American-Cassinese Congregation

The Constitutions and the Directory

 

Part I: Matters Pertaining to the Individual Monasteries

Chapter V: Departure from the Monastery

Article 2: Departure from the Monastery

C 91. The abbot, with the consent of the council of seniors, may, for a grave reason, grant an indult of exclaustration for not more than three years to a solemnly professed monk of his own monastery according to the prescriptions of CIC 686.1. The procedures and consequences established in the proper law of the Congregation are to be observed.

D 91. The following procedure is to be observed:

  1. The monk must request the indult of exclaustration in writing, indicating the reason for the request and the length of time for which he is seeking exclaustration.
  2. The abbot is to present the request to the council of seniors for their consideration.
  3. The council is to vote on the request by secret ballot.
  4. With the consent of the council and, if the monk is a cleric, with the prior consent of the local ordinary where the monk is to reside, the abbot may then issue the indult of exclaustration (see Appendix 7). The indult must include the following:
  1. the name of the person for whom it is granted;
  2. at least a summary of the reason(s) for which it is granted;
  3. he length of time for which it is granted;
  4. that, in accordance with CIC 687, the monk is free from obligations that are incompatible with his new condition of life and that at the same time he remains dependent on and subject to the care of the abbot and the local ordinary, especially if he is a cleric;
  5. whether or not the monk is permitted to wear the monastic habit during the time of exclaustration;
  6. that the monk lacks active and passive voice in the monastic chapter during the period of exclaustration;
  7. a disclaimer stating that the monastery is not liable for any debts or actions or omissions or obligations whatsoever incurred by the monk;
  8. the terms of any financial agreements that may be necessary.
  1. The abbot is to sign and date the indult.
  2. The indult of exclaustration takes effect upon presentation to the monk who requested it.
  3. A statement that the indult has been received is to be signed by the monk.
  4. An authenticated copy of the indult and the statement of receipt is to be kept in the monastery archives.

C 92. If a monk does not return to the monastery at the end of a period of exclaustration or other lawful absence, or if a monk is unlawfully absent from the monastery, the monastery is not liable for any debts or actions or omissions or obligations whatsoever incurred by the monk (cf. CIC 665.2).

D 92.1. Prior to the expiration of an indult of exclaustration, the abbot is to notify the exclaustrated monk that the period of exclaustration is nearing an end and that the monk must either return to the monastery or make other provisions in accordance with universal law and the proper law of the Congregation. He is to remind the monk of the provisions of C 92.

D 92.2. 1. If a monk is unlawfully absent from the monastery, the abbot is to make every reasonable effort to assist the return of the monk.

D 92.2. 2. The abbot, after consulting the council of seniors, may make a written declaration stating that the monk is unlawfully absent and, for the sake of civil law, that the provisions of C 92 apply to the monk in question (see Appendix 8).

D 92.2. 3. If contacting the monk is possible, the abbot is to inform the monk of this action, request a response from the monk within ten days, and encourage his immediate return to the monastery.

D 92.2. 4. If the monk fails to respond or if the nature of the case is such that it can be established that the monk has no intention of returning to the monastery, the abbot, with the consent of the council of seniors, may inform the monk that if he does not return to the monastery within ten more days a formal process of dismissal will be initiated.

D 92.3. The abbot may initiate a process of dismissal for a monk who has been unlawfully absent for six months after the declaration referred to in D 92.2.2 (cf. CIC 696.1, 697).

C 93. For grave reasons the abbot, with the consent of the council of seniors, may initiate a petition through the President of the Congregation that exclaustration be imposed by the Apostolic See on a monk of his own monastery or of a monastery dependent on his own. The procedures established in the proper law of the Congregation are to be observed (CIC 686.3).

D 93. The following procedure is to be observed:

  1. The abbot is to collect or complete proofs of the gravity of the reason for the petition.
  2. After having received the consent of his council, the abbot is to notify the monk in writing or before two witnesses that the petition for imposed exclaustration is being initiated and clearly indicate the reasons for it. The monk is to be given full opportunity for self-defense.
  3. If, after ten days, the abbot and the council consider that the reasons for initiating the petition remain and that the defense of the monk is insufficient, the abbot is to transmit to the President of the Congregation the petition to impose exclaustration and all the acts of the procedure, signed by the abbot and two witnesses. Any written response by the monk is also to be transmitted to the President.
  4. The petition is to contain the reasons for which the petition is made, the length of time for which the imposed exclaustration is being requested, and the terms of any financial agreements that may be necessary. If the monk is a cleric, the written consent of the ordinary of the place where he is to reside is also to be included as part of the acts.
  5. The monk is to be notified in writing or before two witnesses that the petition has been forwarded to the President of the Congregation. He is also to be informed of his right of recourse to the President.
  6. If, after fifteen days, the President and his council consider that the reasons for the petition remain and that the defense of the monk is insufficient, the President, with the consent of his council, may petition the Apostolic See to impose exclaustration on the monk.
  7. The President is to notify the abbot and the monk that the petition has been made to the Apostolic See.
  8. When the response of the Apostolic See has been received, the President is to notify the abbot of the provisions of the response. It is the responsibility of the abbot to communicate the response as soon as possible to the monk.

C 94.1. A monk in temporary vows may leave the monastery when the time for which he made his profession expires (CIC 688.1).

C 94.2. During the period of temporary profession a monk who asks to leave the monastery for a grave reason may be granted an indult to leave by the abbot, with the consent of the council of seniors (cf. CIC 688.2; see Appendix 9).

C 95. A monk in solemn vows is not to seek an indult to leave the monastery without very grave reasons weighed before the Lord. His petition, including the reasons for requesting the indult, is to be presented to the abbot of his own monastery, who is to observe procedures established in the proper law of the Congregation (CIC 691).

D 95. The abbot is to observe the following procedure:

  1. Within thirty days after receiving the petition, the abbot is to convoke the council of seniors to consider the matter.
  2. The abbot is to ask the members of the council to express by secret ballot their opinion regarding the petition.
  3. The abbot is to transmit to the President of the Congregation the petition of the monk, the opinion of the council of seniors, and the abbot’s own opinion. If the monk is a cleric, a written statement from the bishop of the diocese who may incardinate the monk in accordance with CIC 693 must also be included.
  4. The President of the Congregation is to review the case. If he finds the material satisfactory, he is to transmit it, with notice of his approval, to the Apostolic See.
  5. The monk who made the petition is to be kept informed of the progress of his petition.
  6. The monk may have recourse to the President of the Congregation and his council if action on his petition is unduly delayed or if his petition is not supported by the abbot or the council of seniors.
  7. When the response of the Apostolic See has been received by the President, it is to be transmitted to the abbot, who, mindful of the provisions of CIC 692, is to present it to the monk.

C 96. A monk who, after completing the novitiate or after profession in any monastery of the American-Cassinese Congregation, has left the monastery legitimately can be readmitted to any monastery of the Congregation by the abbot of the monastery to which he wishes to be admitted, with the consent of the monastic chapter of that monastery, without having to repeat the novitiate. After consulting the council of seniors, the abbot is to determine the nature and length of the probation before the profession of temporary vows, and the time to be spent in temporary vows before solemn profession. These determinations must be in accord with CIC 655 and 657 as well as the proper law of the Congregation (CIC 690.2).

D 96 1. The consent of the monastic chapter is required for the monk to be admitted to the probationary period and to make temporary and solemn profession. If the monk is admitted to the probationary period, he does not have to make a new novitiate.

D 96 2. The monk must be in temporary vows at least three years before making solemn profession.

 

 

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