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The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, (CICLSAL) (Latin : Congregatio pro Institutis Vitae Consecratae et Societatibus Vitae Apostolicae) is the congregation of the Roman Curia with competency over everything which concerns Institutes of Consecrated Life (orders and religious congregations, both of men and of women, as well as secular institutes) and Societies of Apostolic Life, regarding their government, discipline, studies, goods, rights, and privileges.
On May 27, 1586, Pope Sixtus V founded the Sacred Congregation for Consultations about Regulars. In 1908 Pope Pius X changed its name to the Congregation for Religious. In 1967 Pope Paul VI changed its name to the Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes. Pope John Paul II gave the Congregation its current name.
The Congregation is responsible for everything which concerns religious orders and congregations, and societies of apostolic life regarding their government, discipline, studies, etc. It is competent also for matters regarding hermits, consecrated virgins, and new forms of consecrated life. It has no territorial limits, although certain questions may be remanded to other Vatican Congregations. The Congregation also handles matters concerning associations of the faithful formed with the intention of becoming institutes of consecrated life or societies of apostolic life, and for Third Orders Seculars.
In 1994, the Congregation noted,
"In some places it seems that religious community has lost its relevance in the eyes of women and men religious and is perhaps no longer an ideal to be pursued. ...In many countries, increased state programs in areas in which religious have traditionally been active—such as social service, education and health—together with the decrease in vocations, have resulted in a diminished presence of religious in works which used to be typically those of apostolic institutes. ...it is necessary to have religious communities with a clear charismatic identity, assimilated and lived, capable of transmitting them to others and disposed to share them, religious communities with an intense spirituality and missionary enthusiasm for communicating the same spirit and the same evangelizing thrust; religious communities who know how to animate and encourage lay people to share the charism of their institute, according to their secular character and according to their different style of life, inviting them to discover new ways of making the same charism and mission operative."
On the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, November 21, 2014 Pope Francis declared a "Year of Consecrated Life" to begin on November 30, 2014, the First Sunday of Advent and continue to the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, February 2, 2016. The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life planned a number of initiatives to facilitate encounters between members of different expressions of consecrated and fraternal life in the various Churches.
Pope Francis addressed the Congregation in January 2017 on the theme of "Fidelity and perseverance" saying, "it is clear that one must first let oneself be evangelised in order to engage in evangelisation."
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Institutes of consecrated life are canonically erected institutes in the Roman Catholic Church whose members profess the evangelical counsels by vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience.There are two types:
Religious institutes are characterized by the public profession of vows, communal life, and a degree of separation from the world.
Some Institutes are called Orders. These are Institutes in which, for historical reasons or because of their character or nature, solemn vows are made by at least some of the members. All members of these orders are called regulars (because they are governed by a Rule (i.e. regula)), and if they are women they are called nuns ("moniales"). The orders are older than the congregations.
Other religious institutes are called congregations. Their members make simple vows; women are called sisters.
Secular Institutes is an organization of consecrated individuals who, unlike members of a religious institute who live in community, live in the world, and work for the sanctification of the world from within.
Institutes may also be classified as a "clerical" or "lay institute" depending on whether the members exercise Holy Orders.(can. 588.2, and (can. 588.3).
A society of apostolic life is a group of men or women within the Catholic Church who have come together for a specific purpose and live fraternally.
Both Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life need the written approval of a bishop to operate within his diocese, although a diocesan bishop can establish an institute of consecrated life or society in his own territory, after consulting the Apostolic See.
The current Prefect is Cardinal João Braz de Aviz. The current Secretary is Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, O.F.M. The two Undersecretaries of the Congregation have been Father Pier Luigi Nava, S.S.M. since 27 November 2018and Sister Carmen Ros Nortes, a member of the Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation, since 23 February 2018.
On 8 July 2019, in naming 21 new members to the Congregation, Pope Francis included women for the first time. all seven of them were superiors of their orders: Six are leaders of international religious orders, and one leads an institute of consecrated laywomen:Kathleen Appler, Yvonne Reungoat, Françoise Massy, Luigia Coccia, Simona Brambilla, Rita Calvo Sanz and Olga Krizova. Catherine Clifford, of Saint Paul University in Ottawa, said "The recent move of Pope Francis represents a new and significant development in that it would give women a deliberative voice in the governing body of the congregation, which until now has been the domain of cardinals, bishops, and the heads of men's religious orders."
The Roman Curia comprises the administrative institutions of the Holy See and the central body through which the affairs of the Catholic Church are conducted. It acts in the Pope's name and with his authority for the good and for the service of the particular churches and provides the central organization for the church to advance its objectives.
A nun is a member of a religious community of women, typically living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in the enclosure of a monastery. Communities of nuns exist in numerous religious traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Jainism, and Taoism.
In the Catholic Church, a religious order is a type of religious community characterised by its members professing solemn vows. According to the 1983 Code of Canon Law, they are classed as a type of religious institute.
In Catholic canon law, a solemn vow is a vow that the Church has recognized as such.
Religious vows are the public vows made by the members of religious communities pertaining to their conduct, practices, and views.
The Congregation for the Clergy is the congregation of the Roman Curia responsible for overseeing matters regarding priests and deacons not belonging to religious orders. The Congregation for the Clergy handles requests for dispensation from active priestly ministry, as well as the legislation governing presbyteral councils and other organisations of priests around the world. The Congregation does not deal with clerical sexual abuse cases, as those are handled exclusively by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The term "Third Order" signifies, in general, lay members of religious orders, who do not necessarily live in community and yet can claim to wear the habit and participate in the good works of some great order. Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, and Lutheranism all recognize Third Orders. They were a twelfth-century adaptation of the medieval monastic confraternities.
In the Catholic Church, a consecrated virgin is a woman which has been consecrated by the church to a life of perpetual virginity as a spouse of Christ. Consecrated virgins are consecrated by the diocesan bishop according to the approved liturgical rite. The consecrated virgins are to spend their time in works of penance and mercy, in apostolic activity and in prayer, according to their state of life and spiritual gifts.
A religious is, in the terminology of many Western Christian denominations, such as the Catholic Church, Lutheran Churches, and Anglican Communion, what in common language one would call a "monk" or "nun", as opposed to an ordained "priest". A religious may also be a priest if he has undergone ordination, but in general he is not.
Consecrated life is a state of life in the Catholic Church lived by believers who wish to follow Jesus Christ in a more exacting way. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it "is characterized by the public profession of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience, in a stable state of life recognized by the Church". The Code of Canon Law defines it as "a stable form of living by which the faithful, following Christ more closely under the action of the Holy Spirit, are totally dedicated to God who is loved most of all, so that, having been dedicated by a new and special title to his honour, to the building up of the Church, and to the salvation of the world, they strive for the perfection of charity in the service of the kingdom of God and, having been made an outstanding sign in the Church, foretell the heavenly glory."
A society of apostolic life is a group of men or women within the Catholic Church who have come together for a specific purpose and live fraternally. There are a number of apostolic societies, such as the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, who make vows or other bonds defined in their constitutions to undertake to live the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. However, unlike members of an institute of consecrated life, members of apostolic societies do not make religious vows—that is, "public vows."
An institute of consecrated life is an association of faithful in the Catholic Church erected by canon law whose members profess the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience by vows or other sacred bonds. They are defined in the Code of Canon Law under canons 573–730.
A religious congregation is a type of religious institute in the Catholic Church. They are legally distinguished from religious orders — the other major type of religious institute — in that members take simple vows, whereas members of religious orders take solemn vows.
The Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal is a religious institute in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. It follows the Capuchin Franciscan tradition. Originally formed as a mendicant congregation in the Archdiocese of New York, it has been recognized as a religious institute of pontifical right under the governance of the Holy See since 2016.
A religious brother is a member of a Christian religious institute or religious order who commits himself to following Christ in consecrated life of the Church, usually by the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. He is a layman, in the sense of not being ordained as a deacon or priest, and usually lives in a religious community and works in a ministry appropriate to his capabilities. A brother might practice any secular occupation. The term "brother" is used as he is expected to be as a brother to others. Brothers are members of a variety of religious communities, which may be contemplative, monastic, or apostolic in character. Some religious institutes are composed only of brothers; others are so-called "mixed" communities that are made up of brothers and clerics.
This is a glossary of terms used within the Catholic Church.
A religious institute is a type of institute of consecrated life in the Catholic Church where its members take religious vows and lead a life in community with fellow members. Religious institutes are one of the two types of institutes of consecrated life; the other is that of the secular institute, where its members are "living in the world".
João Braz de Aviz is a prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He has served as the prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on 4 January 2011.
Di diritto pontificio is the Italian term for “of pontifical right”. It is given to the ecclesiastical institutions either created by the Holy See or approved by it with the formal decree, known by its Latin name, Decretum laudis [“decree of praise”].
A religious sister in the Catholic Church is a woman who has taken public vows in a religious institute dedicated to apostolic works, as distinguished from a nun who lives a cloistered monastic life dedicated to prayer. Both nuns and sisters use the term "sister" as a form of address.