Parish Finances

Does the Archdiocese own the buildings and grounds of parishes? What role does the Archdiocese have in parish finances and facilities?

Under civil (Michigan) law, the Archdiocese of Detroit is a “corporation sole” in which the Archbishop is the legal owner of all parish properties. While archdiocesan property in the Archdiocese of Detroit is titled and deeded in the Archbishop’s name, canon law considers parish assets as belonging to the parish and to be administered for the good of the entire Church. Under canon law, parishes can obtain, administer, and dispose of parish assets; however, because these assets are for the benefit of the entire Church, before parishes make significant decisions concerning parish assets, the Archbishop must be consulted and approve what is proposed.