It's official. I received my certificate of incorporation from the state of Washington in the morning's mail (my paralegal bowed to me when she presented it) as a corporation sole.
It was only a few weeks ago that I learned (by reading my local newspaper, an endless source of amusement) that Washington state is one of the few in the nation that provides a mechanism for creating a legally recognized corporation consisting of a single person heading a religious organization. I can only ask, why?
Corporations sole, for those of my readers not familiar with this particular ridiculous anachronism, have their foundation in the mists of antiquity (Roman law). Both the King of England and the chamberlain of the City of London were, at one point at least, corporations sole. Over the centuries, the corporation sole has largely been the secular corporate entity that the Roman Catholic church uses to, for example, take title to land holdings. This particular legal entity has always got me reflecting on the scriptural passage about serving God and Mammon both, but I digress (or perhaps not).
In modern times corporations sole have been seized upon by the Posse Comitatus crowd and other hucksters as a way of evading taxes. Frankly, if the Catholic Church is going to be mixing it up in the secular world with secular institutions, it ought to be using regular corporations and not special entities created for its own benefit by the State (be it Washington or any other).
Indeed, the fact that I can obtain a corporation sole at all for my Internet persona shows how ridiculous the statutes are. Parody remains dead, and irony is still firmly in its place.