American-Cassinese Congregation

The Constitutions and the Directory

 

Part II: Dependent Priories

Chapter I: The Establishment of a Dependent Priory and Its Governance

C 102. An autonomous monastery, in accordance with the norms set down in the proper law of the Congregation and with the intention that the foundation may eventually be erected into an abbey, may establish a dependent priory in which the monastic life according to the Rule of Saint Benedict and these Constitutions is lived.

D 102.1. Before a dependent priory may be established, the following conditions must be met:

  1. There must be at least four monks available to lead the common life and to celebrate communally the monastic liturgy of the hours and the Eucharist.
  2. Adequate provision must be made to establish enclosure.
  3. The written consent of the bishop of the diocese in which the foundation is to be made must be obtained.
  4. The monastic chapter of the founding monastery must give its consent.

D 102.2. 1. With the consent of the monastic chapter, the abbot of the founding monastery is to issue a charter for the dependent priory.

D 102.2. 2. The charter is to set forth the principal rights and obligations of the priory (see Appendix 11).

D 102.3. 1. After consultation with the council of seniors, the abbot of the founding monastery is to appoint the prior of the dependent priory, who must be a solemnly professed monk.

D 102.3. 2. Normally the prior is to be a member of the founding monastery. With the written permission of his own abbot, a monk from another monastery of the Congregation may be appointed. If a monk from another Congregation is to be appointed prior, the written consent of the President of the American-Cassinese Congregation as well as the requisite approval of the competent authority of the monk’s own Congregation must be obtained.

D 102.4. By his appointment, the prior of a dependent monastery receives from the abbot of the founding monastery all the jurisdiction that the abbot is capable of delegating to be exercised for the priory; however, particular jurisdiction may be reserved explicitly by the abbot, who remains the ordinary for the monks assigned to or accepted for the dependent priory.

D 102.5. 1. Each dependent priory in which there are at least four capitulars has a quasi-chapter, which is composed of all the capitulars assigned to the priory.

D 102.5. 2. With the consent of the quasi-chapter, the prior may invite other members of the community to participate in the quasi-chapter, but without the right to vote.

D 102.5. 3. Recommendations of the quasi-chapter should not be rejected by the abbot or the monastic chapter without serious reason.

D 102.5. 4. A copy of the minutes of the meetings of the quasi-chapter is to be sent to the abbot of the founding monastery within thirty days of each meeting.

D 102.5. 5. To the extent and in the manner that they are applicable, the provisions of C 25-28 are to be observed.

D 102.6. 1. Each dependent priory in which there are at least eight capitulars is to have a council of seniors; the number of capitulars who are to be members is determined by the quasi-chapter. However, the council must be composed of at least two capitulars, one appointed by the prior and one elected. If the council is larger, for each capitular appointed by the prior, one must also be elected.

D 102.6. 2. To the extent and in the manner that they are applicable, the provisions of C 29-31 are to be observed.

D 102.7. 1. With the consent of the abbot of the founding monastery, the prior is to appoint the necessary officials of the dependent priory.

D 102.7. 2. In those priories that have a council of seniors, the prior must also consult the council before appointing officials.

D 102.7. 3. The procurator must always be a capitular other than the prior (CIC 636).

D 102.8. 1. A monk assigned to a dependent priory retains the rights and obligations of the monastery of his profession until the priory becomes an abbey. He may then transfer his stability to the new abbey or return to the monastery of his profession.

D 102.8. 2. A monk assigned to a dependent priory retains the right of recourse to the abbot of the founding monastery, although in the meantime the command of the prior is not suspended.

D 102.9. 1. Candidates are to be sent to the novitiate of the founding monastery, unless the abbot and monastic chapter of the founding monastery have consented to an alternate arrangement (C 36).

D 102.9. 2. 1. The abbot may delegate to the prior the right to admit candidates to any periods of probation, to the novitiate, to first profession, and to solemn profession.

D 102.9. 2. 2. The monastic chapter may delegate to the quasi-chapter its right to consent to the admission of candidates to any periods of probation, to the novitiate, to first profession, and to solemn profession.

D 102.9. 3. 3. Profession is made for the dependent priory. Upon making solemn profession, a monk of a dependent priory acquires full chapter rights in the founding monastery.

D 102.10. The property of a dependent priory is to be held in a manner consonant with universal and civil law.

D 102.11. Before the priory can become an abbey, the following conditions must be met:

  1. A written statement of their desire to establish or maintain stability in the new abbey must be made by at least twelve solemnly professed monks.
  2. The priory must be financially independent and have reasonable assurance that it will remain so.
  3. The bishop of the diocese in which the priory is established must be consulted.
  4. The consent of the monastic chapter of the founding monastery must be obtained.
  5. Once the conditions have been met and the required consent has been obtained, it is the responsibility of the abbot of the founding monastery to present to the President of the Congregation the petition that a priory be raised to the status of an abbey.
  6. The recommendation of the President, having consulted his council, is presented with the petition to the general chapter.
  7. The approval of the general chapter must be obtained.

D 102.12. The President of the Congregation, acting in the name of the general chapter, is to issue a decree establishing the new abbey. When the decree becomes effective, the stability of those who made the written declaration of intention (D 102.11.1) is by that fact validly transferred to or maintained in the new abbey.

D 102.13. When a new abbey has been established, the election of an abbot is to be held as soon as possible; it must not be postponed beyond three months.

D 102.14. Repayment of money spent by a monastery to establish a dependent priory cannot be demanded, under the title of either justice or charity, unless the monastic chapter of the founding monastery voted to give the money under such a condition, and the quasi-chapter voted to accept it under such a condition.

D 102.15. 1. If the membership of a dependent priory decreases to fewer than four monks and if this condition continues for two years, the house is automatically suppressed by the proper law of the Congregation.

D 102.15. 2. The abbot of the founding monastery may suppress a dependent priory with the consent of the monastic chapter and having consulted the monks living at the priory and the bishop of the diocese in which the priory is located (cf. CIC 616.1).

D 102.16. Should a dependent priory be suppressed, every effort must be made to provide for the persons involved. The stability of the monks who made profession for the dependent priory is automatically fully transferred to the founding monastery. Without prejudice to the intentions of the donors, the property of the dependent priory reverts to the founding monastery (cf. CIC 616.1) unless local laws and customs dictate otherwise.

 

 

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