(This Canon Deleted at Revision IV)
1. Definition. Subordinate organizations include all dioceses, parishes, religious orders, monasteries, seminaries, schools, and other entities carryoing out the purposes of and/or using the name of the Ecumenical Catholic Church
2. Normal Situation. Normally subordinate organizations exist simply as part of “The Ecumenical Catholic Church, a California nonprofit corporation,” which is the legal entity through which the denomination exists. Being under the direct and complete control of the primate as chief executive officers of the corporation, the subordinate organizations in the United States use the tax identification number (TIN) of the denominational corporation.
3. Foreign Corporations. If desirable or necessary, the Ecumenical Catholic Church may incorporate in another U.S. state other than California or a nation other than the United States to represent all of the church organizations operating in that state or nation. The primate serves as chairman, president, and chief executive officer of all such corporations. The diocesan bishop, if appropriate, serves as executive vice president and chief operating officer. These corporations may establish separate tax identification numbers if required by law.
4. Individual Corporations. Dioceses, parishes, and other subordinate organizations may be formed into corporations if appropriate. Such decisions shall be made by the persons associated with the subordinate organization in consultation with the diocesan bishop and primate. The primate and diocesan bishop (if appropriate) are ex officio members of the boards of directors of such corporations. The primate shall either serve as chief executive officer or designate the diocesan bishop to so serve. The chief executive officer shall appoint the chief operating officer, normally the bishop, abbot, pastor, or other appropriate official. Subordinate organizations are not permitted to form corporations without the guidance and permission of the primate or his/her designate.
5. Articles of Incorporation. The articles of incorporation of all incorporated subordinate organizations in the United States shall include the following words, “Upon the dissolution or winding up of this corporation, its assets remaining after the payment of, or provision for the payment of, all debts and liabilities of this corporation shall be distributed to the Ecumenical Catholic Church, a California nonprofit corporation, if it is then in existence and organized and operated exclusively for charitable and/or religious purposes and exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, but if not then in existence or so organized and operated or exempt, to another organization which is organized and operated exclusively for charitable and/or religious purposes and which has established its tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.” The articles of incorporation of subordinate organizations in other nations shall have words providing the same effect.
6. Bylaws or Canons. The bylaws or canons of the subordinate corporations must both (a) be consistent with these canons and (b) specifically reference the articles of incorporation, canons, and policies of the Ecumenical Catholic Church as being binding upon the corporation and being dominant over its own bylaws and policies. If future changes to these canons cause a conflict with the bylaws or canons of subordinate corporations, the officers and boards of the subordinate corporations must amend their bylaws or canons to eliminate the conflict.
7. Corporations Entering the Denomination. Parishes or other entities beginning affiliation with the Ecumenical Catholic Church that are already incorporated must either (a) dissolve their corporation and be subsumed within the parent corporation or (b) amend their articles of incorporation and bylaws to be consistent with the requirements of these canons.
8. Primatial Approval. Prior to filing for incorporation, the primate or his/her designate must approve the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the proposed subordinate corporation. Likewise, the primate or his/her designate must review the existing articles and bylaws, together with proposed changes, of any incorporated organization prior to that organization becoming a part of the Ecumenical Catholic Church.
9. Approval of Prior Parent. If an incorporated parish or other organization desiring to become part of the Ecumenical Catholic Church had previously been part of another denomination or organization and its articles of incorporation and/or bylaws commit it to the prior parent organization, the formal written approval of the appropriate authority of the prior parent organization must be obtained prior to the organization becoming part of the Ecumenical Catholic Church. Transfer of parishes into the Ecumenical Catholic Church will only be done in manners that uphold legal and ethical integrity.
10. Exceptions for Legal Reasons. If the laws of a foreign nation require corporate systems, structures, or officers divergent from those delineated herein, such modifications may be made as necessary in the foreign corporation upon approval of the primate.
1. Creation. At the discretion of the primate, the denomination may be organized into dioceses.
2. Assignment of Parishes. The parish assignments of each diocese shall be established by the primate. As appropriate, recommendations from the bishops concerned shall be obtained.
3. Realignment. At the discretion of the primate, the proposed establishment or realignment of dioceses may be presented to the council of bishops and/or the denominational clergy for discussion.
4. Bishop. Each diocese shall normally be presided over by a bishop who shall be responsible for the ecclesiastical and secular affairs of the diocese. The diocesan bishop shall be responsible only to the primate and to the council of bishops as a whole. If a diocesan bishop vacates his/her position, the primate may appoint a priest as apostolic administrator until a new bishop is appointed.
5. Membership. The members of each parish and monastery within a diocese shall constitute the membership of that diocese, unless the monasteries are organized into quasidiocesan religious orders.
6. Monastic Quasidiocese. At the discretion of the primate, all of the monasteries and other religious orders of the denomination may be organized into nongeographic quasidiocese(s) headed by the prefect(s) for religious orders. Under this arrangement, the prefects must be permanently professed members of a religious order and may or may not be bishops. If such a quasidiocese is created, the monastic residents, whether permanently professed or not, shall not be considered members of the geographic diocese in which their monastery is located. The monastic quasidioceses shall function and hold conferences in a similar manner as a geographic diocese.
1. Primate Appoints. When the denomination is divided into dioceses, the primate shall appoint bishops to lead each diocese.
2. Auxiliary Bishops. Normally there shall be one bishop per diocese, and dioceses that become too large to be effectively managed by a single bishop should be divided into additional dioceses. However, auxiliary bishops may be appointed by the primate to serve under the authority of a diocesan bishop in some circumstances, including, for example, (i) during a period prior to a diocesan bishop’s retirement, (ii) when a bishop of this denomination moves into the territory of another diocese and boundary realignment is not desirable, or (iii) when a bishop from another denomination is received into this church and given an active episcopal role.
3. Leader. The diocesan bishop shall be the spiritual leader, ecclesiastical authority, and chief executive officer of the diocese, directly responsible only to the primate and the council of bishops.
4. Term. The term of office of a diocesan bishop shall be from installation until death, retirement, resignation, or removal as allowed herein.
5. Primate Chooses. The primate shall choose candidates for consecration to the episcopate and shall appoint diocesan bishops. Recommendations may be made by or sought from the council of bishops, the denominational or diocesan clergy, or another diocesan bishop.
6. Transfer. At the discretion of the primate, a bishop may be transferred from one diocese to another. Typically the consent of the bishop being transferred would be obtained. Bishops wishing to transfer may make their wishes known to the primate.
7. Retirement. Bishops may retire in accordance with the retirement plans for employees of the denomination as allowed herein.
8. Resignation. Bishops may resign their offices at any time without cause.
9. Remain Members of Council. Bishops who resign or retire from their offices shall remain members of the council of bishops unless they remove themselves from the membership of the denomination.
10. Removal. A diocesan bishop may be removed from office by action of the primate. At the primate’s discretion, the bishop may or may not remain a member of the council of bishops and may or may not be appointed as an auxiliary bishop.
11. Petition to Remove. The council of bishops or the diocesan clergy or the people of a diocese may petition the primate for removal of a diocesan bishop. The decision shall remain with the primate.
12. Diocesan Staff. The diocesan bishop may establish a diocesan staff to assist in the ecclesiastical and operational functions of the diocesan organization. This staff may consist of paid or volunteer priests, deacons, and laypersons. Retired or inactive bishops may serve on diocesan staffs with the approval of the primate.
13. Primate May Serve. The primate may, at his/her discretion, serve as diocesan bishop of a single diocese.
14. Acting Bishops. During the vacancy of a diocesan episcopate, the primate shall serve as acting bishop or shall assign the responsibilities temporarily to another bishop and may also appoint a priest to serve as apostolic administrator in accordance with Canon IX.4.
15. Bishops Received from Other Churches. A person received into membership in the church who has been previously validly consecrated into the episcopate may be placed in active or inactive episcopal status at the discretion of the primate. “Active” status would be the case in which the newly received bishop were given charge of a diocese or served as an auxiliary bishop or bishop on the primate’s staff. “Inactive” status would be the case if the newly received bishop functioned in a nonepiscopal role, whether clerical or lay, but was made a member of the council of bishops. A third option available to the primate is to give no episcopal status to the newly received bishop. Such action is not a reflection of the validity of orders, but of the political needs of the denomination and, perhaps, the personal desires or qualifications of the newly received bishop.
16. Council of Bishops. As a group, the active, inactive, and retired bishops, together with the primate (but not those members previously consecrated bishop in another denomination but given no episcopal status in this denomination), shall constitute the council of bishops.
17. Primary Consultants. The council of bishops shall serve as the primary consultants to the primate on ecclesiastical matters.
18. Meetings. The council of bishops shall meet as it so decides or as it is summoned by the primate and at other times as required by these canons.
19. Statements of the Council. The council of bishops may make statements on behalf of the denomination and may pass, by two-thirds majority (66.7%) of all members of the council, resolutions and regulations which are binding upon the membership, clergy, and individual bishops of the denomination.
20. Action Overridden by Primate. Any action of the council of bishops may be overridden by the primate except actions taken in accordance with Canon VII, Article 7.
21. Prefect for Religious Orders. If a nongeographic quasidiocese of monastic and religious orders is established, the prefect, if not a bishop, shall be given voice but not vote at the council of bishops and shall be invited to attend all meetings of the council.
22. Other Leaders at Council. At his sole discretion, the primate may invite other top leaders of the denomination to attend the council of bishops with voice but not vote.
23. Primate Approves Consecrations. Bishops may not consecrate other bishops or participate in episcopal consecrations, whether for the Ecumenical Catholic Church or not, without the express written permission of the primate.
1. Creation. At the discretion of the primate, the denomination may be organized into parishes.
2. New Parishes. After discussion with the primate and bishops of adjacent dioceses, diocesan bishops may establish new parishes within their dioceses.
3. Pastor. Each parish shall be presided over by a pastor who shall be responsible for the ecclesiastical and secular affairs of the parish. The pastor shall be responsible to the diocesan bishop.
4. Existing Parishes Joining the ECC. Parishes of another denomination which wish to join the Ecumenical Catholic Church shall be received as a group through reaffirmation of faith or confirmation, as appropriate. Each member transferring membership must be received as an individual, although for pastoral reasons in special cases this may be done in writing in lieu of participation at a public ceremony. The transfer of an existing parish shall be handled with the cooperation of the previous denomination to the extent possible. If a parish exists as a legal corporation its reception shall also be in accordance with Canon VIII.
5. Secession of a Parish. If a parish, together with its pastor, wishes to secede from the Ecumenical Catholic Church, a written statement to that effect, documenting the reasons and detailing post-secession plans, shall be sent to the diocesan bishop with a copy to the primate. Such a statement shall be signed by the pastor and at least 70% of each of the following: (i) the clergy members of the parish, (ii) the parish council if there be one, and (iii) the voting members. Such a statement shall also be accompanied by a list of the names and most current addresses and telephone numbers of all parish members and all persons who have transferred or resigned membership or who have otherwise been removed from the membership roles during the previous twelve-month period. If the pastor, clergy, or parish council are not in agreement with the secession plans, the documents may be submitted without their signatures provided that at least 85% of the voting members sign the statement. Upon receiving such a statement from a parish, the diocesan bishop shall do the following:
a. Assess the validity of the parish’s rationale, the likelihood of success in its desired new endeavor, and the consistency of the new endeavor with the theology and position of the Ecumenical Catholic Church.
b. Contact members in opposition to the secession, if any, to determine their interest in continuing as part of the Ecumenical Catholic Church, the viability of their existence as an ECC parish by themselves, and the feasibility of their joining a neighboring ECC parish.
c. Contact former members to assure that they were not pressured out of membership because of opposition to a growing plan for secession or a developing separation from the Ecumenical Catholic Church.
d. Assess the status of real and other property owned or leased for the parish in light of factors such as historical contributions (e.g., Did the parish members raise their own funds to buy the building?), future plans of the seceding parish, and future viability of an ECC ministry in the area.
e. Meet with the parish pastor and discuss his/her assessment of the situation and tentative decisions.
f. Meet with the parish clergy and members in an open meeting at the parish church to which all members are invited. Notice of the time and place shall be given in writing at least two weeks prior to the meeting. At his/her discretion, the bishop may invite former members and other members of the diocese.
g. Determine disposition of real and other property, which disposition may be: (i) transference without cost to the seceding parish, (ii) transference at reduced price to the seceding parish, (iii) transference at full value to the seceding parish, (iv) retention for ECC use, (v) sale on the open market, or (vi) other action as determined by the bishop. The seceding parish may reject an offer to transfer at cost, at which time the bishop shall select another option or reach a compromised price.
h. Determine the action to be taken regarding the status of the Ecumenical Catholic parish (as distinct from the seceding group), which action may be: (i) dissolution, (ii) maintenance of a remnant parish, or (iii) rejection of the secession, effectively maintaining the whole parish.
i. If the parish is dissolved, all voting members, whether clergy or lay, who signed the statement of secession shall be transferred to membership in the seceding parish’s new ecclesiastical organization or, if there is no such ecclesiastical organization, dropped from membership without transfer. Members who did not sign the statement shall be transferred to another ECC parish. Nonvoting members shall be transferred in accordance with their own desires or, if very young children, along with their parents.
j. If a remnant parish is maintained or the secession is rejected, membership will not be transferred automatically. If so desired, individual members may then apply for transfer to the seceding group or another church or may resign their membership.
k. The decision of the bishop may be appealed by the parish to the primate within 30 days. The primate’s decision then shall be final.
1. Appointment. The diocesan bishop shall appoint a priest to be pastor of each parish.
2. Bishop May Serve. A diocesan bishop or the primate may each serve as pastor of one parish.
3. Leader. The pastor shall be the spiritual leader, ecclesiastical authority, and chief executive officer of the parish, directly responsible to the diocesan bishop.
4. Term. The term of office of a pastor shall be from installation until transfer, death, retirement, resignation, or removal as allowed herein.
5. Bishop Appoints. The diocesan bishop shall appoint pastors who are ordained priests. Recommendations may be made by or sought from the primate, the council of bishops, the denominational or diocesan clergy conferences, a parish council, or another pastor.
6. Transfer. At the discretion of the diocesan bishop or bishops, a pastor may be transferred from one parish to another. Typically the consent of the pastor being transferred would be obtained. Pastors wishing to transfer may make their wishes known to their bishops.
7. Retirement. Pastors may retire in accordance with the retirement plans for employees of the denomination as allowed herein.
8. Resignation. Pastors may resign their offices at any time without cause.
9. Remain Members of Clergy Council. Pastors who resign or retire from their offices shall remain members of the clergy council unless they remove themselves from the membership of the denomination. If they transfer dioceses, they shall become members of the clergy council of their new dioceses.
10. Removal. Pastors may be removed from office by action of the diocesan bishop. These pastors remain priests of the church, resident in their dioceses, unless excommunicated in accordance with Canon VI. They continue to be eligible for other pastorates in their own or other dioceses.
11. Petition to Remove. The parish council, congregation of a parish, or diocesan clergy may petition the diocesan bishop for removal of a pastor.
12. Parish Staffs. Pastors may establish parish staffs to assist in the ecclesiastical and operational functions of the parish. The staff may consist of paid or volunteer laypersons. Pastors may request the diocesan bishop to assign deacons or assisting priests to their charge; upon such assignment, the assisting deacon or priest shall be responsible directly to the pastor. Retired or inactive bishops may serve on parish staffs with the approval of the primate.
13. Parishes Without Priests. Parishes without a priest to serve as pastor shall have both a parish director (either a deacon or lay member of the parish) and a priest-in-charge, both of whom shall be appointed by the diocesan bishop. The parish director shall provide all the administrative functions of the pastor. The priest-in-charge shall typically be the pastor of a neighboring parish and shall oversee the sacramental life of the parish in conjunction with the parish director.
14. Clergy Council. As a group, the pastors, assisting priests and deacons, and other priests and deacons who are members of the diocese shall constitute the diocesan clergy council. The abbots and other clergy within monastic institutions within the diocese shall also be members of the clergy council unless they are a part of a nongeographic quasidiocese of monasteries.
1. Sacred Promises to Denomination. When either ordained or received into the diaconate, presbyterate, or episcopate of the Ecumenical Catholic Church, all clergy make promises of allegiance and loyalty to the denomination, its canons, and its hierarchy. These promises of loyalty are made at the ordination ceremony before God and the world to the hierarchical structure of the Ecumenical Catholic Church. They are neither to any specific individual as a person nor to a wider concept of the general Christian Church. Separation from the Ecumenical Catholic Church and/or disobedience to its authority are by definition breaches of this sacred trust and breaking of the ordination/reception promises.
2. Part of Corporate Body. All clergy of the Ecumenical Catholic Church, and particularly its bishops, must constantly bear in mind that they function solely as part of the denominational body, not as islands of individual authority. The actions of one bring meaning and responsibility to all, and all clergy are responsible therefore to act within the constraints of the denomination.
3. Denominational Nature. Clergy status is denominational in nature. Licensed clergy of the church possess valid faculties worldwide, in all dioceses.
4. Licensing. The denominational director of human resources shall provide a means of licensing clergy for the denomination. Only clergy ordained or received in accordance with Canons XXI and/or XXII are eligible for licensing. However, although ordination itself is permanent, licensing is temporal. Licenses must be renewed periodically through a formal procedure and may be revoked by the denomination. Ordained but unlicensed clergy, whether by their action or action of the church, shall be considered laypeople from the standpoint of the church organization.
5. Fees. Licensing fees may be assessed with license issuance and renewal. The fees are forwarded to the denominational treasury. Although parishes should cover the costs of their clergy licensing fees, the fees remain the ultimate responsibility of the clergyperson being licensed.
6. Faculties. Only validly licensed clergy may function on behalf of the denomination and/or present themselves to the public as clergy of the Ecumenical Catholic Church.
7. Penalties. Unlicensed persons falsely representing the denomination may be subject to ecclesiastical, civil, and/or criminal penalties as appropriate.
8. Responsibility for Subordinates. Bishops and pastors are responsible for assuring that only properly licensed clergy carry out clerical duties within their dioceses or parishes. Allowing unlicensed persons to function as clergy is grounds for discipline of the bishop or pastor.
9. Dual Affiliation. Dually affiliated clergy have full ecclesiastical standing within the Ecumenical Catholic Church as well as affiliation with another Christian denomination. They must be licensed in accordance with the licensing regulations of regular clergy of the denomination. Furthermore:
a. Priests or deacons (or equivalent, regardless of title) from another denomination may serve as priests or deacons of this denomination at the discretion of the primate and diocesan bishop while still maintaining active or inactive clergy status in their original denomination. This relationship must be public information and may be included in church publicity. Clergypersons with dual affiliation are responsible to themselves for obtaining any necessary permission from their original denomination.
b. Dually affiliated clergy are responsible for full compliance with the theological and social positions of this denomination and must take this into account when establishing this relationship.
c. Clergy from other denominations that become dually affiliated with the Ecumenical Catholic Church are received into the clergy of this church by the bishop in accordance with Canon XXI.15 or XXII.15.
d. Once so received, dually affiliated clergy have the same rights and responsibilities as singly-affiliated clergy of the denomination.
e. Clergy of the Ecumenical Catholic Church who wish to obtain dual affiliation within another denomination may do so with permission of their diocesan bishop and the primate. The bishop and primate shall only approve the proposed new dual affiliation if the other denomination meets the same standards as those required of clergy from other denominations seeking affiliation with the Ecumenical Catholic Church.
f. Dually affiliated clergy who lose their status within their other denomination maintain their clergy status within the Ecumenical Catholic Church and become singly affiliated.
10. Denominations in Formal Intercommunion. Clergy of denominations that are in formal intercommunion with the Ecumenical Catholic Church may function within the Ecumenical Catholic Church on an occasional basis without being licensed in the Ecumenical Catholic Church. If they serve on a regular basis or serve at more than six Ecumenical Catholic services per year, they must apply for dual affiliation.
11. Distinction of Roles. Dually affiliated clergy must maintain a public distinction in their roles as clergy of two denominations. They may not use their personal relationship with both denominations to imply that another relationship exists between the denominations if one does not in fact exist. They also may not function in such a way as to imply that the individual events, services, or teachings of one denomination are also those of the other. These clergy must be consistently aware that assumptions and misperceptions are made by the public and the media, and they must be particularly careful to guard against erroneous perceptions.
12. Apparent Dual Affiliation Prohibited. Clergy of the Ecumenical Catholic Church are prohibited from serving a parish or group in such a manner that causes a relationship to appear to exist when one does not. Clergy cannot routinely serve another parish or group unless (a) there is denominational intercommunion or (b) the clergyperson has approved dual affiliation with the denomination of the parish being served.
13. Misrepresentation. All clergy functioning on behalf of the Ecumenical Catholic Church, both singly-affiliated and dually-affiliated, must carefully avoid misperception and may not use terminology, titles, names, or any other means to imply they are affiliated with another denomination if they do not have dual affiliation approved by both denominations.
14. Immediate Correction. If clergypersons become aware that their roles in different denominations are being perceived as intertwined or that people are making incorrect assumptions about their relationship with another denomination, the clergypersons should immediately make the changes necessary to mitigate the misperception. If an ecclesiastical superior notices such a problem, s/he should promptly address it with the clergyperson concerned, who must immediately cease and desist the acts that seem to be causing the misrepresentation. Willful misrepresentation is a serious offense and may cause disciplinary action, including suspension of clergy license or removal from clergy status.
15. Singular Responsibility of Bishops. By the very nature of the episcopacy, bishops have a special intimate relationship with their denomination that is singular in nature. It is not appropriate for a person to fully function as a bishop in two denominations.
16. Dual Affiliation of Bishops. The following restrictions apply to bishops of the Ecumenical Catholic Church:
a. Bishops of other denominations may become dually affiliated clergy, but they may not serve as diocesan bishops. They may have voice, but not vote, in the council of bishops.
b. Bishops of the Ecumenical Catholic Church may have dual affiliation at a presbyterial level in another denomination with the approval of the primate, but they may not function in episcopal manners, either administratively or sacramentally, unless formal intercommunion exists with that denomination.
17. Episcopal Visitors. Bishops of the Ecumenical Catholic Church may serve as episcopal visitors for other parishes, dioceses, or denominations under the following conditions:
a. Official episcopal visitor status, or any episcopal relationship extending more than six months, may occur only with organizations that have official intercommunion with the Ecumenical Catholic Church at a denominational level.
b. One-time or short-term episcopal visitation lasting less than six months may be made to organizations that do not have official intercommunion with the Ecumenical Catholic Church provided such organizations teach the Christian Faith as delineated in the Nicene Creed and do not otherwise contradict the basic theological and social positions of the Ecumenical Catholic Church.
c. All episcopal visitor relationships, both long- and short-term, must be approved in writing by the primate. If denominational intercommunion does not exist, it is the responsibility of the bishop desiring to establish an episcopal visitor relationship to document and ensure the qualifications of the other denomination or organization required in subparagraph (b) above.
d. Episcopal visitation must be strictly sacramental in nature. Episcopal visitors are forbidden from taking active administrative or authoritative roles in the organizations they serve as episcopal visitor.
e. The organizations served by an episcopal visitor must not derive any corporate, tax-exempt, or legal status from their relationship to the episcopal visitor nor may they present themselves in any manner that would imply that such a relationship may exist. Episcopal visitors may not serve as officers, directors, incorporators, or other legal capacities of the organizations they serve.
f. Bishops serving as episcopal visitors must always clearly present themselves as bishops of the Ecumenical Catholic Church and must diligently guard against any public confusion as to their ecclesial affiliation.
g. Episcopal visitors must always bear in mind that they are committed first and foremost to the Ecumenical Catholic Church by sacred vow and that the episcopal visitor relationship is strictly and absolutely subordinate and secondary. If the episcopal visitor relationship detracts from Ecumenical Catholic responsibilities or causes tension within the Ecumenical Catholic Church, the bishop should immediately terminate his/her episcopal visitor status with the other organization.
18. Limits on Ordinations. Bishops must recognize the following canonical limits on their authority to ordain.
a. Bishops may not ordain a person, whether for the Ecumenical Catholic Church or for another denomination, who has not submitted the required paperwork to and received approval form the denominational director of human resources. Although the documents required from ordinands external to the Ecumenical Catholic Church may be less comprehensive than those of candidates within the denomination, central filing and approval is necessary to maintain sacramental integrity.
b. Bishops may not participate in the consecration of another bishop without the written approval of the primate. The episcopal candidate will be expected to complete the necessary paperwork in a timely manner and submit it through the proposed coconsecrator to the primate.
c. Only the primate can consecrate or authorize the consecration of bishops for the Ecumenical Catholic Church. Clergy who are consecrated, or bishops who consecrate, without the express permission of the primate are subject to automatic dismissal from clerical status within the denomination.
19. Discipline. Clergy who violate any of these regulations and restrictions are subject to disciplinary action, possibility including suspension of license, removal from positions, removal from the clergy council or the council of bishops, or total removal from clergy status.
1. Establishment. Religious orders may be established by the authority of the primate. They shall be governed by a rule proposed by the order and approved by the primate.
2. Prefect and Abbots. Each order shall have an abbot (which term shall apply to either a man or woman) who shall be responsible for all religious activities of the order. Abbots shall be appointed by the primate. The primate may also appoint a prefect for religious orders who is responsible for all of the religious orders together, even if the orders are not formally placed in a nongeographic quasidiocese.
3. Diocesan Jurisdiction. Unless religious orders are formed into nongeographic quasidioceses as allowed in Canon IX, or unless the primate appoints a prefect for religious orders, abbots shall be under the jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop in which the order’s mother house is located.
4. Monastic Rules. Monastic rules for the order shall be developed and modified under the direction of the abbot and prefect for religious orders. Upon their approval, the rule shall go directly to the primate for final approval. Diocesan bishops shall not have jurisdiction over the monastic rules.
5. Local Leaders. Each operation of a religious order shall have a local leader who is responsible for all activities of the operation. This person shall be appointed by the abbot or prefect for religious orders in accordance with the rule of the order. The bishop of the geographic diocese in which the operation is located should be consulted, but has no final say in such decisions.
6. Dual Reporting. Unless religious orders are formed into nongeographic quasidioceses, the abbot and local leaders shall have dual reporting responsibilities – (i) to the diocesan bishop with regards to political, organizational, and sacramental matters external to the order, and (ii) to the prefect for religious orders with regards to monastic or internal matters.
7. Disagreements between Authorities. In the event that a disagreement between the prefect for religious orders and the diocesan bishop cannot be resolved, the primate shall be consulted.
8. Clergy Members. Members of a religious order who are also bishops, priests, or deacons shall be entitled to a seat on the diocesan clergy council, unless a nongeographic quasidiocese is established.
9. Local Parish Service. Members of a religious order may serve in local parishes if agreed to by the order’s local leader and the parish pastor.
10. Steps toward Permanent Vows. The rules of each religious order shall provide a graduated program in which applicants move through two or more steps prior to full and permanent profession into the religious life as a monk, nun, or other permanently professed religious.
11. Nonordained Religious. All nonordained monks and nuns under permanent vows shall be entitled to the same voting, representative, and organizational rights as deacons.
12. Chivalric, Lay, and Secular Orders. A religious order may through its rule establish a chivalric, lay, or secular arm of the order with the primate serving as the fons honoris of the order.
13. Membership in the Church. Religious orders may be designed to either be limited to members of the Ecumenical Catholic Church or to be ecumenical or interfaith in nature. The roles, duties, rights, and obligations of Ecumenical Catholics, Christians of other denominations, and non-Christian persons of faith shall be carefully delineated in the rule of the particular order.