ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES REGARDING PROPERTY
Alienation or Purchase of Church Property Policy January 2019
 
1.0 INTRODUCTION
2.0 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
3.0 PRELIMINARY 
4.0 SALE OR PURCHASE UNDER $25,000
5.0 SALE OR PURCHASE UP TO $75,000 
6.0 SALE OR PURCHASE OVER $75,000
 
 
1.0 INTRODUCTION
Canon Law requires the diocesan bishop to carefully supervise the administration of all goods which belong to the diocese and all public juridical persons, including parishes, entrusted to his authority and to regulate the administration of ecclesiastical goods through the issuance of special instruction (canon 1279 § 1 & 2). Any act of alienation (sale, transfer of title, long-term lease or alteration that causes a devaluation of property value) or purchase of property must have the written permission of the Bishop. Depending on the value of the property, the Bishop is required to seek the counsel of the consultative bodies of the Diocese before responding to written request for permission to alienate or purchase property (canon 1277).
 
2.0 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
2.1 Before engaging in any real estate transaction, the pastor is required to obtain written approval from the Bishop.
2.2 Allow time for review and consultation by the College of Consultors and Diocesan Finance Council. These consultors meet four times a year.
2.3 The Parish is required to assess their needs for the future in regards to the use of the new property or why alienating the property fits into their future plans. How does this transaction help the Parish’s ministry? Fit into the Parish’s Master Plan?
2.4 Diocesan guidelines require that before entering in a purchase agreement for land, building or both, the parish must have 50% of the total cash needed on deposit and the balance covered by a written plan. The plan shall include all expenses the parish anticipates, to allow for the completion of the sale or purchase of property. This plan is subject to review by the Diocesan Office of Finance.
2.5 All correspondence shall be through the Facilities & Construction Department and via formal letter. The written letter can be sent via e-mail or mailed.
2.6 All requests for approval, by the Bishop, shall be in writing and sent through the Facilities & Construction Department.
2.7 Conducting transactions at different times but for the same purpose requires approval for the total value of all transactions. The intention, time and purpose of the total planned transactions will be used to consider the approval levels.
2.8 The Bishop, Chancellor or the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) are the only personnel authorized to sign legal property documents for the Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska.
2.9 A building that had been used for Catholic worship and has now been relegated to profane use, the Bishop, after consultation with Presbyteral Council, shall make a determination as to the future disposition of the building. If the Bishop determines that sale of the building is appropriate, necessary language in the documents must ensure that the building will not be used in a “sordid” manner, offensive to the Catholic faithful or detrimental to the good of souls (canon 1222 § 2) for a period of ninety (90) years.
The following are examples of restrictions:
a. A church, chapel or other house of religious worship
b. An abortion clinic
c. An office for professional counseling service which advocates abortion or euthanasia
d. An office or center for embryonic stem cell research
 
3.0 PRELIMINARY
3.1 The parish works together to identify their needs. How will the acquisition or alienation of property enhance the ministry of the parish?
3.2 The parish will prepare a document outlining the following items:
a. The anticipated cost of the purchase or alienation
b. Parish financials for past 5 years
c. Recent appraisal of the property
d. How this will benefit the ministry of the parish
e. Master plan of the parish including demographics of the area and how this transaction will benefit the parish in the future
f. Operating expenses for the proposed new property or alienated property
g. Proposed use of funds received from alienation of property or source of funds for purchase of property
3.3 Before beginning to search for new property or advertising the sale of property, the Pastor or Regional Coordinator will a prepare letter requesting permission to begin the process of looking for property or putting together an advertising package. Letter shall be submitted to the Facilities & Construction Department for Bishop’s review and approval.
 
4.0 ALIENATION OR PURCHASE UNDER $25,000
4.1 After receipt of Preliminary approval, Parish can begin search and identify property options which will continue their ministry.
4.2 Conduct a Feasibility Study in order to gain honest and realistic analysis of how the property will fit into the Parish’s needs.
a. Abstract or Real Estate listing of property, including physical details
b. Parish financials for the past 5 years
c. Recent appraisal of the property
d. Title search
e. Zoning restrictions
f. Current Master Plan indicating how the transaction will affect the existing buildings and ministry of the Parish
g. Source of funds for the purchase or costs associated with sale
4.3 Corporate Resolution signed by Pastor, Parish Finance Council and Parish Council and sent to Facilities & Construction Department for review by Diocesan Building Committee prior to Bishop’s approval to proceed with purchase or alienation of property.
4.4 All purchase and related closing documents must be reviewed by Facilities & Construction Department and Finance Department in advance.
4.5 Refer to section 2.8 regarding buildings that had been used for Catholic worship, have been relegated to profane use and the Parish is requesting its sale. Necessary steps must be taken to prevent the building from being used for sordid purposes.
4.6 Prior to closing on property transaction, ensure Memorandum of Property Information and the Property Purchase – Sale Execution Form has been completed with all signatures and approvals having been received, see Appendix A and B.
4.7 The Bishop, Chancellor or the CFO are the only personnel authorized to sign legal property documents for the Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska.
 
5.0 ALIENATION OR PURCHASE UP TO $75,000
5.1 After receipt of Preliminary approval, Parish can begin search and identify property options which will continue their ministry.
5.2 Conduct a Feasibility Study in order to gain honest and realistic analysis of how the property will fit into the Parish’s needs.
a. Abstract or Real Estate listing of property, including physical details and photos,
b. Parish financials for the past 5 years,
c. Recent appraisal of the property,
d. Title search,
e. Zoning restrictions,
f. Current Master Plan indicating how the transaction will affect the existing buildings and ministry of the Parish
g. Source of funds for the purchase or costs associated with sale,
h. Anticipated operating expenses of acquisition and how they will be covered.
5.3 Corporate Resolution signed by Pastor, Parish Finance Council and Parish Council and sent to Facilities & Construction Department.
a. Diocesan Building Committee will review and approve.
b. After approval by Diocesan Building Committee, the Resolution will be sent to the Bishop for his review and determination to proceed or not with the property transaction.
c. Bishop may consult the College of Consultors, Diocesan Finance Council and Chief Finance Officer. Note, Diocesan Building Committee and Diocesan Finance Council meets four times each year.
5.4 All purchase and related closing documents must be reviewed by Facilities & Construction Department and Finance Department in advance. All property shall be in the name of Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska.
5.5 Refer to section 2.8 regarding buildings that had been used for Catholic worship, have been relegated to profane use and the Parish is requesting its sale. Necessary steps must be taken to prevent the building from being used for sordid purposes.
5.6 Prior to closing on property transaction, ensure Memorandum of Property Information and the Property Purchase – Sale Execution Form has been completed with all signatures and approvals having been received, see Appendix A and B.
5.7 The Bishop, Chancellor and the CFO are the only personnel authorized to sign legal property documents for the Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska.
5.8 Once the transaction is completed, ensure all pertinent documents have been collated and filed in the Property Archives at the Chancery.
a. Letters signed and approved by Parish, Pastor, Councils and Bishop
b. Minutes from Parish meetings indicating approval of transaction
c. Deed
d. Closing paperwork including title search and title insurance
 
6.0 ALIENATION OR PURCHASE OVER $75,000
6.1 After receipt of Preliminary approval, Parish can begin search and identify property options which will continue their ministry.
6.2 Conduct a Feasibility Study in order to gain honest and realistic analysis of how the property will fit into the Parish’s needs.
a. Abstract or Real Estate listing of property, including physical details and photos
b. Boundary or ALTA survey
c. Environmental studies to determine flood plains, wetlands, critical areas
d. Access to property, are easements in place to ensure easy access to property
e. Parish financials for the past 5 years
f. Recent appraisal of the property
g. Title search
h. Zoning restrictions
i. Current Master Plan indicating how the transaction will affect the existing buildings and ministry of the Parish
j. Source of funds for the purchase or costs associated with sale
k. Anticipated costs to remodel or make the property suitable for use by the Parish. Indicate source of funds for the anticipated remodel work.
l. Anticipated operating expenses of acquisition and how they will be covered
6.3 Corporate Resolution signed by Pastor, Parish Finance Council and Parish Council and sent to Facilities & Construction Department
a. Diocesan Building Committee will review and approve
b. After approval by Diocesan Building Committee, the Resolution will be sent to the College of Consultors and Diocesan Finance Council for their review, comments and recommendations.
c. After carefully consideration, the Bishop will make a determination to proceed or not with the property transaction.
d. Note, Diocesan Building Committee, College of Consultors and Diocesan Finance Council each meet four times each year.
6.4 All purchase and related closing documents must be reviewed by Facilities & Construction Department and Finance Department in advance. All property shall be in the name of Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska.
6.5 Refer to section 2.8 regarding buildings that had been used for Catholic worship, have been relegated to profane use and the Parish is requesting its sale. Necessary steps must be taken to prevent the building from being used for sordid purposes.
6.6 Prior to closing on property transaction, ensure Memorandum of Property Information and the Property Purchase – Sale Execution Form has been completed with all signatures and approvals having been received, see Appendix A and B.
6.7 The Bishop, Chancellor and the CFO are the only personnel authorized to sign legal property documents for the Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska.
6.8 Once the transaction is completed, ensure all pertinent documents have been collated and filed in the Property Archives at the Chancery.
a. Letters signed and approved by Parish, Pastor, Councils and Bishop
b. Minutes from Parish meetings indicating approval of transaction
c. Deed and survey or plat
d. Closing paperwork including title search and title insurance
 

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File: 2019-Administrative-Policies-Regarding-Property.pdf