CODE OF CANON LAW
BOOK II. THE PEOPLE OF GOD
- PART III. INSTITUTES OF CONSECRATED LIFE AND SOCIETIES OF APOSTOLIC LIFE
- SECTION I: INSTITUTES OF CONSECRATED LIFE
(Cann. 710 - 730)
Can. 710 A secular institute is an institute of
consecrated life in which the Christian faithful, living in the world, strive
for the perfection of charity and seek to contribute to the sanctification of
the world, especially from within.
Can. 711 The consecration of a member of a secular
institute does not change the member’s proper canonical condition among the
people of God, whether lay or clerical, with due regard for the prescripts of
the law which refer to institutes of consecrated life.
Can. 712 Without prejudice to the prescripts of cann.
598-601, the constitutions are to establish the sacred bonds by which the
evangelical counsels are assumed in the institute and are to define the
obligations which these same bonds bring about; the proper secularity of the
institute, however, is always to be preserved in its way of life.
Can. 713 §1. Members of these institutes express and
exercise their own consecration in apostolic activity, and like leaven they
strive to imbue all things with the spirit of the gospel for the strengthening
and growth of the Body of Christ.
§2. In the world and from the world, lay members
participate in the evangelizing function of the Church whether through the
witness of a Christian life and of fidelity toward their own consecration, or
through the assistance they offer to order temporal things according to God and
to inform the world by the power of the gospel.
They also cooperate in the service of the ecclesial
community according to their own secular way of life.
§3. Through the witness of consecrated life especially in
the presbyterium, clerical members help their brothers by a particular apostolic
charity, and by their sacred ministry among the people of God they bring about
the sanctification of the world.
Can. 714 Members are to lead their lives in the ordinary
conditions of the world according to the norm of the constitutions, whether
alone, or in their own families, or in a group living as brothers or sisters.
Can. 715 §1. Clerical members incardinated in a diocese are
subject to the diocesan bishop, without prejudice to those things which regard
consecrated life in their own institute.
§2. Those who are incardinated in an institute according to
the norm of can.
266, §3, however, are subject to the bishop like religious if they are appointed
to the proper works of the institute or to the governance of the institute.
Can. 716 §1. All members are to participate actively in the
life of the institute according to proper law.
§2. Members of the same institute are to preserve communion
among themselves, caring solicitously for a spirit of unity and a genuine
relationship as brothers or sisters.
Can. 717 §1. The constitutions are to prescribe the proper
manner of governance; they are to define the time during which the moderators
hold their office and the manner by which they are designated.
§2. No one is to be designated as supreme moderator who is
not incorporated definitively.
§3. Those who have been placed in charge of the governance
of an institute are to take care that its unity of spirit is preserved and that
the active participation of the members is promoted.
Can. 718 The administration of the goods of an institute,
which must express and foster evangelical poverty, is governed by the norms of
Book V, The Temporal Goods of the Church, and by the proper law of the institute.
Likewise, proper law is to define the obligations of the
institute, especially Financial ones, towards members who carry on work for it.
Can. 719 §1. For members to respond faithfully to their
vocation and for their apostolic action to proceed from their union with Christ,
they are to devote themselves diligently to prayer, to give themselves in a
Fitting way to the reading of sacred scripture, to observe an annual period of
spiritual retreat, and to perform other spiritual exercises according to proper
§2. The celebration of the Eucharist, daily if possible, is
to be the source and strength of their whole consecrated life.
§3. They are to approach freely the sacrament of penance
which they are to receive frequently.
§4. They are to obtain freely necessary direction of
conscience and to seek counsel of this kind even from the moderators, if they
Can. 720 The right of admission into the institute, either
for probation or for the assumption of sacred bonds, whether temporary or
perpetual or definitive, belongs to the major moderators with their council,
according to the norm of the constitutions.
Can. 721 §1. A person is admitted to initial probation
1/ who has not yet attained the age of majority;
2/ who is bound currently by a sacred bond in some
institute of consecrated life or is incorporated in a society of apostolic life;
3/ a spouse, while the marriage continues to exist.
§2. The constitutions can establish other impediments to
admission even for validity or can attach conditions.
§3. Moreover, to be received, the person must have the
maturity necessary to lead rightly the proper life of the institute.
Can. 722 §1. Initial probation is to be ordered in a way
that the candidates understand more fittingly their own divine vocation, and
indeed, the one proper to the institute, and that they are trained in the spirit
and way of life of the institute.
§2. Candidates are properly to be formed to lead a life
according to the evangelical counsels and are to be taught to transform their
whole life into the apostolate, employing those forms of evangelization which
better respond to the purpose, spirit, and character of the institute.
§3. The constitutions are to define the manner and length
of this probation before first taking on sacred bonds in the institute; the
length is not to be less than two years.
Can. 723 §1. When the period of initial probation has
elapsed, a candidate who is judged suitable is to assume the three evangelical
counsels strengthened by a sacred bond or is to depart from the institute.
§2. This first incorporation is to be temporary according
to the norm of the constitutions; it is not to be less than five years.
§3. When the period of this incorporation has elapsed, the
member who is judged suitable is to be admitted to perpetual incorporation or to
definitive incorporation, that is, with temporary bonds that are always to be
§4. Definitive incorporation is equivalent to perpetual
incorporation with regard to the specific juridic effects established in the
Can. 724 §1. Formation after the first assumption of sacred
bonds is to be continued without interruption according to the constitutions.
§2. Members are to be formed in divine and human things at
the same time; moreover, moderators of the institute are to have a serious
concern for the continued spiritual formation of the members.
Can. 725 An institute can associate to itself by some bond
determined in the constitutions other members of the Christian faithful who are
to strive for evangelical perfection according to the spirit of the institute
and are to participate in its mission.
Can. 726 §1. When the period of temporary incorporation has
elapsed, a member is able to leave the institute freely or the major moderator,
after having heard the council, can exclude a member for a just cause from the
renewal of the sacred bonds.
§2. For a grave cause, a temporarily incorporated member
who freely petitions it is able to obtain an indult of departure from the
supreme moderator with the consent of the council.
Can. 727 §1. After having considered the matter seriously
before the Lord, a perpetually incorporated member who wishes to leave the
institute is to seek an indult of departure from the Apostolic See through the
supreme moderator if the institute is of pontifical right; otherwise the member
may also seek it from the diocesan bishop, as it is defined in the constitutions.
§2. If it concerns a cleric incardinated in the institute,
the prescript of can.
693 is to be observed.
Can. 728 When an indult of departure has been granted
legitimately, all the bonds as well as the rights and obligations deriving from
Can. 729 A member is dismissed from an institute according
to the norm of cann. 694 and 695; moreover, the constitutions are to determine other causes for dismissal provided
that they are proportionately grave, external, imputable, and juridically proven,
and the method of proceeding established in cann. 697-700 is to be observed. The
prescript of can.
701 applies to one dismissed.
Can. 730 In order for a member of a secular institute to
transfer to another secular institute, the prescripts of cann. 684, §§1, 2, 4,
are to be observed; moreover, for transfer to be made to a religious institute
or to a society of apostolic life or from them to a secular institute, the
permission of the Apostolic See is required, whose mandates must be observed.