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Di diritto pontificio is the Italian term for “of pontifical right”. It is given to the ecclesiastical institutions (the religious and secular institutes, societies of apostolic life) either created by the Holy See or approved by it with the formal decree, known by its Latin name, Decretum laudis [“decree of praise”].
The institutions of pontifical right depend immediately and exclusively on the Vatican in the matters of internal governance and discipline.
Until the 19th century the religious communities were divided into two groups: regular orders with solemn vows and congregations of simple vows. Only those taking the solemn vows were valued by the Church and the civil authorities.
In 1215, in the Fourth Lateran Council, Pope Innocent III decreed that no regular orders could be founded without papal approval. The bishops, however, retained the right to form communities whose members lived the religious life without taking formal vows. These groups later took the name of “congregations of simple vows”.
The congregations of simple vows, especially women’s, were increasing dramatically during the 17th and 18th Centuries, and in the early 19th Century, many of them were seeking papal recognition from Rome. in 1816 the Holy See began to approve the congregations with simple vows but they were still not recognized as religious institutions.
In 1854 Giuseppe Andrea Bizzarri, the Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for Consultations about Regulars, created on the behalf of Pope Pius IX a procedure for the approval of congregations of simple vows, which was communicated to the bishops in 1861.
With this new procedure, the distinction was formally made for the creation of an institute, operated by a bishop, and its approval by the Holy See. After its foundation, the institute (i.e., congregation) would have the status "of diocesan right". Under it, it would remain under the protection of the bishops of its diocese, where it was founded, increasing its importance. If the Holy See grants the institute the decretum laudis [decree of approval], the institute would be placed under its direct protection, and the institute would then acquire the status "of pontifical right".
The distinction between the legal status of an institute of diocesan right and an institute of pontifical right was permanently drawn on 8 December 1900 by Conditae a Christo Ecclesiae [Latin, “Founded by the Church of Christ”], the apostolic constitution of Pope Leo XIII.
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.
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.
An indult in Catholic canon law is a permission, or privilege, granted by the competent church authority – the Holy See or the diocesan bishop, as the case may be – for an exception from a particular norm of church law in an individual case, for example, members of the consecrated life seeking to be dispensed from their religious vows, or of priests and deacons who voluntarily seek to return to the lay state. An apostolic indult is needed from the local ordinary for presbyteral or diaconal ordinations done within a year before the normal date; if the ordination is done more than one year in advance of the normal date then a papal apostolic indult from the Holy See is also needed.
The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, (CICLSAL) is the congregation of the Roman Curia with competency over everything which concerns Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, regarding their government, discipline, studies, goods, rights, and privileges.
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.
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."
Ignacia del Espíritu Santo Juco, also known as Mother Ignacia was a Filipino Religious Sister of the Roman Catholic Church.
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.
A canonical visitation is the act of an ecclesiastical superior who in the discharge of his office visits persons or places with a view to maintaining faith and discipline, and of correcting abuses. A person delegated to carry out such a visitation is called a visitor. When, in exceptional circumstances, the Holy See delegates an apostolic visitor "to evaluate an ecclesiastical institute such as a seminary, diocese, or religious institute ... to assist the institute in question to improve the way in which it carries out its function in the life of the Church," this is known as an apostolic visitation.
Ad universalis Ecclesiae is a papal constitution dealing with the conditions for admission to Catholic religious orders of men in which solemn vows were prescribed. It was issued by Pope Pius IX on 7 February 1862.
In the Catholic Church, a bishop is an ordained minister who holds the fullness of the sacrament of holy orders and is responsible for teaching doctrine, governing Catholics in his jurisdiction, sanctifying the world and representing the Church. Catholics trace the origins of the office of bishop to the apostles, who it is believed were endowed with a special charism by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Catholics believe this special charism has been transmitted through an unbroken succession of bishops by the laying on of hands in the sacrament of holy orders.
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".
The Congregation of the Sons of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is a Latin Institute of Consecrated Life for priests in the Catholic Church. The congregation is dedicated to educating the young and strengthening Catholic family life.
In the canon law of the Catholic Church, exclaustration is the official authorization for a member of a religious order bound by perpetual vows to live for a limited time outside their religious institute, usually with a view to discerning whether to depart definitively.
The decretum laudis, Latin for “decree of praise”, is the official measure with which the Holy See grants to institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life the recognition of ecclesiastical institution of pontifical right. When the decree of praise is issued in the form of an apostolic brief, it is just short of the decretum laudis.
A decree is, in a general sense, an order or law made by a superior authority for the direction of others. In the usage of the canon law of the Catholic Church, it has various meanings. Any papal Bull, Brief, or Motu Proprio is a decree inasmuch as these documents are legislative acts of the Pope. In this sense the term is quite ancient. The Roman Congregations were formerly empowered to issue decrees in matters which come under their particular jurisdiction, but were forbidden from continuing to do so under Pope Benedict XV in 1917. Each ecclesiastical province, and also each diocese may issue decrees in their periodical synods within their sphere of authority.
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.