Chapter 1 Central Administration

From Vincentian Encyclopedia
Ref-page.jpg

Chapter I. - Central administration

1. The superior general

101.--The superior general is the successor of St. Vincent, and together with the whole Congregation he carries on, for the service of the universal Church, the mission of the Founder adapted to diverse circumstaces. He shall, accordingly, govern the Congregation with such care that the charism of St. Vincent will always stay alive in the Church.

102.--The superior general, the center of unity and coordination of the provinces, should also be a source of spiritual animation and apostolic activity.

103.--The superior general governs all the provinces, houses, and individual members of the Congregation with ordinary power according to the norm of universal law and of our own law. The superior general, however, is subject to the authority of the General Assembly, according to the norm of law.

104.--The superior general can give only usual interpretations of the Constitutions, Statutes, and Decrees of the General Assembly.

105.--§1.--The superior general is elected by the General Assembly according to article 140 of the Constitutions. § 2. --For the validity of the election of the superior general, the conditions required by universal law and by our own law must be fulfilled. § 3.--The superior general is elected for a six year term and can be reelected for a second six year term according to the norm of the Congregation's own law. § 4.--The six year term is considered to have been completed at the moment when his successor accepts office in the subsequent ordinary General Assembly.

106.--§ I.--The superior general ceases to hold office: 1 by his successor's acceptance of office; 2 by his resignation accepted by the General Assembly or by the Holy See; 3 by deposition decreed by the Holy See. § 2.--If the superior general becomes manifestly unworthy or incapable of discharging his office, the assistants should judge the matter collegially, inform the Holy See, and follow its directives.

107. -- Besides the faculties granted him by universal law or by special concession, it is the function of the superior general: 1 to work with great solicitude that the firm and fervent spirit of our Holy Founder be fostered everywhere, that the apostolic activity and renewal of the Congregation be continually promoted, and that the Constitutions and Statutes be applied in as fitting a manner as possible; 2 with the consent of his council, to make general ordinances for the good of the Congregation; 3 having consulted the interested members, and with the consent of his council, to set up, join, divide, and suppress provinces, observing the norms of law; 4 to convoke the General Assembly, and to preside over it, and, with the consent of the Assembly, to dismiss those convened; 5 for a serious reason, having heard the consultors of the province, and with the consent of his council, to remove a provincial from office; 6 having heard those concerned, and with the consent of his council, according to the norm of canon 733, §1, to erect houses and to establish local communities, and to suppress them, with the authority of the provincial being respected; 7 for a serious reason, having heard the interested provincials, and with the consent his council, to erect a house of one province in the territory of another province; 8 for a just reason, and with the consent of his council, to erect houses which depend on no province and are governed by a local superior directly dependent on the superior general; and to name the superiors of these houses; 9 with the consent of his council, to give members permission to take vows and to admit them to orders; and, for a serious reason, to dispense from vows, either in the case of lawful departure or in the act of dismissal; 10 to dismiss members from the Congregation according to the norm of universal law and of our own law; 11 in extraordinary cases and for a serious reason, and with the consent of his council, to dispense from the Constitutions; 12 with the consent of his council, to approve norms enacted by provincial assemblies.

2. The vicar general

108. -- The vicar general helps the superior general and substitutes for him when he is away or impeded, according to the norm of our own law.

109.--The vicar general is elected by the General Assembly according to the norm of our own law. The one elected vicar general automatically becomes also an assistant general.

110.--In the absence of the superior general, the vicar general has the authority of the superior general unless the superior general has reserved some matter to himself.

111.--If the superior general is impeded, the vicar general substitutes for him with full authority until the impediment ceases. The judgment concerning the impediment is made by the general council, without the superior general, but with the vicar general present.

112.--When the of fice of superior general is vacant for whatever reason, the vicar general automatically becomes the superior general until the completion of the six year term; with the consent of his council, and having heard at least the provincials and vice-provincials, he shall as soon as possible appoint a vicar general from among the assistants. 113.--If for any reason whatsoever there should cease to be a vicar general, the superior general, having heard at least the provincials and vice-provincials, and with the consent of his council, shall as soon as possible appoint a vicar general from among the assistants.

114.--The vicar general ceases to hold of fice according to the norm of universal law and of our own law.


3. Assistants general

115.--The assistants general are members of the Congregation who constitute the council of the superior general and help him by their labor and advice in the government of the Congregation in order to promote the unity and strength of the Congregation, to assure the effective implementation of the Constitutions and decisions of the General Assembly, and to foster collaboration among all the provinces in advancing the works of the Congregation.

116.--§ 1.--The assistants general are elected by the General Assembly according to the norm of our own law. § 2. --The assistants general, at least four in number, from different provinces, are elected for six year terms, and can be reelected once. At the end of a second consecutive six year term, they cannot immediately be elected vicar general. § 3.--Their six year term is considered to have been completed at the time of the acceptance of office on the part of their successors in the subsequent ordinary General Assembly.

117.--The assistants general cease to hold of fice according to the norm of our own law.

118.--§ 1.--If one of the assistants ceases to hold office, a substitute is appointed by the superior general with the deliberative vote of the other assistants; the substitute has the same rights and duties as the other assistants. § 2.--But if a General Assembly is due to be held within six months, the superior general is not obliged to appoint a substitute.

4. Officers of the general curia

119. -- § 1. -- The secretary general, the treasurer general, and the procurator general at the Holy See are appointed by the superior general with the consent of his council, and may not be chosen from the number of assistants general. § 2.--They remain in office at the desire of the superior general with the consent of his council; by reason of their office they belong to the house of the general curia. § 3.--They can participate in the general council whenever called by the superior general, but without vote, except in the cases dealt with in the Statutes. § 4.--They participate in the General Assembly with the right to vote.