Management of charitable institutions in medieval canon law At the beginning of the 14th Century, the Council of Vienne promoted the reform of the Church, also taking into account the economical management of loca pia. Rectors of these institutions neglected to recover the assets and rights from those who had seized them, they allowed buildings to fall to ruin, and so they prevented the practice of their primary function, that is to say, give shelter to the needy and nurse the sick. The income was employed for personal use, instead of charitable purposes, to which the faithful would much rather have destined them. The decretal Quia contingit (Clem. 3.11.2) renewed the prescription of the duty of diligent administration for rectors and of supervision for bishops, recalling ancient principles dating back to the Popes Gelasius and Gregory I, as well as classical Roman Law, which the Church had formulated for transparent management rationality. The analysis of canonical doctrine concerning this decretal shows that the impoverishment of loca pia was classified, not only as fraudulent management and economical damage to the estate of the Church, comparable to the damage caused to the estate of the pupil by his tutor, but also and above all as a violation of causa finalis of loca pia due to misappropriation of the assets from the original purpose.
DI PAOLO, S. (2016). La gestione economica degli enti di beneficenza e assistenza nel diritto canonico medievale: la illecita distrazione dei lasciti pii. In F.R. David von Mayenburg (a cura di), Der Einfluß der Kanonistik auf die europäische Rechtskultur V – Wirtschaftsrecht, (Herborn 26-29 März 2015) (pp. 117-143). Koeln Weimar Wien : Boehlau.