Chapter 3 Assemblies

From Vincentian Encyclopedia
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Chapter III - Assemblies

1. Assemblies in general

135.--Assemblies of the Congregation of the Mission, the task of which is to preserve and promote the spirituality and apostolic vitality of the Congregation, are of three kinds: general, provincial, and domestic.

136.--§ 1.--No one can have a double vote. § 2.--Conditions attached to a vote before an election are to be considered as not having been attached. § 3.--Election imposes on the one elected an obligation of participating in an assembly or of accepting an office, unless excused for a serious reason. If it is a matter of participation, the serious reason is approved by the competent superior, who afterwards seeks from the assembly its confirmation; if it is a matter of accepting an office, the serious reason is to be approved by the assembly itself.

2. The General Assembly

137. --The General Assembly, immediately representing the entire Congregation, as the supreme authority of the Congregation has the right: 1 to protect the heritage of the Institute and to foster appropriate renewal in accord with that heritage; 2 to elect the superior general, vicar general, and assistants general; 3 to enact laws or Statutes, and Decrees, for the good of the Congregation, with due regard for the principle of subsidiarity. Statutes which are not explicitly abrogated remain in force. Decrees must be explicitly confirmed in order to remain in force; 4 by a two thirds vote to request changes from the Holy See in the Constitutions approved by it; 5 to interpret authentically the Statutes; the authentic interpretation of the Constitutions, however, belongs to the Holy See.

138.--A General Assembly, convoked by the superior general, is to be held as: 1 an ordinary General Assembly, for electing the superior general, vicar general, and assistants general, and for the transaction of the business of the Congregation; 2 an extraordinary General Assembly, when it is convoked by the superior general according to the norm of our own law.

139.--The following are to be present at the General Assembly: 1 the superior general, the vicar general and assistants general, the secretary general, the treasurer general, and the procurator general at the Holy See; 2 provincials, and delegates of the provinces elected according to the norm of our own law.

140.--§ 1.--The procedure for the election of the superior general is as follows: if on the first balloting no one receives two thirds of the votes, a second balloting is to be held in the same manner as the first. If no one receives the required majority in the second balloting, a third and a fourth are to be held in the same way. After the fourth inefficacious balloting, a fifth should be held, in which an absolute majority of votes, discounting the invalid ones, is required and suffices. After a fifth inefficacious balloting, a sixth should be held, in which only the two candidates who had the greater number of votes, even though equal, in the fifth balloting shall have passive voice, unless several had an equal number of votes in first or second place; in this case, these also have passive voice in the sixth balloting, in which a relative majority of votes, discounting the invalid votes, is required and suffices. In the event of a tied vote, the candidate who is senior by vocation or age shall be considered elected. § 2. --After the election is legitimately completed, and the one elected has accepted office, the decree of election is drawn up, and the one presiding shall proclaim in a clear voice the one elected. But if the president himself has been elected superior general, the secretary of the Assembly shall draw up the decree and the moderator shall proclaim the one elected. § 3.--The one elected should not refuse the burden committed to him except for a serious reason. § 4.--When the election is completed and thanks given to God, the ballots should be destroyed. § 5.--If the newly elected is not present, he should be summoned, and the Assembly can deal with other business of the Congregation until he arrivcs .

141. --The vicar general is elected under thc same conditions as the superior general and in the manner prescribed in article 140, § 1. 142.--§ 1.--When the elections of the superior general and vicar general are finished, the General Assembly proceeds to the election of the other assistants in distinct ballotings. § 2.--Those will be considered elected who, discounting the invalid votes, receive an absolute majority of votes; these should be proclaimed by the president of the Assembly as elected. § 3.--If in the first and second balloting no one is elected, then in the third balloting he is elected who receives a relative majority of votes, and in case of a tie, the senior by vocation or age.

3. The provincial assembly

143.--The provincial assembly, as a gathering of members who represent the province as delegates, has the following functions: 1 to establish norms for the common good of the province, within the limits of universal law and our own law, which obtain obligatory force after being approved by the superior general with the consent of his council; 2 as a consultative organ of the provincial, to deal with matters which can promote the good of the province; 3 to act on proposals which in the name of the province are to be presented to the General Assembly or the superior general; 4 to elect delegates to the General Assembly, when required; 5 to make norms for domestic assemblies, within the limits of universal law and our own law, and these do not need the approval of the superior general.

144.--§ 1.--The provincial assembly is to be held twice every six years, once before the General Assembly and once at some intermediate time.

§ 2.--If it is necessary, the provincial with the consent of his council, and having heard the local superiors, is able to convoke an extraordinary provincial assembly.

145.--It pertains to the provincial to convoke the provincial assembly, to preside over it, to dismiss the members with the consent of the assembly, and to promulgate its norms.

146.--Unless something else is provided in provincial norms, the following are to participate in the provincial assembly: 1 by reason of office, the provincial, the provincial consultors, the provincial treasurer, and the superiors of each of the houses of the province; 2 in addition, delegates elected according to the norm of our own law.

4. The domestic assembly

147.--§ 1.--The domestic assembly is convoked by the superior of the house or by the assistant who is exercising the total office of superior, and is held to prepare for the provincial assembly. § 2.--All those having active voice are to be called to the domestic assembly. § 3.--It is the function of the domestic assembly to deal with those things which the house wishes to propose to the provincial assembly as well as those things which the preparatory commission for the provincial assembly has proposed for discussion, and to deliberate about proposals.