Parish Elementary schools in the United States have a governance structure that often precipitates conflict. The principal is the designated leader of the school, the educational administrator, and the supervisor of the faculty and students. By canon law, however, the pastor of the parish remains ultimately responsible for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the entire parish.This review addresses the relationship of pastors and principals in parish schools. After a brief review of general governance in the Catholic Church, the review analyzes the roles of pastor and principal respectively, and concludes with some preliminary advice about role expectations.

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