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The People of God » Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life » Institutes of Consecrated Life » Norms Common to All Institutes of Consecrated Life
Canon 588. §1. By its very nature, the state of consecrated life is neither clerical nor lay.

§2. That institute is called clerical which, by reason of the purpose or design intended by the founder or by virtue of legitimate tradition, is under the direction of clerics, assumes the exercise of sacred orders, and is recognized as such by the authority of the Church.

§3. That institute is called lay which, recognized as such by the authority of the Church, has by virtue of its nature, character, and purpose a proper function defined by the founder or by legitimate tradition, which does not include the exercise of sacred orders.
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