VATICAN CITY – Diocesan bishops must consult with the Vatican before establishing a diocesan religious order, Pope Francis ruled.
The consultation “is to be understood as necessary for the validity of the erection of a diocesan institute of consecrated life,” said the rescript or ruling approved by Pope Francis April 4 and published by the Vatican May 20, Catholic News Service reported.
The English translation of the Code of Canon Law states: “Diocesan bishops, each in his own territory, can erect institutes of consecrated life by formal decree, provided that the Apostolic See has been consulted.”
However, some bishops and canon lawyers had argued the consultation was advised, not required, and that a lack of consultation did not make the order’s establishment invalid.
The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life said in a statement that the consultation is necessary because “every new institute of consecrated life, even if it comes into the light and develops within a particular church, is a gift given to the entire church.” – ucanews.com