Booklets on Formation 22
General Prefecture of Formation, Rome
Systematic articulation of the canons of the CIC on the formation
for the religious life and the ministries
P. Asterio Niño. Cmf
In order to facilitate the formative task and in particular some of the functions characteristic of the formators, in the edition of the General Plan of Formation five appendixes have been added with the work *Formation of Missionaries+
The Appendix 2 elaborates the canonical legislation systematically and it remits to the receptive canons so that the formator knows where to find easily in the Code what interests him and make him able to exercise his task with security.
The object of this subsidy is to lighten the load having at the disposition of the formators, in a booklet of easy handling, the canonical texts of Appendix 2 indicates. It is all that the Church prepares in the Code of Canonical Law on formation – ministerial or particularly religious and one can have this way always at the disposition without going directly to the Code.
The subsidy has an exclusively practical purpose and it doe snot free the formators of the obligation of studying seriously and judiciously the canonical legislation for an appropriate knowledge and spirit to know how to apply it with exactness and justness. Frequently the formadores will have to search the text and the commentries that usually accompany the vernacular editions of the C.I.C.
In certain occasions it will be necessary to go to specialized Comments. Among these regarding the consecrated life and in particular to the religious life, the most authorized one is without any doubt that of our brother, Fr. Domingo Andrés Gutiérrez.
I wish the present and future formators will have a responsible and fair application of the canonical norms in their formative task so that to grow and renew the ecclesial communion and to strengthen our formandi in their unceasing love for the Church.
This subsidy is dedicated to all the formators of the Congregation, in a special way to the participants of the School of Formators of the Heart of Mary in English.
Rome, 2 February, 2000
Systematic articulation of the canons
of the CIC on the formation
for the religious life and
1. FORMATION FOR THE RELIGIOUS LIFE
1.1. Postulantate or Pre-novitiate: Requirements for admission. Preparation. (c. 597)
Can. 597 ‘ 1 Every catholic with a right intention and the qualities required by universal law and the institute=s own law, and who is without impediment, may be admitted to an institute of consecrated life.
‘ 2 No one may be admitted without suitable preparation.
a. Admission to novitiate
a.1. The right to admit candidates to the novitiate (c. 641)
Can. 641 The right to admit candidates to the novitiate belongs to the major Superiors, in accordance with the norms of the institutes own law.
a.2. Basic personal qualities for admission (c. 642)
Can. 642 Superiors are to exercise a vigilant care to admit only those who, besides being of required age, are healthy, have a suitable disposition, and have sufficient maturity to undertake the life which is proper to the institute. If necessary, the health, disposition and maturity are to be established by experts, without prejudice to can. 220.
a. 3. Impediments of validity in the admission (c. 643)
Can. 643 ‘1 The following are invalidly admitted to the novitiate:
1E One who has not yet completed the seventeenth year of age;
2E a spouse, while the marriage lasts;
3E one who is currently bound by a sacred bond to some institute of consecrated life, or is incorporated in some society of apostolic life, without prejudice to can. 684;
4E one who enters the institute through force, fear or deceit, or whom the Superior accepts under the same influences;
5Eone who has concealed his or her incorporation in an institute of consecrated life or society of apostolic life.
‘2 An institute=s own law can constitute other impediments even for the validity of admission, or attach other conditions.
a.4. Prohibitions of admission directed to the superior
Can. 644 Superiors are not to admit secular clerics to the novitiate without consulting their proper Ordinary; nor those who have debts which they are unable to meet.
a.5. Testimonies and reports
Can. 645‘1 Before candidates are admitted to the novitiate they must produce proof of baptism and confirmation, and of their free status.
‘2 The admission of clerics or others who had been admitted to another institute of consecrated life, to a society of apostolic life, or to a seminary, requires in addition the testimony of, respectively, the local Ordinary, or the major Superior of the institute or society, or the rector of the seminary.
‘3 An institute=s own law can demand further proofs concerning the suitability of candidates and their freedom from any impediment.
‘4 The Superiors can seek other information, even under secrecy, if this seems necessary to them.
b. Characteristics of the novitiate
b. 1. Nature and objectives of the novitiate (c. 646)
Can. 646 The purpose of the novitiate, by which life in an institute begins, is to give the novices a greater understanding of their divine vocation, and of their vocation to that institute. During the novitiate the novices are to experience the manner of life of the institute and form their minds and hearts in its spirit. At the same time their resolution and suitability are to be tested.
b. 2. Constitution and life in the novitiate and outside of the same (c. 647)
Can. 647 ‘1 The establishment, transfer and suppression of a novitiate house are to take place by a written decree of the supreme Moderator of the institute, given with the consent of the council.
‘2 To be valid, a novitiate must take place in a house which is duly designated for this purpose. In particular cases and by way of exception and with the permission of the supreme Moderator given with the consent of the council, a candidate can make the novitiate in another house of the institute, under the direction of an approved religious who takes the place of the director of novices.
‘3 A major Superior can allow a group of novices to reside, for a certain period of time, in another specified house of the institute.
b. 3. Duration of the novitiate (c. 648)
Can. 648 ‘1 For validity, the novitiate must comprise twelve months spent in the novitiate community, without prejudice to the provision of can. 647 ‘3.
‘2 To complete the formation of the novices, the constitutions can prescribe, in addition to the time mentioned in ‘1, one or more periods of apostolic activity, to be performed outside the novitiate community.
‘3 The novitiate is not to be extended beyond two years.
b. 4. Absences and anticipation of the first profession (c. 649)
Can. 649 ‘1 Without prejudice to the provisions of can. 647 ‘3, and can. 648 ‘2, a novitiate is invalidated by an absence from the novitiate house of more than three months, continuous or broken. Any absence of more than fifteen days must be made good.
‘2 With the permission of the competent major Superior, first profession may be anticipated, though not by more than fifteen days.
c. Formation of the Novices
c.1. Formation plan and the novices= régime (c. 650)
Can. 650 ‘1 The object of the novitiate demands that novices be formed under the supervision of the director of novices, in a manner of formation to be defined by the institute=s own law.
‘2 The governance of the novices is reserved to the director of novices alone, under the authority of the major Superiors.
c.2. The novice master and the coadjutor (c. 651)
Can. 651 ‘1 The director of novices is to be a member of the institute who has taken perpetual vows and has been lawfully designated.
‘2 If need be, directors of novices may be given assistants, who are subject to them in regard to the governance of the novitiate and the manner of formation.
‘3 Those in charge of the formation of novices are to be members who have been carefully prepared, and who are not burdened with other tasks, so that they may discharge their office fruitfully and in a stable fashion.
c. Responsibiles, objectives and lines of the formative statute of the novices (c.652)
Can. 652 ‘1 It is the responsibility of the directors of novices and their assistants to discern and test the vocation of the novices, and gradually to form them to lead the life of perfection which is proper to the institute.
‘2 Novices are to be led to develop human and Christian virtues. Through prayer and self-denial they are to be introduced to a fuller way of perfection. They are to be instructed in contemplating the mystery of salvation, and in reading and meditating on the sacred Scriptures. Their preparation is to enable them to develop their worship of God in the sacred liturgy. They are to learn how to lead a life consecrated to God and their neighbour in Christ through the evangelical counsels. They are to learn about the character and spirit of the institute, its purpose and discipline, its history and life, and be imbued with a love for the Church and its sacred Pastors.
‘3 Novices, conscious of their own responsibility, are to cooperate actively with the director of novices, so that they may faithfully respond to the grace of their divine vocation.
‘4 By the example of their lives and by prayer, the members of the institute are to ensure that they do their part in assisting the work of formation of the novices.
‘5 The period of novitiate mentioned in can. 648 ‘1, is to be set aside exclusively for the work of formation. The novices are therefore not to be engaged in studies or duties which do not directly serve this formation.
c. 4. Leaving the novitiate (c. 653 ‘ 1)
Can. 653 ‘1 A novice may freely leave the institute. The competent authority of the institute may also dismiss a novice.
c. 5. Completion of the novitiate. Extension (c. 653 ‘ 2)
Can. 653 ‘2 On the completion of the novitiate, a novice, if judged suitable, is to be admitted to temporary profession; otherwise the novice is to be dismissed. If a doubt exists concerning suitability, the time of probation may be prolonged by the major Superior, in accordance with the institute=s own law, but for a period not exceeding six months.
1.3. Religious Profession
a. Components of the religious profession (c. 654)
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.
b. Period of the temporary profession (c. 655)
Can. 655 Temporary profession is to be made for the period defined by the institute=s own law. This period may not be less than three years nor longer than six years.
c. Requirements for the validity of the temporary profession: (c. 656)
Can. 656 The validity of temporary profession requires:
1E that the person making it has completed at least the eighteenth year of age;
2E that the novitiate has been made validly;
3E that admission has been granted, freely and in accordance with the norms of law, by the competent Superior, after a vote of his or her council;
4E that the profession be explicit and made without force, fear or deceit;
5E that the profession be received by the lawful Superior, personally or through another.
d. Renewal-extension of the temporary profession and anticipation of the perpetual (c. 658)
Can. 657 ‘1 When the period of time for which the profession was made has been completed, a religious who freely asks, and is judged suitable, is to be admitted to a renewal of profession or to perpetual profession; otherwise, the religious is to leave.
‘2 If it seems opportune, the period of temporary profession can be extended by the competent Superior in accordance with the institute=s own law. The total time during which the member is bound by temporary vows may not, however, extend beyond nine years.
‘3 Perpetual profession can for a just reason be anticipated, but not by more than three months.
e. Requirements for the validity of the perpetual profession (c. 658)
Can. 658 Besides the conditions mentioned in can. 656, nn. 3, 4 and 5, and others attached by the institute=s own law, the validity of perpetual profession requires:
1E that the person has completed at least the twenty-first year of age;
2E that there has been previous temporary profession for at least three years, without prejudice to the provision of can. 657 ‘3.
f. Dispositions on the temporary goods (c. 668)
Can. 668 ‘1 Before their first profession, members are to cede the administration of their goods to whomsoever they wish and, unless the constitutions provide otherwise, they are freely to make dispositions concerning the use and enjoyment of these goods. At least before perpetual profession, they are to make a will which is valid also in civil law.
‘2 To change these dispositions for a just reason, and to take any action concerning temporal goods, there is required the permission of the Superior who is competent in accordance with the institute=s own law.
‘3 Whatever a religious acquires by personal labour, or on behalf of the institute, belongs to the institute. Whatever comes to a religious in any way through pension, grant or insurance also passes to the institute, unless the institute=s own law decrees otherwise.
‘4 When the nature of an institute requires members to renounce their goods totally, this renunciation is to be made before perpetual profession and, as far as possible, in a form that is valid also in civil law; it shall come into effect from the day of profession. The same procedure is to be followed by a perpetually professed religious who, in accordance with the norms of the institute=s own law and with the permission of the supreme Moderator, wishes to renounce goods, in whole or in part.
‘5 Professed religious who, because of the nature of their institute, totally renounce their goods, lose the capacity to acquire and possess goods; actions of theirs contrary to the vow of poverty are therefore invalid. Whatever they acquire after renunciation belongs to the institute, in accordance with the institute=s own law.
g. Annotation of the perpetual profession (c. 535 ‘ 2)
‘2 In the register of baptisms, a note is to be made of confirmation and of matters pertaining to the canonical status of the faithful by reason of marriage, without prejudice to the provision of can. 1133, and by reason of adoption, the reception of sacred order, the making of perpetual profession in a religious institute, or a change of rite. These annotations are always to be reproduced on a baptismal certificate.
1.4. Formation of the religious
a. Formation after the first profession. Formative statute (c. 659)
Can. 659 ‘1 After first profession, the formation of all members in each institute is to be completed, so that they may lead the life proper to the institute more fully, and fulfil its mission more effectively.
‘2 The institute=s own law is, therefore, to define the nature and duration of this formation. In this, the needs of the Church and the conditions of people and times are to be kept in mind, insofar as this is required by the purpose and the character of the institute.
‘3 The formation of members who are being prepared for sacred orders is governed by the universal law and the institute=s own program of studies.
b. Lines of force of the formative statute (c. 660)
Can. 660 ‘ 1 Formation is to be systematic, adapted to the capacity of the members, spiritual and apostolic, both doctrinal and practical. Suitable ecclesiastical and civil degrees are to be obtained as opportunity offers.
‘2 During the period of formation members are not to be given offices and undertakings which hinder their formation.
c. Penance and spiritual direction (cc. 664; 630)
Can. 664 Religious are earnestly to strive for the conversion of soul to God. They are to examine their consciences daily, and to approach the sacrament of penance frequently.
Can. 630 ‘ 1 While safeguarding the discipline of the institute, Superiors are to acknowledge the freedom due to the members concerning the sacrament of penance and the direction of conscience.
‘2 Superiors are to take care, in accordance with the institute=s own law, that the members have suitable confessors available, to whom they may confess frequently.
‘3 In monasteries of cloistered nuns, in houses of formation, and in large lay communities, there are to be ordinary confessors, approved by the local Ordinary after consultation with the community. There is however, no obligation to approach these confessors.
‘4 Superiors are not to hear the confessions of their subjects unless the members spontaneously request them to do so.
‘5 The members are to approach their superiors with trust and be able to open their minds freely and spontaneously to them. Superiors, however, are forbidden in any way to induce the members to make a manifestation of conscience to themselves.
d. The permanent or continuous formation (c. 661)
Can. 661 Religious are to be diligent in continuing their spiritual, doctrinal and practical formation throughout their lives. Superiors are to ensure that they have the assistance and the time to do this.
1.5. Absence from the community and separation from the Institute
a. Absence from the community life. Characteristic and types of absence (c. 665)
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 authorise 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.
‘2 Members who unlawfully absent themselves from a religious house with the intention of withdrawing from the authority of Superiors, are to be carefully sought out and helped to return and to persevere in their vocation.
b. Leaving the Institute
b.1. General criteria (c. 657 ‘1)
Can. 657 ‘ 1 When the period of time for which the profession was made has been completed, a religious who freely asks, and is judged suitable, is to be admitted to a renewal of profession or to perpetual profession; otherwise, the religious is to leave.
b.2. Definitive free leaving, when expiring the temporary votes (c 688 ‘ 1)
Can. 688 ‘1 A person who, on completion of the time of temporary profession, wishes to leave the institute, is free to do so.
b.3. Leaving definitively, requested during the temporary votes (c. 688 ‘ 2)
Can. 688 ‘2 A person who, during the time of temporary profession, for a grave reason asks to leave the institute, can obtain an indult to leave. In an institute of pontifical right, this indult can be given by the supreme Moderator with the consent of his or her council. In institutes of diocesan right and in the monasteries mentioned in can. 615, the indult must, for validity, be confirmed by the Bishop in whose diocese is located the house to which the person is assigned.
b.4. Leaving definitively, imposed when expiring the temporary profession (c. 689)
Can. 689 ‘1 The competent major Superior, after consulting his or council, can for just reasons exclude a member from making further profession on the completion of temporary profession.
‘2 Even though contracted after profession, a physical or psychological infirmity which, in the judgement of experts, renders the member mentioned in ‘1 unsuited to lead a life in the institute, constitutes a reason for not admitting the member to renewal of profession or to perpetual profession, unless the infirmity was contracted through the negligence of the institute or because of work performed in the institute.
‘3 A religious who becomes insane during the period of temporary vows cannot be dismissed from the institute, even though unable to make a new profession.
b.5. Leaving definitively, requested during the perpetual profession (c. 691)
Can. 691 ‘1 A perpetually professed religious is not to seek an indult to leave the institute, except for very grave reasons, weighed before the Lord. The petition is to be presented to the supreme Moderator of the institute, who will forward it to the competent authority with his or her own opinion and that of the council.
‘2 In institutes of pontifical right this indult is reserved to the Apostolic See. In institutes of diocesan right the indult can be granted by the Bishop in whose diocese is located the house to which the religious is assigned.
b.6. The indult and their canonical effects (cc. 692-693)
Can. 692 An indult to leave the institute, which is lawfully granted and notified to the member, by virtue of the law itself carries with it, unless it has been rejected by the member in the act of notification, a dispensation from the vows and from all obligations arising from profession.
Can. 693 If the member is a cleric, the indult is not granted until he has found a Bishop who will incardinate him in his diocese or at least receive him there on probation. If he is received on probation, he is by virtue of the law itself incardinated in the diocese after five years, unless the Bishop has rejected him.
b.7. Free readmission of the ex-novices and temporally ex-professed (c. 690)
Can. 690 ‘1 A person who lawfully leaves the institute after completing the novitiate or after profession, can be re-admitted by the supreme Moderator, with the consent of his or her council, without the obligation of repeating the novitiate. The same Moderator is to determine an appropriate probation prior to temporary profession, and the length of time in vows before making perpetual profession, in accordance with the norms of can. 655 and 657.
‘2 The Superior of an autonomous monastery, acting with the consent of his or her council, has the same faculty.
c. Dismissal of the members
c.1. Dismissal for the mere fact or Aipso facto@ (c. 694)
Can. 694 ‘1 A member is to be considered automatically dismissed if he or she:
1E has notoriously defected from the catholic faith;
2E has contracted marriage or attempted to do so, even civilly.
‘2 In these cases the major Superior with his or her council must, after collecting the evidence, without delay make a declaration of the fact, so that the dismissal is juridically established.
c. 2. Dismissal Aab homine@, obligatory by right (c. 695)
Can. 695 ‘1 A member must be dismissed for the offences mentioned in cann. 1397, 1398 and 1395, unless, for the offences mentioned in can. 1395 ‘2, the Superior judges that dismissal is not absolutely necessary; and that sufficient provision can be made in some other way for the amendment of the member, the restoration of justice and the reparation of scandal.
‘2 In these cases the major Superior is to collect the evidence concerning the facts and the imputability of the offence. The accusation and the evidence are then to be presented to the member, who shall be given the opportunity for defence. All the acts, signed by the major Superior and the notary, are to be forwarded, together with the written and signed replies of the member, to the supreme Moderator.
c. 3. Dismissal Aab homine@, no obligatory by right (c. 696)
Can. 696 ‘1 A member can be dismissed for other causes, provided they are grave, external, imputable and juridically proven. Among such causes are: habitual neglect of the obligations of consecrated life; repeated violations of the sacred bonds; obstinate disobedience to the lawful orders of Superiors in grave matters; grave scandal arising from the culpable behaviour of the member; obstinate attachment to, or diffusion of, teachings condemned by the magisterium of the Church; public adherence to materialistic or atheistic ideologies; the unlawful absence mentioned in can. 665 ‘2, if it extends for a period of six months; other reasons of similar gravity which are perhaps defined in the institute=s own law.
‘2 A member in temporary vows can be dismissed even for less grave reasons determined in the institute=s own law.
c.4. Immediate expulsion from the religious house (c. 703)
Can. 703 In a case of grave external scandal, or of extremely grave and imminent harm to the institute, a member can be expelled forthwith from the house by the major Superior. If there is danger in delay, this can be done by the local Superior with the consent of his or her council. The major Superior, if need be, is to introduce a process of dismissal in accordance with the norms of law, or refer the matter to the Apostolic See.
c. 5. The decree of dismissal (cc.699; 700)
Can. 699 ‘1 The supreme Moderator and his or her council are to proceed in collegial fashion in accurately weighing the evidence, the arguments, and the defence. For validity, the council must comprise at least four members. If by a secret vote it is decided to dismiss the religious, a decree of dismissal is to be drawn up, which for validity must express at least in summary form the reasons in law and in fact.
Can. 700 The decree of dismissal has no effect unless it is confirmed by the Holy See, to whom the decree and all the acts are to be forwarded. If the matter concerns an institute of diocesan right, the confirmation belongs to the Bishop in whose diocese is located the house to which the religious belongs. For validity the decree must indicate the right of the person dismissed to have recourse to the competent authority within ten days of receiving notification of the decree. The recourse has a suspensive effect.
c.6. Canonical effects of the dismissal (cc. 701-702)
Can. 701 By lawful dismissal, both the vows and the rights and duties deriving from profession automatically cease. If the member is a cleric, he may not exercise sacred orders until he finds a Bishop who will, after a suitable probation, receive him into his diocese in accordance with can. 693, or who will at least allow him to exercise his sacred orders.
Can. 702 ‘1 Whoever lawfully leaves a religious institute or is lawfully dismissed from one, cannot claim anything from the institute for any work done in it.
‘2 The institute, however, is to show equity and evangelical charity towards the member who is separated from it.
2. FORMATION FOR THE ORDAINED MINISTRIES
2.1. The admission of candidates
a. Conditions for admission (c. 241)
Can. 241 ‘1 The diocesan Bishop is to admit to the major seminary only those whose human, moral, spiritual and intellectual gifts, as well as physical and psychological health and right intention, show that they are capable of dedicating themselves permanently to the sacred ministries.
‘2 Before they are accepted, they must submit documentation of their baptism and confirmation, and whatever else is required by the provisions of the Charter of Priestly Formation.
‘3 If there is question of admitting those who have been dismissed from another seminary or religious institute, there is also required the testimony of the respective superior, especially concerning the reason for their dismissal or departure.
b. Human and scientific preparation (c 234 ‘ 2)
Can. 234 ‘2 Unless the circumstances of certain situations suggest otherwise, young men who aspire to the priesthood are to receive that same human and scientific formation which prepares their peers in their region for higher studies.
2.2. Formation for the orders
a. Candidates to the permanent diaconate (c. 236 ‘ 2)
Can. 236 ‘2 Those who aspire to the permanent diaconate are to be formed in the spiritual life and appropriately instructed in the fulfilment of the duties proper to that order, in accordance with the provisions made by the Episcopal Conference:
1E young men are to reside for at least three years in a special house unless the diocesan Bishop for grave reasons decides otherwise,
2Emen of more mature years, whether celibate or married, are to prepare for three years in a manner determined by the same Episcopal Conference.
b. Priestly studies (cc. 248-252; 254)
Can. 248 The doctrinal formation given is to be so directed that the students may acquire a wide and solid teaching in the sacred sciences, together with a general culture which is appropriate to the needs of place and time. As a result, with their own faith founded on and nourished by this teaching, they ought to be able properly to proclaim the Gospel to the people of their own time, in a fashion suited to the manner of the people=s thinking.
Can. 249 The Charter of Priestly Formation is to provide that the students are not only taught their native language accurately, but are also well versed in latin, and have a suitable knowledge of other languages which would appear to be necessary or useful for their formation or for the exercise of their pastoral ministry.
Can. 250 The philosophical and theological studies which are organised in the seminary itself may be conducted either in succession or conjointly, in accordance with the Charter of Priestly Formation. These studies are to take at least six full years, in such a way that the time given to philosophical studies amounts to two full years and that allotted to theological studies to four full years.
Can. 251 Philosophical formation must be based on the philosophical heritage that is perennially valid, and it is also to take account of philosophical investigations over the course of time. It is to be so given that it furthers the human formation of the students, sharpens their mental edge and makes them more fitted to engage in theological studies.
Can. 252 ‘1 Theological formation, given in the light of faith and under the guidance of the magisterium, is to be imparted in such a way that the students learn the whole of catholic teaching, based on divine Revelation, that they make it a nourishment of their own spiritual lives, and that in the exercise of the ministry they may be able properly to proclaim and defend it.
‘2 Students are to be instructed with special care in sacred Scripture, so that they may acquire an insight into the whole of sacred Scripture.
‘3 Lectures are to be given in dogmatic theology, based always on the written word of God and on sacred Tradition; through them the students are to learn to penetrate more deeply into the mysteries of salvation, with St. Thomas in particular as their teacher. Lectures are also to be given in moral and pastoral theology, canon law, liturgy, ecclesiastical history, and other auxiliary and special disciplines, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter on Priestly Formation.
Can. 254 ‘1 In their lectures, the professors are to be continuously attentive to the intimate unity and harmony of the entire doctrine of faith, so that the students are aware that they are learning one science. To ensure this, there is to be someone in the seminary who is in charge of the overall organisation of studies.
‘2 The students are to be taught in such a way that they themselves are enabled to research various questions in the scientific way appropriate to each question. There are, therefore, to be assignments in which, under the guidance of the professors, the students learn to work out certain subjects by their own efforts.
c. Pastoral preparation (c. 255-258)
Can. 255 Although the whole formation of students in the seminary has a pastoral purpose, a specifically pastoral formation is also to be provided there; in this the students are to learn the principles and the techniques which, according to the needs of place and time, are relevant to the ministry of teaching, sanctifying and ruling the people of God.
Can. 256 ‘1 Students are to be carefully instructed in whatever especially pertains to the sacred ministry, particularly in catechetics and homiletics, in divine worship and in a special way in the celebration of the sacraments, in dealing with people, including non‑catholics and unbelievers, in parish administration and in the fulfilment of other tasks.
‘2 The students are to be instructed about the needs of the universal Church, so that they may have a solicitude for encouraging vocations, for missionary and ecumenical questions, and for other pressing matters, including social problems.
Can. 257 ‘1 The formation of students is to ensure that they are concerned not only for the particular Church in which they are incardinated, but also for the universal Church, and that they are ready to devote themselves to particular Churches which are beset by grave need.
‘2 The diocesan Bishop is to ensure that clerics who intend to move from their own particular Church to a particular Church in another region, are suitably prepared to exercise the sacred ministry there, that is, that they learn the language of the region, and have an understanding of its institutions, social conditions, usages and customs.
Can. 258 In order that the students may also by practice learn the art of exercising the apostolate, they are in the course of their studies, and especially during holiday time, to be initiated into pastoral practice by suitable assignments, always under the supervision of an experienced priest. These assignments, appropriate to the age of the student and the conditions of the place, are to be determined by the Ordinary.
2.3. Condition for the Ordination
a. Condition for validity (c 1024)
Can. 1024 Only a baptised man can validly receive sacred ordination.
b. Condition for lawfulness (c. 1025)
Can. 1025 ‘1 In order lawfully to confer the orders of priesthood or diaconate, it must have been established, in accordance with the proofs laid down by law, that in the judgement of the proper Bishop or competent major Superior, the candidate possesses the requisite qualities, that he is free of any irregularity or impediment, and that he has fulfilled the requirements set out in can. 1033‑‑1039. Moreover, the documents mentioned in can. 1050 must be to hand, and the investigation mentioned in can. 1051 must have been carried out.
‘2 It is further required that, in the judgement of the same lawful Superior, the candidate is considered beneficial to the ministry of the Church.
‘3 A Bishop ordaining his own subject who is destined for the service of another diocese, must be certain that the ordinand will in fact be attached to that other diocese.
2.4. Requirements on the part of the ordinands
a. Freedom of the candidate (c. 1026)
Can. 1026 For a person to be ordained, he must enjoy the requisite freedom. It is absolutely wrong to compel anyone, in any way or for any reason whatsoever, to receive orders, or to turn away from orders anyone who is canonically suitable.
b. Careful preparation (cc. 1027-1028; 1032)
Can. 1027 Aspirants to the diaconate and the priesthood are to be formed by careful preparation in accordance with the law.
Can. 1028 The diocesan Bishop or the competent Superior must ensure that before they are promoted to any order, candidates are properly instructed concerning the order itself and its obligations.
Can. 1032 ‘1 Aspirants to the priesthood may be promoted to the diaconate only when they have completed the fifth year of the curriculum of philosophical and theological studies.
‘2 After completing the curriculum of studies and before being promoted to the priesthood, deacons are to spend an appropriate time, to be determined by the Bishop or by the competent major Superior, exercising the diaconal order and taking part in the pastoral ministry.
‘3 An aspirant to the permanent diaconate is not to be promoted to this order until he has completed the period of formation.
c. Human and religious qualities (c. 1029)
Can. 1029 Only those are to be promoted to orders who, in the prudent judgement of the proper Bishop or the competent major Superior, all things considered, have sound faith, are motivated by the right intention, are endowed with the requisite knowledge, enjoy a good reputation, and have moral probity, proven virtue and the other physical and psychological qualities appropriate to the order to be received.
d. Age and maturity (c. 1031; 1035 ‘ 2)
Can. 1031 ‘1 The priesthood may be conferred only upon those who have completed their twenty‑fifth year of age, and possess a sufficient maturity; moreover, an interval of at least six months between the diaconate and the priesthood must have been observed. Those who are destined for the priesthood are to be admitted to the order of diaconate only when they have completed their twenty‑third year.
‘2 A candidate for the permanent diaconate who is not married may be admitted to the diaconate only when he has completed at least his twenty‑fifth year; if he is married, not until he has completed at least his thirty‑fifth year, and then with the consent of his wife.
‘3 Episcopal Conferences may issue a regulation which requires a later age for the priesthood and for the permanent diaconate.
‘4 A dispensation of more than a year from the age required by ”1 and 2 is reserved to the Apostolic See.
Can. 1035 ‘2 Between the conferring of the ministry of acolyte and the diaconate there is to be an interval of at least six months.
e. Pastoral ministry (c. 1032 ‘ 2)
Can. 1032 ‘2 After completing the curriculum of studies and before being promoted to the priesthood, deacons are to spend an appropriate time, to be determined by the Bishop or by the competent major Superior, exercising the diaconal order and taking part in the pastoral ministry.
f. Suspension of the ordination (c. 1030)
Can. 1030 The proper Bishop or the competent major Superior may, but only for a canonical reason, even one which is occult, forbid admission to the priesthood to deacons subject to them who were destined for the priesthood, without prejudice to recourse in accordance with the law.
2.5. Prerequisites for the ordination
a. Reception of the confirmation (c. 1033)
Can. 1033 Only one who has received the sacrament of sacred confirmation may lawfully be promoted to orders.
b. Reception and exercise of the lector and acolyte (c. 1035 ‘ 1)
Can. 1035 ‘1 Before anyone may be promoted to the diaconate, whether permanent or transitory, he must have received the ministries of lector and acolyte, and have exercised them for an appropriate time.
c. Interval before the diaconate (c. 1035 ‘ 2).
‘2 Between the conferring of the ministry of acolyte and the diaconate there is to be an interval of at least six months.
d. Written personal declaration (c. 1036)
Can. 1036 For a candidate to be promoted to the order of diaconate or priesthood, he must submit to the proper Bishop or to the competent major Superior a declaration written in his own hand and signed by him, in which he attests that he will spontaneously and freely receive the sacred order and will devote himself permanently to the ecclesiastical ministry, asking at the same time that he be admitted to receive the order.
e. Profession of faith (c. 833 ‘ 6)
Can. 833 The following are personally bound to make a profession of faith, according to the formula approved by the Apostolic See:
6Ein the presence of the local Ordinary or his delegate: parish priests; Y and those who are to be promoted to the order of diaconate;
f. Spiritual exercises (c. 1039)
Can. 1039 All who are to be promoted to any order must make a retreat for at least five days, in a place and in the manner determined by the Ordinary. Before he proceeds to the ordination, the Bishop must have assured himself that the candidates have duly made the retreat.
g. The special situation of the Deacon (c. 1038)
Can. 1038 A deacon who refuses to be promoted to the priesthood may not be forbidden the exercise of the order he has received, unless he is constrained by a canonical impediment, or unless there is some other grave reason, to be estimated by the diocesan Bishop or the competent major Superior.
2.6. Irregularities and impediments
a. General criteria:
a.1. Principle interpretation (c. 1040)
Can. 1040 Those bound by an impediment are to be barred from the reception of orders. An impediment may be simple; or it may be perpetual, in which case it is called an irregularity. No impediment is contracted which is not contained in the following canons.
a.2. The ignorance (c. 1045)
Can. 1045 Ignorance of irregularities and impediments does not exempt from them.
a.3. Different causes (c. 1046)
Can. 1046 Irregularities and impediments are multiplied if they arise from different causes, not however from the repetition of the same cause, unless it is a question of the irregularity arising from the commission of willful homicide or from having actually procured an abortion.
a.4. Responsibilities of the faithful (c. 1043)
Can. 1043 Christ=s faithful are bound to reveal, before ordination, to the Ordinary or to the parish priest, such impediments to sacred orders as they may know about.
b. Irregularities for the reception of orders (c. 1041)
Can. 1041 The following persons are irregular for the reception of orders:
1E one who suffers from any form of insanity, or from any other psychological infirmity, because of which he is, after experts have been consulted, judged incapable of being able to fulfil the ministry;
2Eone who has committed the offence of apostasy, heresy or schism;
3E one who has attempted marriage, even a civil marriage, either while himself prevented from entering marriage whether by an existing marriage bond or by a sacred order or by a public and perpetual vow of chastity, or with a woman who is validly married or is obliged by the same vow;
4E one who has committed willful homicide, or one who has actually procured an abortion, and all who have positively cooperated;
5E one who has gravely and maliciously mutilated himself or another, or who has attempted suicide;
6Eone who has carried out an act of order which is reserved to those in the order of the episcopate or priesthood, while himself either not possessing that order or being barred from its exercise by some canonical penalty, declared or imposed.
c. Impediments from receiving the orders (c. 1042)
Can. 1042 The following are simply impeded from receiving orders:
1E a man who has a wife, unless he is lawfully destined for the permanent diaconate;
2Eone who exercises an office or administration forbidden to clerics, in accordance with cann. 285 and 286, of which he must render an account; the impediment binds until such time as, having relinquished the office and administration and rendered the account, he has been freed;
3Ea neophyte, unless, in the judgement of the Ordinary, he has been sufficiently tested.
d. Irregularities for the exercise of orders (c. 1044 ‘ 1)
Can. 1044 ‘1 The following are irregular for the exercise of orders already received:
1Eone who, while bound by an irregularity for the reception of orders, unlawfully received orders;
2Eone who committed the offence mentioned in can. 1041, n. 2, if the offence is public
3Eone who committed any of the offences mentioned in can. 1041, nn. 3, 4,5,6.
e. Impediments to exercise the orders (c. 1044 ‘ 2)
Cano. 1044 ‘2 The following are impeded from the exercise of orders:
1E one who, while bound by an impediment to the reception of orders, unlawfully received orders;
2Eone who suffers from insanity or from some other psychological infirmity mentioned in can. 1041, n. 1, until such time as the Ordinary, having consulted an expert, has allowed the exercise of the order in question.
f.1. In normal situations (c. 1047)
Can. 1047 ‘1 If the fact on which they are based has been brought to the judicial forum, dispensation from all irregularities is reserved to the Apostolic See alone.
‘2 Dispensation from the following irregularities and impediments to the reception of orders is also reserved to the Apostolic See:
1Eirregularities arising from the offences mentioned in can. 1041, nn. 2 and 3, if they are public;
2Ean irregularity arising from the offence, whether public or occult, mentioned in can. 1041, n. 4;
3E the impediment mentioned in can. 1042, n. 1.
‘3 To the Apostolic See is also reserved the dispensation from the irregularities for the exercise of an order received mentioned in can. 1041, n.3 but only in public cases, and in n. 4 of the same canon even in occult cases.
‘4 The Ordinary can dispense from irregularities and impediments not reserved to the Holy See.
f.2. Special cases (c. 1048)
Can. 1048 In the more urgent occult cases, if the Ordinary or, in the case of the irregularities mentioned in can. 1041, nn. 3 and 4, the Penitentiary cannot be approached, and if there is imminent danger of serious harm or loss of reputation, the person who is irregular for the exercise of an order may exercise it. There remains, however, the obligation of his having recourse as soon as possible to the Ordinary or the Penitentiary, without revealing his name, and through a confessor.
f.3. Mode of requesting (c. 1049)
Can. 1049 ‘1 In a petition to obtain a dispensation from irregularities or impediments, all irregularities and impediments are to be mentioned. However, a general dispensation is valid also for those omitted in good faith, with the exception of the irregularities mentioned in can. 1041, n. 4, or of others which have been brought to the judicial forum; it is not, however, valid for those concealed in bad faith.
‘2 If it is question of an irregularity arising from willful homicide or from a procured abortion, for the validity of the dispensation even the number of offences must be stated.
‘3 A general dispensation from irregularities and impediments to the reception of orders is valid for all orders.
2.7. Documents, scrutiny and dimissorial
a. Documents demanded before the ordination (c. 1050)
Can. 1050 For a person to be promoted to sacred orders, the following documents are required:
1E a certificate of studies duly completed in accordance with can. 1032;
2″ for those to be ordained to the priesthood, a certificate of the reception of the diaconate
3Efor those to be promoted to the diaconate, certificates of the reception of baptism, of confirmation and of the ministries mentioned in can. 1035, and a certificate that the declaration mentioned in can. 1036 has been made, if an ordinand to be promoted to the permanent diaconate is married, a certificate of his marriage and testimony of his wife=s consent.
b. Scrutiny on the qualities of the ordering (c. 1051)
Can. 1051 In the investigation of the requisite qualities of one who is to be ordained, the following provisions are to be observed:
1E there is to be a certificate from the rector of the seminary or of the house of formation, concerning the qualities required in the candidate for the reception of the order, namely sound doctrine, genuine piety, good moral behaviour, fitness for the exercise of the ministry, likewise, after proper investigation, a certificate of the candidate=s state of physical and psychological health;
2E the diocesan Bishop or the major Superior may, in order properly to complete the investigation, use other means which, taking into account the circumstances of time and place, may seem useful, such as testimonial letters, public notices or other sources of information.
c.1. Who grants them (c. 1019)
Can. 1019 ‘1 It belongs to the major Superior of a clerical religious institute of pontifical right or of a clerical society of apostolic life of pontifical right to grant dimissorial letters for the diaconate and for the priesthood to his subjects who are, in accordance with the constitutions, perpetually or definitively enrolled in the institute or society.
‘2 The ordination of all other candidates of whatever institute or society, is governed by the law applying to the secular clergy, any indult whatsoever granted to Superiors being revoked.
c.2. When they must be granted (c. 1020)
Can. 1020 Dimissorial letters are not to be granted unless all the testimonials and documents required by the law in accordance with cann. 1050 and 1051 have first been obtained.
c.3. Responsibility of the ordaining Bishop (c. 1052; 1022)
Can. 1052 ‘1 For a Bishop to proceed to an ordination which he is to confer by his own right, he must be satisfied that the documents mentioned in can. 1050 are at hand and that, as a result of the investigations prescribed by law, the suitability of the candidate has been positively established.
‘2 For a Bishop to proceed to the ordination of someone not his own subject, it is sufficient that the dimissorial letters state that those documents are at hand, that the investigation has been conducted in accordance with the law, and that the candidate=s suitability has been established. If the ordinand is a member of a religious institute or a society of apostolic life, these letters must also testify that he has been definitively enrolled in the institute or society and that he is a subject of the Superior who gives the letters.
‘3 If, not withstanding all this, the Bishop has definite reasons for doubting that the candidate is suitable to receive orders, he is not to promote him.
Can. 1022 When the ordaining Bishop has received the prescribed dimissorial letters, he may proceed to the ordination only when the authenticity of these letters is established beyond any doubt whatever.
c.4. Validity of the dimissorial (c. 1023)
Can. 1023 Dimissorial letters can be limited or can be revoked by the person granting them or by his successor; once granted, they do not lapse on the expiry of the grantor=s authority.
2.8. Inscription and certificate of the ordination
a. Notification to the parish priest (c. 1053, ‘ 2)
Can. 1053 ‘2 The ordaining Bishop is to give to each person ordained an authentic certificate of the ordination received. Those who, with dimissorial letters, have been promoted by a Bishop other than their own, are to submit the certificate to their proper Ordinary for the registration of the ordination in a special register, to be kept in the archive.
2.9. Incardination and excardination of the ordained
a. All clerics must be incardinated (c. 265)
Can. 265 Every cleric must be incardinated in a particular church, or in a personal Prelature, or in an institute of consecrated life or a society which has this faculty: accordingly, acephalous or >wandering= clergy are in no way to be allowed.
b. The religious cleric=s Incardination (c. 266 ‘ 2)
Can. 266 ‘2 A member who is perpetually professed in a religious institute, or who is definitively incorporated into a clerical society of apostolic life, is by the reception of the diaconate incardinated as a cleric in that institute or society unless, in the case of a society, the constitutions determine otherwise.
c. A religious cleric Incardination in a diocese ( c. 693)
Can. 693 If the member is a cleric, the indult is not granted until he has found a Bishop who will incardinate him in his diocese or at least receive him there on probation. If he is received on probation, he is by virtue of the law itself incardinated in the diocese after five years, unless the Bishop has rejected him.