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The Provincial (plural Provinziale female mold Provincial of ) the head or the head of a province of the order in a congregation . It is the abbreviated designation for provincial superior or provincial superior ( Latin superior provincialis ), depending on the religious order also for provincial minister ( Franciscan order ), provincial magister ( Dominican ) or similar. Provincials belong to the higher religious superiors, they act as superiors of the members of the order in their province, visit the branches at a prescribed rhythm and are ultimately responsible for the economic affairs of the province. Deputies to the provincial are often called vicars ; the seat of a provincial superior and his advisory board is called a provincial council or provincial curia.

The term of office of a Provincial is three or four years , depending on the Order or Congregation . The appointment is made by the superior general of the community, either by direct appointment or in the form of confirmation after the previous electoral chapter (provincial chapter) in which the delegates of the province elect their major superiors. In many orders or congregations, the provincial term is limited to a certain number of terms, but often they can be re-elected after a suspension. There are no restrictions on re-election in the proper law of other communities.

Provincials are assisted in their administration by a provincial or provincial council, called a definitory in some orders . In important matters, they are obliged to obtain the vote of this council. Provincials are accountable to the General Government of the Order.

Like all major superiors of clerical male orders of pontifical right act of the provincial or his vicar who in these communities clerics must be, for the members of the Association as a full professor . The provincial has a share in the ecclesiastical jurisdiction and can dispense from certain ecclesiastical laws . In the event of disputes between religious or branches arising from his jurisdiction, the provincial superior, who has jurisdiction, is the judge of the first instance within the framework of general canon law. In contrast to the abbots of the monastic orders, provincials do not receive a benediction and are not entitled to wear the pontificals ( miter , crook , ring and pectoral ).


Individual evidence

  1. The founder of the order, Francis of Assisi , spoke in his will of the higher offices of "Minister" (servant), " Custos " and " Guardian " and avoided terms such as " Prior " or " Superior " in his writings ; Lothar Hardick OFM: The Franciscan understanding of ministry (Testament No. 12). In: Spiritual Legacy VI. Study day of the Franciscan Working Group 1979. Werl 1980 (Wandlung in Treue Vol. 22), pp. 46–59, now also in: Dieter Berg (Ed.): Spiritualität und Geschichte. Ceremony for Lothar Hardick OFM on his 80th birthday. , Werl 1993, ISBN 3-87163-195-7 , pp. 91-102, here p. 94.
  2. ^ Bruno Primetshofer : Ordensrecht. Rombach, Freiburg im Breisgau, 4th edition 2003, p. 63f.
  3. ^ Bruno Primetshofer: Ordensrecht. Rombach, Freiburg im Breisgau, 4th edition 2003, p. 64 (according to can. 1427 §1 CIC ).