Future Establishment of Institutes of Consecrated Right Will Require Confirmation by Rome
New Centralization for Religious Communities
(Rome) For the future establishment of institutes of consecrated life of diocesan right, there will need to be approval of Rome.
Institutes of Consecrated Life are officially described as Catholic religious orders whose members take public, perpetual or temporary vows, in which they promise to lead a life according to the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and and usually live in community. Religious life in the Church goes back to the 4th century AD.
Institute of diocesan and pontifical right
The Church distinguishes between institutes of diocesan right and those of pontifical right. While the latter are built by the Holy See and "directly and exclusively subject to the authority of the Apostolic See," the former are established by a diocesan bishop in his own diocese and are also subject to his supervision and responsibility. However, the bishop decided this by virtue of its jurisdiction authority.
As a rule, a small community of believers forms who want to live together collectively for a certain charism. They call on the diocesan bishop in whose diocese they live for canonical recognition. He checks the precepts, and the community for compliance with Catholic doctrine and ecclesiastical discipline. He examines especially the sustainability of the community. It's a process that takes several years until an acknowledgment is completed, as an institute of diocesan right. The recognition is first provisionally limited to a few years. After probation it is then unlimited.
After another year of positive development and spread of the Order, most ask for recognition as an institute of pontifical right. What a renewed evaluation period means and is again initially provisional and an indefinite probation.
Pope curtails rights of the bishops: the decree of establishment without Rome's consent null and void
With Pope Francis' new centralization determination, the agreement of Rome's future is essential for the establishment of an institute of diocesan right.
Pope Francis chose a rescript ex audientiaa curtailment of the powers of the diocesan bishops. A diocesan bishop who wants to establish an Institute of diocesan right must obtain the consent of the Holy See. The Rescript firmly necessitates Rome's consent ad validitatem. Above all, it holds the decree for an institute of diocesan right, which was established without the approval of Rome, null and void.
The Rescript dated on May 11, was only published in yesterday's edition of the Osservatore Romano by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. It says:
"The Holy Father Francis in the audience, which was granted to the undersigned secretary on April 4, 2016, determined that the prior consultation of the Holy See is understood as necessary ad valididatem for the establishment of a diocesan institute of consecrated life, under penalty of the annulment of the decree establishing the institution itself. "
The rescript will enter into force 1 June 2016th
Text: Giuseppe Nardi Image: comboni.it/Osservatore Romano (Screenshot)