Roman Catholic Bishops Act
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) “legal person” means a legal person constituted under the authority of section 3 of this Act;
(d) “register” means the register referred to in Chapter II of the Act respecting the legal publicity of enterprises (chapter P-44.1).
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 1; 1993, c. 48, s. 403; 1997, c. 25, s. 18; 1999, c. 40, s. 127; 2010, c. 7, s. 282.
2. In every Act, the terms “archiepiscopal corporation” or “episcopal corporation” shall also include a legal person constituted under the authority of section 3 of this Act.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 2; 1999, c. 40, s. 127.
2.1. The name of a legal person shall be in conformity with section 9.1 of the Companies Act (chapter C-38).
1993, c. 48, s. 404; 1999, c. 40, s. 127.
Grounds for refusal.
2.2. The enterprise registrar 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; 2002, c. 45, s. 501.
Constitution by letters patent.
3. The enterprise registrar may, by letters patent which he issues under his hand and seal, grant a charter constituting as a legal person any bishop who may apply to him therefor.
The letters patent issued by the enterprise registrar 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; 1999, c. 40, s. 127; 2002, c. 45, s. 501.
4. The name of the legal person shall be, in English: “The Roman Catholic (title of the ecclesiastical head constituted as a legal person) of (name of the diocese of such head)” and, in French: “Le (titre du chef ecclésiastique constitué en personne morale: archevêque, évêque, etc.) catholique romain de (nom du diocèse de ce chef)”.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 4; 1999, c. 40, s. 127.
5. The head office of the legal person shall be at the place of residence of the bishop constituted as a legal person or, if such place of residence is outside Québec, at the place in Québec, designated in the petition for constitution as a legal person.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 5; 1999, c. 40, s. 127.
Deposit in register.
6. The enterprise registrar 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; 2002, c. 45, s. 501.
7. The bishop constituted as a legal person and all his successors in the same office shall, of right and successively, be members of the legal person and exercise all its powers.
The legal person shall subsist though it may have no member.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 7; 1999, c. 40, s. 127.
8. In the case of a vacancy in the episcopal see of a bishop constituted as a legal person, 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 legal person.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 8; 1999, c. 40, s. 127.
9. The objects of the legal person are religion, teaching, education, charity and hospitalization.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 9; 1999, c. 40, s. 127.
10. For the attainment of its objects, the legal person shall have, in particular, the following powers:
(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 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; 1999, c. 40, s. 127.
11. The legal person shall dispose within a reasonable delay of the immovables which, for a period of 25 consecutive years, shall not have been used for the pursuit of its objects.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 11; 1999, c. 40, s. 127.
12. The legal person may, if need be, make regulations respecting:
(a) its internal management;
(b) the appointment, functions, duties and remuneration of its officers, agents and employees;
(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; 1999, c. 40, s. 127.
13. The legal person may, should the Holy See change the name or the seat of the diocese, change its name or the place of its head office; written notice is given to the enterprise registrar 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; 1999, c. 40, s. 127; 2002, c. 45, s. 501.
Exercise of remedy.
13.1. The remedy provided for in section 221.1 of the Companies Act (chapter C-38), with the necessary modifications, may be exercised in respect of the name of a legal person.
1993, c. 48, s. 407; 1999, c. 40, s. 127.
Transfer of property.
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 legal person constituted under the authority of this Act; the latter legal person 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; 1999, c. 40, s. 127.
15. A register shall be kept at the head office of the legal person 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; 1999, c. 40, s. 127.
Legal person not extinct.
16. The suppression of a diocese does not entail the extinction of a legal person which its head constitutes; this legal person shall continue to exist and its powers shall be exercised by the bishop of the diocese in which its head office is located.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 16; 1999, c. 40, s. 127.
17. In order for a legal person to be dissolved, the bishop exercising the powers of such legal person shall transmit an act of dissolution to the enterprise registrar, who shall deposit it in the register.
The legal person shall be dissolved from the thirtieth day after such deposit.
R. S. 1964, c. 304, s. 17; 1993, c. 48, s. 408; 1999, c. 40, s. 127; 2002, c. 45, s. 501.
Proof of office.
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 enterprise registrar may also, upon petition by a bishop, grant by letters patent issued over his signature and seal, a charter constituting as a legal person, 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 legal person, its head office, the powers 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 enterprise registrar shall deposit the letters patent in the register, and the legal person shall exist from the date of such deposit.
The enterprise registrar may also, upon application of the bishop, amend by supplementary letters patent the by-laws and powers of a legal person constituted under the authority of this section; the supplementary letters patent shall be deposited in the register.
The letters patent issued by the enterprise registrar over his signature and seal have the same effect as if they had been issued by the Lieutenant-Governor under the Great Seal.
Dissolution by bishop.
The bishop of the diocese wherein the head office of a legal person constituted under the authority of this section is located may dissolve it by filing an act of dissolution with the enterprise registrar, who shall deposit it in the register. In the event of dissolution, the property of such legal person, 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; 1999, c. 40, s. 127; 2002, c. 45, s. 501.
19.1. Sections 2.1, 2.2 and 13.1 apply to legal persons constituted under section 19.
1993, c. 48, s. 410; 1999, c. 40, s. 127.
20. Notwithstanding any contrary or incompatible provision, the legal persons constituted under the laws of Québec are authorized to consent to and make to the legal person 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; 1999, c. 40, s. 127.
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.
22. The Government designates the Minister responsible for the administration of this Act except the provisions relating to the responsibilities of the enterprise registrar, which are administered by the Minister of Revenue.
2002, c. 45, s. 502; 2006, c. 38, s. 38.
The Minister of Finance exercises the functions of the Minister of Revenue provided for in this Act. Order in Council 362-2014 dated 24 April 2014, (2014) 146 G.O. 2 (French), 1871.
not in force
23. The Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade is responsible for the application of this Act.
2002, c. 45, s. 502; 2003, c. 29, s. 170; 2006, c. 8, s. 31.
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.