|CODE OF CANON LAW 1983 INSTITUTES OF CONSECRATED LIFE |
NORMS COMMON TO ALL INSTITUTES OF CONSECRATED LIFE (Cann. 573 – 606)
Can. 573 §1. The life consecrated through the profession of the evangelical counsels is a stable form of living by which the faithful, following Christ more closely under the action of the Holy Spirit, are totally dedicated to God who is loved most of all, so that, having been dedicated by a new and special title to His honor, to the building up of the Church, and to the salvation of the world, they strive for the perfection of charity in the service of the kingdom of God and, having been made an outstanding sign in the Church, foretell the heavenly glory.
§2. The Christian faithful freely assume this form of living in institutes of consecrated life canonically erected by competent authority of the Church. Through vows or other sacred bonds according to the proper laws of the institutes, they profess the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience and, through the charity to which the counsels lead, are joined in a special way to the Church and its mystery.
Can. 574 §1. The state of those who profess the evangelical counsels in institutes of this type belongs to the life and holiness of the Church and must be fostered and promoted by all in the Church.
§2. Certain Christian faithful are specially called by God to this state so that they possess a special gift in the life of the Church and contribute to its salvific mission, according to the purpose and spirit of the institute.
Can. 575 The evangelical counsels, based on the teaching and examples of Christ the Teacher, are a divine gift which the Church has received from the Lord and preserves always through His grace.
Can. 576 It is for the competent authority of the Church to interpret the evangelical counsels, to direct their practice by laws, and by canonical approbation to establish the stable forms of living deriving from them, and also, for its part, to take care that the institutes grow and flourish according to the spirit of the founders and sound traditions.
Can. 577 In the Church there are a great many institutes of consecrated life which have different gifts according to the grace which has been given them: they more closely follow Christ who prays, or announces the kingdom of God, or does good to people, or lives with people in the world, yet who always does the will of the Father.
Can. 578 All must observe faithfully the mind and designs of the founders regarding the nature, purpose, spirit, and character of an institute, which have been sanctioned by competent ecclesiastical authority, and its sound traditions, all of which constitute the patrimony of the same institute.
Can. 579 Diocesan bishops, each in his own territory, can erect institutes of consecrated life by formal decree, provided that the Apostolic See has been consulted.
Can. 580 The aggregation of one institute of consecrated life to another is reserved to the competent authority of the aggregating institute; the canonical autonomy of the aggregated institute is always to be preserved.
Can. 581 To divide an institute into parts, by whatever name they are called, to erect new parts, to join those erected, or to redefine their boundaries belongs to the competent authority of the institute, according to the norm of the constitutions.
Can. 582 Mergers and unions of institutes of consecrated life are reserved to the Apostolic See only; confederations and federations are also reserved to it.
Can. 583 Changes in institutes of consecrated life affecting those things which had been approved by the Apostolic See cannot be made without its permission.
Can. 584 The suppression of an institute pertains only to the Apostolic See; a decision regarding the temporal goods of the institute is also reserved to the Apostolic See.
Can. 585 It belongs to the competent authority of an institute to suppress its parts.
Can. 586 §1. A just autonomy of life, especially of governance, is acknowledged for individual institutes, by which they possess their own discipline in the Church and are able to preserve their own patrimony intact, as mentioned in ? can. 578.
§2. It is for local ordinaries to preserve and safeguard this autonomy.
Can. 587 §1. To protect more faithfully the proper vocation and identity of each institute, the fundamental code or constitutions of every institute must contain, besides those things which are to be observed as stated in ? can. 578, fundamental norms regarding governance of the institute, the discipline of members, incorporation and formation of members, and the proper object of the sacred bonds.
§2. A code of this type is approved by competent authority of the Church and can be changed only with its consent.
§3. In this code spiritual and juridic elements are to be joined together suitably; nevertheless, norms are not to be multiplied without necessity.
§4. Other norms established by competent authority of an institute are to be collected suitably in other codes and, moreover, can be reviewed appropriately and adapted according to the needs of places and times.
Can. 588 §1. By its very nature, the state of consecrated life is neither clerical nor lay.
§2. That institute is called clerical which, by reason of the purpose or design intended by the founder or by virtue of legitimate tradition, is under the direction of clerics, assumes the exercise of sacred orders, and is recognized as such by the authority of the Church.
§3. That institute is called lay which, recognized as such by the authority of the Church, has by virtue of its nature, character, and purpose a proper function defined by the founder or by legitimate tradition, which does not include the exercise of sacred orders.
Can. 589 An institute of consecrated life is said to be of pontifical right if the Apostolic See has erected it or approved it through a formal decree. It is said to be of diocesan right, however, if it has been erected by a diocesan bishop but has not obtained a decree of approval from the Apostolic See.
Can. 590 §1. Inasmuch as institutes of consecrated life are dedicated in a special way to the service of God and of the whole Church, they are subject to the supreme authority of the Church in a special way.
§2. Individual members are also bound to obey the Supreme Pontiff as their highest superior by reason of the sacred bond of obedience.
Can. 591 In order to provide better for the good of institutes and the needs of the apostolate, the Supreme Pontiff, by reason of his primacy in the universal Church and with a view to common advantage, can exempt institutes of consecrated life from the governance of local ordinaries and subject them to himself alone or to another ecclesiastical authority.
Can. 592 §1. In order better to foster the communion of institutes with the Apostolic See, each supreme moderator is to send a brief report of the state and life of the institute to the Apostolic See, in a manner and at a time established by the latter.
§2. The moderators of every institute are to promote knowledge of documents of the Holy See which regard the members entrusted to them and are to take care about their observance.
Can. 593 Without prejudice to the prescript of ? can. 586, institutes of pontifical right are immediately and exclusively subject to the power of the Apostolic See in regards to internal governance and discipline.
Can. 594 Without prejudice to ? can. 586, an institute of diocesan right remains under the special care of the diocesan bishop.
Can. 595 §1. It is for the bishop of the principal seat to approve the constitutions and confirm changes legitimately introduced into them, without prejudice to those things which the Apostolic See has taken in hand, and also to treat affairs of greater importance affecting the whole institute which exceed the power of internal authority, after he has consulted the other diocesan bishops, however, if the institute has spread to several dioceses.
§2. A diocesan bishop can grant dispensations from the constitutions in particular cases.
Can. 596 §1. Superiors and chapters of institutes possess that power over members which is defined in universal law and the constitutions.
§2. In clerical religious institutes of pontifical right, however, they also possess ecclesiastical power of governance for both the external and internal forum.
§3. The prescripts of cann. ? 131, ? 133, and ? 137- 144 apply to the power mentioned in §1.
Can. 597 §1. Any Catholic endowed with a right intention who has the qualities required by universal and proper law and who is not prevented by any impediment can be admitted into an institute of consecrated life.
§2. No one can be admitted without suitable preparation.
Can. 598 §1. Each institute, attentive to its own character and purposes, is to define in its constitutions the manner in which the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience must be observed for its way of living.
§2. Moreover, all members must not only observe the evangelical counsels faithfully and fully but also arrange their life according to the proper law of the institute and thereby strive for the perfection of their state.
Can. 599 The evangelical counsel of chastity assumed for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, which is a sign of the world to come and a source of more abundant fruitfulness in an undivided heart, entails the obligation of perfect continence in celibacy.
Can. 600 The evangelical counsel of poverty in imitation of Christ who, although he was rich, was made poor for us, entails, besides a life which is poor in fact and in spirit and is to be led productively in moderation and foreign to earthly riches, a dependence and limitation in the use and disposition of goods according to the norm of the proper law of each institute.
Can. 601 The evangelical counsel of obedience, undertaken in a spirit of faith and love in the following of Christ obedient unto death, requires the submission of the will to legitimate superiors, who stand in the place of God, when they command according to the proper constitutions.
Can. 602 The life of brothers or sisters proper to each institute, by which all the members are united together as a special family in Christ, is to be defined in such a way that it becomes a mutual support for all in fulfilling the vocation of each. Moreover, by their communion as brothers or sisters rooted and founded in charity, members are to be an example of universal reconciliation in Christ.
Can. 603 §1. In addition to institutes of consecrated life, the Church recognizes the eremitic or anchoritic life by which the Christian faithful devote their life to the praise of God and the salvation of the world through a stricter withdrawal from the world, the silence of solitude, and assiduous prayer and penance.
§2. A hermit is recognized by law as one dedicated to God in consecrated life if he or she publicly professes in the hands of the diocesan bishop the three evangelical counsels, confirmed by vow or other sacred bond, and observes a proper program of living under his direction.
Can. 604 §1. Similar to these forms of consecrated life is the order of virgins who, expressing the holy resolution of following Christ more closely, are consecrated to God by the diocesan bishop according to the approved liturgical rite, are mystically betrothed to Christ, the Son of God, and are dedicated to the service of the Church.
§2. In order to observe their own resolution more faithfully and to perform by mutual assistance service to the Church in harmony with their proper state, virgins can be associated together.
Can. 605 The approval of new forms of consecrated life is reserved only to the Apostolic See. Diocesan bishops, however, are to strive to discern new gifts of consecrated life granted to the Church by the Holy Spirit and are to assist promoters so that these can express their proposals as well as possible and protect them by appropriate statutes; the general norms contained in this section are especially to be utilized.
Can. 606 Those things which are established for institutes of consecrated life and their members are equally valid in law for either sex, unless it is otherwise evident from the context of the wording or the nature of the matter.
THE ADMISSION OF CANDIDATES AND THE FORMATION OF MEMBERS
ADMISSION TO THE NOVITIATE
Can. 641 The right to admit candidates to the novitiate belongs to major superiors according to the norm of proper law.
Can. 642 With vigilant care, superiors are only to admit those who, besides the required age, have the health, suitable character, and sufficient qualities of maturity to embrace the proper life of the institute. This health, character, and maturity are to be verified even by using experts, if necessary, without prejudice to the prescript of ? can. 220.
Can. 643 §1. The following are admitted to the novitiate invalidly:
1/ one who has not yet completed seventeen years of age;
2/ a spouse, while the marriage continues to exist;
3/ 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 the prescript of ? can. 684;
4/ one who enters the institute induced by force, grave fear, or malice, or the one whom a superior, induced in the same way, has received;
5/ one who has concealed his or her incorporation in some institute of consecrated life or in some society of apostolic life.
§2. Proper law can establish other impediments even for validity of admission or can attach conditions.
Can. 644 Superiors are not to admit to the novitiate secular clerics without consulting their proper ordinary nor those who, burdened by debts, cannot repay them.
Can. 645 §1. Before candidates are admitted to the novitiate, they must show proof of baptism, confirmation, and free status.
§2. If it concerns the admission of clerics or those who had been admitted in another institute of consecrated life, in a society of apostolic life, or in a seminary, there is additionally required the testimony of, respectively, the local ordinary, the major superior of the institute or society, or the rector of the seminary.
§3. Proper law can require other proof about the requisite suitability of candidates and freedom from impediments.
§4. Superiors can also seek other information, even under secrecy, if it seems necessary to them.
THE NOVITIATE AND FORMATION OF NOVICES
Can. 646 The novitiate, through which life in an institute is begun, is arranged so that the novices better understand their divine vocation, and indeed one which is proper to the institute, experience the manner of living of the institute, and form their mind and heart in its spirit, and so that their intention and suitability are tested.
Can. 647 §1. The erection, transfer, and suppression of a novitiate house are to be done through written decree of the supreme moderator of the institute with the consent of the council.
§2. To be valid, a novitiate must be made in a house properly designated for this purpose. In particular cases and as an exception, by grant of the supreme moderator with the consent of the council, a candidate can make the novitiate in another house of the institute under the direction of some approved religious who acts in the place of the director of novices.
§3. A major superior can permit a group of novices to reside for a certain period of time in another house of the institute designated by the superior.
Can. 648 §1. To be valid, a novitiate must include twelve months spent in the community itself of the novitiate, without prejudice to the prescript of ? can. 647, §3.
§2. To complete the formation of novices, in addition to the period mentioned in §1, the constitutions can establish one or more periods of apostolic exercises to be spent outside the community of the novitiate.
§3. The novitiate is not to last longer than two years.
Can. 649 §1. Without prejudice to the prescripts of ? can. 647, §3 and ? can. 648, §2, an absence from the novitiate house which lasts more than three months, either continuous or interrupted, renders the novitiate invalid. An absence which lasts more than fifteen days must be made up.
§2. With the permission of the competent major superior, first profession can be anticipated, but not by more than fifteen days.
Can. 650 §1. The scope of the novitiate demands that novices be formed under the guidance of a director according to the program of formation defined in proper law.
§2. Governance of the novices is reserved to one director under the authority of the major superiors.
Can. 651 §1. The director of novices is to be a member of the institute who has professed perpetual vows and has been legitimately designated.
§2. If necessary, the director can be given assistants who are subject to the director in regard to the supervision of the novices and the program of formation.
§3. Members who are carefully prepared and who, not impeded by other duties, can carry out this function fruitfully and in a stable manner are to be placed in charge of the formation of novices.
Can. 652 §1. It is for the director and assistants to discern and test the vocation of the novices and to form them gradually to lead correctly the life of perfection proper to the institute.
§2. Novices are to be led to cultivate human and Christian virtues; through prayer and self-denial they are to be introduced to a fuller way of perfection; they are to be taught to contemplate the mystery of salvation and to read and meditate on the sacred scriptures; they are to be prepared to cultivate the worship of God in the sacred liturgy; they are to learn a manner of leading a life consecrated to God and humanity in Christ through the evangelical counsels; they are to be instructed regarding the character and spirit, the purpose and discipline, the history and life of the institute; and they are to be imbued with love for the Church and its sacred pastors.
§3. Conscious of their own responsibility, the novices are to collaborate actively with their director in such a way that they faithfully respond to the grace of a divine vocation.
§4. Members of the institute are to take care that they cooperate for their part in the work of formation of the novices through example of life and prayer.
§5. The time of the novitiate mentioned in ? can. 648, §1 is to be devoted solely to the task of formation and consequently novices are not to be occupied with studies and functions which do not directly serve this formation.
Can. 653 §1. A novice can freely leave an institute; moreover, the competent authority of the institute can dismiss a novice.
§2. At the end of the novitiate, if judged suitable, a novice is to be admitted to temporary profession; otherwise the novice is to be dismissed. If there is doubt about the suitability of a novice, the major superior can extend the time of probation according to the norm of proper law, but not beyond six months.
Can. 654 By religious profession, members assume the observance of the three evangelical counsels by public vow, are consecrated to God through the ministry of the Church, and are incorporated into the institute with the rights and duties defined by law.
Can. 655 Temporary profession is to be made for a period defined in proper law; it is not to be less than three years nor longer than six.
Can. 656 For the validity of temporary profession it is required that:
1/ the person who is to make it has completed at least eighteen years of age;
2/ the novitiate has been validly completed;
3/ admission has been given freely by the competent superior with the vote of the council according to the norm of law;
4/ the profession is expressed and made without force, grave fear, or malice;
5/ the profession is received by a legitimate superior personally or through another.
Can. 657 §1. When the period for which profession was made has elapsed, a religious who freely petitions and is judged suitable is to be admitted to renewal of profession or to perpetual profession; otherwise, the religious is to depart.
§2. If it seems opportune, however, the competent superior can extend the period of temporary profession according to proper law, but in such a way that the total period in which the member is bound by temporary vows does not exceed nine years.
§3. Perpetual profession can be anticipated for a just cause, but not by more than three months.
Can. 658 In addition to the conditions mentioned in ? can. 656, nn. 3, 4, and 5 and others imposed by proper law, the following are required for the validity of perpetual profession:
1/ the completion of at least twenty-one years of age;
2/ previous temporary profession of at least three years, without prejudice to the prescript of ? can. 657, §3.
THE FORMATION OF RELIGIOUS
Can. 659 §1. In individual institutes the formation of all the members is to be continued after first profession so that they lead the proper life of the institute more fully and carry out its mission more suitably.
§2. Therefore, proper law must define the program of this formation and its duration, attentive to the needs of the Church and the conditions of people and times, insofar as the purpose and character of the institute require it.
§3. Universal law and the program of studies proper to the institute govern the formation of members who are preparing to receive holy orders.
Can. 660 §1. Formation is to be systematic, adapted to the capacity of the members, spiritual and apostolic, doctrinal and at the same time practical. Suitable degrees, both ecclesiastical and civil, are also to be obtained when appropriate.
§2. During the time of this formation, offices and tasks which may impede it are not to be entrusted to the members.
Can. 661 Through their entire life, religious are to continue diligently their spiritual, doctrinal, and practical formation. Superiors, moreover, are to provide them with the resources and time for this.
THE OBLIGATIONS AND RIGHTS OF INSTITUTES AND THEIR MEMBERS
Can. 662 Religious are to have as the supreme rule of life the following of Christ proposed in the gospel and expressed in the constitutions of their own institute.
Can. 663 §1. The first and foremost duty of all religious is to be the contemplation of divine things and assiduous union with God in prayer.
§2. Members are to make every effort to participate in the eucharistic sacrifice daily, to receive the most sacred Body of Christ, and to adore the Lord himself present in the sacrament.
§3. They are to devote themselves to the reading of sacred scripture and mental prayer, to celebrate worthily the liturgy of the hours according to the prescripts of proper law, without prejudice to the obligation for clerics mentioned in ? can. 276, §2, n. 3, and to perform other exercises of piety.
§4. With special veneration, they are to honor the Virgin Mother of God, the example and protector of all consecrated life, also through the Marian rosary.
§5. They are to observe faithfully an annual period of sacred retreat.
Can. 664 Religious are to strive after conversion of the soul toward God, to examine their conscience, even daily, and to approach the sacrament of penance frequently.
Can. 665 §1. Observing common life, religious are to live in their own religious house and are not to be absent from it except with the permission of their superior. If it concerns a lengthy absence from the house, however, the major superior, with the consent of the council and for a just cause, can permit a member to live outside a house of the institute, but not for more than a year, except for the purpose of caring for ill health, of studies, or of exercising an apostolate in the name of the institute.
§2. A member who is absent from a religious house illegitimately with the intention of withdrawing from the power of the superiors is to be sought out solicitously by them and is to be helped to return to and persevere in his or her vocation.
Can. 666 In the use of means of social communication, necessary discretion is to be observed and those things are to be avoided which are harmful to one’s vocation and dangerous to the chastity of a consecrated person.
Can. 667 §1. In all houses, cloister adapted to the character and mission of the institute is to be observed according to the determinations of proper law, with some part of a religious house always reserved to the members alone.
§2. A stricter discipline of cloister must be observed in monasteries ordered to contemplative life.
§3. Monasteries of nuns which are ordered entirely to contemplative life must observe papal cloister, that is, cloister according to the norms given by the Apostolic See. Other monasteries of nuns are to observe a cloister adapted to their proper character and defined in the constitutions.
§4. For a just cause, a diocesan bishop has the faculty of entering the cloister of monasteries of nuns which are in his diocese and, for a grave cause and with the consent of the superior, of permitting others to be admitted to the cloister and the nuns to leave it for a truly necessary period of time.
Can. 668 §1. Before first profession, members are to cede the administration of their goods to whomever they prefer and, unless the constitutions state otherwise, are to make disposition freely for their use and revenue. Moreover, at least before perpetual profession, they are to make a will which is to be valid also in civil law.
§2. To change these dispositions for a just cause and to place any act regarding temporal goods, they need the permission of the superior competent according to the norm of proper law.
§3. Whatever a religious acquires through personal effort or by reason of the institute, the religious acquires for the institute. Whatever accrues to a religious in any way by reason of pension, subsidy, or insurance is acquired for the institute unless proper law states otherwise.
§4. A person who must renounce fully his or her goods due to the nature of the institute is to make that renunciation before perpetual profession in a form valid, as far as possible, even in civil law; it is to take effect from the day of profession. A perpetually professed religious who wishes to renounce his or her goods either partially or totally according to the norm of proper law and with the permission of the supreme moderator is to do the same.
§5. A professed religious who has renounced his or her goods fully due to the nature of the institute loses the capacity of acquiring and possessing and therefore invalidly places acts contrary to the vow of poverty. Moreover, whatever accrues to the professed after renunciation belongs to the institute according to the norm of proper law.
Can. 669 §1. Religious are to wear the habit of the institute, made according to the norm of proper law, as a sign of their consecration and as a witness of poverty.
§2. Clerical religious of an institute which does not have a proper habit are to wear clerical dress according to the norm of ? can. 284.
Can. 670 An institute must supply the members with all those things which are necessary to achieve the purpose of their vocation, according to the norm of the constitutions.
Can. 671 A religious is not to accept functions and offices outside the institute without the permission of a legitimate superior.
Can. 672 Religious are bound by the prescripts of cann. ? 277, ? 285, ? 286, ? 287, and ? 289, and religious clerics additionally by the prescripts of ? can. 279, §2; in lay institutes of pontifical right, the proper major superior can grant the permission mentioned in ? can. 255, §4.
THE APOSTOLATE OF INSTITUTES
Can. 673 The apostolate of all religious consists first of all in the witness of their consecrated life, which they are bound to foster by prayer and penance.
Can. 674 Institutes which are entirely ordered to contemplation always hold a distinguished place in the mystical Body of Christ: for they offer an extraordinary sacrifice of praise to God, illumine the people of God with the richest fruits of holiness, move it by their example, and extend it with hidden apostolic fruitfulness. For this reason, members of these institutes cannot be summoned to furnish assistance in the various pastoral ministries however much the need of the active apostolate urges it.
Can. 675 §1. Apostolic action belongs to the very nature of institutes dedicated to works of the apostolate.
Accordingly, the whole life of the members is to be imbued with an apostolic spirit; indeed the whole apostolic action is to be informed by a religious spirit.
§2. Apostolic action is to proceed always from an intimate union with God and is to confirm and foster this union.
§3. Apostolic action, to be exercised in the name and by the mandate of the Church, is to be carried out in the communion of the Church.
Can. 676 Lay institutes, whether of men or of women, participate in the pastoral function of the Church through spiritual and corporal works of mercy and offer the most diverse services to people. Therefore, they are to persevere faithfully in the grace of their vocation.
Can. 677 §1. Superiors and members are to retain faithfully the mission and works proper to the institute.
Nevertheless, attentive to the necessities of times and places, they are to accommodate them prudently, even employing new and opportune means.
§2. Moreover, if they have associations of the Christian faithful joined to them, institutes are to assist them with special care so that they are imbued with the genuine spirit of their family.
Can. 678 §1. Religious are subject to the power of bishops whom they are bound to follow with devoted submission and reverence in those matters which regard the care of souls, the public exercise of divine worship, and other works of the apostolate.
§2. In exercising an external apostolate, religious are also subject to their proper superiors and must remain faithful to the discipline of the institute. The bishops themselves are not to fail to urge this obligation if the case warrants it.
§3. In organizing the works of the apostolate of religious, diocesan bishops and religious superiors must proceed through mutual consultation.
Can. 679 When a most grave cause demands it, a diocesan bishop can prohibit a member of a religious institute from residing in the diocese if his or her major superior, after having been informed, has neglected to make provision; moreover, the matter is to be referred immediately to the Holy See.
Can. 680 Among the various institutes and also between them and the secular clergy, there is to be fostered an ordered cooperation and a coordination under the direction of the diocesan bishop of all the works and apostolic activities, without prejudice to the character and purpose of individual institutes and the laws of the foundation.
Can. 681 §1. Works which a diocesan bishop entrusts to religious are subject to the authority and direction of the same bishop, without prejudice to the right of religious superiors according to the norm of ? can. 678, §§2 and 3.
§2. In these cases, the diocesan bishop and the competent superior of the institute are to draw up a written agreement which, among other things, is to define expressly and accurately those things which pertain to the work to be accomplished, the members to be devoted to it, and economic matters.
Can. 682 §1. If it concerns conferring an ecclesiastical office in a diocese upon some religious, the diocesan bishop appoints the religious, with the competent superior making the presentation, or at least assenting to the appointment.
§2. A religious can be removed from the of-Fie entrusted to him or her at the discretion either of the entrusting authority after having informed the religious superior or of the superior after having informed the one entrusting; neither requires the consent of the other.
Can. 683 §1. At the time of pastoral visitation and also in the case of necessity, the diocesan bishop, either personally or through another, can visit churches and oratories which the Christian faithful habitually attend, schools, and other works of religion or charity, whether spiritual or temporal, entrusted to religious, but not schools which are open exclusively to the institute’s own students.
§2. If by chance he has discovered abuses and the religious superior has been warned in vain, he himself can make provision on his own authority.
SEPARATION OF MEMBERS FROM THE INSTITUTE
TRANSFER TO ANOTHER INSTITUTE
Can. 684 §1. A member in perpetual vows cannot transfer from one religious institute to another except by a grant of the supreme moderator of each institute and with the consent of their respective councils.
§2. After completing a probation which is to last at least three years, the member can be admitted to perpetual profession in the new institute. If the member refuses to make this profession or is not admitted to make it by competent superiors, however, the member is to return to the original institute unless an indult of ehaviour tion has been obtained.
§3. For a religious to transfer from an autonomous monastery to another of the same institute or federation or confederation, the consent of the major superior of each monastery and of the chapter of the receiving monastery is required and is sufficient, without prejudice to other requirements established by proper law; a new profession is not required.
§4. Proper law is to determine the time and manner of the probation which must precede the profession of a member in the new institute.
§5. For a transfer to be made to a secular institute or a society of apostolic life or from them to a religious institute, permission of the Holy See is required, whose mandates must be observed.
Can. 685 §1. Until a person makes profession in the new institute, the rights and obligations which the member had in the former institute are suspended although the vows remain. Nevertheless, from the beginning of probation, the member is bound to the observance of the proper law of the new institute.
§2. Through profession in the new institute, the member is incorporated into it while the preceding vows, rights, and obligations cease.
DEPARTURE FROM AN INSTITUTE
Can. 686 §1. With the consent of the council, the supreme moderator for a grave cause can grant an indult of exclaustration to a member professed by perpetual vows, but not for more than three years, and if it concerns a cleric, with the prior consent of the ordinary of the place in which he must reside. To extend an indult or to grant it for more than three years is reserved to the Holy See, or to the diocesan bishop if it concerns institutes of diocesan right.
§2. It is only for the Apostolic See to grant an indult of exclaustration for nuns.
§3. At the petition of the supreme moderator with the consent of the council, exclaustration can be imposed by the Holy See on a member of an institute of pontifical right, or by a diocesan bishop on a member of an institute of diocesan right, for grave causes, with equity and charity observed.
Can. 687 An exclaustrated member is considered freed from the obligations which cannot be reconciled with the new condition of his or her life, yet remains dependent upon and under the care of superiors and also of the local ordinary, especially if the member is a cleric. The member can wear the habit of the institute unless the indult determines otherwise. Nevertheless, the member lacks active and passive voice.
Can. 688 §1. A person who wishes to leave an institute can depart from it when the time of profession has been completed.
§2. During the time of temporary profession, a person who asks to leave the institute for a grave cause can obtain an indult of departure from the supreme moderator with the consent of the council in an institute of pontifical right. In institutes of diocesan right and in the monasteries mentioned in ? can. 615, however, the bishop of the house of assignment must confirm the indult for it to be valid.
Can. 689 §1. If there are just causes, the competent major superior, after having heard the council, can exclude a member from making a subsequent profession when the period of temporary profession has been completed.
§2. Physical or psychic illness, even contracted after profession, which in the judgment of experts renders the member mentioned in §1 unsuited to lead the life of the institute constitutes a cause for not admitting the member to renew profession or to make perpetual profession, unless the illness had been contracted through the negligence of the institute or through work performed in the institute.
§3. If, however, a religious becomes insane during the period of temporary vows, even though unable to make a new profession, the religious cannot be dismissed from the institute.
Can. 690 §1. The supreme moderator with the consent of the council can readmit without the burden of repeating the novitiate one who had legitimately left the institute after completing the novitiate or after profession. Moreover, it will be for the same moderator to determine an appropriate probation prior to temporary profession and the time of vows to precede perpetual profession, according to the norm of cann. ? 655 and ? 657.
§2. The superior of an autonomous monastery with the consent of the council possesses the same faculty.
Can. 691 §1. A perpetually professed religious is not to request an indult of departure from an institute except for the gravest of causes considered before the Lord. The religious is to present a petition to the supreme moderator of the institute who is to transmit it along with a personal opinion and the opinion of the council to the competent authority.
§2. In institutes of pontifical right, an indult of this type is reserved to the Apostolic See. In institutes of diocesan right, however, the bishop of the diocese in which the house of assignment is situated can also grant it.
Can. 692 Unless it has been rejected by the member in the act of notification, an indult of departure granted legitimately and made known to the member entails by the law itself dispensation from the vows and from all the obligations arising from profession.
Can. 693 If a member is a cleric, an indult is not granted before he finds a bishop who incardinates him in the diocese or at least receives him experimentally. If he is received experimentally, he is incardinated into the diocese by the law itself after five years have passed, unless the bishop has refused him.
DISMISSAL OF MEMBERS
Can. 694 §1. A member must be held as ipso facto dismissed from an institute who:
1/ has defected notoriously from the Catholic faith;
2/ has contracted marriage or attempted it, even only civilly.
§2. In these cases, after the proofs have been collected, the major superior with the council is to issue without any delay a declaration of fact so that the dismissal is established juridically.
Can. 695 §1. A member must be dismissed for the delicts mentioned in cann. ? 1397, ? 1398, and ? 1395, unless in the delicts mentioned in ? can. 1395, §2, the superior decides that dismissal is not completely necessary and that correction of the member, restitution of justice, and reparation of scandal can be resolved sufficiently in another way.
§2. In these cases, after the proofs regarding the facts and imputability have been collected, the major superior is to make known the accusation and proofs to the member to be dismissed, giving the member the opportunity for self-defense. All the acts, signed by the major superior and a notary, together with the responses of the member, put in writing and signed by that member, are to be transmitted to the supreme moderator.
Can. 696 §1. A member can also be dismissed for other causes provided that they are grave, external, imputable, and juridically proven such as: habitual neglect of the obligations of consecrated life; repeated violations of the sacred bonds; stubborn disobedience to the legitimate prescripts of superiors in a grave matter; grave scandal arising from the culpable ehaviour of the member; stubborn upholding or diffusion of doctrines condemned by the magisterium of the Church; public adherence to ideologies infected by materialism or atheism; the illegitimate absence mentioned in ? can. 665, §2, lasting six months; other causes of similar gravity which the proper law of the institute may determine.
§2. For the dismissal of a member in temporary vows, even causes of lesser gravity established in proper law are sufficient.
Can. 697 In the cases mentioned in ? can. 696, if the major superior, after having heard the council, has decided that a process of dismissal must be begun:
1/ the major superior is to collect or complete the proofs;
2/ the major superior is to warn the member in writing or before two witnesses with an explicit threat of subsequent dismissal unless the member reforms, with the cause for dismissal clearly indicated and full opportunity for self-defense given to the member; if the warning occurs in vain, however, the superior is to proceed to another warning after an intervening space of at least fifteen days;
3/ if this warning also occurs in vain and the major superior with the council decides that incorrigibility is sufficiently evident and that the defenses of the member are insufficient, after fifteen days have elapsed from the last warning without effect, the major superior is to transmit to the supreme moderator all the acts, signed personally and by a notary, along with the signed responses of the member.
Can. 698 In all the cases mentioned in cann. ? 695 and ? 696, the right of the member to communicate with and to offer defenses directly to the supreme moderator always remains intact.
Can. 699 §1. The supreme moderator with the council, which must consist of at least four members for validity, is to proceed collegially to the accurate consideration of the proofs, arguments, and defenses; if it has been decided through secret ballot, the supreme moderator is to issue a decree of dismissal with the reasons in law and in fact expressed at least summarily for validity.
§2. In the autonomous monasteries mentioned in ? can. 615, it belongs to the diocesan bishop, to whom the superior is to submit the acts examined by the council, to decide on dismissal.
Can. 700 A decree of dismissal does not have effect unless it has been confirmed by the Holy See, to which the decree and all the acts must be transmitted; if it concerns an institute of diocesan right, confirmation belongs to the bishop of the diocese where the house to which the religious has been attached is situated. To be valid, however, the decree must indicate the right which the dismissed possesses to make recourse to the competent authority within ten days from receiving notification. The recourse has suspensive effect.
Can. 701 By legitimate dismissal, vows as well as the rights and obligations deriving from profession cease ipso facto.
Nevertheless, if the member is a cleric, he cannot exercise sacred orders until he finds a bishop who receives him into the diocese after an appropriate probation according to the norm of ? can. 693 or at least permits him to exercise sacred orders.
Can. 702 §1. Those who depart from a religious institute legitimately or have been dismissed from it legitimately can request nothing from the institute for any work done in it.
§2. Nevertheless, the institute is to observe equity and the charity of the gospel toward a member who is separated from it.
Can. 703 In the case of grave external scandal or of most grave imminent harm to the institute, a member can be expelled immediately from a religious house by the major superior or, if there is danger in delay, by the local superior with the consent of the council. If it is necessary, the major superior is to take care to begin a process of dismissal according to the norm of law or is to refer the matter to the Apostolic See.
Can. 704 In the report referred to in can. 592, §1, which is to be sent to the Apostolic See, mention is to be made of members who have been separated from the institute in any way.