A religious community (also order , from Latin ordo = order, status) is a community of men or women ( religious ) established by an order rule , who are bound to their way of life through profession (vows) and lead a spiritual life in community, mostly in a monastery .
Concept and distribution
A distinction must be made between religious and hermits , who may also be monks or nuns , but as individuals lead a life in seclusion, and other forms of consecrated life (such as consecrated virgins , members of secular institutes , evangelical deaconesses and deacon communities ). The generic term, which is rarely used in German outside of the ecclesiastical usage, for all who live in one of the forms of consecrated life based on vows or binding promises (Latin: Vita consecrata ) is religious or consecrated persons .
A distinction is made within the religious communities of the ( Latin ) Church
- the old medals and
- Congregations - these mostly did not come into existence before the 17th century.
The old orders that take solemn vows include communities that have existed for more than 700 years, including monastic orders whose members are monks or nuns , religious orders of knights , mendicant orders and canons regular . Religious communities of more recent origin are usually referred to as congregations . The Codex Iuris Canonici (CIC) of 1983 no longer recognizes the distinction between orders and congregations. Regarding the proper law of the individual papal or episcopal approved communities, the sometimes very old regulations are still part of Catholic church law .
The 1983 CIC differentiates between three forms of religious orders and more recent related forms of life that emerged after the Second Vatican Council :
- Religious institutes (Cann. 607-709),
- Secular Institutes (Cann. 710-730) and
- Societies of Apostolic Life (Cann. 731–755).
Religious institutes are referred to together with the secular institutes as institutes of consecrated life (Cann. 573-606).
In addition to the religious orders in the Roman Catholic Church, there are also Anglican and Protestant communities and communities . In contrast, there are hardly any religious orders in the Orthodox Churches and in the Eastern Catholic Churches that are part of their ecclesiastical tradition . Rather, orthodox monasticism is largely practiced in independent monasteries and monastery associations (e.g. the monastic republic of Mount Athos ). In a general, broader understanding, Orthodox monks and nuns are also included under the umbrella term of religious life.
The term medal , derived from canon law , was later also used by certain secular communities. Since the 14th century , European monarchies founded a number of courtly knightly orders , from which later mostly important orders of merit emerged (e.g. Order of the Garter ).
In addition to Christianity, there are orders or order-like communities in other religions, such as Buddhism , Hinduism and Islam . Spirituality and ways of life are very different in the various religions.
History of the religious orders
Origins and early days
During the time of the persecution of Christians , the great attraction of the Christian faith was due, among other things, to the fact that people unconditionally and steadfastly defended their faith - the New Testament calls this "bearing witness" - even if they lost their lives as martyrs or martyrs for it . This was based on the imminent expectation of the return of Christ. It was believed that Last Judgment would come within the first or second generation after Jesus' death and that the best way to prove worthy of it was through uncompromising surrender to the kingdom of God.
Through contact with Gnosis and Greek philosophy, early Christianity developed a spirituality characterized by a penchant for asceticism and a certain hostility towards the body, in which personal devotion took the place of immediate expectation. The followers of this current sought a deeper encounter with God and their personal salvation through abstinence , penance exercises , constant prayer and silence. A very radical ideal of perfection came into play, which was difficult to realize in a worldly- oriented environment.
Soon the need to realize a deeper bond with God and spirituality led to the development of Christian hermitism, whose theological basis is Old Testament "desert theology"; so the word “ hermit ” literally means “desert dweller”. The term refers to the inner contemplation in the desert, which as an image not only stands for silence and seclusion, but also for obedience and the recognition of God as Lord, as it was in the 40-year migration of the Israelites in the desert after theirs Excerpt from Egypt as well as in the calling stories of Moses and many biblical prophets . The Gospels tell of a 40-day stay of Jesus in the desert as a decisive moment of decision and encounter with God. Christian-Eremitic life developed around the same time in Syria and Egypt . The first Christian hermit in Egypt is Paul of Thebes ; his pupil Antonius the Great became one of the great fathers of the desert .
In the course of the third century, the experiences of the hermits, who often formed hermit colonies , led to the need of many to be able to lead a secluded life concentrated on prayer and asceticism in a community.
Monks and nuns - whose way of life developed from the associations of consecrated virgins - who devote themselves to the contemplative life in community are called, in contrast to the hermits ( anchorites ) " Koinobites ". Around 320 Pachomios (around 292–346) founded the first monastery in Upper Egypt . Basil of Caesarea wrote a monastic rule based on Pachomios' angelic rule around 350 , which is still valid today for the majority of the monasteries of the Orthodox churches and was also the basis for the Regula Benedicti written by Benedict of Nursia around 540 . The rules of the early monastic communities aimed at a balance between prayer and active work in the practical realization of the gospel and prescribed an unpretentious, fraternal life together. Early on, the evangelical counsels ( poverty , celibacy and obedience ) were seen as the synthesis and guideline of this way of life and developed into the distinguishing feature of monasticism and the religious order in general. They should enable the religious to imitate the way of life of Jesus (Imitatio Christi) and thus both to deepen their relationship with God and to pray for the salvation of human souls.
In the early Middle Ages the Irish Scottish Church played a central role in spreading the Christian faith and religious orders in Europe. As outstanding monks of the early days, the hll. To name Patrick and Columban from Iona .
On the European mainland in late antiquity and in the early Middle Ages, ecclesiastical structures could only develop slowly due to the turmoil of the great migration . This is especially true for the previously Roman occupied territories. There, the administrative structures collapsed completely in times of upheaval, until the Germanic tribes had clearly defined their areas. The life of monastic communities was thus constantly threatened. It was different in Ireland , an area that was never occupied by the Romans and was not affected by the great migration. The religious orders of Ireland had stable and solid structures even during the Great Migration. Monks held a high social position, as they were recognized by the nobility and the population as representatives of the new faith and at the same time as legitimate successors of the Celtic druids . This is how the monasteries of Ireland flourished in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages. The monasteries were cultural and religious centers and placed great emphasis on the study of the scriptures. For centuries Ireland had a reputation as the “island of saints and scholars”, which is why Frankish rulers like Charlemagne brought Irish scholars to their court. For centuries, the Irish Scottish Church was shaped by its monasteries. Unlike the Roman-occupied territories of England and the mainland, Ireland had no dioceses . The abbots appointed rather in their diocese the bishop and were set before him, sometimes they also exerted both offices.
With that in mind, it was possible. to develop a far-reaching missionary activity that was always closely linked to monasticism and was already very successful in the 7th century. The monks first evangelized in Scotland, beginning in 563 when Columban founded a monastery on the island of Iona . They then expanded the Irish Scottish mission to mainland Europe. In 590 a monk, Columban the Younger († 615), set out from the islands for the first time to do missionary work on the European mainland. He began his missionary work in Franconia, missionized in France, Italy and Switzerland and founded three monasteries: Luxeuil , Bregenz and Bobbio . Columban's successor was his pupil Eustasius († 629), who became abbot in Luxeuil monastery in 615 . Gallus († 645) and Kilian († 689) worked in southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland . As a result of Columban's continental mission, around 300 monasteries were founded in the 7th century. With the help of the Frankish nobility, the Irish Scottish monks also succeeded in proselytizing in the countryside and founding monasteries in rural areas, while Christianity was previously widespread in the cities. The Irish Scottish monasticism and the rule of Columban spread in Europe in this way. By resolution of the Council of Autun (around 670), attempts were made to introduce the Regula Benedicti as binding for all orders, but in fact both rules remained widespread until 817 (Reform of Benedict von Aniane ), mainly in mixed form. The last important representative of the Irish Scottish mission is Virgilius , who became bishop in Salzburg around 750. Thus, through their early missionary work, Iroschottic monasteries had a lasting impact on the spread of Christian faith and monasticism in Europe.
In their endeavor to combine their spiritual ideal with useful work and to carry out this task with care, the orders, especially the Benedictine ones , played a large part in the cultivation of Europe. The knowledge accumulated in the monasteries made it possible to bring culture in the fields of agriculture, horticulture, medicine, literature, music, art and philosophy to a level almost as high as it had existed in the Roman Empire before the Great Migration .
Donations, inheritances and successful business led to an increase in wealth and economic and socio-political power in the monasteries and in the entire Church. In the course of time, reform movements arose again and again that returned to the origins of monasticism and wanted to protect the monastic community against the dilution of spiritual ideals and the deterioration of morals, primarily through stronger asceticism and discipline. This often resulted in spin-offs and new foundations. In the course of the church reforms of the 11th century , the thus renewed monasticism (especially Cluny and its daughter foundations) gained decisive influence in church politics and provided a number of popes . Later it was the Cistercian reform movement, inspired by the Cluniac and preacher Bernhard von Clairvaux , who wanted to restore the Benedictine way of life to its old austerity. Through the founding of numerous monasteries and clearing in previously sparsely populated or inaccessible forest areas, the Cistercians in particular became a driving force behind the dynamic of settlement history in many areas of Europe in the 12th century.
To look after the pilgrims of all religions in Jerusalem, a hospital order was established there in the 11th century, the activities of which are first documented in 1099 and which was recognized by the church in 1113 as the Order of St. John . He was followed by several religious orders of knights , the main task of caring for pilgrims was to protect them and defend the pilgrimage sites in the Holy Land .
As a reaction to the social tensions in high medieval society, which was characterized by the growing importance of cities and the upheavals in the emerging money economy , the mendicant orders or mendicants emerged in the 13th century . These new communities placed the poverty and needlessness of Jesus Christ at the center of their lives, which, especially for the religious, no longer predominantly took place in the seclusion of the monasteries, but in the cities and among the population. The sermon was a main task of the brothers. During which the Dominicans especially the renewal of priestly formation, the theological science and catechesis dedicated, stood by the Franciscans , the pastoral and the unconditional observance of poverty ideal in the foreground. Both communities are to be understood as ecclesiastical answers to the acute threats to the church at that time from the currents of the times. They therefore also assumed important functions in the persecution of heretics and the inquisition . The Carmelites (actually an order of hermits ) and the Augustinian hermits (originating from northern Italian groups of mendicants in the middle of the 13th century) also belong to the mendicant orders.
Early modern age
Martin Luther , who initially belonged to the order of the Augustinian hermits himself, rejected the celibacy of priests and religious vows in his Reformation teachings (at least initially, however, he was not opposed to voluntary celibacy). The involvement of some orders in the exploitation of the lower classes of the population (lack of freedom of the peasants, prince abbots) led to many abbeys being plundered during the peasant wars. Nuns and monks who joined the Reformation left their religious orders. Often, however, the women's monasteries were converted into secular pens in which the canonesses took no vows. Monasteries in the evangelical principalities and cities were closed. The assets and the buildings of the orders and monasteries were sometimes confiscated by the princes, but mostly used to pay the new Protestant pastors or to set up schools and hospitals. In the 16th century the newly founded order of the Jesuits was an important executive organ of the counter-reformation that was beginning .
The conquest of America and the spread of Europeans across the world brought a completely new perspective on mission. As a result, sincere efforts to familiarize the indigenous population with the Christian faith were mixed up with the exploitation of the people for proselytizing with fire and sword. The religious priests of the Franciscans, the Jesuits and the Dominicans were the first to proselytize in America, whereby there were priests who saw slavery and forced baptism as a means of conversion and civilization of the population. Some orders presented themselves here as executive organs of the conquering princes. But there were also critical voices (e.g. the Dominican Bartolomé de Las Casas ) who opposed this barbarism.
Late modern times and modern times
In the 18th century, the Age of Enlightenment meant that many princes, including cardinals , were critical of religious life, unless it was linked to a humanistic or social component. As a result, contemplative communities were invited to participate in the education of the population. At the end of the 18th century in France and at the beginning of the 19th century in areas under French rule, secularization led to the expropriation and abolition of many monasteries. The lands and property of the religious orders flowed to the French state or the princes. Many convents died out because they were no longer allowed to accept novices and professing was forbidden.
After secularization, however, there was a new dawn in religious life in the Catholic Church. Social grievances such as a lack of nursing care, popular education and child welfare were taken up by secular priests or lay people establishing communities in many places, which often followed the third order rule of St. Francis of Assisi or the Rule of the Vincentines . The Protestant Church took up this concern in the mostly Reformed areas through the deaconesses and the von Bodelschwingh institutions in Bethel, among others .
Since the 1960s, religious life in Western Europe as a whole increasingly fell into a personal and related structural crisis. In the secularized world, the attractiveness of religious life has decreased, life as a religious loses its social prestige, and the understanding of such a way of life has in many cases dwindled. As a result, new entries, especially among the active orders , are falling in Western countries. Many congregations have had to drastically reduce or change their field of activity or close branches in the past decades. The resulting unbalanced age relationship led to tensions in some places. In some areas, differences between active and contemplative communities can be seen, with the latter as well as some newly founded religious orders (such as the communities of Jerusalem or the Community of the Lamb ) having a good offspring situation contrary to the general trend. The situation of religious life is also different in other continents (for example in Africa and until recently in Latin America ), where some communities have a high number of new entries and many new ones are founded. In Africa, many young women join religious orders because they can often benefit from a more secure standard of living there than in their families of origin. Combining the demands of the families of the religious sisters for “co-provision” with the ideal of the Evangelical Council of Poverty does not always prove to be easy in everyday African religious life.
Religious communities in the Roman Catholic Church
In the Western Church today there are six basic forms of religious life, to which the individual associations can be assigned (see also the list of religious orders ):
- Monastic orders for monks and nuns
- Canon Regular
- Spiritual orders of knights (in contrast to secular orders of knights, which are not religious orders)
- Knights Templar (also: Templer or Knights Templar; repealed in 1307)
- Sovereign Order of Malta (only religious order with sovereignty under international law)
- German Order (also: Deutschherren)
- Order of Knights of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem
Mendicant orders (also called mendicants)
- Franciscans (OFM Franziskaner , OFMConv Franziskaner- Minoriten and OFMCap Capuchin )
- Poor Clares (OSCl)
- Dominican and Dominican (OP)
- Carmelites , Carmelites (OCarm), Discalced Carmelites and Discalced Carmelites (OCD)
- Augustine and Augustinerinnen (OSA), to 1963 Augustine Eremiten or Augustine hermits (OESA)
- Mercedarian Order (OdeM)
- Regular clerics
- Clerical Congregations
- Lay congregations
- Congregatio Jesu (CJ) (long known as Englische Fräulein , the first women's order without a cloister)
- the vast majority of active women's orders, including
- Apostolic communities of sisters with a wide variety of tasks, including, for example, the Dernbach Sisters and many communities of Franciscans , Dominicans, Benedictines,
- Sisters of Mercy and other congregations dedicated to nursing the sick and caring for the poor, like the Canossians
- various school sisters who work in education and training,
- Missionary sisters such as the White Sisters , the Steyler Missionary Sisters or the Comboni Missionary Sisters
- and countless others
Fraternities that include
- various missionary brotherhood orders active as missionaries, including the White Fathers (MAfr),
- School brothers like the Sacred Heart Brothers (SC) or the Marist School Brothers (FMS)
- some orders of brothers who work in nursing, such as the Merciful Brothers of Maria Hilf (FMMA), Merciful Brothers of Montabaur (FMM) or the Alexians (CFA)
The relatively young form of life of the secular institutes , which is related to religious life, and the societies of apostolic life (such as the Pallottines or the Vincentian Sisters ), which are not legally regarded as religious institutes , are not included in this system .
Way of life and canonical organization
A Roman Catholic order in the narrower sense is a community of monks , friars and religious priests or regular canons or nuns or nuns who have made solemn vows to live according to the evangelical councils under a superior and according to their respective religious rules.
The life style of the orders necessarily includes living together in a convent or monastery , obedience to a superior (depending on tradition called abbot , prior , superior , guardian or minister , in women's orders abbess, prioress or superior ), the (partly public) celebration of the Liturgy of the hour , living according to a rule of the order and the close connection between prayer and work, as well as usually a religious costume .
Regular clerics are originally communities of priests who have come together under an order-like rule or constitution to follow a particular charism . Many of them were made in the 16th and 17th centuries. Their way of life can differ in certain aspects from that of the traditional orders. In some communities, for example, there is no poverty obligation or the unconditional duty to live in community, some (such as the Jesuits or the Marianas ) know additional vows.
Congregations are usually more recent. Many of them were made in the 18th and 19th centuries. In principle, they followed an original rule of the order, but developed their own form with their own statutes (mostly called constitutions ). This includes communities such as the Borromean Sisters , the Spiritans , communities of the regulated Third Order of the Franciscans or Dominicans and many other women and men communities. The distinction between orders and congregations was very important in earlier canon law , but only plays a subordinate role in today's code . However, the traditional differences are often reflected in the proper law of the communities concerned. Its members do not take solemn vows, but so-called simple vows, which, however, have little practical significance beyond the canonical designation.
The societies of apostolic life hardly differ in their way of life from a congregation. However, they do not take any vows, but a promise, which is the same as the vows in terms of content, but does not result in the same binding under canon law. The members of these communities make the final time promises after a few years. Typical societies of apostolic life are the Vincentine Sisters and the Pallottines .
The members of a religious community live in community, either in a more or less strict enclosure , that is, separated from the world and in the constant alternation of prayer and work in silence. One then speaks of contemplative communities. Or they exercise an apostolate, which means that they are active in a wide variety of professions in the world and in the church in the sense of practiced charity , which can include both directly church tasks (such as preaching or mission ) and general social or societal tasks (such as nursing , education or science ). These communities are called apostolic religious orders. An example of an apostolic religious community are the Salvatorians . There are also mixed contemplative-apostolic religious communities.
Strictly closed orders are for example the Trappists , the Carthusians , the Poor Clares and the Carmelites . The term nun (female form of Greek and Latin nonnus , monk ) only includes the sisters of monastic orders who live in the so-called papal cloister ; Members who belong to non-claused living and non-monastic communities, on the other hand, are generally called religious sisters .
Religious communities have their own regulations for members who, after long experience of community life , feel called to hermit , so that they can - with approval - take this step without having to give up their membership in the religious community. Nuns and nuns, in whose order this is customary according to old custom, can also receive the virgin consecration during or shortly after the solemn profession . For both cases, Can. 603 or Can. 604 of the CIC does not apply, since these canonical regulations only apply to those hermits and consecrated virgins who enter the consecrated life without being members of a religious community.
Many institutes make it possible for their affiliated believers who want to continue their worldly life to join a lay organization affiliated with the religious community or to join the community as oblates (from the Latin oblatum, offered) or as members of a third order. In this way, men and women can participate in the spirituality of a religious community, carry its spiritual impulses out into the world and contribute to the fulfillment of their tasks, without joining the association as full members. Oblates, which can make their profession after a probationary period, are particularly widespread among the orders of the Benedictine tradition. Other orders - such as the Franciscans, Carmelites and Dominicans - traditionally have their own secular branch, a so-called Third Order (which exists alongside the male and female branches of the main order). In apostolic religious orders of more recent origin, this position is often taken by so-called “collaborators” ( cooperators ), which are usually legally constituted in the form of a church association ( public association of believers ). For example, within the Don Bosco family there are the Salesian employees of Don Bosco .
Secular institutes are another form of communal religious life in the Roman Catholic Church . In secular institutes, each member lives alone and inconspicuously in society. In accordance with this principle, the members of the secular institutes do not wear any external identifying marks. It is a form of the Vita Consecrata that emerged after the Second Vatican Council .
Traditionally, religious, together with other religious such as hermits and consecrated virgins, form their own spiritual class, which has neither clerical nor lay character. From a canonical point of view in the Latin Church today, however, depending on whether or not they received the sacrament of ordination, they are either to be counted among the clergy or the laity .
Orders and monasteries are partnerships and, among other things, also companies and employers. They have to manage and manage household and property on their own responsibility, especially since they do not receive any donations from the church. What you take finances your life. Since medals do not pay into the pension fund, they have to set up appropriate reserves.
A community is financed through the sale of its own products, the operation of guest houses, restaurants, hospitals, specialist clinics, residential and care facilities, the establishment of boarding schools and schools , the leasing or sale of companies or lands , the use of religious members in pastoral care, as household workers or in the Health, Education, Donation, or Stock Ownership.
Religious communities in the churches of the Reformation
The reformers were predominantly opposed to religious life, so that religious life in the evangelical denominations came to a standstill as a result of the Reformation.
In the Protestant churches there are very few order-like communities today: The Order of St. John (Johanniter) , the Protestant branches of today's Catholic Maltese , which are still in the tradition of the pre-Reformation Jerusalem order, are a specialty . After the Reformation, various evangelical monasteries continued the tradition of their monasteries and convents in a renewed form. But they were not religious orders in the true sense of the word. In Germany, for example, the Lüne monasteries (Lüne, Wennigsen and others) should be mentioned, which are administered by the monastery chamber of Hanover . Protestant women live under the direction of a Protestant abbess in the Ebstorf monastery, which was reformed in 1529 . Loccum Monastery , which became Protestant in 1585 and has not had a resident convent since then, but still has an abbot and conventual, has a special position .
The deaconesses' houses enable women to cohesion and a religious community, as is also known from Catholic religious orders with a strong charitable and diaconal orientation. Such communities mainly emerged in the 19th century.
New foundations, mostly in the 20th century, such as the Communität Casteller Ring and the Communität Christusbruderschaft Selbitz , continue the Christian tradition of religious life in the Protestant Church today. Other communities such as the Michael Brotherhood have given themselves order-like rules, but do not live together in everyday life.
All of these developments mostly arose in the Lutheran churches. The Reformed Church , on the other hand, has no religious orders and continues to reject this way of life as a whole. Even pietistic and free church communities like the Moravian Brethren , according to their self-image, are fundamentally not in the tradition of religious communities.
Religious communities in the Anglican churches
Religious life in the Orthodox churches
The life of the religious takes place in the Orthodox churches in largely independent monasteries and nunneries. Orthodox monasticism is based in most cases on the rule of the order of Basil of Caesarea or that of Theodor Studites . The monasteries are of paramount importance for the theology and spirituality of Orthodox Christianity. Since the Orthodox Church only recognizes compulsory celibacy for bishops and not for priests, monks (in rare cases also unmarried secular priests) are practically exclusively eligible for the office of bishop, so that their weight within the church is also very high institutionally.
Ecumenical religious orders
The Communauté de Taizé represents an ecumenical community , whose founder Roger Schutz was himself a Protestant, but accepted members regardless of their denomination. In the liturgy and spirituality of the community, Catholic, Evangelical and Orthodox elements have been included and developed.
In Werningshausen there has been an ecumenical Benedictine monastery Priory Sankt Wigberti since 1973 .
Islam does not recognize orders in a sense comparable to Christian religious life, but there are brotherhoods in some Islamic currents that practice forms of religiously motivated community life or that jointly celebrate prayer rites and services in a regulated form. Since the 12th century, especially within Islamic mysticism ( Sufism ), a large number of such brotherhoods, so-called tariqas (see also: Dervish , List of Sufi Orders ) have emerged.
Buddhist monastic communities
- List of orders of men
- List of women's orders
- List of monasteries
- List of Order Abbreviations (Roman Catholic)
- List of religious office and function titles
- Karl Suso Frank OFM: History of Christian Monasticism . 6th edition, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft Darmstadt, Darmstadt 2010, ISBN 978-3-534-23389-2 .
- Erwin Gatz : History of Church Life. Monasteries and religious orders. Herder, Freiburg i. B. 2006, ISBN 3-451-23669-9 .
- Leonard Holtz OFM: History of the Christian religious life. Patmos Verlag, Düsseldorf 2001.
- Raymond Hostie SJ: Vie et mort des ordres religieux. Approches psychosociologiques . Desclée de Brouwer, Paris 1972 (fundamental study of the causes of the spread and decline of orders)
- Franz Metzger, Karin Feuerstein-Praßer: The history of the religious life. From the beginning until today . Herder, Freiburg i. B. 2006, ISBN 3-451-29093-6 .
Religious life today
- Thomas Dienberg, Thomas Eggensperger, Ulrich Engel (eds.): Heavenly and worldly. Church and order in (post) secular society . Aschendorff, Münster 2014. ISBN 978-3-402-13020-9 .
- Gertrud Hüwelmeier: God fools. The worlds of religious women . Waxmann, Münster 2004, ISBN 3-8309-1415-6 .
- Philipp Thull (Ed.): With Jesus on the way. Encouragement to religious life . EOS-Verlag, St. Ottilien 2013, ISBN 978-3-8306-7604-1 .
- Philipp Thull (Hrsg.): Encouragement for religious life. Let's go with him . Bautz-Verlag, Nordhausen 2019, ISBN 978-3-95948-386-5 .
- Rudolf Henseler: Order law: cann. 573 to 576 Codex iuris canonici. Comment . Ludgerus-Verlag, Essen 1998 2 . ISBN 3-87497-225-9 .
- Bruno Primetshofer: Order law. Rombach, Freiburg i. B. 2003 4 , ISBN 3-7930-9354-9 .
- Reinhold Sebott: Order law. Commentary on canons 573 - 746 of the Codex iuris canonici . Knecht, Frankfurt am Main 1995. ISBN 3-7820-0723-9 .
Roman Catholic religious orders
- Codex des Canonical Law (1983), in German , concerning consecrated life
- Pope John Paul II, "Vita Consecrata" (text of the Post-Synodial Letter) (vatican.va)
- Internet portal for monasteries and orders (orden-online.de)
- Collection of important rules of the order (orden-online.de)
- Religious communities in Germany (orden.de)
- Religious communities Austria
- Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (vatican.va)
- Orders and other spiritual communities. Mission and pastoral services today , Joint Synod of the Dioceses in the Federal Republic of Germany , 1971–1975 (PDF).
- Ingeborg Meyer-Sickendiek: God's learned Vaganten. The Irish in early Europe. Wiesbaden 2000.
- Peter Müller: Columbans Revolution , 2008, p. 18 ff.
- Peter Müller: Columbans Revolution , 2008, p. 39 ff.
- Hubert Mordek : Canon Law and Reform in the Franconian Empire: The Collectio Vetus Gallica, the oldest systematic canon collection of Franconian Gaul . Berlin 1975. pp. 84ff.
- Hubert Mordek: Canon Law and Reform in the Franconian Empire: The Collectio Vetus Gallica, the oldest systematic canon collection of Franconian Gaul. Berlin 1975. pp. 84ff.
- Dorothea Walz / Jakobus Kaffanke (ed.): Irish monks in southern Germany. Literary and cultural work of the Irish in the Middle Ages. Heidelberg 2009.
- Paul Fabianek: Consequences of secularization for the monasteries in the Rhineland: Using the example of the monasteries Schwarzenbroich and Kornelimünster , 2012, Verlag BoD, ISBN 978-3-8482-1795-3 , p. 6 and appendices ( Le décret des biens du clergé mis à la disposition de la Nation (1789), arrangement Arrêté portant suppres-sion des ordres monastiques et congrégations régulières dans les départemens de la Sarre, de la Roër, de Thin-et-Moselle et du Mont-Tonnerre (1802))
- José Casanova : European secularization from a global comparative perspective . In: Thomas Dienberg , Thomas Eggensperger , Ulrich Engel (eds.): Himmelwärts und weltgewandt. Church and order in (post) secular society . Aschendorff, Münster 2014, ISBN 978-3-402-13020-9 , pp. 41–54.
- Carmen Sammut SMNDA : The vow of poverty in Africa: lights, shadows and challenges with regard to the women religious . In: UISG Bulletin , No. 149 (2012), pp. 13-18, here p. 18.
- Can. 588, § 1. CIC : "The status of consecrated life is by its nature neither clerical nor lay."
- According to the traditional teaching of the Church, consecrated life is by its nature neither secular nor clerical, and therefore the "ordination of lay people", of men and women, represents a perfect state of the vows of the evangelical councils a value of its own for the person concerned as well as for the church, regardless of the ordination office. (John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata - On Consecrated Life and Its Mission in Church and World, March 25, 1996).
- Can. 207 CIC: “By divine instruction there are spiritual ministers among the believers in the church who are also legally called clerics, while the rest are also called lay people.” Bruno Primetshofer ( Ordensrecht. Rombach, Freiburg i. B., 4th edition 2003, p. 28), following the above quotation from the Code, once again expressly clarifies: “Christians who have committed themselves to a life according to the evangelical councils do not represent an additional status in the church according to the CIC, but are either clerics or lay people. "
- Guest house of Tholey Abbey
- In Rome: Restaurant "EAU VIVE" RUN TOTALLY BY NUNS
- Merciful Brothers Trier
- including friars as priests in the parish
- Work of nuns in church households
- Doris Wagner No longer me: The true story of a young religious , publisher: edition a, November 2014, ISBN 978-3-9900110-9-6
- Church and Money
- Katharina Kutsche in Süddeutsche Zeitung: Finances in the monastery. December 30, 2018