• Varghese Poothavelithara Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram
Keywords: Pious Wills and Foundations, Last Will and Testament, Pious Trusts, Pious Causes


The Church has the innate right to own temporal goods in order to use them for its purposes, namely, divine worship, works of the apostolate, charity and suitable support of its ministers. Pious wills and foundations are among the primary means of acquiring the temporal goods, recognized in the tradition as well as in the current canonical legislation of the Church. The faithful may dispose of their goods for 'pious causes' through pious wills or through pious foundations. The moral principle which demands the faithful observance of the declared intentions of those who contribute temporal goods in service to the mission of the Church is a cardinal principle of canon law. Therefore, the Church provides clear norms and regulations on the acceptance and execution of pious wills or on the establishment and administration of pious foundations in both codes of canon law. This article presents the central ideas on pious wills and foundations contained in both codes in a comparative approach.

Author Biography

Varghese Poothavelithara, Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram

Varghese Poothavelithara is a Syro-Malabar Catholic priest belonging to the Major Archeparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly. He was born in Vaikom, Kerala, India and was ordained on 7 February 1996. He holds a doctorate in Oriental Canon Law from Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome. He had his ministries as parish priest, defender of bond, judge at the Metropolitan Tribunal, etc. in his archeparchy. At present he is serving as an assistant professor of Canon Law at the Institute of Oriental Canon Law, DVK, Bangalore and as judge at the eparchial tribunal of Mandya-Bangalore.