Public Juridic Persons?

A phrase like this might bring to mind long hours spent in a jury duty waiting room.

Luckily, in a recent edition of Health Progress, an article by Fr. Charles Bouchard, O.P. sheds some light on “public juridic persons” (or PJPs) and it has nothing to do with courtrooms.

In the article, Health Care as ‘Ministry’: Common Usage, Confused Theology, Bouchard explains a PJP as “a church corporation analogous to a religious order but comprised of both lay and religious members.” These corporations are approved by the Vatican through the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

These PJPs allow for an “unprecedented” situation in the church - lay persons sponsoring official ministries of the church with the same responsibility and authority once only given to members of religious orders.

Having PJPs serving in these important ministerial roles allows
for great opportunity, but, as Bouchard points out, also creates many challenges.

For some commentary on these challenges, check out the article at: chausa.org.

Michael Miller, Jr.