Society of Apostolic Life
A society of apostolic life ( Societas vitae apostolicae ) is a canonical community in the Roman Catholic Church . Her way of life is similar to that of the religious orders , to which she is largely equal in canon law. Members of a society of apostolic life can be clerics and lay people .
In the Codex of Canon Law (1983), common norms for institutes of consecrated life ( religious institutes and secular institutes ) are first established . This is followed by regulations for societies of apostolic life , which in many areas refer to those of the associations discussed above and are also included in the legal system of Catholic religious law:
“In addition to the institutes of consecrated life, there are the societies of apostolic life, whose members without religious vows pursue the apostolic goal of the society's own, lead a fraternal life in community and strive for perfection of love by following the constitutions according to their own order of life.
Among them there are societies in which the members take over the evangelical counsels through some binding established in the constitutions. "
The organizational measures, membership and regulations are defined with the other provisions. The communities are initially subject to the approval and supervision of the respective diocesan bishop . Papally recognized societies of apostolic life are under the direction and supervision of the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life .
The members of societies of apostolic life commit themselves to a life according to the evangelical counsels and usually make a promise after a few years that binds them to their community forever. In contrast to religious vows , these promises are only legally private and not public and therefore have a lower ecclesiastical binding effect than public vows. In the way of life, societies of apostolic life hardly differ from apostolic religious orders. Particularly well-known societies are the Sisters of Mercy of St. Vincent de Paul and the Pallottines .
- Cann. 573-606  .
- Cann. 731-755  .
- Bruno Primetshofer : Ordensrecht. Rombach, Freiburg im Breisgau, 4th edition 2003, p. 73.
- Can. 731  .
- Example: Statutes of the Working Group of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in the Rottenburg-Stuttgart diocese. ( Page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 31 kB)