Religious superiors can now dismiss members for desertion

Pope Francis said he made change to canon law “to help the institutions observe the necessary discipline and be able to proceed to the dismissal of the illegitimately absent religious”

Pope Francis at a General Audience in Rome, June 2018. (Credit: CNA)

Pope Francis amended canon law Tuesday to create a new mechanism for dismissing a religious man or woman who has deserted their community.

Under the new law, promulgated by the pope in an apostolic letter issued “motu proprio,” superiors can declare a member dismissed ipso facto if they have been illicitly absent from the community for more than a year and cannot be located.

“Community life is an essential element of religious life,” Francis stated in the letter, titled Communis vita (“Common life”) and issued March 26. He cited canon 665 of the Code of Canon Law, which provides that “religious must live in their own religious house observing common life and cannot be absent without permission of their superior.”

Under the current provisions of canon 694, which the motu proprio reforms, the ipso facto dismissal of a member of a religious community can be declared for two reasons: that he or she has “defected notoriously from the Catholic faith,” or “has contracted marriage or attempted it, even only civilly.”

With Tuesday’s change, Pope Francis added the ground of desertion of the community.

Full story at Catholic News Agency.

Comments

  1. I don’t remember that the parable of the prodigal son set a time limit or considered absence as desertion.other parables of mercy and proactive seeking also apply for the ‘hospital church’.

  2. Seems like common sense.

  3. Heaven help Archbishop Vigano and Father Kalchik. They’re hiding in fear of their lives for doing what’s right and now, this. It seems that the good ones are the ones targeted, while the infanticide and abortion promoters like Cuomo are not touched or are awarded and called “Great”, like infamous Italian abortionist Emma Bonino.

  4. *They’re hiding for fear of losing their lives…

  5. “Defected notoriously from the Catholic Faith.” Hmm…. how many Jesuits would that apply to? I can think of one celebrity Jesuit it should apply to.

  6. Problem is some of these religious leave the communities and become freelancers to so speak, then if they do anything wrong the community can be held responsible. This is a very necessary procedure to protect religious cummunities

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