Decree 34: “Laymen Linked to the Society by a Closer Bond,” General Congregation 31 (1966)

The following decree from the 31st General Congregation briefly addresses the Society of Jesus’s relationship with the laity, a topic more fully addressed by the congregation’s delegates in another decree. Here, though, the delegates of the congregation give the newly elected superior general the responsibility for studying how the bonds between Jesuits and lay people—which differ based localized circumstances—might benefit from “a more stable and intimate collaboration.”

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Since in some regions of the world there are laymen who desire that the Society of Jesus join them to itself by a tighter bond in order that they may be better able to fulfill their own proper lay vocation in the Church;

And since the Society of Jesus, in fulfillment of the Second Vatican Council, seeks a renewal and adaptation which is at once spiritual and apostolic, making a judicious evaluation of the varieties of vocations for the service of the Church and souls;

The 31st General Congregation urges Father General to study the ways by which such bonds and a more stable and intimate collaboration can be achieved, taking into consideration the experiences of different parts of the world.



Original Source (English translation):

Jesuit Life & Mission Today: The Decrees & Accompanying Documents of the 31st35th General Congregations of the Society of Jesus, ed. John W. Padberg. St. Louis, Mo.: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 2009, General Congregation 31, Decree 34, “Laymen Linked to the Society by a Closer Bond,” pg. 186 [591–593].

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