CICLSAL, Anticipated Postulation in a sui iuris Monastery, 17 March 1994. Private.
A diocesan bishop delegated the vicar for religious to conduct a canonical visitation of a sui iuris monastery prior to the chapter of elections. The nuns voiced their concerns to the vicar concerning the chapter of election in the event they postulated their present superior who had served for two consecutive triennial terms, the limit according to their constitutions. If such a postulation occurred, the electoral process had to be interrupted in order that the postulation be confirmed by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL) in accord with c. 182. The members of this sui iuris monastery found such an interruption to be disruptive of the prayerful spirit in which they prepared for the election of their superior, vicar and councilors.
The vicar for religious brought the concern of the members of this contemplative community to the attention of CICLSAL, requesting that, if possible, the faculty to confirm the election be delegated in order to preclude this interruption. The vicar for religious noted the spirit of charity in the monastery and the prayerfulness and sincerity in which the nuns approached the important ecclesial event of the chapter of election.
The following rescript of March 17, 1994, was received from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
Your fax dated March 7 has reached us, in which you ask about the procedure to be adopted in the event of the present Abbess of the ____________________ Monastery in ____________, being postulated for a third term at the end of this month.
We have considered the case carefully, and in view of the difficulties which you list, and in view also of the fact that in the past this Congregation has granted a faculty to confirm a postulation at this monastery, we have decided to make an exception to our normal practice.
The Congregation therefore delegated to Archbishop ___________ of _________________, with power to subdelegate, the faculty to confirm the postulation of Sister ______________ as Abbess of __________________ in the Archdiocese of __________________, in the event of Sister __________ being postulated by the votes of two-thirds of the capitulars in the first or second ballot, at the election due to take place on or around March 31, 1994.
Apart from this everything is to be done according to the law and the General Constitutions of the _______________. Nothing is to be said about this faculty before the election to the members of the community, and if another sister is elected nothing is to be said to them even after the election.
I should like to express my appreciation of the concern you are showing for this community, and to offer you my best wishes for the coming feast of Easter.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Vicar for Religious
The diocesan bishop delegated the vicar for religious to preside at the election in accord with c. 625, §2, and subdelegated him, in accord with the rescript received from CICLSAL, to confirm the postulation in the event which occurred.
On the day of the election, the nuns postulated the superior who received the required two-thirds vote on the first ballot in accord with the constitutions of the monastery. The vicar for religious then advised the chapter body that he had the faculty to confirm the postulation. The superior accepted the election, and the nuns continued to vote for the vicar and councilors in accord with their proper law.
CICLSAL, 17 March 1994, Anticipated Postulation in a sui iuris Monastery, RRAO (1994): 3-4.