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Vatican goes half way towards US bishops property request

The Vatican has approved a request from the US bishops to increase the minimum and maximum amounts at which approval is needed before selling or ceding ownership of church property, but limited the increase to half of what the bishops had requested.

US Bishops Conference President Bishop Wilton Gregory announced the approval, or "recognitio", in a letter to bishops dated last week.

The changes were approved by a 219-2 vote of the bishops in November last year, as complementary legislation to the first paragraph of Canon 1292, which requires bishops' conferences to set the minimum and maximum amounts for "alienation" of church property.

Since 1993 US bishops have needed Vatican permission to give up ownership of church goods worth $US3 million or more. The norms adopted by the bishops in November would have raised the figure to $US5 million for dioceses with fewer than 500,000 Catholics and $US10 million for dioceses with a Catholic population of 500,000 or more.

But the maximum figures approved by the Vatican and promulgated by Bishop Gregory with a 1 January effective date were $US5 million for dioceses with more than 500,000 Catholics and $US2.5 million for other dioceses.

Catholic News Service | Canon 1292 | Property and Equipment

US Conference of Catholic Bishops

10 Oct 2003