Ministerial Juridic Persons

Ministerial Juridic Persons

Juridic person is the generic term for a type of Church cooperation. These can be associations of persons, as in the case of a religious institute, or an association of things, such as the assets of an educational or health care ministry. The latter has come to be referred to as a ministerial juridic person or MJP, or a ministerial public juridic person (MPJP), to indicate that it was founded primarily for a ministerial purpose rather than for the sanctification of its members as a religious institute might be. Although ministerial juridic person (MJP) is not a recognized title in the Code of Canon Law, it is now being used to describe PJPs established for the oversight of Catholic health care ministries.

Models of MJPs

In this model, a new MJP is established as sponsor that is distinct from the governing board of the civil corporation. Sponsor members do not serve on the governing body of the civil corporations.

This model involves the establishment of a new MJP that consists of the same group of persons who constitute the governing board of the civil corporation. This one group acts variously in different capacities as it exercises its civil and canonical responsibilities.

In this model, the canonically established MJP is a distinct sponsoring body whose members also serve on the governing board of the civil corporation. Hence, the governing board of the civil corporation is made up of all members of the sponsoring body as well as members who serve solely on the governing board of the civil corporation.

In each model, the relationship between the sponsor board and the civil governing board is unique. The division and overlap of responsibilities between these two bodies can vary widely. In a mirror structure, all members serve in both capacities and, therefore, require competencies as both governing board members and sponsors.

A Ministerial Juridic Person submits annual reports to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL). It is suggested that the annual reports include the following elements:

  1. A short letter of presentation.
  2. Name of the PJP with date of erection.
  3. Purpose of the PJP.
  4. Profile of the Members of the PJP.
    1. Elements relating to service sector:
      1. Activity (hospitals, schools, or other);
      2. Statistics: number of those served by the PJP;
      3. Relationship to the local Church
  5. Profile of the Sponsor of the PJP:
    1. Name of members of the council and governing board (if possible with pictures).
    2. Number of religious and lay members of the council and governing board.
    3. Significant changes among council and governing board members.
  6. Profile of new members of the council and board.
  7. Dates of meetings in the year(s) in question.
  8. Summary of significant new initiatives or events, e.g. Certification confirming Incorporation of Company; changes at governance level.
  9. Short summary of significant issues actually addressed at the meetings.
  10. Report on the on-going formation.
  11. Short summary of annual events organized or attended by members.
  12. Short summary of programs, projects, etc., ongoing or new, which meet the specific purposes of the PJP (mission/values).
  13. Services offered to the poor.
  14. Current year connections (collaboration, involvement) with local and national Catholic groups, programs, hierarchy.
  15. Possible problems that were encountered.
  16. Short-term and long-term goals.
  17. Annual financial report.