Decree 5: “On the Province Congregation,” General Congregation 33 (1983)

Following a “diligent review” of materials related to the provincial congregations, the delegates of the 33rd General Congregation issued the decree appearing below. The decree states that since “no grave harm” had resulted from Jesuits participating in the congregations who had yet to take final vows the policy would continue. It also suggests further study on who might participate in the provincial congregations going forward.

For more from the 33rd General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, please consult this page.




The 33rd General Congregation, in fulfillment of a mandate from the preceding General Congregation and as a response to the recommendation of the Cardinal Secretary of State in an appendix to a letter sent to Father General (May 2, 1975) with regard to the decree of that General Congregation “On the Province Congregation,” after having carried out a diligent review of the norms and determinations in n. 11 of that decree, made this determination:

1° Since the application of the norms of the 32nd General Congregation concerning the participation of members not yet in final vows in the province congregation occurred only twice and indeed within a brief span of time, and yet no grave harm in fact arose from that experience, but on the contrary an impetus to union and integration of all the members in the life of the Society emerged, and since new harm is not to be expected from the application of these norms over not too extended a time and with proper attention, the norms and determinations in Decree 14, n. 11, of the 32nd General Congregation should continue in force and will be reviewed by the next General Congregation.

2° In order that this review may proceed in the proper way, Father General should see that the necessary studies are conducted in due time. With the help of these studies, other questions which touch on participation in the province congregation and which were proposed by the province congregations recently conducted, especially that concerning the abrogation of a limit on the participation of formed coadjutor brothers in a province congregation as it is connected with the priestly character of the Society, will have more light shed on them and can be properly solved.



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 33, Decree 5, “On the Province Congregation,” pg. 459 [79–81].

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