Notes, Commentary, Discussion, Papers & Bibliography
Religious Life Overview
Institutes of Consecrated Life Institute is something that doesn't grow in nature but is established by people - an artificial entity. Consecration happens during mass - consecration of life is an act of devotion - offer / give life to God who consecrates. But all people, even hierarchy are consecrated. Consecration is through the evangelical counsels. Institutes shelter group of the faithful deepen their consecration to God by committing to new obligations of the evangelical counsels. They actualize in a certain way the baptismal consecration. Profession is often during Eucharist.
Evangelical Counsel At the beginning of religious life (consecrated life started with VCII as a generic term). People just started a spiritual adventure - not a clarity of vows and counsels. Franciscans and Dominicans arrived at three evangelical counsels - celibacy, poverty, obedience.
Religious Institutes Most orders founded before 1215 - IV Lateran which forbade founding of new religious institutes. They thought that anyone with a vocation founded a new order and preferred that people join the existing ones. Beginnings are interesting - it is full of life and things really happen. Founders want to be recognized, and they get into trouble. (Not in the US context.) Founders bring new life, and keeps the system healthy. After 1215, when something new started, they needed approbation - as consessions, up till trent. Orders have solemn vows - can't possess goods. Justinian recognized this, but most civil societies today don't. In the old code solemn vows were impediment to marriage (simple vows just made it illicit), now all public perpetual vows of chastity are an impediment. After IV Lateran, they had to deal with facts: many women were ready to lead spiritual / quasi-religious life, but weren't prepared for enclosure. They also wanted to do works of charity - some became third orders. 1566, after Trent it was stipulated that all religious women had to be veiled and enclosed (Pericoloso 1298???). But shortly after there was an enormous growth of apostolic orders. Religious but not being religious. Many 'solutions' to the 'problem'. From 1900 the term congregations began to be used for these 'quasi' religious people - simple vows: poverty and chastity - could own, could marry (but didn't). Couldn't leave an order. Law in an analogous sense - for a club of volunteers.
Canon 1191ff. Vows are juridic act and a religious act. Public vows are declared so, not factually public. Proper law may make a distinction between solemn and simple vows. Can be for a definite period or for life.
Secular Institutes Canon 712 vows, but no community. Canons all refer to RL.
Other Institutes In annuario p. 1748. Existing only from 1996 after the synod on Consecrated Life. Societe Christ Signeur - obra de la iglesia - have many branches - priest, lay male and lay female. New forms of religious life. Stable way of life and profess evangelical through vows or otherwise. They may be 'mixed' clerical and lay - in various branches.
Societies of Apostolic Life Perhaps it is too much to say that the church is hostile to religious life, but in trying to organize, that creates difficulty. Regulation of religious life was so strict that they felt not called to take on all those obligations - so the organized differently. They accept some elements of religious life. The canons here too refer back to RL.
Major developments in Consecrated Life; socio-cultural events
Societies of Apostolic Life 400 - Common life and apostolate, but vows aren’t an essential elements.
Father of Monasticism General: Anthony, West: Benedict, East: Basil
Major criticisms of 1977 draft typology of religious communities - resulted in leveling of types. Secular Institutes and Societies of Apostolic Life didn’t see their life in the rules.
Principles of coetus
Pontifical v. diocesan?
Two sections of Book 2 Part 3
Who can be admitted to Consecrated Life?
Essential elements for constitutions?
Ecclesiastical authority erects institute, approves new form
describe religious community Can. 608 A religious community is to live in a lawfully constituted house, under the authority of a Superior designated according to the norms of law. Each house is to have at least an oratory, in which the Eucharist is celebrated and reserved, so that it may truly be the center of the community.
canonical erection house
rights assured on bishops consent to erect Can. 611 The consent of the diocesan Bishop for the establishment of a religious house carries with it the right:
Who can suppress a house? the only house? - Can. 616
who are major superiors? Can. 620 Major Superiors are those who govern an entire institute, or a province or a part equivalent to a province, or an autonomous house; the vicars of the above are also major Superiors. To these are added the Abbot Primate and the Superior of a monastic congregation, though these do not have all the authority which the universal law gives to major Superiors.
Required of members to appoint or elect validly? Can. 623 To be validly appointed or elected to the office of Superior, members must have been perpetually or definitively professed for an appropriate period of time, to be determined by their own law or, for major Superiors, by the constitutions.
If no other provision, what is advise / consent? Can. 627
What is General Chapter? some of its functions - Can. 631? §1 In an institute the general chapter has supreme authority in accordance with the constitutions. It is to be composed in such a way that it represents the whole institute and becomes a true sign of its unity in charity. Its principal functions are to protect the patrimony of the institute mentioned in can. 578 and to foster appropriate renewal in accord with that patrimony. It also elects the supreme Moderator, deals with matters of greater importance, and issues norms which all are bound to obey.
Why are temp goods subject to book V - Can. 635? §1 Since the temporal goods of religious institutes are ecclesiastical goods, they are governed by the provisions of Book V on 'The Temporal Goods of the Church', unless there is express provision to the contrary.
How are religious institutes to use temporal goods
Describe Finance Officer and responsibilities - Can. 636
What is alienation? Requirements? Can. 638 §3 For the validity of alienation, and of any transaction by which the patrimonial condition of the juridical person could be adversely affected there is required the written permission of the competent Superior, given with the consent of his or her council. Moreover, the permission of the Holy See is required if the transaction involves a sum exceeding that which the Holy See has determined for each region, or if it concerns things donated to the Church as a result of a vow, or objects which are precious by reason of their artistic or historical value.
3 invalidating impediments to novitiate - Can. 643
validity of novitiate: time and place
required for validity of perpetual profession
3 components (effects) of religious profession Can. 654 By religious profession members make a public vow to observe the three evangelical counsels. Through the ministry of the Church they are consecrated to God, and are incorporated into the institute, with the rights and duties defined by law.
extension of temp / novitiate
common life norms Can. 665 §1 Religious are to reside in their own religious house and observe the common life; they are not to stay elsewhere except with the permission of the Superior. For a lengthy absence from the religious house, the major Superior, for a just reason and with the consent of the council, can authorize a member to live outside a house of the institute; such an absence is not to exceed one year, unless it be for reasons of health, studies or an apostolate to be exercised in the name of the institute.
Act of Cession? 1 Act of Renunciation? Obligations of inst / religious? 3
primary apostolate - Can. 673 The apostolate of all religious consists primarily in the witness of their consecrated life, which they are bound to foster through prayer and penance.
how apostolic action exercised - Can. 675 §3 Apostolic action exercised in the name of the Church and by its command is to be performed in communion with the Church.
works proper / works entrusted
conferal of ecclesiastical office-Can. 682
rights of diocesan bishop for pastoral visitation - Can. 683
Transfer - Can. 684
exclaustration effects - Can. 687 Members who are exclaustrated are considered as dispensed from those obligations which are incompatible with their new condition of life. They remain dependent on and under the care of their Superiors and, particularly in the case of a cleric, of the local Ordinary. They may wear the religious habit, unless the indult specifies otherwise, but they lack active and passive voice.
Three kinds of dismissal
canonical warning: elements Can. 697 §1 2° the major Superior is to warn the member in writing, or before two witnesses, with an explicit caution that dismissal will follow unless the member reforms. The reasons for dismissal are to be clearly expressed and the member is to be given every opportunity for defense. If the warning has no effect, another warning is to be given after an interval of at least fifteen days;
required before decree of dismissal issued by sup mod takes effect?