E-17 - Roman Catholic Bishops Act

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Updated to 1 April 1999
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chapter E-17
Roman Catholic Bishops Act
ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPSDecember 31 1977
1. In this Act, saving incompatibility, the term
(a)  diocese means a territory under the jurisdiction of a bishop and situated in whole or in part in Québec; this term includes an archdiocese, a diocese, an archeparchy, an eparchy, an exarchate, a vicariate apostolic, a military ordinariate, a prefecture apostolic, a territorial prelacy and a territorial abbey;
(b)  bishop means the cleric who, according to the rules of the Roman Catholic Church, is appointed to administer a diocese; this term includes an archbishop, a diocesan bishop, an archeparch, an eparch, an exarch, a vicar apostolic, a military ordinary, a prefect apostolic, a territorial prelate, a territorial abbot, an apostolic administrator, a diocesan administrator, a provicar in a vicariate apostolic and a pro-prefect in a prefecture apostolic;
(c)  corporation means a corporation constituted under the authority of section 3 of this Act;
(d)  register means the register instituted under the Act respecting the legal publicity of sole proprietorships, partnerships and legal persons (chapter P-45).
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 1; 1993, c. 48, s. 403; 1997, c. 25, s. 18.
2. In every act the terms “archiepiscopal corporation” or “episcopal corporation” shall also include a corporation constituted under the authority of section 3 of this act.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 2.
2.1. The name of a corporation shall be in conformity with section 9.1 of the Companies Act (chapter C-38).
1993, c. 48, s. 404.
2.2. The Inspector General of Financial Institutions shall refuse to grant a charter to a bishop whose application contains a name not in conformity with section 4 of this Act or with any of paragraphs 1 to 6 of section 9.1 of the Companies Act (chapter C-38).
1993, c. 48, s. 404.
3. The Inspector General of Financial Institutions may, by letters patent which he issues under his hand and seal, grant a charter incorporating any bishop who may apply to him therefor.
The letters patent issued by the Inspector General of Financial Institutions under his hand and seal shall have the same effect as if they were issued by the Lieutenant-Governor under the Great Seal.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 3; 1969, c. 26, s. 78; 1975, c. 76, s. 11; 1981, c. 9, s. 24; 1982, c. 52, s. 198.
4. The name of the corporation shall be, in English: “The Roman Catholic (title of the ecclesiastical head incorporated) of (name of the diocese of such head)” and, in French: “Le (titre du chef ecclésiastique constitué en corporation: archevêque, évêque, etc.) catholique romain de (nom du diocèse de ce chef)”.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 4.
5. The corporate seat of the corporation shall be at the place of residence of the bishop constituted a corporation or, if such place of residence is outside Québec, at the place in Québec, designated in the petition for incorporation.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 5.
6. The Inspector General shall deposit the letters patent in the register.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 6; 1969, c. 26, s. 79; 1975, c. 76, s. 11; 1981, c. 9, s. 24; 1982, c. 52, s. 198; 1993, c. 48, s. 405.
7. The bishop constituted a corporation and all his successors in the same office shall, of right and successively, be members of the corporation and exercise all its powers.
The corporation shall subsist though it may have no member.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 7.
8. In the case of a vacancy in the episcopal see of a bishop constituted a corporation, any vicar capitular, pro-vicar, pro-prefect or administrator may, of right and so long as he holds his office, exercise the powers of such corporation.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 8.
9. The objects of the corporation are religion, teaching, education, charity and hospitalization.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 9.
10. For the attainment of its objects, the corporation shall have the powers, rights and privileges of ordinary corporations, and especially the following:
(a)  to have a seal and alter it at will;
(b)  to appear before the courts;
(c)  to acquire, establish, maintain, administer and manage any work or undertaking related to its objects;
(d)  to acquire, establish, own, maintain, administer and manage residences for clergy, seminaries, colleges, teaching or educational institutions, hospital centres, asylums, refuges, recreational centres, libraries and, notwithstanding any incompatible legislative provision, churches, chapels, cemeteries, parsonages, public halls and playgrounds;
(e)  to bind itself and bind others towards it in any legal manner whatsoever;
(f)  to borrow money on its credit by any method recognized by the law, and especially by bills of exchange, notes or other negotiable instruments;
(g)  to hypothecate its movable or immovable property or encumber it with another charge to secure payment of its loans or the performance of its obligations;
(h)  to issue bonds or other title-deeds or securities and sell, exchange or hypothecate the same;
(i)  (paragraph repealed);
(j)  to invest its funds in any manner deemed suitable, either directly in its own name or indirectly in the name of trustees;
(k)  to support any person pursuing any object similar to one of its own, transfer to such person any property whatsoever, gratuitously or not, make loans to the same and secure or guarantee his obligations or engagements;
(l)  to accept any gift, legacy or other liberality;
(m)  to acquire, possess, administer and alienate all movable and immovable property by all legal methods and by any title whatsoever;
(n)  to acquire by expropriation, with the previous authorization of the Government and upon such conditions as it shall determine, any property deemed necessary for the pursuit of its objects, and especially any immovable for the site of a church, chapel, parsonage, cemetery or public hall;
(o)  to acquire, possess and exercise outside the territory of Québec the rights and powers recognized or conferred upon it by the laws in force in any other province or country;
(p)  delegate in writing to any vicar-general, to any vicar deputed to vicariates or apostolic prefectures, or to the administrator replacing the bishop during his absence, the exercise of one or more of the powers mentioned in this section, save and except the one provided for by paragraph n.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 10; 1971, c. 48, s. 161; 1992, c. 57, s. 573.
11. The corporation shall dispose within a reasonable delay of the immoveables which, for a period of twenty-five consecutive years, shall not have been used for the pursuit of its objects.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 11.
12. The corporation may, if need be, make regulations respecting:
(a)  its internal management;
(b)  the appointment, functions, duties and remuneration of its officers, agents and servants;
(c)  the appointment and the management of an executive committee and of special committees which may be created for the attainment of its objects;
(d)  the administration, management and control of its property, works and undertakings;
(e)  the pursuit of its objects in general.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 12.
13. The corporation may, should the Holy See change the name or the seat of the diocese, change its corporate name or the place of its corporate seat; written notice is given to the Inspector General of Financial Institutions of any such change, and he shall deposit such notice in the register.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 13; 1969, c. 26, s. 80; 1975, c. 76, s. 11; 1981, c. 9, s. 24; 1982, c. 52, s. 198; 1993, c. 48, s. 406.
13.1. The remedy provided for in section 221.1 of the Companies Act (chapter C-38), adapted as required, may be exercised in respect of the name of a corporation.
1993, c. 48, s. 407.
14. Every person who holds property in trust or in any other manner for any of the purposes mentioned in section 9 of this act, and every person upon whom such property devolves, may transfer the same in whole or in part to any corporation constituted under the authority of this act; the latter corporation shall then be responsible for the trusts affecting such property to the extent of the property so received.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 14.
15. A register shall be kept at the corporate seat of the corporation in which shall be entered the regulations made pursuant to the powers conferred by section 12 and the delegations provided by paragraph p of section 10.
Such register, as well as abstract certified by the bishop of the place or by the chancellor of the diocese, shall be authentic.
Any person interested may consult it and obtain at his own expense certified extracts therefrom.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 15.
16. The suppression of a diocese does not entail the extinction of a corporation which its head constitutes; this corporation shall continue to exist and its powers shall be exercised by the bishop of the diocese in which its corporate seat is located.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 16.
17. In order for a corporation to be dissolved, the bishop exercising the powers of such corporation shall transmit an act of dissolution to the Inspector General, who shall deposit it in the register.
The corporation shall be dissolved from the thirtieth day after such deposit.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 17; 1993, c. 48, s. 408.
18. A certificate of the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Québec shall constitute for all purposes proof that a clergyman holds the office of bishop of a diocese or any other office mentioned in this Act.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 18.
19. The Inspector General of Financial Institutions may also, upon petition by a bishop, grant by letters patent issued over his signature and seal, a charter incorporating, for any of the purposes mentioned in section 9 and upon the conditions contained in the petition, any council, committee, organization or association.
The petition of the bishop shall indicate the purpose of the corporation, its corporate seat, the powers, rights and privileges mentioned in section 10 which it will enjoy, the rules for the exercise of its powers and for the designation of its members or administrators.
The Inspector General shall deposit the letters patent in the register, and the corporation shall exist from the date of such deposit.
The Inspector General of Financial Institutions may also, upon application of the bishop, amend by supplementary letters patent the by-laws and powers of a corporation constituted under the authority of this section; the supplementary letters patent shall be deposited in the register.
The letters patent issued by the Inspector General of Financial Institutions over his signature and seal have the same effect as if they had been issued by the Lieutenant-Governor under the Great Seal.
The bishop of the diocese wherein the corporate seat of a corporation constituted under the authority of this section is located may dissolve it by filing an act of dissolution with the Inspector General, who shall deposit it in the register. In the event of dissolution, the property of such corporation, after payment of its obligations, shall devolve on such bishop.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 19; 1983, c. 54, s. 39; 1993, c. 48, s. 409.
19.1. Sections 2.1, 2.2 and 13.1 apply to corporations constituted under section 19.
1993, c. 48, s. 410.
20. Notwithstanding any contrary or incompatible provision, the corporations constituted under the laws of Québec are authorized to consent to and make to the corporation constituted under the authority of section 3 of this act, the donations which they deem suitable to help to defray the cost of building and maintaining grand seminaries, and this, by resolution passed by the majority of the administrators then present at a meeting called for such purpose, provided there be a quorum.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 20.
21. (This section ceased to have effect on 17 April 1987).
1982, c. 21, s. 1; U. K., 1982, c. 11, Sch. B, Part I, s. 33.
REPEAL SCHEDULE

In accordance with section 17 of the Act respecting the consolidation of the statutes (chapter R-3), chapter 304 of the Revised Statutes, 1964, in force on 31 December 1977, is repealed effective from the coming into force of chapter E-17 of the Revised Statutes.