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Parish Priests in DR Congo’s Bukavu Archdiocese Sign “Code of Good Governance”

Parish Priests in the Archdiocese of Bukavu, DR Congo queue to sign Code of good governance

In an effort to see that parishes and other diocesan institutions are administered responsibly and good stewardship is enhanced, the Local Ordinary of Bukavu Archdiocese in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), Archbishop François-Xavier Maroy has instructed his Vicar General to have all Parish Priests sign a Code of Good Governance, which outlines measures toward financial transparency among other aspects of accountability in leadership.

“It is a code of good governance with ten (10) "commandments", Vicar General of Bukavu Archdiocese, Msgr. Emile Mushosho has been quoted as saying during the signing ceremony Saturday, October 26.

"These are general provisions known but which sometimes are not correctly or really not executed,” Msgr. Mushosho told the 41 Parish Priests of the Archdiocese of Bukavu who gathered at the Our Lady of Peace Cathedral for the event.

According to the code of good governance availed to ACI Africa, “the Parish Priest has the obligation to give members of the priestly team the opportunity to share their pastoral concerns, in meetings that are organized at least once a month in order to allow a good collaboration in the fulfilment of their pastoral duties.”

In addition, "the Parish Priest must collaborate with the parish bursar by forwarding all receipts and expenses as well as a report on the economic management of the parish during a meeting of the priestly team.”

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According to the code, the bursar will present the monthly financial report to the priestly team and never incur any expenses of more than USD100 without permission from the community or the Parish Priest who orders disbursements.

The 10-point document also reminds Parish Priests in the Archdiocese that “10% of the parish's income is be disbursed in a transparent and honest manner, as a contribution to the functioning of the Diocese no later than the 5th of the following month.”

Further, the Code requires that Parish Priests “prepare general annual reports (financial) of the parish to be presented in the first half of the year (June).”

The code also expects Parish Priests to foster good collaboration with the apostolic team, the local authorities, the parish council and other leaders including the Small Christian Communities (SCCs).

“The Parish Priest must obtain at least once a year, for himself or with the entire priestly team, a meeting with his Bishop and know how to collaborate and respond to the call of the hierarchy where necessary,” the Code stipulates.

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To help the Local Ordinary make a comprehensive evaluation of the pastoral life of his diocese, “the Parish Priest is also expected to submit to the Archbishop's secretariat the statistics for the year between December 26 - 31 of the current year.”

In this case, the Parish Priest is expected to “check if all the parish administrative documents, in this case: The Register of Baptisms, Confirmations, Marriages, Deceased Persons, the parish cash book, diary, the Register of the Priestly Council, parish amongst others are up to date.”

The Code also requires that Parish Priests “ensure that the boundaries of the parish are well protected and respected and that the land tenure documents are up to date and well-kept in the archives of the parish and the diocese.” 

“The Parish Priests should also think about the rehabilitation and improvement of parish buildings, even painting them every three years,” the Bukavu Archdiocesan Code stipulates.