OF RELIGIOUS SOCIETIES.
AN ACT in relation to Roman Catholic Religious Corporations.
WHEREAS the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington extends over the territory comprised in the State of Delaware and that portion of the State of Maryland commonly known as the Eastern Shore;
AND WHEREAS the Legislature of the State of Maryland by an act to amend Article 23 of the Code of Public General Laws, passed April 7, A. D. 1892, being Chapter 614 of the Laws of the State of Maryland for the said year, provided for the organization of Roman Catholic Religions Corporations;
AND WHEREAS it is just and expedient that uniformity of organization should exist for religious corporations of one denomination of Christians throughout;
AND WHEREAS the following provisions are substantially the same as enacted by the Legislature of the State of Maryland; therefore,
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met (two-thirds of each branch thereof concurring herein) as follows, to wit:
SECTION I. In every congregation of the denomination of Christians known as the "Roman Catholic Church," the Ordinary of the Diocese and the Pastor of the said congregation for the time being, according to the practice and discipline of the said church, and one other person to be annually designated by said Ordinary, and two other persons to be annually elected by the male pewholders of the said congregation from among their number (said annual election and appointment to be made on the Sunday next succeeding the first day of January in each and every year, and the incumbents to hold office until their respective successors shall be so as aforesaid elected or appointed, as the case may be,) shall be constituted a body politic and corporate, under such title as may be assumed by the said corporation, and recorded in a certificate under the hands and seals of the corporators first chosen or otherwise entitled to office under the terms of this act, the said certificate to be acknowledged before any person entitled to take acknowledgments of instruments to be used in the State of Delaware and recorded among the corporation records of the county wherein the said congregation shall have or possess a place of worship.
SECTION 2. Every such corporation shall have, in addition to the powers now possessed by religious corporations by virtue of the laws of the State of Delaware, the further power to appoint the hour and place of the meeting at which the two of its members so as aforesaid to be annually elected shall be chosen, and the manner in which such election shall be held, and shall provide a good and sufficient record book wherein shall be registered from time to time all of its proceedings, and which shall at all times be open to inspection by any member of the said congregation or any ecclesiastical officer of the said denomination of Christians having, according to the discipline and practice thereof, authority over the said congregation or the right to be informed concerning its management and interests of the said corporation. The pastor of the congregation for the time being (if any there he) shall always be president. It shall have power to frame such rules and ordinances for the orderly conduct of divine worship and the advancement of the interests of the congregation as a majority of the corporation may from time to time deem necessary; provided that the same shall not conflict with the constitution or laws of the United States or of this State, or with the discipline and practice of the denomination aforesaid.
SECTION 3. If at any time one of the corporators so as aforesaid to be annually elected shall die, resign or become disqualified by ceasing to be a pewholder of the said church, it shall be competent for the remaining members of the said corporation to appoint a successor to the one so dying, resigning, or becoming disqualified, which successor shall hold office until someone to fill his place shall be chosen at the next annual meeting of the said congregation; and if at any time the member so as aforesaid to be annually appointed by the Ordinary of the Diocese shall die or resign, it shall be competent for the said Ordinary to fill the said vacancy in the corporation aforesaid by appointing another person to serve for the remainder of the term of the one so dying or resigning, and until a successor thereto shall be duly chosen according to the terms of this article; and if at any time the corporators for the time being shall think it wise to change the name of the said corporation, they may do the same by a certificate under their hands and seals to be acknowledged and recorded as provided for in the case of the original certificate mentioned in Section one of this act.
SECTION 4. Any person or persons, individual or corporation, holding lands or goods and chattels, or any interest therein in trust for any particular church or congregation, church society, congregation of the said denomination wherein a corporation shall be formed in accordance with the terms of this section, shall convey the same to the said corporation as soon as possible after its formation under the terms of this act, and any gift, devise, or bequest heretofore or hereafter made to any such congregation, or to any person or persons, individual or corporation in trust therefor, shall insure to the benefit of the corporation to be formed in such congregation (if any such corporation shall be so formed according to the terms of this act), whether the said corporation shall be or be not accurately described in such gift,
devise or bequest; provided that the intention of the donor or testator be clear that the same should inure to the benefit of the said congregation.
SECTION 5. The Legislature reserves the right to alter or revoke this grant of corporate franchise.
Passed at Dover, April 18, 1893.