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In Nomine Domini
Having consulted extensively with, and having heard the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Boston regarding the Improved Financial Relationship Model in September, 2009; October, 2009; November, 2009; April, 2010; January, 2011; June, 2011; November, 2011; December, 2011; and February, 2012;
Having consulted extensively with, and having heard, the Finance Council of the Archdiocese of Boston in November, 2009; February, 2010; May, 2010; February, 2011; May, 2011; June, 2011; September, 2011; November, 2011; February, 2012; May, 2012; August, 2012; September, 2012; and November, 2012;
Having consulted with the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council in March, 2011 and January, 2012;
Having conducted numerous regional meetings from 2008 to 2011, consisting of priests, pastors, members of finance councils, members of pastoral councils, and parish staff, and having considered and weighed the comments of those in attendance;
Having listened to, and received recommendations from the Improved Financial Relationship Committee that has met no fewer than forty-seven times, and whose members consist of pastors, representatives of the Archdiocesan Finance Council; the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council; the Presbyteral Council; and staff of the various offices of the Archdiocese with expertise in law, pastoral care, fundraising, and finances;
In order to: create financially vibrant parishes enabling them to carry out their missions; improve financial stability of parishes and central ministries; enhance the financial relationship between parishes and central ministries; increase mutual accountability by having parish and central ministries revenues more closely tied together; increase support and communication between parishes and central ministries; allow pastors and lay members of the Christian faithful to have more input with regard to the central ministries budget process; and employ a simple, fair and equitable system where all parishes are asked to give the same percentage of their base revenue:
I, Seán P. Cardinal O'Malley, O.F.M., Cap., hereby decree and declare, pursuant to canon 1263, the imposition of a moderate tax (hereafter the "Tax") for the needs of the Archdiocese upon all the parishes, quasi-parishes, and rectorates (hereafter the "parish" or "parishes") subject to me proportionate to their income and according to the terms described herein.
The Tax is a tithe of Ten Percent (10%) imposed on Base Revenue as defined herein (hereafter the "Tithe") and an assessment of funds raised in the Catholic Appeal which shall be an amount equal to Eight Percent (8%) of Base Revenue as defined herein (hereafter the "Assessment"). For parishes with schools that belong to the parish, the Tithe will be Five and Three/Tenths Percent (5.3%). Parishes will be reimbursed at a rate of at least Fifty Percent (50%) for amounts contributed and received above their Assessment within the given appeal year.
Base Revenue is calculated as the three (3) year average of the following income components:
-- Offertory/Offertory Monthly -- amounts collected from parishioners at weekly Masses for support of the parish at either the first or second collection. This includes amounts collected for this purpose, whether collected at Mass, mailed, paid by credit card, electronically funded, or any other means. Included in this category are collections for Holy Days, debt, fuel, snow removal and utilities.
-- Grand Annual -- amounts collected as the result of an annual solicitation(s) often to be used for a specific designated purpose in support of the parish. This includes amounts collected for this purpose, whether collected at Mass, mailed, paid by credit card, electronically funded, or any other means.
-- Net Rental Income -- amounts received as rent or fees for any lease/license agreement to use or occupy a portion of the parish premises. Examples include leasing of parking lots, buildings or licensing space for cell towers. Parish expenses associated with this rental property may be deducted from this income if they meet the criteria in the Net Rental Income Guidelines.
Parishes that are experiencing financial difficulties may apply for an abatement of either component of the Tax (Tithe or Assessment). I hereby establish an Abatement Committee consisting of the Chancellor, the Secretary for Parish Life and Leadership, the Director of Parish Services and at least three pastors that I appoint for three year terms, to review applications for abatements and set policies, procedures and timelines.
A letter from the Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia will be sent to the pastors/administrators/rectors via electronic mail. This letter is the official instruction for the implementation of this Decree.
This Tax will be promulgated by electronic mail to each pastor/administrator/rector of the Archdiocese and by publication in The Pilot newspaper. This Decree shall become effective at 12:01 AM on July 1, 2013.
Given this 29th day of May, 2013 at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Boston in Braintree, Massachusetts.
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, OFM Cap.
Archbishop of Boston