subject to the power of governance of the Church unless the provisions are contrary to divine law or canon law provides otherwise, and without prejudice to the prescript of ⇒ can. 1547.

Note: This means that whether or not property is actually alienated is determined by civil law, not church law. In Apuron's "Denver opinion" he tried to justify what he did canonically and purposely stayed away from what his actions meant civilly, especially in regards to Guam law.

Can. 1291 The permission of the authority competent according to the norm of law is required for the valid alienation of goods which constitute by legitimate designation the stable patrimony of a public juridic person and whose value exceeds the sum defined by law.

Can. 1292 §1. Without prejudice to the prescript of ⇒ can. 638, §3, when the value of the goods whose alienation is proposed falls within the minimum and maximum amounts to be defined by the conference of bishops for its own region, the competent authority is determined by the statutes of juridic persons if they are not subject to the diocesan bishop; otherwise, the competent authority is the diocesan bishop with the consent of the finance council, the college of consultors, and those concerned. The diocesan bishop himself also needs their consent to alienate the goods of the diocese.

Note: The value of The Property falls outside the "maximum amount" as defined by the conference of bishops (CEPAC), and thus alienation requires "the consent of the finance council, the college of consultors and those concerned." According to the AFC at the time, the maximum amount was million dollars and the current amount is two million dollars. The Property is estimated to be valued between 40 and 75 million dollars. Thus Apuron needed "their consent to alienate the goods of the diocese."

§2. The permission of the Holy See is also required for the valid alienation of goods whose value exceeds the maximum amount, goods given to the Church by vow, or goods precious for artistic or historical reasons.

Note: Here's the biggie. "The permission of the Holy See is also required." A permission Apuron DID NOT get.

§3. If the asset to be alienated is divisible, the parts already alienated must be mentioned when seeking permission for the alienation; otherwise the permission is invalid.

§4. Those who by advice or consent must take part in alienating goods are not to offer advice or consent unless they have first been thoroughly informed both of the economic state of the juridic person whose goods are proposed for alienation and of previous alienations.

Can. 1293 §1. The alienation of goods whose value exceeds the defined minimum amount also requires the following:

1/ a just cause, such as urgent necessity, evident advantage, piety, charity, or some other grave pastoral reason;

Note: There was none of these.

2/ a written appraisal by experts of the asset to be alienated.

Note: There was NO appraisal.

§2. Other precautions prescribed by legitimate authority are also to be observed to avoid harm to the Church.

Can. 1294 §1. An asset ordinarily must not be alienated for a price less than that indicated in the appraisal.

Note: The price was ZERO.

§2. The money received from the alienation is either to be invested carefully for the advantage of the Church or to be expended prudently according to the purposes of the alienation.

Note: There was no money.

Can. 1295 The requirements of ⇒ cann. 1291-1294, to which the statutes of juridic persons must also conform, must be observed not only in alienation but also in any transaction which can worsen the patrimonial condition of a juridic person.

Note: The removal of a forty million dollar asset from a diocese this size can hardly not "worsen the patrimonial condition" of this diocese.

Can. 1296 Whenever ecclesiastical goods have been alienated without the required canonical formalities but the alienation is valid civilly, it is for the competent authority, after having considered everything thoroughly, to decide whether and what type of action, namely, personal or real, is to be instituted by whom and against whom in order to vindicate the rights of the Church.

Note: " is for the competent decide whether and what type of to be vindicate the rights of the Church." The competent authority in this case would be Apuron's superior. And he only has one. We already know that Apuron did not follow the required canonical formalities. The only question left is whether or not the alienation of The Property is "valid civilly." The "Bronze Shoe" will tell us.


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