Pope Francis Issues New Motu Proprio Giving Greater Authority to Bishops and Greater Decentralization
Pope Francis on February 15, 2022, issued a new Apostolic Letter “motu proprio” – on his own initiative – modifying the Code of Canon Law (CIC) and the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEO) to giving greater authority to Bishops and greater decentralization.
IN THE FORM OF "MOTU PROPRIO"
OF THE HIGH PONTIFF
Assign some skills
BY WHICH SOME RULES
OF THE CODE OF CANON LAW
THE CODE OF CANONS OF THE EASTERN CHURCHES ARE CHANGED
Assigning certain competences, regarding provisions of the code aimed at guaranteeing the unity of the discipline of the universal Church, to the executive power of the Churches and local ecclesial institutions, corresponds to the ecclesial dynamics of communion and enhances proximity.
A healthy decentralization can only favor this dynamic, without compromising its hierarchical dimension.
Therefore, bearing in mind the ecclesial culture and the juridical mentality proper to each Code, I considered it convenient to make changes to the legislation in force up to now on some specific subjects, attributing the respective competences. Thus, it is intended above all to foster the sense of collegiality and pastoral responsibility of Bishops, diocesan / eparchial or gathered in Episcopal Conferences or according to Eastern hierarchical Structures, as well as major Superiors, and also to support the principles of rationality, effectiveness and efficiency.
These normative changes reflect even more the shared and plural universality of the Church, which includes differences without homologating them, with the guarantee, as regards unity, of the ministry of the Bishop of Rome. At the same time, a more rapid effectiveness of the pastoral action of government on the part of the local authority is encouraged, also facilitated by its very proximity to the people and situations that require it.
All that considered, I now have the following:
The can. 237 § 2 CIC on the erection of an interdiocesan seminary and its own statutes replaces the term approval with the term confirmation, thus formulated:
§2. An interdiocesan seminary is not established unless confirmation of the Apostolic See has been obtained, both in relation to the erection of the seminary and in relation to its statutes: by the Episcopal Conference, if it is a seminary for everything. the corresponding territory, otherwise by the bishops concerned.
The can. 242 § 1 CIC on the Ratio of priestly formation issued by the Episcopal Conference replaces the approved term with the confirmed term resulting formulated as follows:
§ 1. In every nation there should be a Ratio of priestly formation, issued by the Episcopal Conference on the basis of the norms established by the supreme authority of the Church and confirmed by the Holy See, adaptable to new situations with a new confirmation of the Holy See; it defines the essential principles and general norms of seminarian formation, adapted to the pastoral needs of each region or province.
The text of can. 265 CIC concerning the institution of incardination adds to the structures suitable for incardinating clerics also that of clerical public associations that have obtained this faculty from the Apostolic See, thus harmonizing with can. 357 § 1 CCEO. It is formulated as follows:
Every cleric must be incardinated either in a particular Church or in a personal prelature or in an institute of consecrated life or in a society that has the faculty, or even in a clerical public association which has obtained this faculty from the Apostolic See, in a manner that headless clerics or wanderers are absolutely not allowed.
The can. 604 CIC on the order of virgins and their right to associate includes a new paragraph formulated as follows:
§ 3. The recognition and establishment of such associations at the diocesan level belongs to the diocesan bishop, within his own territory, at the national level it belongs to the episcopal conference, within his own territory.
The can. 686 § 1 CIC and can. 489 § 2 of the CCEO regarding the granting, for a grave cause, to a perpetually professed indult of exclaustration, extend the limit of the period of time to five years, in addition to which the competence for an extension or a concession is reserved to the Holy See or to the diocesan Bishop, resulting formulated as follows:
CIC - 686 § 1: The supreme moderator, with the consent of his council, for a grave cause can grant an indult of exclaustration to a perpetually professed person, however for no more than five years, with the prior consent of the ordinary of the place in which he is to reside. if it is a cleric. An extension of the indult, or a concession exceeding five years, is reserved solely to the Holy See, or to the diocesan bishop in the case of institutes of diocesan right.
CCEO - Can. 489 § 2: The eparchial bishop cannot grant this indult except for a five-year period.
The can. 688 § 2 CIC and cann. 496 §§ 1-2 and 546 § 2 CCEO, concerning the temporary professed who for a grave cause asks to leave the institute, assign the competence of the relative indult to the Supreme Moderator with the consent of his council, whether it is for the Latin code, of an institute of pontifical right, or of an institute of diocesan right, or of a monastery sui iuris; whether it is, according to the oriental code, a monastery sui iuris, or an order, or a congregation.
Therefore, § 2 of can. 496 CCEO is abolished and the other canons are formulated as follows:
CIC - Can. 688 § 2: Whoever asks to leave the institute during temporary profession for a grave cause can obtain the relative indult from the supreme moderator with the consent of his council; for a monastery sui iuris , mentioned in can. 615, the pardon, to be valid, must be confirmed by the Bishop of the house of assignment.
CCEO - Can. 496: Anyone who wishes to separate from the monastery and return to secular life during temporary profession for a grave cause should submit his request to the Superior of the monastery sui iuris , who with the consent of his council grants an indult, unless the particular law does not reserve this to the patriarch for monasteries located within the boundaries of the territory of the patriarchal Church.
CCEO - Can. 546 § 2: One who during temporary vows asks for a grave cause to leave the order or congregation can obtain the indult to permanently separate from the order or congregation from the superior general with the consent of his council and return to life. secular with the effects mentioned in can. 493.
I cann. 699 § 2, 700 CIC and cann. 499, 501 § 2, 552 § 1 CCEO are modified, so that the decree of dismissal from the institute, for a grave cause, of a temporary or perpetual professed person has effect from the moment in which the decree issued by the Supreme Moderator with the consent of the his advice is notified to the person concerned, without prejudice to the right of appeal of the religious. Therefore, the texts of the respective canons are modified and are formulated as follows:
CIC - 699 § 2: In the monasteries sui iuris , mentioned in can. 615, the decision regarding the dismissal of a professed belongs to the major superior with the consent of his council.
CIC - Can. 700: The decree of dismissal issued to a professed has force when it is notified to the person concerned. However, in order to be valid, the decree must indicate the right enjoyed by the dismissed religious to have recourse to the competent authority within ten days of receipt of the notification. The appeal has suspensive effect.
CCEO - Can. 499: While temporary profession lasts, a member can be dismissed by the Superior of the monastery sui iuris with the consent of his council according to can. 552, §§ 2 and 3; but for the resignation to be valid it must be confirmed by the patriarch, if particular law provides for this for monasteries located within the boundaries of the territory of the patriarchal Church.
CCEO - Can. 501 § 2: Against the decree of dismissal, however, the member can either lodge an appeal within fifteen days with suspensive effect, or assume that the cause is dealt with by judicial means.
CCEO - Can. 552 § 1: A member in temporary vows can be dismissed by the Superior General with the consent of his council.
The can. 775 § 2 CIC on the publication of catechisms for its own territory by the Bishops' Conference replaces the term approval with the term confirmation, thus formulated:
§ 2. It is the responsibility of the Episcopal Conference, if it seems useful, to see to it that catechisms for its own territory are published, subject to confirmation by the Apostolic See.
The can. 1308 CIC and can. 1052 CCEO regarding the reduction of the burdens of the Masses modify the competence resulting in the following formulations:
CIC - Can. 1308 § 1: The reduction of the burdens of Masses, to be done only for a just and necessary cause, is reserved to the diocesan bishop and to the supreme moderator of an institute of consecrated life or of a clerical society of apostolic life.
§ 2. The diocesan Bishop has the faculty to reduce the Masses of the legates who are autonomous, due to the decrease in income and as long as this cause, according to the alms legitimately in force in the diocese, provided that there is no obligated person and who can be effectively compelled to provide for an increase in almsgiving.
§ 3. The same has the right to reduce the burdens or legacies of Masses affecting ecclesiastical institutes, if the incomes have become insufficient to conveniently achieve the proper purposes of the ecclesiastical institute itself.
§ 4. The supreme moderator of an institute of consecrated life or of a clerical society of apostolic life has the same faculties as mentioned in §§ 2 and 3.
CCEO - Can. 1052 § 1: The reduction of the burdens of celebrating the Divine Liturgy is reserved to the eparchial bishop and to the major superior of religious institutes or societies of common life in the same way as religious, who are clerical.
§ 2. The eparchial bishop has the power to reduce the number of celebrations of the Divine Liturgy as long as the cause persists, to the extent of the offerings that are legitimately in force in the eparchy, provided that there is no one. which has the obligation and which can be effectively forced to provide for an increase in offers.
§ 3. The eparchial bishop also has the power to reduce the burdens of celebrating the Divine Liturgy, which are imposed on ecclesiastical institutes, if the incomes have become insufficient to achieve those purposes which, at the time of the acceptance of the burdens, could be achieved.
§ 4. The powers mentioned in §§ 2 and 3 are also vested in the Superiors General of religious institutes or societies of common life in the same way as religious, who are clerical.
§ 5. The eparchial bishop can delegate the powers mentioned in §§ 2 and 3 only to the coadjutor bishop, the auxiliary bishop, the Protosyncellus and the Sincelli, excluding any subdelegation.
The can. 1310 CIC and 1054 CCEO regarding the charges attached to pious causes and pious foundations modify the competence and are formulated as follows:
CIC - Can. 1310 - § 1: The reduction, containment and exchange of the will of the faithful in favor of pious causes can be implemented only for a just and necessary cause by the Ordinary, having heard the interested parties and his own council for economic affairs and respected in the best possible way. possible way the will of the founder.
§ 2. In the remaining cases, recourse must be made to the Apostolic See.
CCEO - Can. 1054 § 1: The reduction, containment and commutation of the wills of the Christian faithful who have given or left their goods for pious causes, can be done by the Hierarch only for a just and necessary cause, after having consulted the interested parties and the council. competent, and the founder's will respected in the best possible way.
§ 2. In all other cases on this matter it is necessary to have recourse to the Apostolic See or to the Patriarch who will act with the consent of the permanent Synod.
What resolved with this Apostolic Letter in the form of a Motu Proprio, I order that it has firm and stable force, despite anything to the contrary even if it is worthy of special mention, and that it be promulgated through publication in L'Osservatore Romano , entering into force on February 15, 2022. and then published in the official commentary of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
Given in Rome, at St. Peter's, on 11 February in the year 2022, Memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes, ninth of my pontificate.