Vatican City – The bishops wishing to establish a religious order in their diocese must first obtain the written permission of the Holy See, Pope Francis said.
The pope said the amendment of canon law is no longer enough for a bishop to consult the Vatican before approving the establishment of a new order in his diocese.
“By its very nature every institute of consecrated or social life of apostolate, even if it arises in the context of a particular church, – as a gift to the church – is not is an isolated or marginal reality, but a profound part “of the Pope says in”; Authenticum Charismatis “(” The authenticity of a charism “), released November 4 at the Vatican.
The document changes article 579 of the Code of Canon Law to: “The diocesan bishops, each bishop in their own territory, can establish institutes of consecrated life by formal decree, with prior authorization. written by the Holy See. “
Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, told the Catholic News Service on November 4 that in May 2016, Pope Francis issued a ruling invalidating the establishment. diocesan ordinances are established by the bishops without consulting the Holy See.
But, he said, the problem is “even the Church [for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life] say no, the bishops could say they have consulted with the Holy See. “
Most Catholics are familiar with large, international religious orders of women or men; answered directly to the Vatican, they were called the associations of “papal rights.”
The local churches, approved by a diocesan bishop, are called the churches of “diocesanism.” While many of them are located in Africa, other dioceses around the world have such orders.
“What is happening is that the institutions bishops create for their diocese are starting to develop and are also considering working in other dioceses,” Arrieta said.
Even if growing orders are not yet ready to be applied to become papal institutes, he said, their presence beyond their original diocesan boundaries requires oversight, he said. to speak.
Arrieta said it hopes the new procedure will also go further in ensuring the continued health and stability of the congregation after the founding bishop has retired and that it will provide an opportunity for the Vatican to propose proposals. ways to ensure the appropriate exercise of authority and freedom in the community.
Several diocesan rights organizations have recently had serious problems with their members’ sexual abuse and psychological domination. One example is St. Community. John of France, was founded by Father Co. Marie-Dominique Philippe. After his death, community leaders reported credible charges against Philippe. Pope Benedict XVI disbanded the community branch of contemplative nuns in 2013.
Francis’ canonical amendment document states that Catholics have a right to know from their bishops that a serious discernment has taken place regarding the “authenticity of the charisms” of the commandments. new and “the credibility of those who introduced themselves as founders.”
Local bishops, he said, have the right to welcome new manifestations of the Holy Spirit calling people to consecrated life, but “at the same time, care must be taken to avoid carelessly establishing useless foundations. or lack of full vitality. “