American-Cassinese Congregation

The Constitutions and the Directory


Part III: Matters Pertaining to the Congregation

Chapter I: The Government of the Congregation and Its Officials

Article 3: The Council of the President

C 121. The President is to have a council to aid him in the government of the Congregation. The President is to consult, seek the consent of, or act collegially with his council in accordance with the norms of universal law and the proper law of the Congregation (CIC 627.1).

C 122. The council of the President consists of four elected members and the executive secretary of the Congregation. Of the elected members, at the time of the election two must be abbots with jurisdiction and two must be capitulars of a monastery of the Congregation.

C 123. The first four members of the council are elected by the general chapter for a term of three years.

D 123.1. 1. To provide a list of candidates each capitular of the general chapter may name one abbot and one monk by secret ballot.

D 123.1. 2. After the election ballots, another ballot is taken to rank the elected councillors in seniority.

D 123.2. The appointment and ranking of the executive secretary of the Congregation are provided for in C 119.2 and C 119.3.

D 123.3. If any elected member of the council of the President dies, resigns, or becomes impeded from exercising his office, the President, with the consent of the remaining members of the council, may appoint another to fill out the term until the next general chapter. However, the council must never consist of fewer than four members.

C 124. The council of the President must meet at least once a year to discuss matters pertaining to the Congregation. The President may convoke the council more frequently when he deems it necessary. An extraordinary meeting of the council must be called by the President whenever three members of the council request it.

D 124. Regarding individual matters that cannot be prudently postponed until a meeting, the President may seek the consent of his council by conference call; he may consult his council by letter, telephone, or other private means of communication.

C 125.1. Between general chapters the President and his council, acting collegially, possess the authority of the general chapter to make decisions on matters for which the proper law of the Congregation has not provided. Such a decision shall be valid only until the next general chapter.

C 125.2. When the general chapter is not in session, the President has the power to decide any doubts or difficulties that may arise concerning the meaning and application of any particular prescription of the proper law of the Congregation. Such a decision, however, shall not have the force of a general law, but shall be valid only for the case that provoked it.

D 125.1. It is the responsibility of the council:

    1. To serve as a steering committee during the general chapter;
    2. To review the reports of the visitations that are sent to the President;
    3. To assist the President whenever specific directives given by visitators are not carried out;
    4. To review each year the annual audit report of the individual monasteries.

D 125.2. The consent of the council is required for the President to act in all instances specified by universal law or by the proper law of the Congregation, among which are the following:

    1. To remove an abbot from office;
    2. To decide if a special visitation of a monastery is required;
    3. To impose a mandate recommended by visitators;
    4. To decide, in urgent cases, if a monastery faced with financial difficulties may spend money over and above ordinary expenses;
    5. To grant a dispensation from the proper law of the Congregation;
    6. To decide on petitions for imposed exclaustration;
    7. To establish fees applicable to activities of the Congregation;
    8. To appoint a body to arbitrate matters submitted to him;
    9. To appoint a congregational tribunal as necessary;
    10. To approve the alienation or contracting of debts defined in D 34.3.2;
    11. To approve the budget of the office of the President.
                                        50th General Chapter 2010

D 125.3. The President must consult with the council in all instances specified by universal law or by the proper law of the Congregation, among which are the following:

    1. To prepare the agenda for the general chapter;
    2. To review the appointment of visitators;
    3. To accept the resignation of an abbot and to set the effective date of the resignation;
    4. To appoint a temporary administrator;
    5. To recommend that a dependent priory be raised to the status of an abbey.

D 125.4. The council acts collegially with the President in all instances specified by universal law or by the proper law of the Congregation, among which are the following:

  1. To give decisions and directives in major matters that may arise between general chapters;
  2. To act in the formal process of dismissal (CIC 699.1);
  3. To review a recourse against a superior with jurisdiction;
  4. To approve the separation of an autonomous monastery from an academic apostolate;
  5. To make appropriate provisions in serious cases before the suppression of an autonomous monastery can be considered by the general chapter;
  6. To suppress an autonomous monastery in accordance with the conditions specified in D 9.2.3;
  7. To set the remuneration of the President.
                       50th General Chapter 2010



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