CICLSAL, Letter and Norms for Elections for the Confederation of Latin American Religious, 19 January 1991.


Esteemed Father Luis [Coscia, President of CLAR]:

On several occasions, the concerns of the Holy Father about CLAR have come to this Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, occasioned by information many bishops of Latin America have offered in their ad limina visits, and also by some departments of the Roman Curia.

Therefore the Holy Father has wanted to listen to the views of the superiors and superiors general of the most widespread institutes for consecrated life in Latin America, and has judged it necessary to make some decisions so that all interested parties (the Holy See, local episcopates, religious communities) may be able to reflect and act together in a spirit of deep ecclesial communion to ensure a better contribution of CLAR to the life and work of men and women religious in Latin America.

On the 19th of this month, the Secretary of State in a letter, prot. no. 450/91/RS, communicated to this congregation the decisions taken by the Holy Father to this end and which we are forwarding to you as president of CLAR:

“1. In elections for the different offices of the CLAR presidency (elections to take place during the meeting in Mexico City this February), special norms should be adopted, abrogating, for this occasion, the present statutory norms (see addendum).

“2. Participants in the general assembly in Mexico City should accept in a spirit of filial docility toward the Supreme Pontiff, that should be characteristic of all religious, the religious bishop that the Holy Father wishes to appoint as his delegate, whose mission is to accompany CLAR during its general assembly in Mexico and in its future activity.

“The name of the religious bishop will be communicated before the February assembly. At the same time, the faculties granted to said delegate by the Holy Father will be communicated.

“3. The document Tendencias actuales de la vida religiosa en America Latina, recently published and presented as a possible ‘working paper’ for the assembly, should be revised and completed in light of the many documents of the Magisterium on this subject.

“4. Theologians who collaborate in any way with CLAR should have the approval called for by the statutes of CLAR (cf. Art. 29, Sec. 4).

“Publications of CLAR, first of all those of a doctrinal, moral or pastoral nature, should obtain the approval of the local ordinary in conformity

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with the statutes (cf. Art. 6), and, for now, donec aliter provideatur, they shall have to be subject to the approval of the pontifical delegate to CLAR.”

To complete the letter of September 24, 1990, I can assure you that His Excellency Msgr. Francisco Javier Errazuriz, secretary of this congregation, will participate in the upcoming CLAR assembly, representing this congregation.

I trust that all those interested, in a spirit of filial obedience to the Holy Father, will welcome these dispositions that are only intended to ensure a better development of an institution promoted by the Holy See to help Latin American men and women religious live and to work in a deep communion with the vicar of Christ and with the bishops that the Holy Spirit has placed in the governance of the holy Church of God.

I take this opportunity to express my religious esteem in the Lord.

Cardinal Jerome Hamer, prefect

Father Jesus Torres, CMF, undersecretary




Norms for the Elections at the General Assembly of CLAR in Mexico City, February 1991.

Each voter, on only one voting ballot, shall write five names, namely, a name for each of the offices to be filled. After the voting, a list with all the names of all the candidates approved, and who have received the approval of their respective superior or superior general, shall be prepared.

This list shall be sent to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. This congregation, taking the list into account, will be free to appoint afterward the persons it deems best suited for each of the five offices to be filled, namely, president, three vice-presidents, and secretary.

Vatican City, January 19, 1991.




CICLSAL, 19 January 1991, Letter and Norms, Origins 20 (1990-1991): 601, 603.