American-Cassinese Congregation

The Constitutions and the Directory

 

Part I: Matters Pertaining to the Individual Monasteries

Chapter I: The Monasteries of the Congregation

C 7. The American-Cassinese Congregation consists of autonomous monasteries of Benedictine monks that are erected within the Congrega­tion or aggregated to it.

D 7.1. Unless it is otherwise stated in the proper law of the Congregation, whatever is set down concerning an abbot or abbey shall also apply to a conventual prior and conventual priory as long as these shall exist within the Congregation.

D 7.2. 1. Abbeys are those monasteries that are canonically erected as such or aggregated to the Congregation by the general chapter.

D 7.2. 2. Conventual priories are those monasteries that at one time were erected as such in the Congregation by the general chapter.

D 7.3. 1. The provisions for canonically erecting an abbey in the Congregation are contained in D 102.11 and D 102.12.

D 7.3. 2. When an autonomous monastery seeks to be aggregated to the Congregation as an abbey, the provisions of D 102.11.1-7 are to be observed to the extent and in the manner that they are applicable.

D 7.4. Whenever the membership of an autonomous monastery declines to six or fewer solemnly professed members, the President is to arrange for a visitation to determine whether the monastery can continue in its independent status.

C 8.1. Each autonomous monastery, as well as the Congregation itself, is a public juridic person according to the norms of universal law.

C 8.2. The Congregation has the right to acquire, possess, administer, and alienate temporal goods. The juridical and administrative autonomy of the monasteries of the Congregation, however, is such that the Congregation bears no liability whatsoever for the debts or actions or omissions or obligations of any member monastery or of any monk of any member monastery.

C 8.3. An autonomous monastery of the Congregation bears no liability whatsoever for the debts or actions or omissions or obligations of any other autonomous member monastery or its dependencies or of any monk of any other member monastery.

C 9. The suppression of an autonomous monastery is reserved to the general chapter or to the President of the Congregation and his council, according to the provisions of the proper law of the Congregation, after consultation with the bishop of the diocese in which the monastery is located (CIC 616.3).

D 9.1. When serious difficulties arise that threaten the continued existence of an autonomous monastery of the Congregation, the President is to work with the superior and community to make reasonable efforts to maintain the existence of the monastery. If the efforts, including the adoption of the monastery as a dependency by another autonomous monastery (cf. C 103; D 103.1-4), prove fruitless, suppression of the house may be necessary.

D 9.2. 1. An autonomous monastery can be suppressed only by the general chapter, with due regard for D 9.2.3.

D 9.2. 2. In serious cases the President, acting collegially with his council, is to make appropriate provisions until the matter can be considered by the next general chapter.

D 9.2. 3. In more urgent cases that cannot be prudently postponed until the next general chapter, the President, acting collegially with his council, may suppress an autonomous monastery whose chapter by a two-thirds majority has requested suppression.

D 9.3. 1. The monks of the monastery in question have the right to be heard by the President before the matter of suppression is brought to the general chapter.

D 9.3. 2. At the general chapter the President is to disclose all the relevant facts of the case to the members of the chapter.

D 9.3. 3. The superior and delegate of the monastery in question have the right to state their views to the members of the general chapter.

D 9.3. 4. During the discussion that follows, the superior and delegate are to absent themselves from the room, but are to return to cast their votes with the other members of the general chapter.

D 9.4. It is the responsibility of the President to make suitable provisions for the monks of the monastery being suppressed, ordinarily by facilitating their transfer to other houses.

D 9.5. The President, with the consent of his council, is to make provision for disposition of the property of the monastery according to the norms of ecclesiastical and civil law, and with due regard for any acquired rights and for equity.

  

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