pious foundations

(Latin: fundamentum, basis)

Temporal goods given to an ecclesiastical moral person with an obligation, perpetual, or for a long time, to say Masses annually, to perform definite ecclesiastical functions, or to carry out works of piety or charity with the revenue of the donation. Once accepted, it takes on the nature of a bilateral contract. The quantity of the endowment is determined by the bishop and his written consent must be obtained before its acceptance. The money is to be invested and it pertains to the bishop to see that the obligations are fulfilled. The supervision of foundations made to exempt religious, even though in their parish churches, pertains not to the bishop but to the major superior. The reduction of the obligations is reserved to the Holy See unless the document of foundation expressly gives the bishop this power.

New Catholic Dictionary

NCD Index SQPN Contact Author