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A religious person who is not a priest can become head of a religious institute

A religious person who is not a priest can become head of a religious institute

The Pope’s decision contained in a copy is effective as of today: it will be the religion of life devoted to the evaluation of individual cases at its own discretion

Vatican News

To be appointed a ‘chief principal’, even without being a priest, at the head of a religious seminary or community of the apostolic life of the papal right. This is what may henceforth happen to those who are part of a religious family under the guise of “non-clerical companions”, or that class of members who in many congregations are called “brothers”.

Created by this pope with a version in effect as of today, which follows the public who, according to a note, on February 11th, Francis granted the Congregation for Consecrated Life “the power to confer, at its discretion and at the individual level.” Cases of “this possibility” without prejudice to – specified – can. 134 §1 Canon Law (which defines ordinary bishops and high superiors to be taken into account).

The papal bull published today contains 4 articles outlining the different degrees of mandate that must receive the appointment of a non-clerical fellow at the head of the institute, whether “appointed” as “local chief”, “leading” superior, or “elect” as “supreme mediator or principal chief.” However, the supreme authority remains the Congregation of Consecrated Life Institutes and Societies of Apostolic Life which – as defined in Article IV – “reserve the right to assess the individual case and the reasons given by the Supreme Superintendent or the General Chapter”.