Law and the Church, #4

List nine (9) laws concerning clergy that you have found by searching your national laws.

The Code of Federal Regulations and the website list several laws concerning clergy on a national level.

1. § 404.1023. Ministers of churches and members of religious orders.

A minister is working in the exercise of the ministry when he or she is—

(i) Ministering sacerdotal functions or conducting religious worship (other than as described in paragraph (d)(2) of this section); or

(ii) Working in the control, conduct, and maintenance of a religious organization (including an integral agency of a religious organization) under the authority of a religious body constituting a church or church denomination (Code of Federal Regulations § 404.1023.).

2. Churches and religious organizations, like many other charitable organizations, qualify for exemption from federal income tax under IRC section 501(c)(3) and are generally eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions . To qualify for tax-exempt status, such an organization must meet the following requirements (Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations):

– the organization must be organized and operated exclusively for religious, educational, scientific, or other charitable purposes,
– net earnings may not inure to the benefit of any private individual or shareholder,
– no substantial part of its activity may be attempting to influence legislation,
– the organization may not intervene in political campaigns, and
– the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy

3.  *Under the Qualified Services section the pamphlet discusses the types of services that a minister could get paid for that would be reportable under the self employment regulations.

Qualified services, in general, are the services you perform in the exercise of your ministry or in the exercise of your duties as required by your religious order

4. Most services you perform as a minister, priest, rabbi, etc., are qualified services.

These services include:

  • Performing sacerdotal functions,
  • Conducting religious worship, and
  • Controlling, conducting, and maintaining religious organizations (including the religious boards, societies, and other integral agencies of such organizations) that are under the authority of a religious body that is a church or denomination.

5. Your services for a nonreligious organization are qualified services if the services are assigned or designated by your church.

6. If your services are not assigned or designated by your church, they are qualified services only if they involve performing sacerdotal functions or conducting religious worship.

7. Writing religious books or articles is considered to be in the exercise of your ministry and is considered a qualified service.

8.  Services you perform as a member of a religious order in the exercise of duties
required by the order are qualified services. The services are qualified because you perform them as an agent of the order.

9. Clergy Visitation to Federal Bureau of Prisons

Minister of Record.  An inmate wanting to receive visits from his or her minister of record must submit a written request to the Chaplain.  Upon approval, unit staff will add the name and title (minister of record) to the inmate’s visitor list.

An inmate may only have one minister of record on his/her visiting list at a time.  The addition of the minister of record will not count against the total number of authorized regular visitors an inmate is allowed to have on his or her visiting list, and will not count against the total number of social visits allowed (Program Statement, Visiting Regulations).

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