Mutuae Relationes 44: A Local Bishop’s Authority

SenanquecloisterThe Church weighs in next on “Requirements of Religious Life.” The second part of Chapter VI–the next eight posts–will take is through these considerations. In today’s post, what Vatican II taught in its document on the ministry of bishops, a direct quote:

44. With regard to the pastoral activities of religious, the Council expressly declares: “All religious, whether exempt or non-exempt, are subject to the authority of the local ordinary in the following matters:

  • public worship, without prejudice, however, to the diversity of rites;
  • the care of souls;
  • preaching to the people;
  • the religious and moral education, catechetical instruction and liturgical formation of the faithful, especially of children.

This makes sense. These are all essentially the responsibility of a bishop. They do not pertain to the internal life of a community, but rather how religious interact with laity and clergy within a diocese.

More of the quote, largely an elaboration on the four points above:

They are also subject to diocesan rules regarding the comportment proper to the clerical state and also the various activities relating to the exercise of their sacred apostolate. Catholic schools conducted by religious are also subject to the local ordinaries as regards their general policy and supervision without prejudice, however, to the right of the religious to manage them. Likewise, religious are obliged to observe all those prescriptions which episcopal councils or conferences legitimately decree as binding on all” (Christus Dominus 35, 4; Ecclesiae Sanctae I, 39).

Thoughts or comments? You can check the full document online here.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in bishops, Mutuae Relationes, women religious. Bookmark the permalink.

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