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The People of God » The Christian Faithful » Associations of the Christian Faithful » Private Associations of the Christian Faithful
Canon 321. Christ’s faithful direct and moderate private associations according to the provisions of the statutes.
Canon 322. §1 A private association of Christ’s faithful can acquire juridical personality by a formal decree of the competent ecclesiastical authority mentioned in can. 312.

§2 No private association of Christ’s faithful can acquire juridical personality unless its statutes are approved by the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in can. 312 §1. The
approval of the statutes does not, however, change the private nature of the association.
Canon 323. §1 Although private associations of Christ’s faithful enjoy their own autonomy in accordance with can. 321, they are subject to the supervision of ecclesiastical authority, in accordance with can. 305, and also to the governance of the same authority.

§2 It is also the responsibility of ecclesiastical authority, with due respect for the autonomy of private associations, to oversee and ensure that there is no dissipation of their forces, and that the exercise of their apostolate is directed to the common good.
Canon 324. §1 A private association of Christ’s faithful can freely designate for itself a moderator and officers, in accordance with the statutes.

§2 If a private association of Christ’s faithful wishes to have a spiritual counsellor, it can freely choose one for itself from among the priests who lawfully exercise a ministry in the diocese, but the priest requires the confirmation of the local Ordinary.
Canon 325. §1 A private association of Christ’s faithful is free to administer any goods it possesses, according to the provisions of the statutes, but the competent ecclesiastical authority has the right to ensure that the goods are applied to the purposes of the association.

§2 In accordance with can. 1301, the association is subject to the authority of the local Ordinary in whatever concerns the administration and distribution of goods which are donated or left to it for pious purposes.
Canon 326. §1 A private association of Christ’s faithful is extinguished in accordance with the norms of the statutes. It can also be suppressed by the competent authority if its activity gives rise to grave harm to ecclesiastical teaching or discipline, or is a scandal to the faithful.

§2 The fate of the goods of a private association which ceases to exist is to be determined in accordance with the statutes, without prejudice to acquired rights and to the wishes of donors.

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