With a law dated November 4, Pope Francis amended article 579 of the Code of Canon Law, regarding the building of religious orders and religious congregations, in ecclesiastical law called institutes of the holy life. consecration and apostolic societies.
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has changed canon law requiring a bishop to obtain the Holy See’s permission before establishing a new religious institute in his diocese, further strengthening Vatican oversight of the process. this.
With November 4th a proprioPope Francis amended article 579 of the Code of Canon Law, regarding the building of religious orders and congregations, in the law of the Church called institutes of consecrated life and societies of religious life. thing.
In 2016, the Vatican made it clear that by law the diocesan bishop must consult with the nuncio before recognizing canon law for a new house. The new Code of Canon Law provides additional Vatican oversight by requiring the bishop to obtain the prior written permission of the Nuncio.
According to Pope Francis’ encyclical “true charisma, ”The change ensured that the Vatican would accompany the bishops more closely in their discernment on the building of a new congregation or congregation, and to give a“ final judgment ”on the decision to give. Holy See.
The new canon of canon law will go into effect on November 10.
The amendment of rule 579 makes “the Holy See’s deterrent control more apparent,” Father Fernando Puig, deputy dean of the canon of canon law at the Pontifical Santa Croce University, told CNA.
“In my opinion, base [of the law] has not changed, ”he said, adding that“ the bishops’ agency certainly decreased and this centralization of authority was in Rome’s favor. “
The impetus for change, Fr. Puig explained, returning to clarifying the interpretation of the law, at the request of the Vatican Department of Institutes of Religious Life and the Apostolic Life Association in 2016.
In May 2016, Pope Francis made it clear that, in order to take effect, law 579 requires bishops to consult closely with the Vatican on their decision, even if it is not in love. pray they must ask for permission.
Writing in L’Osservatore Romano in June 2016, Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, secretary of the congregation, explained that the congregation asked for clarification because of a desire to prevent the formation of academies and communes “Careless” Assembly.
According to Archbishop Rodríguez, crises in religious institutions include internal divisions and strife, abuse of disciplinary measures, or problems with authoritarian founders, who feel they are “true fathers and masters of charism.”
Archbishop Rodríguez said inadequate discrimination on the part of the bishops had led to the need for the Vatican to intervene on issues that could be averted if they were discovered before recognizing canon law for the institute. or social.
On his November 4th a proprio, Pope Francis said that “believers have the right to be informed by their Pastors of the authenticity of the charisms and of the integrity of those who present themselves as founders” of a congregation. or new congregation.
He continued: “The Apostolic See”, “has a responsibility to accompany the Pastors in the process of discernment that leads to the recognition of a new Academy or a new Diocesan Society by the Church.”
He quoted the 1996 post-Synodal apostolic exhortation Pope John Paul II “Consecrated life“Which says new institutes and religious societies” should be judged by the authority of the Church, which has the responsibility of proper inspection to check the authenticity of its inspirational purpose and to avoid the Excessive replication of similar organizations with each other. “
“Consequently, new institutes of consecrated life and new societies of apostolic life must be formally recognized by the Apostolic Tribunal, where only the final judgment,” Pope Francis said.