The Holocaust Historiography Project

Translation of document 3439-PS

                        30 JUNE 1937
                      Fifteenth Decree
      for the execution of the law for Security of the
                      Protestant Church

                                      25 June 1937

On the basis of the Law for Security of the German
Protestant Church of 24 September 1935, (1935
Reichsgesetzblatt I, p. 1178) for the unification
of the laws governing the Finance Departments it
is hereby decreed:

                           Par. 1

(1)  The Reich Minister for Church Affairs establishes one
  Finance Department at the Chancery of the German Protestant
  Church and at the administration office of each of the
  German Evangelical provincial churches.

(2)  The officials of the general ecclesiastical
  administration are obliged to accept the revocable charge of
  honor or chairmen or as members of the Finance Department.

(3)  After previous consultation the Finance Department
  makes its decisions through the chairman.

                           Par. 2

(1)  The Finance Department guides the property
  administration of the church in the district for which it
  has been established.  It represents the church.

(2)  The Finance Department sets up the budget and the tax
  assessment of the church.  It determines the manner of
  raising the tax assessment and supervises the use of the
  budget funds.

                           Par. 3

(1)  The Finance Department is obliged to see to it that a
  regular administration, corresponding to the public interest
  is guaranteed, that the utmost thrift is observed, and that
  state and ecclesiastical regulations are observed by all
  parties concerned.

(2)  The Finance Department is responsible to the state for
  the proper use of government subsidies allowed for
  Protestant-ecclesiastical means, as well as for church tax

                           Par. 4

(1)  In the provincial churches the Finance Department
  exercises ecclesiastical supervision over the administration
  of property and church funds of the church communities and
  the church associations.  If, in case of refusal or for
  other reasons, a decision of the competent ecclesiastical
  organs is not reached or in case

                                        [Page 148]

these organs act contrary to ecclesiastical or
state order it is authorized to exercise their
rights itself.  The same holds true if it is
doubtful or disputed what organs are competent for
the administration of the property and the church
tax funds.

(2)  The right of the Finance Department of property and tax
  supervision also embraces the authorizations of ratification
  entrusted to the ecclesiastical supervisory authorities by
  constitutional documents and Church Laws.  If the Finance
  Department itself looks after the rights of church
  communities or ecclesiastical associations, its decision at
  the same time includes the ratification of the
  ecclesiastical supervisory authorities.

(3)  The Finance Department can appoint agents for the
  execution of regulations it has to set up in church
  communities and ecclesiastical associations.  In the case of
  sentences two and three under Paragraph 4 (1) above the
  expense will be put to the debit of the association or
  church community.

                           Par. 5

(1)  The chairman of the Finance Department can transfer the
  dispatch of single matters to a member of the Finance
  Department.  In case of temporary inability he can appoint a
  member as his representative.  In case of extended inability
  the decision of the Reich Minister for Church Affairs is to
  be obtained.

(2)  The officials and employees of the general
  ecclesiastical administration can be called upon for aid in
  dispatching the business.

(3)  The Finance Department keeps a seal which reads “Church
  Authority” with the addition of “Finance Department.”
  Statements of the Finance Department are to be signed and
  sealed by the chairman or his representative.

                           Par. 6

The Finance Department, within the limits of its
authorization, can issue legally binding
regulations.  It can regulate in particular the
salaries and allowances of officials of the
general ecclesiastical administration, of the
clergy, of the officials of the church community,
and of the employees.

                           Par. 7

(1)  The Finance Department is to stay in close touch with
  the competent church management.

(2)  Regulations and measures of the church management and
  of the ecclesiastical administration authorities connected
  with financial operations require the approval of the
  Finance Depart-

                                        [Page 149]

ment.  They are binding on the church only if this
approval has been given and made known to all
parties concerned.

                           Par. 8

(1)  The Finance Department at the Chancery of the German
  Evangelical Church, through continuous contact with the
  Finance Departments of the provincial churches, has to see
  to it that the property administration of the provincial
  churches will be simplified and made more uniform.  In the
  field of property administration it can issue legally
  binding rules to regulate the ecclesiastical legal life in
  its entirety for the domain of the German Protestant Church
  or the domain of several provincial churches.

                           Par. 9

(1)  The Finance Department has to inform the Reich Minister
  for Church Affairs of the financial status.

(2)  The approval of the Reich Minister for Church Affairs
  is necessary for legally binding regulations of a general

(3)  The decisions of the Church authorities on fixing the
  church tax requires the approval of the Finance Department.

(4)  The Finance Departments have to see to it that the
  regulations issued by the Reich Minister for Church Affairs
  for the use of government subsidies and of church tax funds
  are observed.

                           Par. 10

The decree goes into effect on the day following
publication.  The Reich Minister for Church
Affairs decides the time of cancellation.
Contrary regulations are void for the duration of
this decree.

Berlin, 25 June 1937.
             The Reich Minister for Church Affairs