Chapter III - Assemblies

From Vincentian Encyclopedia

CHAPTER III. Assemblies

1. Assemblies in general (C 135-136)

S.80.--Superiors and members should prepare for the assemblies, earnestly participate in them, and faithfully observe the laws and norms established by them.

S.81.--'1.--In elections at least three tellers are required. '2.--By law the tellers are the two youngest members of the assembly by reason of age along with the president and secretary after his election. '3.--At the beginning of the assembly there is an election of a secretary, whose function is: 1E to fulfill the task of first teller; 2E to draw up the minutes and documents of the sessions.

S.82.--Before and during the assembly there is to be fostered free communication of information regarding the matters to be decided and the qualities of those to be elected.

S.83.--When the business is finished, the acts of the assembly approved by the participants are to be signed by the president of the assembly, by its secretary, and by all participants, and, having had the seal affixed, are to be preserved diligently in the archives.

2. The General Assembly (C 137-142)

S.84.--The General Assembly has the right of making declarations which have doctrinal force and the character of an exhortation.

S.85.-'1.--An ordinary General Assembly must be held in the sixth year after the last ordinary General Assembly. '2.--An extraordinary General Assembly is held as often as the superior general, with the con-sent of his council, and having heard the provin-cials, thinks that it should be held. '3.--Provincial assemblies must precede the holding of a General Assembly.

S.86.--'1.--The superior general with the con-sent of his council should determine the time and place for holding the General Assembly. '2.--However, in the sixth year, for a just reason, the holding of a General Assembly, by a decree of the superior general with the consent of his council, may be anticipated or delayed for six months from the day on which the preceding or-dinary General Assembly began

S.87.--'1.--The superior general, the vicar general, and the assistants general who are going out of office remain members of the assembly in the subsequent sessions of the same assembly. '2.--Besides those who must be present by reason of office at the General Assembly according to the norm of our Constitutions, there should be present one delegate from each province and vice--province for the first one hundred members having active voice; if, however, there are more than one hundred members having active voice, there will be another delegate for each seventy-five members or part thereof.

The number of delegates to the General Assembly is to be computed according to the number of members having active voice on the day of the elec-tion of delegates in the provincial assembly.

'3.--If the office of provincial is vacant, the one who holds the interim government of the pro-vince goes to the General Assembly.

If the provincial is legitimately impeded from going to the General Assembly, the one who substitutes for him in office goes in his place. If, however, the latter was elected a delegate, the first elected alternate goes to the General Assembly.

S.88.--'1.--Before the convocation of the General Assembly, the superior general, with his council, having heard the provincials and paying at-tention to different regions and works, should ap-point a preparatory commission at an opportune time. '2.--With ample faculty being left to the superior general with his council to determine the work of the preparatory commission according to the circumstances of the time, the tasks of this com-mission can be the following: 1E to inquire from the provinces and from in-dividual members what, in their judgment, are the more urgent problems and what method should be used to deal with them in the General Assembly; 2.E after receiving the answers, to select, when necessary, the matters that are more universal and more urgent, to collect sources and prepare studies, and to send everything to the provincials in plenty of time before the holding of domestic assemblies. 3E to receive the proposals or postulata of the provincial assemblies, the studies made by prov-inces, and the postulata proposed by the superior general after hearing his council; 4E to organize all this material, and from it to draw up a working document; to send all this material out in plenty of time so that members of the assembly and the alternates can have it all in hand two whole months before the beginning of the General Assembly. '3.--Once the assembly has begun, the task of this commission ceases; the chairman of the com-mission, however, personally or through another should, if it seems opportune, present an account of the work of the commission.

S.89.--'1.--On the day of the election of the superior general, the electors should offer Mass for a successful election and, after a brief exhortation, begin the session at the appointed hour under the direction of the president. '2.--On prepared ballots the electors should write the name of him whom they choose for superior general. '3.--When all the ballots are counted, if their number is greater than the number of electors, the procedure is null and new ballots are to be written.

S.90.--The directory approved by one assembly remains in force until it is changed or abrogated by another assembly.

3. The provincial assembly (C 143-146)

S.91.--Norms made by the provincial assembly are general rules applicable to all cases described in them. These norms, nevertheless, do not affect the authority of the provincial as this is described in universal law or our own law, nor his executive power necessary for carrying out his office. They re-main in force until they are revoked by a subsequent provincial assembly or by the superior general.

S.92.--It pertains to the provincial, having heard his council, to set the date, and to designate the house in which the provincial assembly is to be held.

S.93.--The superior general should communicate to the provincial a decision about the provincial norms within two months after receiving them.

S.94.--Taking part in the provincial assembly there should be, unless something else is established by the provincial norms, as many delegates elected from the one provincial body consisting of all the members with passive voice, as there are delegates who must be present by reason of office, plus one delegate for every twenty-five members with active voice or part thereof.

S.95.--From this one provincial body, those are to be considered as elected who have received the greater number of votes, and in case of a tie, those who are senior by reason of vocation or age; the same number are substitutes according to the order of a majority of votes.

S.96.--If the superior of a house is impeded from going to the provincial assembly, the assistant of the house should go in his place. If, however, the assis-tant has been elected as a delegate, then one of the alternates should replace him.

S.97.--The provincial assembly can propose for the approval of the superior general, with the con-sent of his council, its own method of representa-tion in the provincial assembly, in such a way, however, that the number of elected delegates is greater than the number of those who are to par-ticipate in the assembly by reason of office.

S.98.--It is the responsibility of each province to establish in assembly its own norms of procedure, that is to say, a directory, within the limits of universal law and our own law.

S.99.--The provincial assembly is to proceed to the election of delegates and alternates for the General Assembly in separate ballotings, in which there is needed an absolute majority of votes

If in the first and second balloting no one is elected, then in the third balloting he is elected who obtains the greater number of votes, and in case of a tie, the senior by vocation or age.