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The People of God » Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life » Institutes of Consecrated Life » Religious Institutes » Separation of members from the institute » Transfer to another institute
Canon 684. §1 Perpetually professed members cannot transfer from their own religious institute to another, except by permission of the supreme Moderators of both institutes, given with the consent of their respective councils.

§2 On completion of a probationary period of at least three years, the member can be admitted to perpetual profession in the new institute. A member who refuses to make this profession, or is not admitted to do so by the competent Superiors, is to return to the original institute, unless an indult of secularisation has been obtained.

§3 For a religious to transfer from one autonomous monastery to another monastery of the same institute, federation or confederation, the consent of the major Superior of both monasteries and of the chapter of the receiving monastery is required and is sufficient, unless the institute’s own law has established further conditions. A new profession is not required.
[NB see Authentic Interpretation of canon 684 §3, 20.VI.1987]

§4 The institute’s own law is to determine the time and manner of the probation which must precede the member’s profession in the new institute.

§5 To transfer to a secular institute or to a society of apostolic life, or to transfer from these to a religious institute, the permission of the Holy See is required and its instructions are to be followed.
Canon 685. §1 Until profession is made in the new institute, the rights and obligations of the member in the previous institute are suspended, but the vows remain. From the beginning of probation, the member is bound to observe the laws of the new institute.

§2 By profession in the new institute the member is incorporated into it, and the earlier vows, rights and obligations cease.
The People of God » Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life » Institutes of Consecrated Life » Religious Institutes » Separation of members from the institute » Departure from an institute
Canon 686. §1 With the consent of the council, the supreme moderator for a grave cause can grant an indult of exclaustration to a member professed by perpetual vows, but not for more than five years, and if it concerns a cleric, with the prior consent of the ordinary of the place in which he must reside. To extend an indult or to grant it for more than five years is reserved to the Holy See, or to the diocesan bishop if it concerns institutes of diocesan right.
[revised wording according to m.p. Competentias quasdam decernere, 11.II.2022]

§2 Only the Apostolic See can grant an indult of exclaustration for cloistered nuns.

NB Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated life and Societies of Apostolic Life,
Instruction Cor Orans, 1 April 2018:

130. In exemption of can. 686, §2 CJC, the Federal Council gives its consent for the request of the indult of exclaustration for a nun of solemn vows, after the year granted by the Major Superior of the monastery, up to the completion of three years.
[Exemption approved by the Holy Father in a specific form.]

131. The Federal Council gives its consent for the request for the extension of the indult of exclaustration for a nun of solemn vows, to be requested from the Holy See.

[Exemption approved by the Holy Father in a specific form.]

177. In derogation of can. 686, §2 CJC, the Major Superior, with the consent of her
Council, can grant the indult of exclaustration to a nun professed with solemn vows, for not more than a year, after the consent of the Ordinary of the place where the nun will have to live, and after having heard the opinion of the diocesan Bishop or of the competent religious Ordinary.
[Exemption approved by the Holy Father in a specific form.]

178. In derogation of can. 686, §2 CJC, an extension of the indult of exclaustration can be granted by the Federal President with the consent of her Council, for a nun professed with solemn vows of a monastery of the Federation for a period of no more than two years.
[Exemption approved by the Holy Father in a specific form.]

§3 At the request of the supreme Moderator acting with the consent of his or her council, exclaustration can be imposed by the Holy See on a member of an institute of pontifical right, or by a diocesan Bishop on a member of an institute of diocesan right. In either case a grave reason is required, and equity and charity are to be observed.
Canon 687. Members who are exclaustrated are considered as dispensed from those obligations which are incompatible with their new condition of life. They remain dependent on and under the care of their Superiors and, particularly in the case of a cleric, of the local Ordinary. They may wear the religious habit, unless the indult specifies otherwise, but they lack active and passive voice.
Canon 688. §1 A person who, on completion of the time of temporary profession, wishes to leave the institute, is free to do so.

§2 During the time of temporary profession, a person who asks to leave the institute for a grave cause can obtain an indult of departure from the supreme moderator with the consent of his or her council; in the case of an autonomous monastery, mentioned in can. 615, however, the bishop of the house of assignment must confirm the indult for it to be valid.
[revised wording according to m.p. Competentias quasdam decernere, 11.II.2022]
Canon 689. §1 The competent major Superior, after consulting his or council, can for just reasons exclude a member from making further profession on the completion of temporary profession.

§2 Even though contracted after profession, a physical or psychological infirmity which, in the judgement of experts, renders the member mentioned in §1 unsuited to lead a life in the institute, constitutes a reason for not admitting the member to renewal of profession or to perpetual profession, unless the infirmity was contracted through the negligence of the institute or because of work performed in the institute.

§3 A religious who becomes insane during the period of temporary vows cannot be dismissed from the institute, even though unable to make a new profession.
Canon 690. §1 A person who lawfully leaves the institute after completing the novitiate or after profession, can be re-admitted by the supreme Moderator, with the consent of his or her council, without the obligation of repeating the novitiate. The same
Moderator is to determine an appropriate probation prior to temporary profession, and the length of time in vows before making perpetual profession, in accordance with the norms of cann. 655 and 657.

§2 The Superior of an autonomous monastery, acting with the consent of his or her council, has the same faculty.
Canon 691. §1 A perpetually professed religious is not to seek an indult to leave the institute, except for very grave reasons, weighed before the Lord. The petition is to be presented to the supreme Moderator of the institute, who will forward it to the competent authority with his or her own opinion and that of the council.

§2 In institutes of pontifical right this indult is reserved to the Apostolic See. In institutes of diocesan right the indult can be granted by the Bishop in whose diocese is located the house to which the religious is assigned.
Canon 692. An indult to leave the institute, which is lawfully granted and notified to the member, by virtue of the law itself carries with it, unless it has been rejected by the member in the act of notification, a dispensation from the vows and from all obligations arising from profession.
Canon 693. If the member is a cleric, the indult is not granted until he has found a
Bishop who will incardinate him in his diocese or at least receive him there on probation. If he is received on probation, he is by virtue of the law itself incardinated in the diocese after five years, unless the Bishop has rejected him.
The People of God » Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life » Institutes of Consecrated Life » Religious Institutes » Separation of members from the institute » Dismissal of members
Canon 694. §1 A religious must be held as dismissed ipso facto from an institute who:

1° has defected notoriously from the Catholic faith;

2° has contracted marriage or attempted it, even only civilly;

3° has been illegitimately absent from the religious house, pursuant to can. 665 §2, for 12 consecutive months, taking into account that the location of the religious himself or herself may be unknown.

§2 In such cases the Major Superior, with his or her council and without hesitation, having gathered the evidence, must issue the statement of the case so that the dismissal may be juridically constituted.

§3 In the case envisaged by §1 n. 3, in order to be juridically constituted, this statement must be confirmed by the Holy See; for institutes of diocesan right the confirmation rests with the Bishop of the principal See.
[revised wording according to m.p. Communis vita, 19.III.2019]
Canon 695. §1 A member must be dismissed for the offences mentioned in can. 1395,
1397, and 1398, unless, for the offences mentioned in can. 1395 §§2-3 and 1398 §1, the Superior judges that dismissal is not absolutely necessary; and that sufficient provision can be made in some other way for the amendment of the member, the restoration of justice and the reparation of scandal.
[revised wording according to m.p. Recognitum Librum VI, 26.IV.2022]

§2 In these cases the major Superior is to collect the evidence concerning the facts and the imputability of the offence. The accusation and the evidence are then to be presented to the member, who shall be given the opportunity for defence. All the acts, signed by the major Superior and the notary, are to be forwarded, together with the written and signed replies of the member, to the supreme Moderator.
Canon 696. §1 A member can be dismissed for other causes, provided they are grave, external, imputable and juridically proven. Among such causes are: habitual neglect of the obligations of consecrated life; repeated violations of the sacred bonds; obstinate disobedience to the lawful orders of Superiors in grave matters; grave scandal arising from the culpable behaviour of the member; obstinate attachment to, or diffusion of, teachings condemned by the magisterium of the Church; public adherence to materialistic or atheistic ideologies; the unlawful absence mentioned in can. 665 §2, if it extends for a period of six months; other reasons of similar gravity which are perhaps defined in the institute’s own law.

§2 A member in temporary vows can be dismissed even for less grave reasons determined in the institute’s own law.
Canon 697. §1 In the cases mentioned in can. 696, if the major Superior, after consulting his or her council, judges that the process of dismissal should be commenced:

1° the major Superior is to collect or complete the evidence;

2° the major Superior is to warn the member in writing, or before two witnesses, with an explicit caution that dismissal will follow unless the member reforms. The reasons for dismissal are to be clearly expressed and the member is to be given every opportunity for defence. If the warning has no effect, another warning is to be given after an interval of at least fifteen days;

3° if this latter warning is also ineffectual, and the major Superior with his or her council judges that there is sufficient proof of incorrigibility, and that the defence by the member is insufficient, after fifteen days from the last warning have passed in vain all the acts, signed by the major Superior and the notary, are to be forwarded, together with the signed replies of the member, to the supreme Moderator.
Canon 698. In all the cases mentioned in cann. 695 and 696, the member always retains the right to communicate with, and send replies directly to, the supreme Moderator.
Canon 699. §1 The supreme Moderator and his or her council are to proceed in collegial fashion in accurately weighing the evidence, the arguments, and the defence. For validity, the council must comprise at least four members. If by a secret vote it is decided to dismiss the religious, a decree of dismissal is to be drawn up, which for validity must express at least in summary form the reasons in law and in fact.

§2 In the autonomous monasteries mentioned in can. 615, it belongs to the major superior, with the consent of his or her council, to decide on dismissa.
[revised wording according to m.p. Competentias quasdam decernere, 11.II.2022]
Canon 700. A decree of dismissal issued in the case of a professed member takes effect from the time that it is communicated to the member concerned. To be valid, however, the decree must indicate the right which the dismissed possesses to make recourse to the competent authority within thirty days from receiving notification. The recourse has suspensive effect.
[revised wording according to m.p. Competentias quasdam decernere, 11.II.2022]
[see Authentic Interpretation of canon 700, 17.V.1986]
Canon 701. By lawful dismissal, both the vows and the rights and duties deriving from profession automatically cease. If the member is a cleric, he may not exercise sacred orders until he finds a Bishop who will, after a suitable probation, receive him into his diocese in accordance with can. 693, or who will at least allow him to exercise his sacred orders.
Canon 702. §1 Whoever lawfully leaves a religious institute or is lawfully dismissed from one, cannot claim anything from the institute for any work done in it.

§2 The institute, however, is to show equity and evangelical charity towards the member who is separated from it.
Canon 703. §1 In a case of grave external scandal, or of extremely grave and imminent harm to the institute, a member can be expelled forthwith from the house by the major Superior. If there is danger in delay, this can be done by the local Superior with the consent of his or her council. The major Superior, if need be, is to introduce a process of dismissal in accordance with the norms of law, or refer the matter to the
Apostolic See.
Canon 704. In the report to be sent to the Apostolic See in accordance with can. 592,
§1, mention is to be made of members who have been separated in any way from the institute.

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