CICLSAL, Exclaustration for the Duration of Necessity, 1993. Private.


After three years of exclaustration, a woman religious in perpetual profession in a religious institute of apostolic life petitioned and received from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL) an extension of the exclaustration for a fourth year. This was followed by a petition for an extension of the exclaustration for two more years. The religious had been on exclaustration for six years, but was not yet able to petition for definitive separation from the religious institute.

The superior general and the council of the religious institute supported the petitions of the sister. She had been diagnosed as having long-term depression. During the years of exclaustration, the sister sought and received regular spiritual direction, psychological counseling, and medical checkups. She continued the apostolate of teaching while living in an apartment complex. While she remained faithful to a life consecrated by the evangelical counsels, the woman felt frightened at the prospect of returning to common life. The attending psychologist supported her need to request still more time to recuperate from the depression. She sought the advice of her general superior and a canonist.

Sister explained to the canonist that her extreme sensitivity and vulnerability made common life almost impossible for her to live. But, she did not yet possess the freedom to petition for an indult of definitive departure after thirty-six years of religious life. She felt guilty about leaving the life she was so greatly attracted to, yet found so demanding. The canonist recommended that the sister ask her superior general to support her request to CICLSAL for an indult of exclaustration for the duration of necessity.

The superior general consulted with the council on the situation. They decided that they would support the sister’s request for an indult of exclaustration for the duration of necessity. CICLSAL granted the petition, and the rescript reads as follows:




Sister ____________________ of the Congregation of _____________, in the diocese of ___________ of the Latin rite, implores Your Holiness for an extension of the indult of exclaustration Prot. N.______________, given on _________________, for the same continuing reasons.

The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, having been attentive to the petition, benignly grants the indult of extension of the exclaustration as long as necessary. At the same time, the dispensation is given over the rules which are not compatible with the state of an exclaustrated religious.

The petitioner remains dependent and under the care of her superior and also the local ordinary of the place wherein she resides. She loses active

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and passive voice in the proper institute during the time she remains on exclaustration. She lives religious life as befitting one consecrated to Godin sacred virginity, observing all other things that must be observed. Anything contrary to the above does not hold.




CICLSAL, Exclaustration for the Duration of Necessity, RRAO (1993): 9-10.