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What permissions must be obtained by pastors and parishes on capital expenditures?
Pastors can approve parish capital expenditures of up to $10,000. For capital projects costing from $10,000 to $25,000, the pastor must consult with the parish finance council prior to commencing the project and record the consultation in the parish finance council meeting minutes. For projects ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, the pastor must consult with the parish finance council prior to commencing the project, record the consultation in the parish finance council meeting minutes, and report the transaction to the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Detroit by submitting an Expenditure Approval Request Form and a copy of the minutes.For projects exceeding $100,000 the pastor must first receive the consent of the parish finance council and written approval from the Archbishop prior to commencing the project, regardless of whether the parish has funding for the project in place.
As required by canon (Church) law, the Archbishop routinely consults the College of Consultors who provide guidance on financial matters including the acquisition and sale of goods or proprieties, before approving such transactions as pastorally desirable. If the Consultors deem the project desirable, the request then goes to Loan Deposit Program (LDP) administrators, who study each loan request for financial feasibility before referring the request back to the Consultors with a recommendation. The financial thresholds apply to the entire project and cannot be lowered by dividing deposits or payments. In all circumstances regarding parish capital expenditures, the pastor is encouraged to consult with his parish finance council.
It is generally expected that parishes have the necessary funds in place for major projects before seeking approval. This is to help ensure such projects are associated with a comprehensive fundraising plan, and are not underfinanced.