CICLSAL, The Founding of a New Religious Institute of Traditional Spirituality, 1995. Private.


It is not uncommon today that two or more persons approach a diocesan bishop or vicar for religious desiring to found a religious institute. After questioning these persons, the bishop or vicar discovers that the charism they present reflects one of the traditional spiritualities of religious life in the Church (Benedictine, Franciscan, Carmelite, Dominican). Sometimes the group seeks spiritual support from a canonically approved monastery or religious institute within the same spiritual tradition.

CICLSAL has been approached for advice regarding the status of such groups and the responsibility of the monasteries or religious institutes that are willing to assist them. The following observations were received from CICLSAL in response to a request for such advice:

1. An aggregate or association of persons cannot be constituted unless it consists of at least three persons (c. 115, ยง2).

2. The logical route for such groups is to proceed from a private association to a public association, to a diocesan religious institute.

3. A canonically approved monastery or religious institute can offer the group spiritual assistance. The nature of any assistance, particularly financial, should be put in writing.

4. CICLSAL does not see as desirable the canonical dependence of an institute/monastery of women on an institute/monastery of men or vice versa.

5. If the group grows and is erected as a religious institute, it should assume a title which clearly distinguishes it from the already canonically approved entities whose tradition it reflects.




CICLSAL, Process for Founding a Religious Institute, RRAO (1995): 9.