as a corporate body is manifested in two realities—the
spiritual and the secular. As a spiritual
body, CFC-FFL is an association of lay faithful
within the Catholic Church. As a secular body,
it can become a legal corporation subject
to the state. As a spiritual body, CFC-FFL
has its statutes. As a secular body, it would
have its by-laws.
CFC-FFL community may remain as simply a spiritual
body unless it becomes necessary to incorporate
as a secular body. The basic reason for incorporating
CFC-FFL as a legal/secular body is to be able
to transact corporate business, such as handling
money with appropriate receipts, signing contracts,
etc. This usually becomes necessary when CFC-FFL
in a particular country becomes big enough
such that transactions can no longer be handled
on an informal or ad hoc basis.
CFC-FFL is incorporated, then it becomes subject
to both the Church and the state. This can
cause challenges when its processes under
its statutes are not in direct conformity
with state laws and requirements. The greatest
challenge is the matter of choosing the top
leadership that will govern the body. As a
spiritual body, leaders are appointed, while
as a secular body, officers are elected.
CFC-FFL will not violate any laws of the land
and will conform to the requirements of its
incorporation, the challenge then is to evolve
a system whereby the spiritual and the secular
in relation to the corporate body may be meshed.
this, then there should remain the distinction
between CFC-FFL as a spiritual body and CFC-FFL
as a secular body. All CFC-FFL members are
part of the former, but not all have to be
part of the latter. The former would always
adhere to its pastoral-governmental processes,
while the latter would conform to state laws.
If the latter is tightly controlled as to
membership, then it becomes easier not to
subject the body to the vicissitudes of democratic
distinction between the two realities of being
CFC-FFL is also important given the nature
of the worldwide CFC-FFL family, where incorporated
entities would be subject to the particular
laws of their country. As a worldwide family,
the inter-relationships will be among the
different spiritual CFC-FFLs and will have
nothing to do with the secular bodies in the
different countries. The relationship with
the secular body within a particular country
will be the concern only of the spiritual
community in that country.
there is only one CFC-FFL throughout the whole
world, which is composed of the spiritual
CFC-FFLs in the different countries. However,
there can be many secular or corporate CFC-FFLs.
The spiritual CFC-FFL communities inter-relate
with each other across the world, while the
secular CFC-FFL corporations do not do so.
CFC-FFL communities throughout the world should
carry the same name, or an acceptable variant
thereof (especially if translated to the local
language), to be able to distinguish them
as part of the one worldwide family. But the
secular corporations can be called by any
should always be clear that the primary reality
of CFC-FFL is that it is a spiritual body.
Its secular incorporation, forced by circumstances,
is a secondary reality.