[quote="tradcathusa, post:1, topic:284391"]
A question for those that go to a SSPX church. I just read the latest news on rorate caeli, and it looks like the SSPX will be regularized. I would expect some folks won't follow Bishop Fellay. I wanted to know who owns the various SSPX properties in the USA? Is each one owned by a group of laymen or are they in the name of the society? I was wondering if there would be problems and lawsuits in the future if there is regularlization, like a group saying we aren't following Bishop Fellay and we are keeping our church independent or such type problems
PS- I am on your side!!!!!
You have to look at several things to determine the juridical personality of the property as it's called in Church law.
Societies of apostolic life are allowed to own property. They do not make a vow of poverty. Any property that is owned by the individual, continues to be his own. The Church does not interfere with that. Any property that is owned by the society does not belong to any member. Where ever the society goes, that's where the property goes.
For example, let's say that there's a split within the SSPX. Because the society is being split and the society owns the property, in the USA the same laws apply that would apply to any business that dissolves.
The other way that this can go down is for the one group to keep the name and the property, but in justice, give something to the smaller group. I say in justice, because it is common property. Their relationship with the Vatican does not mitigate their property rights.
What happens in other countries may be different, because they have different laws that govern 501(c)3 corporations or they may not have such corporations. They don't have what we have in the USA where a religious institute can be a corporation without stockholders and without owners. It's going to be a lot of work, because the SSPX is present in many countries and each country has different laws.
If the property belongs to a benefactor, there is nothing to be said. It continues to belong to the benefactor and he allows use to whomever he wishes.
In Canon Law there is a clause that says that if an institute ceases to exist, the property is surrendered to the Church and the Holy See decides what happens from there. This only applies to property that the institute owns. If there is a split of the SSPX, we don't know the numbers on either side. The Vatican will have to make suggestions once it has an idea of how much property there is and how many people are affected.
Properties owned by an outside agent (corporation, board, private benefactor, etc) does not enter into the distribution of assets, because the SSPX has use, not ownership.
The property laws of each country are going to play into how assets are distributed, not just Church law, unless one side signs away their rights or one side buys out the other.
This happens a lot with the large religious orders such as Franciscans. Because we keep growing, we keep dividing into smaller obediences and each obedience is subdivided into provinces. Whatever property we "own" has to be signed over to each group. It's like pulling a corporation apart and staring three new ones.
You divide, then you must create new corporations. Usually, the group that keeps the name, keeps the original corporation. The new groups incorporate under their new names. Hopefully, they will peacefully decide who gets the kids, dog, family car and house. :D
I'll take the cat. :p
Br. JR, FFV :)