Canonical and Legal Areas of Dialogue in Religious Life

Keywords: religious life, community, dialogue


Dialog in religious life is part of daily reality. It encompasses relationships between members of the given institute with each other and with their superiors. This dialog begins in the first stages of formation between the novices and their novice master. It continues during the time of professing temporary vows and never ceases during the life formation process. All members are bound to the religious life in mutual respect and understanding, which occurs through dialog. Institution, which represents the entire religious congregation, is the general chapter. Both members holding an office and elected members may participate in such a chapter. All the other members of the institute may report their wishes and suggestions in accordance with the law. Decisions are made after the discussion by the required majority vote. Superiors on the other hand make their decisions with the participation of their council, whose voice may be binding or only advisory. In short, dialog has its place in the life of religious institutes. Nevertheless, it is necessary to remember that the final decision belongs to the chapter or superiors, which also are responsible for carrying out the undertaken decisions.


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