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» The apostolate of institutes
The apostolate of all religious consists first of all in the witness of their consecrated life, which they are bound to foster by prayer and penance.
Institutes which are entirely ordered to contemplation always hold a distinguished place in the mystical Body of Christ: for they offer an extraordinary sacrifice of praise to God, illumine the people of God with the richest fruits of holiness, move it by their example, and extend it with hidden apostolic fruitfulness. For this reason, members of these institutes cannot be summoned to furnish assistance in the various pastoral ministries however much the need of the active apostolate urges it.
§1. Apostolic action belongs to the very nature of institutes dedicated to works of the apostolate.
Accordingly, the whole life of the members is to be imbued with an apostolic spirit; indeed the whole apostolic action is to be informed by a religious spirit.
§2. Apostolic action is to proceed always from an intimate union with God and is to confirm and foster this union.
§3. Apostolic action, to be exercised in the name and by the mandate of the Church, is to be carried out in the communion of the Church.
Lay institutes, whether of men or of women, participate in the pastoral function of the Church through spiritual and corporal works of mercy and offer the most diverse services to people. Therefore, they are to persevere faithfully in the grace of their vocation.
§1. Superiors and members are to retain faithfully the mission and works proper to the institute.
Nevertheless, attentive to the necessities of times and places, they are to accommodate them prudently, even employing new and opportune means.
§2. Moreover, if they have associations of the Christian faithful joined to them, institutes are to assist them with special care so that they are imbued with the genuine spirit of their family.
§1. Religious are subject to the power of bishops whom they are bound to follow with devoted submission and reverence in those matters which regard the care of souls, the public exercise of divine worship, and other works of the apostolate.
§2. In exercising an external apostolate, religious are also subject to their proper superiors and must remain faithful to the discipline of the institute. The bishops themselves are not to fail to urge this obligation if the case warrants it.
§3. In organizing the works of the apostolate of religious, diocesan bishops and religious superiors must proceed through mutual consultation.
When a most grave cause demands it, a diocesan bishop can prohibit a member of a religious institute from residing in the diocese if his or her major superior, after having been informed, has neglected to make provision; moreover, the matter is to be referred immediately to the Holy See.
Among the various institutes and also between them and the secular clergy, there is to be fostered an ordered cooperation and a coordination under the direction of the diocesan bishop of all the works and apostolic activities, without prejudice to the character and purpose of individual institutes and the laws of the foundation.
§1. Works which a diocesan bishop entrusts to religious are subject to the authority and direction of the same bishop, without prejudice to the right of religious superiors according to the norm of cann. 678, §§2 and 3
§2. In these cases, the diocesan bishop and the competent superior of the institute are to draw up a written agreement which, among other things, is to define expressly and accurately those things which pertain to the work to be accomplished, the members to be devoted to it, and economic matters.
§1. If it concerns conferring an ecclesiastical office in a diocese upon some religious, the diocesan bishop appoints the religious, with the competent superior making the presentation, or at least assenting to the appointment.
§2. A religious can be removed from the office entrusted to him or her at the discretion either of the entrusting authority after having informed the religious superior or of the superior after having informed the one entrusting; neither requires the consent of the other.
§1. At the time of pastoral visitation and also in the case of necessity, the diocesan bishop, either personally or through another, can visit churches and oratories which the Christian faithful habitually attend, schools, and other works of religion or charity, whether spiritual or temporal, entrusted to religious, but not schools which are open exclusively to the institute’s own students.
§2. If by chance he has discovered abuses and the religious superior has been warned in vain, he himself can make provision on his own authority.
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