An Act to provide for the Creation of Corporate Bodies of Trustees in which Property belonging to the Roman Catholic Church in Victoria may be vested and for other purposes.
Roman Catholic Trusts Act 1907
WHEREAS the property of the Roman Catholic Church in Victoria is held by many different bodies of trustees:
AND WHEREAS owing to death and other causes the necessity for the appointment of new trustees is continually arising:
AND WHEREAS it is expedient that corporate bodies of trustees should be created for the purpose of holding managing and dealing with the property of the said Church and that for the better management thereof certain properties of the said Church should be vested in such corporate bodies and that the conveyance and transfer of such properties should be facilitated and rendered less expensive:
BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED by the King's Most Excellent Majesty by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly of Victoria in this present Parliament assembled and by the authority of the same as follows:
This Act shall be called and may for all purposes be cited as the Roman Catholic Trusts Act 1907.
In this Act the following terms shall if not inconsistent with the context have the meanings hereinafter respectively assigned to them:
"Bishop" shall mean the person from time to time registered under the title of "Bishop" or "Archbishop"under the provisions of Part III of the Trusts Act 1890 or any statutory modification thereof as head of the Roman Catholic Church in the part of Victoria described in the Denominational Register and shall include the Administrator of the affairs of the diocese during the vacancy of the See or during the absence of the bishop from Victoria;
"diocese" shall mean the part of Victoria from time to time described in the Denominational Register as the diocese of the person so registered;
"Church" shall mean the Roman Catholic Church;
"council" shall mean a Diocesan Council constituted in any diocese according to the rules practices and usages of the Roman Catholic Church;
"resolution" shall mean a resolution of a council passed by a majority of those members present at a meeting.
A council may if it thinks fit pass a resolution expressing its desire—
(a) that there be constituted within the diocese a corporate body of trustees for the purpose of holding managing and dealing with property within such diocese in trust for the benefit of the Church;
(b) that the persons nominated in the resolution as trustees (who may be members of the council) be the corporate body;
(c) that such trustees be incorporated under the name specified in the resolution.
A certificate under the hand of a bishop that a council was duly constituted and convened within his diocese and that a resolution was duly passed by such council shall be conclusive evidence that the council was so constituted and convened and the resolution so passed.
As soon as may be after the passing of any resolution under the provisions of section three hereof the bishop of the diocese shall cause a copy thereof duly certified under his hand to be delivered to the Registrar-General who shall retain and register the same.
After the registration of any resolution passed under the provisions of section three hereof the Registrar-General shall notify the same in the Government Gazette and thereupon the trustees named in such notice and their successors to be appointed as hereinafter provided shall be a body corporate by the name stated in such notice and shall have perpetual succession and a common seal and may sue and be sued in their corporate name and may acquire take hold manage and deal with any property in trust for the Church within the diocese in which such resolution shall have been passed or for any person holding for the time being any office therein and may receive any moneys which have been or shall be given contributed or bequeathed by any person to be applied to any of the purposes of the Church and may take over any securities for money held by any person on behalf of the Church and may take in the name of such corporate body any securities for money belonging to the Church which shall be lent or advanced on account thereof and shall deal with all such property and securities so as to give effect to the trusts to which they shall be specially subject or when not subject to any express trust in such manner as a council of such diocese may from time to time by resolution direct but so as not to interfere with the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in the enforcement of trusts.
7. Property vested in any bishop in trust to be deemed to be vested in the bishop for the time being
When any property is vested or purports to be vested in the bishop of any diocese or has prior to the passing of this Act been granted conveyed transfered assigned devised or bequeathed to the bishop of any diocese in order that the same be held by him and his successors upon trust for the benefit of the person holding for the time being the office of bishop of such diocese or for any of the purposes of the Church in such diocese or for furthering any object in connexion therewith such property shall be held to be and from the date of his appointment to have been vested in the bishop for the time being of such diocese subject to the trusts affecting the same and such property may be conveyed transferred or assigned by such bishop if he thinks fit to the body corporate constituted under the provisions of this Act within the diocese of such bishop for the purpose of holding property in trust for the benefit of the Church and shall thenceforth be held by such body corporate subject to the trusts originally affecting the same and on the demise of any bishop prior to his having made any conveyance transfer or assignment the same shall become vested in such body corporate without any conveyance transfer or assignment unless such bishop shall by his last will or by any deed have otherwise expressly directed.
When any persons hold any property within any diocese in trust for or on behalf of the Church such trustees may if they think fit consent in writing to a transfer of the trust property to the corporate body constituted in such diocese to hold property in trust for the benefit of the Church, and such transfer when registered as hereinafter provided shall from and after the date of such registration operate as a discharge of all such trustees from the duties of the trust.
9. Bishop of diocese may consent to transfer in place of trustee deceased absent or under disability
If by reason of death absence from the State of Victoria or any other disability the consent of any trustee to the transfer as aforesaid cannot be obtained within six months after the constitution of the corporation as aforesaid the bishop may by writing under his hand consent to such transfer in place of any such trustee and if such consent be published in some newspaper circulating in the place where the property to which the consent refers is situate and if within a month from the publication of such advertisement no proceedings be taken therein by the person in whose name such consent is given such consent shall upon the expiration of such month be as effective for the purpose of this Act as a consent given by the person in whose place the consent is declared to have been given.
amended by No. 18/1989 s. 13(Sch. 2 item 73(a)).
amended by No. 18/1989 s. 13(Sch. 2 item 73(a)).
Upon obtaining any such written consent as is mentioned in either of the last two preceding sections and the acceptance of the corporate body the Registrar-General or the Registrar of Titles as the case may be shall make the proper transfer in his Register and thereupon without further conveyance or transfer the whole estate and interest of the trustees shall vest in such corporate body and the Registrar-General or the Registrar of Titles as the case may be shall issue all necessary certificates of registration or of title or make any necessary recordings in the Register.
When a corporate body of trustees has been constituted in any diocese under section three of this Act to hold property in trust for the Church such trustees and their successors shall hold office for such term and upon such conditions and their successors (who may be members of such council) shall be appointed in such manner as a council of the diocese shall from time to time prescribe.
When any bishop is a trustee under the provisions of this Act the person who succeeds him as bishop shall become trustee in his place without any further or other appointment.
All property becoming vested in any corporate body constituted under this Act or which shall in any manner be acquired by such corporate body shall so far as the same is subject to any express trust be held managed and dealt with in conformity with such express trust, and so far as the said property is not subject to any express trust shall be held managed and dealt with as a council of the diocese may from time to time by resolution direct.
S. 13A inserted by No. 64/2001 s. 3.
(1) A corporate body constituted under this Act may from time to time invest as one fund any money held on trust by it for different purposes, or any part of that money.
(2) Income arising from the investment of the fund must be distributed rateably among the several purposes for which the money invested is held on trust.
(3) Any loss arising from the investment of the fund must be borne rateably among the several purposes for which the money invested is held on trust.
(4) Sub-section (1) is subject to any express provision to the contrary in the terms of the relevant trust.
S. 13B inserted by No. 64/2001 s. 3.
(1) If, after the creation of the trusts to which any property vested in or held by a corporate body constituted under this Act is for the time being subject, it has, in the opinion of the corporate body, become impossible or of no community benefit to carry out or observe those trusts, the corporate body may by resolution declare other trusts to which the property may be held, being trusts for the charitable purposes of the Church.
(2) A resolution declaring other trusts causes the replaced trusts to cease and determine and the property that was subject to those trusts to be held subject to the other trusts.
(3) The property must be dealt with as nearly as may be possible for the purposes for which the property was, immediately before the resolution, held unless the corporate body by resolution declares that because of circumstances arising after the creation of the replaced trusts it is, in the opinion of the corporate body, impossible or of no community benefit to deal with or apply the property or some part of it for the same or similar purposes.
(4) If a resolution is passed under sub-section (3) in relation to property or some part of it, the property or part may be dealt with and applied for the charitable purposes of the Church subject to the trusts declared by resolution of the corporate body.
(5) A resolution cannot be passed under sub-section (1) or (3) in respect of any particular trust unless—
(a) the corporate body has given written notice of the intention to pass the resolution to the person responsible for the trust; and
(b) no objection has been received by the corporate body from that person within 30 days after the day on which the notice is given.
(6) Notice under sub-section (5)(a) must be given to the person responsible for the trust—
(a) personally or by post, fax or e-mail to the person at the person's business or residential address; or
(b) if the corporate body does not know the person's business or residential address or the person's identity—by publishing the notice in a newspaper generally circulating in Victoria.
(7) Sub-section (5) does not apply if the corporate body knows that the person responsible for the trust is dead or, in the case of a body corporate, no longer exists.
(8) This section applies to trusts created before or after the commencement of the Roman Catholic Trusts (Amendment) Act 2001.
(9) In sub-section (1), the reference to trusts that have been created includes a reference to trusts declared by a resolution passed under this section.
(10) In this section—
"personal representative" has the same meaning as in the Administration and Probate Act 1958;
"person responsible" for a trust means—
(a) in the case of a testamentary trust—the personal representative of the testator;
(b) in any other case—the settlor of the trust or, if the settlor is dead, the personal representative of the settlor.
Every corporate body constituted under the provisions of this Act may if it thinks fit from time to time change its name or its seal and may make such rules and regulations as may be necessary or expedient for its own guidance and management and for carrying out its powers and duties hereunder, and may execute any deed and sign any document or any instrument under the Transfer of Land Act 1890 or any statutory modification thereof by affixing its seal thereto in the presence of any three of the members of such corporate body, of whom if he is a member of such corporate body the bishop or a member appointed by him from time to time to act in his stead shall be one.
Except in so far as it may be shown to be expressly prohibited from so doing by the original trusts to which such property is subject any corporate body constituted under the provisions of this Act may lease for any term charge mortgage encumber give easements over alien exchange partition or sell any property vested in it and generally deal with the same as fully and effectually as if it were the beneficial owner thereof.
If at any time after the coming into operation of this Act a new diocese shall be formed it shall be lawful upon the registration in the Denominational Register under the provisions of Part III of the Trusts Act 1890 or any statutory modification thereof of any person as head of the Church in such new diocese for any corporate body constituted to hold property on trust under the provisions of this Act to consent by deed under its corporate seal to a transfer of any property held by it on trust as aforesaid to any corporate body constituted in such new diocese under the provisions of this Act.
amended by No. 18/1989 s. 13(Sch. 2 item 73(b)).
amended by No. 18/1989 s. 13(Sch. 2 item 73(b)).
Upon obtaining the consent mentioned in the last preceding section and also the acceptance of the corporate body to which the property is to be transferred the Registrar-General or the Registrar of Titles as the case may be shall make the proper transfer thereof in his Register, and thereupon without further conveyance or transfer the whole estate and interest in such property of the corporate body consenting to such transfer shall vest in the corporate body accepting such transfer and the Registrar-General or Registrar of Titles as the case may be shall issue all necessary certificates of registration or of title or make any necessary recordings in the Register.
The Roman Catholic Trusts Act 1907 was assented to on 18 November 1907 and came into operation on 18 November 1907.
This Version incorporates amendments made to the Roman Catholic Trusts Act 1907 by Acts and subordinate instruments.
Transfer of Land (Computer Register) Act 1989, No. 18/1989
3.2.92: Government Gazette 18.12.91 p. 3488
All of Act in operation
Roman Catholic Trusts (Amendment) Act 2001, No. 64/2001
24.10.01: s. 2
All of Act in operation
No entries at date of publication.