During a November 29 session with leaders of religious orders, Pope Francis called upon men and women religious to “wake up the world,” and said that existing Church rules governing the relations between bishops and religious orders are outdated.
Immediately following the Pope’s November meeting with the Union of
Superiors General, the Vatican revealed that the Pope had announced the
year 2015 would be dedicated to consecrated life.
But the remainder of
the Pope’s message at the closed-door session had not been made public.
Now the authoritative Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica has published the full text of the Pope’s remarks.
The Pope said that Mutuae Relationes, the 1978 Vatican document
on the relations between religious orders and diocesan bishops, “was
useful at the time but is now outdated.”
He said that he looks forward
to an updated version of the document, so that the ties between
religious orders and diocesan authority can be “rescued.”
“We bishops need to understand that consecrated persons are not
functionaries but gifts that enrich the diocese,” the Pope told the
religious superiors. “The charisms of the various institutes need to be
respected and fostered because they are needed in dioceses.”