The Constitution and the Statutes

of the Swiss-American Benedictine Congregation

Established by the General Chapter


Section II: Norms for the Individual Monasteries

A. Of the Organs of Government of the Monastery
1. Of the Chapter

S6 Matters for the agenda of the monastic chapter may be introduced either: 1) by the abbot; or 2) by a majority vote of the council on a matter proposed by any capitular (see S 29.2, #1).

S7 The agenda for a meeting of the chapter is normally communicated to the capitulars, with pertinent information made accessible to them, in advance of the meeting.

C9 It is the abbot who convokes the chapter and presides at its meetings; at the abbot's discretion, the prior or another capitular may do so in his place. A chapter meeting is lawfully convoked when all of the qualified capitulars who live in the monastery have been properly summoned. Provision in the Customary of an individual monastery may be made for capitulars legitimately absent from the meeting to participate in decisions of the chapter.

S8 When a majority of the capitulars who must be convoked is assembled, the one legitimately presiding proposes the matters on the agenda, opening the discussion so that each capitular may freely express his opinion. Each voting capitular casts a secret vote. If the chapter gives its unanimous consent, the balloting need not be secret.

C10 1) All capitulars have active voice (the right to vote) and passive voice (are eligible for office), to the extent permitted by law.

2) The abbot is himself a capitular, and hence he may vote with the other capitulars in any election, and on any matter in which neither universal law nor the proper law of the Swiss-American Benedictine Congregation requires him to have the chapter's consent.

S9 The abbot, or the council with permission of the abbot, may invite to chapter meetings for consultation persons who are not capitulars.

S10 1) The following acts require the previous consent of the chapter for them to be valid (see CIC 127):

#1- Admission of candidates to the novitiate;
#2- Permission for a novice to continue when half of his novitiate has elapsed, unless the chapter has assigned its responsibility in this matter to the council according to the provision of S 40.2;
#3- Admission of a novice to temporary profession;
#4- Admission of a temporarily professed monk to solemn profession;
#5- Readmission of one who has legitimately left the community (CIC 690.2);
#6- Admission of claustral oblates to novitiate and to oblation;
#7- Admission of a monk of another monastery of the Benedictine Confederation to a transfer of stability (C 41.1);
#8- Admission of a religious of another religious institute to his period of probation for transferring to a monastery of this Congregation, and his admission to solemn profession at the end of his probationary period (C 41.2);
#9- Reception of persons, other than candidates, to live at the monastery more than three months;
#10- Foundation or closing of a dependent house, and its erection as an autonomous monastery (C 58, 60);
#11- Acts of extraordinary administration in which alienation, or purchase, or exchange, or going security for another, or contracting a debt, or an onerous contract to continue over three years is involved, and any other business transaction in which the patrimonial condition of the monastery can be affected adversely, according to the norms of financial responsibility determined by the general chapter and by the Apostolic See (S 55; C 69; CIC 638.3);
#12- Construction of new buildings according to the aforementioned norms of financial responsibility;
#13- Acceptance or relinquishment of a parish (see CIC 681);
#14- Founding or relinquishing a school or accepting the administration of a school; accepting or relinquishing any other institutional work for which the community is responsible;

2) The chapter has the exclusive right to elect in the following obligatory elections, according to the norms of CIC 164-179 and the provisions of the Constitution and Statutes of this Congregation and the Customary of each house:

#1- Election of at least half of the councilors of the house (C 21-22);
#2- Election of the delegate and alternate delegate to the general chapter (C 67);
#3- Election of the abbot (C 13-18; S 13-20).


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Rev. 08 Apr 2009 |