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Pope permits Religious Brothers to serve as major superiors

Pope Francis (Photo by Vatican News)

The Vatican amended a section of the Canon Law to allow lay individuals to lead clerical religious orders.

On May 18, Pope Francis made official changes to Canon 588 of the Code of Canon Law's second paragraph, which states that ordained priests direct clerical institutes.

As a result of the canonical reform, now lay religious superiors also have the power to give and take away sacramental powers from priests and deacons who work for them.

However, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL) will "evaluate the individual case and the reasons given by the Supreme Moderator or the General Chapter" before granting written permission for the candidate to be confirmed.

In 2017, the leaders of the Franciscan orders asked for permission to elect brothers to leadership roles, including those with jurisdiction over ordained priests.

This is the third change to canon law that Pope Francis made during his nine-year pontificate. 

The other two are the apostolic constitution on the Roman curia and the revised universal penal code of the Church (Book VI of the Code of Canon Law). - Kasmir Nema 


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Fransiskus Borgias, May 25 2022 - 4:08pm
A great change for sure...