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Code of Canon Law

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  • BOOK II : THE PEOPLE OF GOD
    • PART III : INSTITUTES OF CONSECRATED LIFE AND SOCIETIES OF APOSTOLIC LIFE
      • SECTION II: SOCIETIES OF APOSTOLIC LIFE (Cann. 731 - 755)
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SECTION II: SOCIETIES OF APOSTOLIC LIFE (Cann. 731 - 755)

Can. 731 §1 Societies of apostolic life resemble institutes of consecrated life. Their members, without taking religious vows, pursue the apostolic purpose proper to each society. Living a fraternal life in common in their own special manner, they strive for the perfection of charity through the observance of the constitutions.

§2 Among these societies are some in which the members, through a bond defined in the constitutions, undertake to live the evangelical counsels.

Can. 732 Cann. 578 - 597 and 606 apply to societies of apostolic life, with due regard, however, for the nature of each society. For the societies mentioned in can. 731 §2, cann. 598 - 602 also apply.

Can. 733 §1 A house is established and a local community is constituted by the competent authority of the society, with the prior written consent of the diocesan Bishop. The Bishop must also be consulted when there is question of its suppression.

§2 Consent to establish a house carries with it the right to have at least an oratory in which the blessed Eucharist is celebrated and reserved.

Can. 734 The governance of the society is determined by the constitutions, without prejudice, in accordance with the nature of each society, to cann. 617 - 633.

Can. 735 §1 The admission, probation, incorporation and formation of members are determined by each society's own law.

§2 For admission into the society, the conditions prescribed in cann. 642 - 645 are to be observed.

§3 The society's own law must determine a programme of doctrinal, spiritual and apostolic probation and formation that is adapted to the purpose and character of the society. In this way members can recognise their divine vocation and be suitably prepared for the mission and way of life of the society.

Can. 736 §1 In clerical societies, the clerics are incardinated into the society, unless the constitutions determine otherwise.

§2 The norms concerning the secular clergy apply to the programme of studies and reception of orders, without prejudice to §1.

Can. 737 For the members, incorporation carries with it the rights and obligations defined in the constitutions. On the part of the society, it implies a responsibility to lead the members towards the purpose of their vocation, in accordance with the constitutions.

Can. 738 §1 All members are subject to their own Moderators in matters concerning the internal life and discipline of the society, in accordance with the constitutions.

§2 They are also subject to the diocesan Bishop in matters concerning public worship, the care of souls and other works of the apostolate, with due regard to cann. 679 - 683.

§3 The relationship between a member who is incardinated in a diocese and his proper Bishop is to be defined in the constitutions or in particular agreements.

Can. 739 Apart from the obligations which derive from their constitutions, members are bound by the common obligations of clerics, unless the nature of things or the context indicates otherwise.

Can. 740 Members must live in a lawfully constituted house or community and observe a common life, in accordance with their own law. This same law also governs their absence from the house or community.

Can. 741 §1 Societies and, unless the constitutions provide otherwise, their constituent parts and their houses, are juridical persons. As such, they are capable of acquiring, possessing, administering and alienating temporal goods in accordance with the provisions of Book V on 'The Temporal Goods of the Church', of cann. 636, 638 and 639, and of their own law.

§2 Members are also capable, in accordance with their own law, of acquiring, possessing, administering and disposing of temporal goods, but whatever comes to them in view of the society is acquired for the society.

Can. 742 The departure and dismissal of a member who is not definitively incorporated are governed by the constitutions of each society.

Can. 743 A member who is definitively incorporated can obtain an indult to leave the society from the supreme Moderator with the consent of the council, unless the constitutions reserve this to the Apostolic See. This indult means that the rights and obligations deriving from definitive incorporation cease, without prejudice to can. 693.

Can. 744 §1 Permission for a member who is definitively incorporated to transfer to another society of apostolic life is likewise reserved to the supreme Moderator with the consent of his or her council. The rights and obligations of the member's own society are suspended for the time being, but the member has the right to return to it before definitive incorporation into the new society.

§2 To transfer to an institute of consecrated life or from such an institute to a society of apostolic life, the permission of the Holy See is required, and its instructions are to be followed.

Can. 745 The supreme Moderator, with the consent of his or her council, can grant a definitively incorporated member an indult to live outside the society for a period not exceeding three years. Rights and obligations which are not compatible with this new condition are suspended, but the member remains under the care of the Moderators. If the member is a cleric, the consent of the Ordinary of the place where he must reside is also required, and the member remains under the care of the Ordinary and dependent upon him.

Can. 746 For the dismissal of a member who is definitively incorporated, the provisions of cann. 694 - 704 are to be observed, making the appropriate adjustments.




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