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In the Catholic Church, a secular institute is an organization of individuals who are consecrated persons (professing the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience) and live in the world, unlike members of a religious institute, who live in community. It is one of the forms of consecrated life recognized in Church law (1983 Code of Canon Law, Canons 710–730).
A secular institute is an institute of consecrated life in which the Christian faithful living in the world strive for the perfection of charity and work for the sanctification of the world especially from within.
Secular institutes first received papal recognition from Pope Pius XII in Provida Mater Ecclesia (1947). Secular institutes are recognized either by a bishop (diocesan right) or by the Holy See. Most are registered in the World Conference of Secular Institutes. There are nine secular institutes in the UK. These institutes belong to the National Conference of Secular Institutes (NCSI). This is an association for co-operation and mutual support of those secular institutes which have membership in the United Kingdom. The NCSI is affiliated to the Conference Mondiale des Instituts Seculiers (CMIS) which represents all secular institutes in the world.
Currently, up to 60,000 members belong to more than 200 secular institutes in the world. Most of the members of secular institutes are lay people. Some join as diocesan priests or deacons, and some institutes are founded specifically for diocesan priests who wish to take vows and lead a consecrated life while still being incardinated in their diocese and working in the diocesan framework. Some secular institutes even train and incardinate their own priests, such as the Schoenstatt Fathers.
The Society of Saint Pius X, also known as the SSPX, or the FSSPX, is an international priestly fraternity founded in 1970 by Marcel Lefebvre, the traditionalist French archbishop who later clashed with the Holy See over the Society.
Angela Merici or Angela de Merici was an Italian religious educator, who is honored as a saint by the Catholic Church. She founded the Company of St. Ursula in 1535 in Brescia, in which women dedicated their lives to the service of the Church through the education of girls. From this organisation later sprang the monastic Order of Ursulines, whose nuns established places of prayer and learning throughout Europe and, later, worldwide, most notably in North America.
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.
The hierarchy of the Catholic Church consists of its bishops, priests, and deacons. In the ecclesiological sense of the term, "hierarchy" strictly means the "holy ordering" of the Church, the Body of Christ, so to respect the diversity of gifts and ministries necessary for genuine unity.
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.
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.
Incardination is the formal term in the Catholic Church for a clergyman being under a bishop or other ecclesiastical superior. It is also sometimes used to refer to laity who may transfer to another part of the church, from say the Western Latin Church to an Eastern Catholic Church or from a territorial diocese to one of the three personal ordinariates for former Anglicans.
Dimissorial letters are testimonial letters given by a bishop or by a competent religious superior to his subjects in order that they may be ordained by another bishop. Such letters testify that the subject has all the qualities demanded by canon law for the reception of the order in question, and request the bishop to whom they are addressed to ordain him.
Precedence signifies the right to enjoy a prerogative of honor before other persons; for example, to have the most distinguished place in a procession, a ceremony, or an assembly, to have the right to express an opinion, cast a vote, or append a signature before others, to perform the most honorable offices.
The canonical situation of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), a group founded in 1970 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, is unresolved.
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".
Provida Mater Ecclesia was an Apostolic Constitution by Pope Pius XII. The constitution recognized Secular Institutes as a new form of official consecration in the Catholic Church.
Primo Feliciter was a motu proprio issued by Pope Pius XII on March 12, 1948.
Cum Sanctissimus was an instruction issued on March 19, 1948, by the Sacred Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes of the Catholic Church. The instruction clarified specific issues with respect to the approving religious institutes.
The Company of St. Ursula, commonly called the Angelines, is an organization of consecrated women in the Catholic Church which was founded in 1535 in Brescia, Italy, by St. Angela Merici, dedicated to the service of God. Soon the education of women and girls and the care of the sick and needy became their primary focus. Their patron saint is Saint Ursula.
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.