Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Denial of a dispensation from a religious institute of a cleric without a benevolent bishop, 2006, Private.
A general superior of a religious institute supported the petition of a clerical religious for a dispensation from the religious institute. The priest requested the dispensation in accord with canon 691 and without the acceptance, at least ad experimentum, of a diocesan bishop. The response from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life was as follows.
CONGREGAZIONE PER GLl ISTITUTI DI VlTA CONSACRATA E LE SOCIETA DI VlTA APOSTOLICA
Prot. N. _____
Very Reverend Father,
This Dicastery received your letter dated _____, along with the Petition for the Indult of Departure presented by the Rev. _____, which lacks the declaration of a benevolent Bishop to incardinate him in his Diocese or at least to receive him according to the norm of Canon 693.
After a careful study of the materials furnished, it does not seem to this Dicastery that there are just and reasonable motives which justify, according to the norm of Canon 90 §1, granting a dispensation from the prescript of the aforesaid Canon 693 which for Religious who leave their Institute, prescribes the obligation of incardination according to Canon 265 or at least the acceptance ad experimentum in a specific ecclesiastical locality, thereby excluding absolutely acephalous and vagrant clerics.
The strength of this norm protects a key principle of ecclesiastical discipline, namely the necessity of preventing unpleasant situations for the Church in which a priest is independent of any authority, indicating the impracticability of a different solution from that established in Canon 693.
Therefore, if this Religious does not intend to withdraw from his intention to abandon the Religious Life and the exercise of the Priestly Ministry, in order to regularize his position he should present his request for the Dispensation from Priestly Obligations and Celibacy or the Institute should consider whether it is opportune to proceed to the norm of Canon 696 §1.
Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Denial of a dispensation from a religious institute of a cleric without a benevolent bishop, 2006, Private, CLSA, Roman Replies and Advisory Opinions, 2006, 19-20.