From Vincentian Encyclopedia
General Assemblies - Congregation of the Mission
According to the Constitutions and Statues of the Congregation of the Mission the General Assembly is the highest legislative body of the Congregation.
- 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.
- --§ 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.