A diocese is the district or churches under the jurisdiction of a bishop. Any bishop of a diocese consisting wholly or in part of territory in a state may become a corporation sole with the power and authority defined by state statutes. Laws vary by state, so consult law in your area for applicable requirements.
The following is an example of a state statute dealing with the corporate existence of a bishop of diocese:
"A corporation sole under this article shall have the following powers:
- To have succession by its corporate name perpetually;
- To sue and be sued and defend;
- To make and use a corporate seal and alter the same at pleasure;
- To receive, take and hold, by sale, gift, lease, devise or otherwise, real and personal estate of every description for charitable, educational, burial, religious and church purposes and to manage and dispose of the same by any form of legal conveyance or transfer with full power and authority to borrow money and to convey by mortgage deed;
- To acquire, hold, purchase, receive by bequest or devise and to convey or otherwise dispose of all such real, personal and mixed property as may be necessary or convenient for the construction, operation or maintenance of the diocesan enterprises or for the conduct or management of the business or businesses of the diocese of such bishop, or as the purposes of such bishop may require, and all other real, personal or mixed property which shall have been bona fide conveyed, transferred, pledged or mortgaged to the corporation by way of security for, or in, satisfaction of debts or purchased at sale under judgment obtained for such debts;
- To borrow money, issue notes, bonds or other negotiable paper or mortgage, pledge or otherwise transfer or convey its real, personal and mixed property to secure the payment of money borrowed or any debt contracted;
- To appoint and employ such officers and agents as the business of the corporation may require;
- To wind up and dissolve itself or be wound up and dissolved in the manner in this article provided;
- To establish and maintain churches, schools, orphanages, hospitals and religious or benevolent institutions and to undertake and execute all business enterprises that the work of the diocese shall require;
- To undertake, execute and carry on religious or diocesan charities, works, institutions, business or enterprises in other states or foreign countries and to acquire, hold, transfer, mortgage and convey, real, personal or mixed property in such states and foreign countries; and
- To subscribe for, acquire, hold and dispose of the stock, bonds or other evidence of indebtedness of any other corporation of this or any other state or foreign countries and, while owner thereof, to exercise the rights, privileges and powers of ownership, including the right to vote."