A science teacher has complained that school “chaplaincy leaders” are sometimes claiming the substantial “clergy tax deduction”. (Remember, priests that claim this make less than $25,000/yr)
Should Board Superintendents be signing the necessary forms? An interesting questions that a tax accountant or lawyer or the CRA should answer.
Bishops are the only legitimate authority to appoint or ordain
ministers. I am NOT aware of Bishops appointing or ordaining
“Chaplains” in Catholic schools.
They specifically state that they do NOT give mandates to school “Chaplains”!
pastoral_letter_on_chaplaincy <– PDF from Bishops
The Catholic chaplains themselves (CSC0) say the crux of the matter is whether they are “mandated”:
“David brought up the issue of the Clergy Residency Tax Deduction. The
deduction is significant for many chaplains. The CRA has clarified
that it applies to women and lay people and is not challenging it in
any way. Anne-Marie Tedesco asked if it applies to teacher –
chaplains. David said he wasn’t sure. Paul Maine-Devine offered to
give a workshop on this after this meeting. David went over the
history of a challenge to it from one of the boards. The executive has
contacted a tax lawyer and canon lawyer. The issue remains unresolved
in some boards. The crux of the matter is whether or not we are
‘mandated’ by the bishop to do the work we do. David asked that
members let the executive know if their supervisors start refusing to
sign the forms.”
The question is whether a commissioning ceremony or having a Bishop’s representative at job interviews is anywhere close to a “mandate”.
“appointed or recognized by a body or person with the legitimate
authority to appoint or ordain ministers on behalf of or within the
religious denomination”. The appointment of school chaplains is done
by the Catholic school boards by virtue of the recognized place of
these boards within the Catholic community. In addition, the local
Bishops give their recognition of the school chaplains in a variety of
ways. Some bishops conduct commissioning ceremonies for their school
chaplains; others may give specific approval (through the school
board) of each chaplaincy appointment); and all of them, in a general
or specific way, apply a nihil obstat to the appointment of the
chaplains by the school boards. ”
Nice Latin words “Nihil Obstat”, but they apply to book publishing not appointments – there is no “Nihil Obstat” in Canon Law for jobs. Sounds nice and sophisticated though!
“Paragraph 5. A “regular minister” is a person who is
– authorized or empowered to perform spiritual duties, conduct religious
services, administer sacraments and carry out similar religious functions.
Religious functions may include participation in the conduct of religious
services, the administration of some of the rituals, ordinances or sacraments,
and pastoral responsibilities to specific segments of the religious
– is appointed or recognized by a body or person with the legitimate authority
to appoint or ordain ministers on behalf of or within the religious
– is in a position or appointment of some permanence.
Paragraph 6. In the absence of a legitimate appointment or recognition, the
mere performance of the duties of a minister will not suffice to constitute a
“regular minister”. ”
Edit: The following CSCO document TOTALLY doesn’t address the point about “is appointed or recognized by a body or person with the legitimate authority to appoint or ordain ministers on behalf of or within the religious
denomination”. School boards do not have legitimate authority to appoint ministers!