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The Abbot General received a response to the request presented on March 7, 2019 to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Institutes of Apostolic Life. This petition requested an exemption from the obligation for all contemplative nuns to belong to a Federation, according to the norms of the Instruction on Female Contemplative Life, Cor Orans.

The answer, dated April 1 was received at the Generalate on April 12, exempts the nuns of our Order from this obligation.

This request was the result of the study of the Law Commission, at its meeting last January, and the consultation of the Abbot General with all the monasteries of nuns of the Order. It emerged from the study and experience of the communities of nuns that this norm of the Cor Orans was not applicable to the nuns of the Order since our structures and legislation provide them with an answer to everything that Cor Orans seeks to provide through the Federation structure.

The Abbot General had therefore requested exemption as Vicar of the General Chapter.

The text of the Congregation’s response is in Italian; an unofficial translation is given below.



Città del Vaticano, 1 April 2019

Prot. N. C. 79¯¹ / 2019-04-13

Reverend Father,

We reply to your letter in which you ask that the monasteries of the Cistercian Nuns of the ancient Observance be exempted from the obligation established by the Cor Orans Instruction on Feminine Contemplative Life to unite in a Federation.

As is clear from the Constitutions of the Order, the Abbots and Abbesses form a single Chapter (c. 4 §2). The Abbesses are members of the General Assembly with an active vote in the election of the Abbot General and an active and passive vote in the election of the members of the General Council.

After having carefully examined what has been said, given the legal link of the female Cistercian Monasteries with the Order, this Dicastery exempts the female Cistercian Monasteries from the obligation to belong to a Federation.

João Braz. Card. From Aviz

José Rodriguez Carballo, OFM
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