A member in perpetual profession in a clerical religious institute has been in an irregular canonical status due to unlawful absence from the institute. Several attempts on the part of the major superior to communicate with him resulted in failure and dismissal from the religious institute, 2000.

Prot. n.


The Procurator General of __________ requests from Your Holiness a confirmation of the decree of dismissal announced by the Ordinary of the priest, __________ from the aforesaid Order _________. His case was advanced to the Superior General for the reasons set forth.


The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, after having carefully weighed the matter, confirms the aforementioned decree of dismissal of the priest ________ based on the request according to the norm of canons 696-700 of the Code of Canon Law, because of his illegitimate absence and obstinate disobedience to the

pg. 636

pg. 637
lawful orders of his superiors, all else having been observed in accord with canon 701 and 702 of the Code of Canon Law.

Anything contrary to the above does not stand. At the Vatican.



Letter of Major Superior to Priest

Dear _________,

Enclosed please find the decree of dismissal that was confirmed by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. A translation of the decree of confirmation is also enclosed for your convenience.

Upon receiving this decree of dismissal, you have ten (10) days to have recourse. You may take recourse to:

His Eminence Eduardo Cardinal Somalo

Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life

Piazza Pio XII 3

00193 Rome, Italy


If you take recourse, the decree will have suspensive effect. I would appreciate your letting me know if you decide to take recourse.

I truly regret communicating this to you, but you are aware of the many opportunities afforded you to respond to our communications.

I wish you God’s peace.

Sincerely yours,

Major Superior

pg. 637

pg. 638

Decree of Dismissal

__________, solemnly professed priest of __________ in the diocese of __________, has been unlawfully absent from the institute since December _____. On June _____, his major superior, having heard the council, judged that the process of dismissal should begin for __________ because of unlawful absence since __________, in accord with c. 696, §1 and norm _____ of our Constitutions. The following day a first warning was sent, declaring that his behavior is a grave and sufficient cause for dismissal according to c. 696, §1 and the Constitutions _____. __________ did not present himself within 15 days as was asked. A second warning on __________, remained equally without any result. The major superior and the council judged that there was sufficient proof of incorrigibility since there has not been any response to the two canonical warnings.

In accordance with the provision in c. 696, §1 a religious may be dismissed on the grounds of obstinate disobedience to the lawful orders of superiors in grave matters, and also on the ground of unlawful absence mentioned in c. 665, §2, if it extends for a period of six months.

In a letter dated _____, the major superior formally requested that the superior general and councilors of __________ proceed to the dismissal of __________ according to c. 699. They sent all the proofs of what had been done according to the prescriptions of Canon Law and our Constitutions.

Having examined these documents and having established the fact that __________ continues in spite of repeated warnings in obstinate disobedience and unlawful absence since December ____, ____ after deliberations and prayer.

The superior general and councilors proceeded in collegial fashion to the dismissal from the institute of __________ in accord with c. 699, §1. __________, Superior General of __________ decrees this dismissal and requests confirmation of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life.

___________ has the right in accord with c. 700 to take recourse to the same Congregation within ten (10) days of the notification of this decree. Such recourse has a suspensive effect.

Superior General

RRAO (2000): 20-23.