The Catholic Church is committed to continuing the mission of Jesus Christ as priest, prophet and king. In dioceses and eparchies, parishes and Catholic organizations across the country, the Church is serving and meeting the spiritual and temporal needs of women, men and children and strengthening communities. In pursuit of this religious mission, dioceses seek and use temporal goods “to order divine worship, to care for the decent support of the clergy and other ministers, and to exercise the works of the sacred apostolate and of charity, especially toward the needy.” (Code of Canon Law, canon 1254, §2)
The Standards for Excellence respond to the call to good stewardship and accountability in the U.S. Bishops’ pastoral letter, Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response. The Standards are also in full compliance with canon law. The Church’s own canon law articulates the internal structures of dioceses and parishes. By analogy, these same canonical structures can be related to Catholic nonprofits.
In The Standards for Excellence Code for the Catholic Sector and Canon Law, canon lawyers display how canon law provides a foundation on to which the principles and standards enunciated in Standards for Excellence, have been grafted and on which they build without introducing an element alien to the Church’s own tradition.
“Best organizational practices are consistent with Gospel values. They balance the goals and needs of the organization, its workers and the community in which it is located. They imply respect for persons, justice, integrity, efficient use of resources, successful accomplishment of mission and goals, and an environment in which committed and skilled workers are treated fairly. Furthermore, the Code of Canon Law, particularly in its treatment of temporal and human resources, provides prescriptions that are to be followed for best organizational practices in an ecclesial context
(see CIC, canons 1273 ff.)."
Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord,
US Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2005