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» Dismissal of members
§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.
§1. A member must be dismissed for the delicts mentioned in cann. 1397, 1398, and 1395
, unless in the delicts mentioned in can. 1395,
§2, the superior decides that dismissal is not completely necessary and that correction of the member, restitution of justice, and reparation of scandal can be resolved sufficiently in another way.
§2. In these cases, after the proofs regarding the facts and imputability have been collected, the major superior is to make known the accusation and proofs to the member to be dismissed, giving the member the opportunity for self-defense. All the acts, signed by the major superior and a notary, together with the responses of the member, put in writing and signed by that member, are to be transmitted to the supreme moderator.
§1. A member can also be dismissed for other causes provided that they are grave, external, imputable, and juridically proven such as: habitual neglect of the obligations of consecrated life; repeated violations of the sacred bonds; stubborn disobedience to the legitimate prescripts of superiors in a grave matter; grave scandal arising from the culpable behavior of the member; stubborn upholding or diffusion of doctrines condemned by the magisterium of the Church; public adherence to ideologies infected by materialism or atheism; the illegitimate absence mentioned in can. 665,
§2, lasting six months; other causes of similar gravity which the proper law of the institute may determine.
§2. For the dismissal of a member in temporary vows, even causes of lesser gravity established in proper law are sufficient.
In the cases mentioned in can. 696,
if the major superior, after having heard the council, has decided that a process of dismissal must be begun:
1. the major superior is to collect or complete the proofs;
2. the major superior is to warn the member in writing or before two witnesses with an explicit threat of subsequent dismissal unless the member reforms, with the cause for dismissal clearly indicated and full opportunity for self-defense given to the member; if the warning occurs in vain, however, the superior is to proceed to another warning after an intervening space of at least fifteen days;
3. if this warning also occurs in vain and the major superior with the council decides that incorrigibility is sufficiently evident and that the defenses of the member are insufficient, after fifteen days have elapsed from the last warning without effect, the major superior is to transmit to the supreme moderator all the acts, signed personally and by a notary, along with the signed responses of the member.
In all the cases mentioned in can. 695
and696, the right of the member to communicate with and to offer defenses directly to the supreme moderator always remains intact.
§1. The supreme moderator with the council, which must consist of at least four members for validity, is to proceed collegially to the accurate consideration of the proofs, arguments, and defenses; if it has been decided through secret ballot, the supreme moderator is to issue a decree of dismissal with the reasons in law and in fact expressed at least summarily for validity.
§2. In the autonomous monasteries mentioned in can. 615,
it belongs to the diocesan bishop, to whom the superior is to submit the acts examined by the council, to decide on dismissal.
A decree of dismissal does not have effect unless it has been confirmed by the Holy See, to which the decree and all the acts must be transmitted; if it concerns an institute of diocesan right, confirmation belongs to the bishop of the diocese where the house to which the religious has been attached is situated. To be valid, however, the decree must indicate the right which the dismissed possesses to make recourse to the competent authority within ten days from receiving notification. The recourse has suspensive effect.
By legitimate dismissal, vows as well as the rights and obligations deriving from profession cease ipso facto.
Nevertheless, if the member is a cleric, he cannot exercise sacred orders until he finds a bishop who receives him into the diocese after an appropriate probation according to the norm of can. 693
or at least permits him to exercise sacred orders.
§1. Those who depart from a religious institute legitimately or have been dismissed from it legitimately can request nothing from the institute for any work done in it.
§2. Nevertheless, the institute is to observe equity and the charity of the gospel toward a member who is separated from it.
In the case of grave external scandal or of most grave imminent harm to the institute, a member can be expelled immediately from a religious house by the major superior or, if there is danger in delay, by the local superior with the consent of the council. If it is necessary, the major superior is to take care to begin a process of dismissal according to the norm of law or is to refer the matter to the Apostolic See.
In the report referred to in can. 592,
§1, which is to be sent to the Apostolic See, mention is to be made of members who have been separated from the institute in any way.
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