A religious community must live in a legitimately established house under the authority of a superior designated according to the norm of law. Each house is to have at least an oratory in which the Eucharist is to be celebrated and reserved so that it is truly the center of the community.
§1. Houses of a religious institute are erected by the authority competent according to the constitutions, with the previous written consent of the diocesan bishop.
§2. In addition, the permission of the Apostolic See is required to erect a monastery of nuns.
§1. The erection of houses takes place with consideration for their advantage to the Church and the institute and with suitable safeguards for those things which are required to carry out properly the religious life of the members according to the proper purposes and spirit of the institute.
§2. No house is to be erected unless it can be judged prudently that the needs of the members will be provided for suitably.
The consent of the diocesan bishop to erect a religious house of any institute entails the right:
1. to lead a life according to the character and proper purposes of the institute;
2. to exercise the works proper to the institute according to the norm of law and without prejudice to the conditions attached to the consent;
3. for clerical institutes to have a church, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 1215,
§3 and to perform sacred ministries, after the requirements of the law have been observed.
For a religious house to be converted to apostolic works different from those for which it was established, the consent of the diocesan bishop is required, but not if it concerns a change which refers only to internal governance and discipline, without prejudice to the laws of the foundation.
§1. A religious house of canons regular or of monks under the governance and care of its own moderator is autonomous unless the constitutions state otherwise.
§2. The moderator of an autonomous house is a major superior by law.
Monasteries of nuns associated to an institute of men maintain their own way of life and governance according to the constitutions. Mutual rights and obligations are to be defined in such a way that spiritual good can come from the association.
An autonomous monastery which does not have another major superior besides its own moderator and is not associated to another institute of religious in such a way that the superior of the latter possesses true power over such a monastery as determined by the constitutions is entrusted to the special vigilance of the diocesan bishop according to the norm of law.
§1. The supreme moderator can suppress a legitimately erected religious house according to the norm of the constitutions, after the diocesan bishop has been consulted. The proper law of the institute is to make provision for the goods of the suppressed house, without prejudice to the intentions of the founders or donors or to legitimately acquired rights.
§2. The suppression of the only house of an institute belongs to the Holy See, to which the decision regarding the goods in that case is also reserved.
§3. To suppress the autonomous house mentioned in can. 613
belongs to the general chapter, unless the constitutions state otherwise.
§4. To suppress an autonomous monastery of nuns belongs to the Apostolic See, with due regard to the prescripts of the constitutions concerning its goods.
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