Statutes Part II
CONSTITUTION OF THE FRATERNITY
AND THE SERVICE OF ITS GOVERNMENT
OF THE FRATERNITY
Constitutions: 161, 162, 163
THE MISSION OF
164, 165, 166, 167, 168
OFFICES OF THE ORDER
CONFERRAL OF OFFICES
RESIGNATI0N AND REMOVAL
FROM OFFICES AND POSITIONS
Constitutions: 173, 174, 175
NORMS TO BE
OBSERVED IN ELECTIONS
Constitutions: 176, 177, 178, 179
THE GENERAL CHAPTER
AUTHORITY AND CONVOCATION
OF THE GENERAL CHAPTER
Constitutions: 180, 181, 182, 183
the letter of convocation, the Minister General recommends among other things that the
Ministers Provincial send to the General Council, in sufficient time a written report, in
consultation with their Councilors, on the important questions which are considered
appropriate for discussion in the General Chapter.
The Minister General, in consultation with his Council and in sufficient time, then sends
a summary outline of the proposed questions to be discussed to the Ministers Provincial
and through them to all the friars of the Provinces.
The Minister General shall appoint a preparatory commission with the consultation of his
Council. The commission should be appointed two years before the opening of the General
116. Through their respective Ministers Provincial, all the friars may then send their
responses to the Minister General and his Council, whether related to the questions
already proposed or to new questions pertaining to the good of the Order. (CN 631,3)
From the various questions submitted, the General Council selects and prepares an agenda
for the Chapter. However, before any new proposals may be discussed, the consent of the
General Chapter is required.
117. The Minister General with the consultation of his Council shall appoint a secretary
and assistant secretaries who are not vocals.
118. Prior to the General Chapter, the Minister General should send to each of the
Provinces and Vice Provinces a list of the elected and appointed offices of the Order. The
Ministers Provincial may then indicate the names of those friars capable of fulfilling a
VOCALS AT THE CHAPTER
119. 1§. Besides the Minister Provincial and the Vice Provincial, two delegates from
every Province participate in the General Chapter.
2§. Provinces with over one hundred solemnly professed friars will elect an additional
3§. A Province or Vice Province which has less than thirty solemnly professed friars is
entitled to be represented by their Provincial or Vice Provincial at the General Chapter.
4§. A Province or Vice Province that has thirty to thirty-nine solemnly professed friars
is entitled to be represented by their Provincial or Vice Provincial and one delegate at
the General Chapter.
5§. It is the duty of each elector to give conscientious consideration to the selection
of those who are most suited to represent the Province at the General Chapter.
6§. In order to achieve a more just and complete representation of all segments of the
Order at the General Chapter, the Minister General, with the consent of his Council, may
appoint two friars to attend the General Chapter without active voice.
7§. The capitulars should be elected or appointed at least one year prior to the opening
of the Chapter. Their election shall be published immediately.
8§. The elected delegates should be more numerous than the ex officio members.
120. The elected delegates to the General Chapter should be elected by written ballot. At
the appointed time the ballots are to be sent to the Minister Provincial. The Minister
Provincial, with the assistance of two tellers, counts the ballots.
The friars who have the most votes are considered elected. The friars who have the next
greater number of votes, after the elected friars, are considered alternate delegates.
If the Ministers Provincial and the Vice Provincials are legitimately impeded from being
present at the General Chapter, they are represented by their Vicars.
SESSIONS OF THE CHAPTER
The Opening of the Chapter
121. The Chapter begins with the call of the vocals. Each one then takes his place in the
1§. the Minister General with his Council;
2§. the ex-Minister General;
3§. the Ministers Provincial and the delegates of
the Provinces, according to the date of origin of the Province;
4§. the Vice Provincials;
5§. the appointed delegates.
122. In the first session of the Chapter, after the address of the Minister General, the
officers of the Chapter are to be elected:
1§. two tellers, whose duty it is to see that the votes are cast by each voter secretly,
diligently and one by one. (CN. 173,I)
2§. three judges skilled in canon law who are to consider the controversial cases.
3§. two examiners who are to review the financial state of the General Council.
4§. in the same session the Secretary and Under-Secretaries of the Chapter previously
designated by the General Council are presented.
5§. The Secretary has the duty to record faithfully and diligently the acts of the
Chapter. At the beginning of each session he publicly reads all that occurred in the
123. The Minister General presents two written reports to the Chapter.
The first describes the moral state of the Order and explains what was accomplished and
attempted for growth during his term. This report previously examined and approved by his
own Council is accompanied by appropriate comments and suggestions which he and his
Council deem opportune.
The second report, prepared by the General Econome and approved by the Minister General
and his Council, presents the financial state of the General Council with an account of
the income and expenses for the six year period of the administration together with any
liabilities or debts still outstanding.
All the other offices of the Order present a report of their activities.
124. The Ministers Provincial present to the Chapter an accurate written report on the
moral and economic state of their respective Provinces previously read and approved by
their respective Councils.
The report includes the number of friars as well as the friars received, deceased or
separated from the Order since the last General Chapter. It should also contain other
important matters and propose recommendations that promote the growth of the Province or
Likewise Vice Provincials of Vice Provinces will give their reports.
125. Copies of the reports of the Minister General, the offices of the Order, the
Ministers Provincial and Vice Provincials are to be distributed ahead of time to all the
capitular members so that they can be informed of their contents and properly discuss
The secretaries are responsible for providing the proper translations.
Election of the President
and Work of the Chapter
126. At the conclusion of the reports, the president of the Chapter is elected in one
votation by a written ballot. The Minister General declares as elected the one who has
carried a relative majority. In the event of a tie, the elder in solemn profession or age
127. With the election of a president, whose task it is to immediately take up the work of
the Chapter, all authority passes automatically to the Chapter.
128. During the following session of the Chapter, the reports submitted by the Minister
General, the Ministers Provincial and the Vice Provincials, and the other officials are to
be carefully considered. Questions concerned with the ordinary government of the Order are
Election of the
Minister General and His Council
Constitutions 187, 188, 189
129. Before the election of a new Minister General and his Council, a day is set aside for
reflection and prayerful recollection. The Mass of the Holy Spirit is celebrated.
130. According to our tradition, the election of the Minister General takes place in the
presence of a delegate from the Apostolic See if it chooses to send one.
131. For the election of the Minister General and his Council, the Inter-Provincial
Conferences or other similar groups with representatives from various Provinces may
present to the president and through him to the Chapter a number of names for each office.
Before the election of the Minister General, the president may propose a consultation
regarding possible candidates for each office.
132. If a friar not present at the Chapter should be elected Minister General, he is to be
summoned immediately and no business is to be transacted until his arrival. If a friar not
present at the Chapter is elected as Vicar or as Councilor, he is quickly summoned but the
Chapter is not suspended.
133. Announcement of the election of a new Minister General is to be sent as soon as
possible to the Apostolic See and to each Province of the Order.
The prescriptions found in the ceremonial of our Order concerning the installation of the
new Minister General, the transfer of the seal of the Order and the act of obedience made
by all the friars are to be faithfully fulfilled.
134. At the first session the following day, under the presidency of the newly-elected
Minister General, the election of the other members of the Council shall take place
beginning with the Vicar General and then the four General Councilors.
In the election of the Vicar and the Councilors, particular consideration is to be given
to their skills. Also consideration shall be given to the presence on the General Council
of the various geographic-linguistic areas as well as the proper representation of the
The Vicar General and each of the General Councilors is elected in a separate ballot. An
absolute majority is needed for election. In the third votation a relative majority is
By means of a new votation and a relative majority of votes, one of the Councilors is
selected as the first General Councilor, taking into account the qualifications and
abilities of each friar.
Finally, after the proposal of the Minister General, the election of the Secretary General
Sessions and Its Conclusion
135. In these final sessions, presided over by the newly elected Minister General and his
Council, the greatest possible attention is to be given to the continual growth of the
religious and the apostolic life of the Order.
136. The Secretary of the Chapter is to record faithfully and accurately the capitular
acts in the book of the General Chapter.
In the last session of the Chapter, the acts are to be signed by the Secretary, the
Minister General and the tellers and placed with great care in the archives of the Order.
A summary accompanied by a message from the Minister General is to be sent as soon as
possible to each of the Ministers Provincial who in turn quickly share it with all the
friars of their respective Provinces.
OF THE ORDER
THE MINISTER GENERAL
137. The Minister General may entrust a responsibility to a friar of his choice anywhere
in the Order.
He first consults with the respective Minister Provincial as well as with the friar
He shall observe the same procedure in all other matters which affect individual friars or
138. For actions that require consent or counsel at least two-thirds of the Council should
be present in order for the action to be valid. If there is an urgent case, then a
absolute majority would suffice. (CN119)
COUNCIL OR DEFINITORY
193, 194, 195, 196
THE VICAR GENERAL
139. If the Minister General ceases from office for any reason before the end of his term,
he is to be succeeded by the Vicar, with all rights and duties, until the end of his six
140. When the Vicar General is absent or temporarily impeded, his office is to be filled
by the first Councilor.
141. The Councilors are not to assume other offices which prevent them from fulfilling
their regular duties in the Order.
142. 1§. When it is prescribed that something is to be done with the consent of the
Council it is intended that it is to be accomplished with the Councilors assembled
together in Council.
However, in appropriate cases consent may be given without the Council being assembled.
This should be done in accord with the Statutes approved by the General Council.
2§. If there is a question of entrusting a position or an office to a Councilor, after
the proposal is made by the Minister General, the candidate is to leave the room and then
the election is decided by secret vote.
143. At the first meeting of the General Council, the Vicar General and all the Councilors
together with the Secretary General, take an oath before the Minister General to
faithfully fulfill their office and to observe secrecy in all matters discussed at their
meetings or confided to them by reason of their office.
144. If a General Councilor ceases from office, a new General Councilor is elected by the
Minister General and Council voting collegially by secret ballot. A relative majority is
sufficient for election.
145. i§. The seat of the General Council is in Rome in the fraternity of Saints Cosmas
2§. The Minister General, the Vicar, the General Councilors and the Secretary General
shall permanently reside there.
3§. The fraternity of Saints Cosmas and Damian and the friars and the fraternities
directly subject to the General Council are governed by their proper statutes provided by
the General Council.
146. 1§. It is the duty of the Secretary General to record the acts of the Council and of
the Minister General, to diligently collect all the documents and acts of the Order and to
conserve them for the archives.
2§. He shall send correspondence and documents to the Order, the Provinces and individual
friars at the direction and in the name of the Minister General.
3§. By power of his office, the Secretary General is the notary of the ecclesiastical
affairs of the Order.
4§. For better communication and coordination, the Secretary General maintains close
contact and collaboration with the Provincial Secretaries.
5§. The Secretary General may express his opinion in the Council if requested, but he
does not vote.
OFFICES OF THE ORDER
147. 1§. The office of Procurator General, in the tradition of our Order, is entrusted to
the Vicar General or to one of the other General Councilors.
2§. It is the duty of the Procurator General to take care of all the affairs of the Order
with the Holy See except those that pertain specifically to another office.
3§. Therefore, no friar, whether the matter concerns himself or another, is permitted to
conduct affairs directly with the Apostolic See without first informing and working
through the Procurator General.
148. 1§. In matters pertaining to the whole Order or a certain Province, the Procurator
General must first consult the Minister General and follow his wishes.
2§. In matters concerning individual friars the Procurator General does not deal with
them without having first consulted the respective Minister Provincial.
3§. The Procurator is to keep a register of all his business with the Apostolic See,
recording clearly and exactly each petition and reply.
149. 1§. For the accountability and administration of the goods of the General Council
and of the friars and fraternities directly dependent on it, the General Council has its
proper Finance Council, under the presidency of the General Econome. (CN1280)
2§. The General Council approves statutes for the work of the Finance Council which
should determine the number of its members, including experts.
3§. The Ministers Provincial are kept up to date on the economic situation of the General
Council with an annual financial report prepared by the General Econome and signed by the
150. To support the General Council and its activities every Province and Vice Province is
to pay an equitable assessment. The actual sum is to be determined beforehand by the
General Council after consultation with the respective Council of each Province or Vice
151. It is the duty of the General Archivist to order, take care of and catalogue the
original or at least a copy of all the documents of the Order. These may be found either
in various fraternities of the Order, in the archives of the Apostolic See, in civil or
private archives and in various libraries.
152. Particular attention should be given to the collection of historical documents,
titles, deeds, documents of purchase, contracts and the rare works of value compiled by
the earlier writers of the Order.
153. The Postulator General has the duty to promote the cause of canonization of the
servants of God of our Order in collaboration with the local Ordinaries and the
Congregation for the Cause of Saints. All information concerning friars, sisters and
Secular Franciscans who have passed from this life and are greatly noted for their
holiness is to be sent to him.
154. The Postulator is not to be removed from his office without first advising the
Congregation for the Cause of Saints.
155. 1§. The Postulator is to administer the donations of the faithful offered for the
causes, in accord with the instructions of the Congregation and to which he is to give an
account each year in a formal report. The report together with the progress report of the
causes, is to be presented first to the General Council.
2§. The Province that is promoting a cause of canonization appoints a local postulator
who is to collaborate with the Postulator General.
Director of Formation
156. The Director of Formation is the coordinator of the spiritual and intellectual
development for the Order.
In collaboration with the Province Directors of Formation he shall promote courses of
study for on-going formation which are proper to our charism.
Secretary of the Missions
157. The Secretary General of the Missions has the duty to promote the work of
evangelization in the Order.
He is the spokesman on the General Council for the needs of our missions and provides for
their material needs and personnel.
He is the animator of the missionary spirit in the Provinces of our Order.
158. The duties and structure of all other offices are defined by the statutes of the
THE PLENARY COUNCIL
OF THE ORDER
OF THE PROVINCES
The Visitation, Chapter and election shall begin on the dates announced by the Minister
General with the consultation of the Minister Provincial and his Council.
The date of the Visitation shall be announced at least two months beforehand by the
The Minister General having consulted with his Council can, for serious reasons,
anticipate or delay the Chapter for three months.
The Minister General or his delegate shall conduct the Visitation.
160. The Chapter members are divided into two classes: elected and ex-officio. The elected
members shall be elected by all the eligible voters and shall be a majority of the total
membership of the Chapter.
The ex-officio members shall include but not be limited to the present Minister Provincial
and Council and the newly elected Minister Provincial and Council.
timing of the
Chapter and Elections
Constitutions: 207, 208
161. If the election is held according to Method 1 (Direct Election), the Chapter is held
immediately after the election under the direction of the President.
162. If the election is held in accord with Method 2 (in Chapter), the time of the
election will be determined by the Chapter. The election will be preceded at least by the
reports of the Visitator General and a period of recollection. Also, the Province may
determine the time of election within the Chapter through its Provincial Statutes.
163. If the election is held in accord with Method 3 (determined by the Province), the
time of the election will be determined by the Provincial Statutes.
164. The Visitator presents to the capitulars his report on the religious observance noted
during his canonical Visitation of the fraternities and friars.
The report of the outgoing Minister Provincial drawn up by him and his Council is
examined. This report is to include the moral and economic state of the entire Province
and the important events which occurred during his four year term.
Two examiners are to be nominated to review the economic administration of the Provincial
Council during the past quadrennium.
165. After the report of the outgoing Minister Provincial has been examined and discussed,
the Chapter is to make whatever decisions are necessary and useful to eliminate abuses
that may have arisen and to promote the progress of the Province, principally in the
spiritual life, the works of the apostolate and life in fraternity.
166. A copy of the Acts of the Chapter, officially signed by the President and Secretary
of the Chapter and stamped with the seal of the Province, is to be kept in the Provincial
A summary, signed by the Provincial and his Secretary, is to be sent as soon as possible
to the Minister General and to each religious fraternity in the Province.
167. It is the competence of the Provincial Chapter to establish or transfer the official
residence of the Minister Provincial.
This decision must be promptly communicated to the Minister General.
ELECTION OF A MINISTER
PROVINCIAL AND COUNCIL
209, 210, 211
The Provinces may use one of the following systems of election:
The friars who have the right to vote shall receive ballots approved by the Visitator
General and shall send them to the address (or person) decided by him. The counting of the
ballots shall be done in the Province in the presence of the Visitator General.
The election of the Minister Provincial takes place first. If anyone in the first votation
obtains an absolute majority, he is to be declared elected.
If a friar refuses election or if no one obtains an absolute majority, another votation is
held between the two friars obtaining a relative majority and accepting nomination. The
friar obtaining an absolute majority in this votation is elected as Minister Provincial.
Finally, another votation takes place to elect a Vicar and Provincial Councilors. A
relative majority is sufficient for election. In this case the votes received for superior
office are to be counted for the assignment of lower offices.
Election in Chapter
The election of the Minister Provincial and a Provincial Council may be done by the
Other matters may be specified in the proper law of the Province.
by a System
determined by the Province
The Province may adopt a system of election and submit it to the General Council for
approval. The system must conform to the norms of canon law, the Constitutions and the
169. For the transfer of authority from the outgoing to the incoming Minister Provincial
and for the installation of the newly-elected officers, the Ceremonial of the Order is to
170. At the first meeting of the Provincial Congregation, the Minister Provincial, the
Vicar, the Provincial Councilors and the Provincial Secretary take the oath before the
President to maintain secrecy about whatever is discussed in any of their meetings and
whatever is entrusted to them by reason of their office.
171. The Minister Provincial nominates the Provincial Secretary. He is approved by the
The Secretary does not have active voice.
172. 1§. In the Provincial Congregation, the elections and appointments to the various
offices and positions are to be made at the proposal of the President. (C.171; GS 176)
2§. When the President proposes someone present, let the nominee leave the room to allow
greater freedom for discussion.
3§. The Director of Professed, Director of Novices, Econome, Local Ministers and others
are selected in accord with the qualifications for each office.
4§. Councilors for each local fraternity shall be chosen and the number of Councilors is
to be determined by the number of friars in the fraternity.
5§. In appropriate cases the Local Minister, Councilors and Econome may be chosen in some
THE MINISTER PROVINCIAL
AND HIS COLLABORATORS
213, 214, 215
173. The Minister Provincial considers the Councilors as his closest collaborators
maintaining a close fraternal union with them and sharing with them the government of the
However, the Minister Provincial has a necessary and proper autonomy in those matters that
pertain to his authority especially those which demand an effective and rapid response.
174. In his annual report to the Minister General, the Minister Provincial shall give an
account of matters of importance which have occurred in the Province during the course of
the year, and in addition shall send the following information:
1§. a record of those who enter the novitiate, with the name, status, and the day of
entrance of each.
2§. a record of those admitted to temporary and solemn profession, with the name, status
and day of profession of each.
3§. a record of those who received Sacred Orders, with the name, and the date of
ordination of each.
4§. a record of academic degrees received by the friars or anything else of note.
The Vicar Provincial.
Constitutions: 217, 218, 219
175. The Provincial Council is to meet at least every four months or as often as the
Minister Provincial considers it necessary for the importance of current business demands.
At these meetings, only the Minister Provincial, the Vicar and the Councilors have the
right to vote; however, the Provincial Statutes may allow the Commissary Provincial to
vote in certain situations.
The friars are to be prudently notified of important matters which have been decided at
the meeting of the Council.
176. At these meetings of the Council, the members are to especially discuss whatever
concerns the spiritual and temporal good of the Province.
Moreover, the Councilors, at these meetings, can propose whatever they believe is for the
welfare of the Province as long as they have previously advised the Minister Provincial.
177. The Provincial Council is to determine a suitable assessment to be paid by each
178. At the beginning of each year, the Minister Provincial gives a report to his Council
on the spiritual, fraternal, apostolic, and financial state of the Province. This meeting
also considers the annual reports sent by the Local Minister.
179. The Provincial Secretary is to be present at all meetings of the Council and the
Plenary Council of the Province. It is the duty of the Provincial Secretary to record the
acts of these meetings and to send them, according to the nature of the matter, to the
General Council and to the friars of the Province.
He is to gather all information and documents which pertain to the life in the Order and
to convey that information to the friars of the Province in a suitable way. Moreover he
shall establish regular contact with the Secretary General and the fraternities of the
180. The Plenary Council of the Province, which is to have a large representation of
friars may be called by the Minister Provincial to discuss, together with the Council the
problems that are of importance to the life of the Province at least once every four
181. The proper law of the Province shall determine the number of friars to be elected,
the method of their election and the procedures of the Council.
182. The members of the Plenary Council itself have only consultative voice, but the
deliberations of the Council must be communicated to the Province.
183. 1. A new Province may be formed by dividing a Province or uniting parts of various
Provinces. In such cases the interested Provinces must be consulted.
2. To establish an Independent Vice Province as a Province it must have at least forty
solemnly professed friars.
184. When a Province continues to have less than forty solemn professed friars, it must
consult the General Curia concerning the more opportune decisions to be made. In
particular, let the following be studied:
1§. the conditions enumerated above on the spiritual, fraternal, and apostolic vitality
of the Province. (CN 222)
2§. a plan of development for the Province with the help of the Order.
3§. the financial situation of the Province for the care and the life of the friars.
4§. the eventual reduction of the numbers of the Provincial Councilors.
5§. the representation at the General Chapter.
6§. the will expressed by the two-thirds majority of the Province with regard to its
185. If a Vice Province is to be established with friars and fraternities belonging to
more than one Province, each Province shares in a fair way in the establishment of the new
Vice Province working with each other in regard to the friars, fraternities, temporal
goods and future planning.
186. To establish a Vice Province, there must be at least twenty solemnly professed
friars, unless the General Council determines otherwise in a particular case.
187. The Provincial Chapter can establish a Commissariate with the approval of the
Minister General and the consent of his Council. A Commissariate can be suppressed in the
188. A Commissariate may be established for local fraternities which have a certain
affinity among themselves but because of distance, language, or other valid reasons,
cannot be taken care of by the Minister Provincial and Council. The number of friars who
are to constitute a Commissariate shall be determined by the Provincial Statutes.
. Vice Provinces
189. The Council of a Vice Province is composed of a Vice Provincial and three Councilors,
one of whom is the Vicar. The Council is elected in the same way as the Provincial
Council. The Vicar takes the place of the Vice Provincial when he is absent or impeded.
190. The Vice Provincial and his Councilors are equivalent to a Minister Provincial and
his Council. The Independent Vice Province is governed by the same norms as those which
apply to a Province.
191. The Commissary and his Council, which must be at least two in number, shall be
elected according to the Provincial Statutes.
192. The Commissary is the Vicar of the Provincial for the Commissariate. He takes part in
the Provincial Chapter ex-officio and, when the Provincial Council treats of important
affairs which concern the Commissariate, he has the right to vote in accord with the
193. The Commissary should not initiate affairs of major importance without approbation of
the Minister Provincial, as determined by the Provincial Statutes.
194. All other matters shall be determined by the Provincial Statutes.
THE CANONICAL VISITATION
224, 225, 226, 227
Canonical Visitations shall be announced at least two months bf:-forehand by letters to
each fraternity of the Province. In this letter the Visitator shall ask the friars to
recite the prescribed prayers, to have in readiness the books to be examined by the
Visitator and that all members be present in their respective fraternities at the time of
196. The particular books presented to the Visitator are: the books of visitations,
reception and celebration of Masses, suffrages for the deceased, administration and acts
of the fraternity.
197. The Visitation of persons, places and things is conducted in accord with the
Ceremonial of the Order.
198. The Visitator shall speak personally with the friars and endeavor to understand the
living conditions and the apostolates of the friars and the fraternities. He is to keep a
record of replies and observations that pertain to the purpose of the Visitation.
199. When possible the Minister General and the Minister Provincial shall visit the friars
informally for the purpose of promoting greater spiritual unity.
GOVERNMENT IN THE
THE LOCAL MINISTERS
200. The term of office for a Local Minister is four years. A Local Minister may have a
second consecutive term in the same fraternity but not a third unless there is a grave
reason. After the third term he cannot be elected to the same office either in this
fraternity or another unless there has been a suitable interval.
201. Local Ministers are to watch over the administration of the goods of the fraternity
without assuming the role of econome or interfering with his duties.
202. Without permission from the Minister Provincial, the Local Minister is not to
undertake anything new that is of great importance.
203. The Local Minister must inform the Minister Provincial when he is to be away from his
fraternity for more than ten days.
204. Each year, during the month of January, the Local Minister must send the Minister
Provincial a report on the moral and economic condition of the fraternity, including any
noteworthy happening during the past year. Before the report is sent to the Minister
Provincial, it is to be reviewed by the Fraternity Council.
THE LOCAL FRATERNITY
COUNCIL AND CHAPTER
205. In each fraternity a convenient place is to be set aside for a library where the
books of the fraternity are to be kept.
206. The Local Minister together with his Council is to determine the annual allotment to
be set aside for the purchase of books.
207. A capable friar is to be placed in charge of the library. He is to keep an inventory
of all books and to catalogue them so that they can easily be found. He takes care that
the books removed for private use are returned and that the library is always in good
order. With the consent of the Local Minister he purchases those books which can aid the
cultural, spiritual, theological and scientific development of the friars.
208. In fraternities of formation there is to be a separate library for the use of the
friars. It is to contain those books which are useful for the studies and cultural
development of the friars in formation.
Books of this nature are to be bought at the expense of the Provincial fund. Therefore, in
accord with the mind of the Minister Provincial, these books can be transferred from one
fraternity to another.
209. In the offices of the Provincial Council and in each fraternity, a place is to be set
aside for the archives, where the archivist can carefully keep the documents and writings
in good order.
Constitutions: 234, 235, 236, 237, 238
210. 1§. Each year the Minister General, the General Council and the offices of the
General Council shall submit a budget to be approved by the Minister General with his
2§. The Minister General may authorize expenditures up to $25,000 and needs the consent
of the Council for amounts in excess of $25,000.
3§. The Minister General and Council by a collegial vote shall establish other
regulations for the administration of goods for its own use.
211. Each juridic person of the Order shall establish a Finance Council in accord with the
universal law. (CN1280)
212. At the end of his term in office, the Local Minister must provide the new Minister
with an inventory of the more valuable and venerable goods of the fraternity and Church
and also the books of administration signed by the Fraternity Council.
Constitutions: 239, 240, 241, 242
If anyone gravely neglects the form of life he has professed, he shall be admonished by
the minister or by others who know his fault. (TOR Rule, Art. 24)
213. The following offenses are set forth as requiring punishment as a means of
1§. grave injury to the reputation of another friar by spoken or written word.
2§. stubborn disobedience and public contempt for or serious conspiracy against
3§. serious misuse of funds or other resources which belong to the fraternity.
214. Punishment for external violations of the law of the fraternity are ferendae
sententiae and can be imposed by the major superiors alone or with the consent of his
Council. In the latter case, the following process should be followed:
1§. The friar shall be given written notice of the offense by the Minister Provincial and
called to appear before a meeting of the Minister Provincial and his Council and be given
2§. The Minister Provincial and his Council shall give their judgment by secret vote. If
the friar is found guilty, he shall be punished with a penalty, not excluding deprivation
of any office or position he may hold and of active and passive voice from one to three
years according to the gravity of the offense.
215. In imposing any penalty, the norms of canon law and the particular law are to be
TRANSFER FROM ONE
PROVINCE TO ANOTHER
Constitutions: 243, 244, 245
LEAVING THE FRATERNITY
AND DISMISSAL OF A FRIAR
FROM THE ORDER
LEAVING THE FRATERNITY
Constitutions: 246, 247
216.1§. A novice or friar who has completed his time of temporary profession can freely
leave the fraternity. (CN 688,I)
2§. A friar in temporary profession who has serious reason to leave the fraternity may
obtain a dispensation from the Minister General with the consent of his Council. (CN
217. If, after the novitiate or profession, a friar has legitimately left the fraternity,
he can be readmitted by the Minister General with the consent of his Council, without need
of repeating the novitiate. However, it is up to the Minister General to determine a
suitable probationary period before the profession of temporary vows or solemn vows in
accord with Art. 53 of the
Constitutions. (CN 690,1)
218. With the consent of his Council, the Minister General can give a solemnly professed
friar an indult of exclaustration for a serious reason but not beyond three years. If he
is a cleric he must have obtained the prior consent of the Ordinary of the place in which
he is to live. It is his duty to obtain this permission from the Bishop. The extension of
this indult beyond three years is reserved to the Holy See. (CN 686,1)
219. A solemnly professed friar should not ask for a dispensation to leave the fraternity,
except for the most serious reasons which he has weighed before God. The friar shall take
his request to the Minister Provincial who will forward it to the Minister General. The
Minister General with his recommendation and that of his Council will sent it to the
Apostolic See to whom the indult is reserved. (CN 691,1,2)
220. A solemnly professed friar may leave our fraternity to affiliate himself with another
religious institute or diocese only with the permission of the Ministers General of both
institutes and the consent of their respective Councils. (CN 684,1-2; 685; 693)
221. 1§. A friar who has completed the time of temporary profession can, if there are
just reasons, be excluded from a subsequent profession by the Minister Provincial, after
hearing his Council. (CN 89,I)
2§. If physical or psychological illness is contracted, even after profession, and in the
judgment of experts it renders the friar unsuitable to lead the life of the Order, this
constitutes a reason for not admitting him to the renewal of vows or the profession of
solemn vows, unless the illness was caused by the negligence of the Order or by work
performed in the fraternity. (CN 689,2)
3§. If a friar in temporary vows becomes insane, he cannot be dismissed from the
fraternity even though he cannot make a new profession. (CN 689,3)
222. For serious reasons the Minister General with the consent of his Council can ask the
Apostolic See to impose exclaustration on a friar. The Minister Provincial concerned
should provide for the friar in an equitable and charitable manner.
223. 1§. A friar is automatically dismissed from the fraternity:
1) if he abandons the Catholic faith in a
2) if he contracts marriage or
attempts to marry even Civilly.
2§. In these cases the Minister Provincial with his Council, once the proofs have been
collected, makes official declaration of the fact so that the dismissal is juridically
established. (CN 694,2)
3§. In case of grave external scandal or threat of serious injury to the Order, a friar
may be dismissed immediately from a local fraternity, observing the requirements of Law.
224. A friar must be dismissed from the fraternity if he has violated canons 1395, 1397 or
1398, except for crimes listed in canon 1392,2 where different provisions may apply. (CN
695,1). The provisions of canon 695 are to be observed in the process of dismissal.
225. 1§. If the dismissal from the fraternity is not imposed by law, the Minister
Provincial should first of all seek out the friar and warn him in a kindly manner and try
to help him so that he may be brought to change his ways and persevere in his vocation.
2§. Before dismissing the friar from the fraternity, the Minister Provincial should
fraternally encourage him to leave. In all this, he should help him as much as possible.
3§. If the fraternal warnings which he has given repeatedly and in writing as specified
by law have been in vain, the Minister Provincial can proceed in accord with universal
law. (CN 697, 698, 699, 700).
EFFECTS OF DEPARTURE
226. An exclaustrated friar is excused from those obligations which cannot be reconciled
with the new condition of his life. He remains under the jurisdiction and care of his
Minister Provincial and also under the jurisdiction of the Ordinary, if he is an ordained
friar. He may use the habit of the fraternity unless otherwise stated in the indult. He
does not enjoy active or passive voice. (CN 687)
227. By lawful dismissal the vows cease automatically as well as the rights and
obligations ensuing from profession. If the dismissed friar is a cleric, he may not
exercise sacred Orders unless he finds a Bishop who will receive him after a suitable
period of probation in the diocese, according to the norm of canon 693, or at least will
permit him to exercise sacred orders. (CN 701).
OBSERVANCE OF THE
RULE AND CONSTITUTION
Constitutions: 250, 251, 251
228. A copy of the Rule, the Constitutions and the General Statutes is to be given to each
friar in his own language so that he can better conform his life and behavior to the poor
and humble man of Nazareth.
229. Recognizing that it requires a life-long process of conversion to achieve the purpose
of the vows, a chapter of the Rule or the Constitutions is to be read publicly each
Friday, except on the solemnities, to encourage the friars to achieve that goal through
the duties of life in fraternity.
230. For a just cause the following are able to dispense from the laws and disciplinary
precepts of the fraternity, unless expressly stated otherwise:
1§. The Minister General can dispense each and every friar in the entire Order.
2§. The Minister Provincial can dispense the friars of his own Province, unless the
dispensation is reserved to the Minister General.
3§. The Local Minister can dispense the friars of his fraternity and any guests, unless
the dispensation is reserved to the major superiors.
231. An habitual dispensation for the benefit of the entire Province belongs to the
authority of the Minister General. An habitual dispensation for the benefit an entire
fraternity belongs to the authority of the Minister Provincial.
ends the General Statutes.
I, Brother Francis, your little servant, ask and implore you in the love which is God (Jn.
4:16) and with the desire to kiss your feet, to receive these words and others of our Lord
Jesus Christ with humility and love, and observe [them] and put [them] into practice. And
to all men and women who will receive them kindly [and] understand their meaning and pass
them on to others by their example: If they have persevered in them to the end (Mt 24:13),
may the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit bless them. Amen. (11 LF, 87,88)