Etzi Priamo ,
źSuperiores proprium habeant consilium╗. Una lettura comparata dei canoni 627 e 127 del Codice vigente,
Antonianum, 72/3 (1997) p. 427-445
SUMMARY: In this brief study the Author, through a comparison of cc. 627 and 127 of the CIC, seeks to highlight the important role of the Council of a Religious Superior as an organ of co-responsibility and participation in the government of Religious Institutes at various levels, and in a variety of forms that gives rise to healthy pluralism. The Legislator has for a good reason made the Council compulsory, establishing its functions in a general way and asking the particular law of Institutes to determine its specific functions in conformity with the nature and objectives of the Institutes themselves (cf c. 627). Nevertheless, it gives rise to a considerable number of problems concerning the rights a Council enjoys and its role in respect to the figure of the Superior who personally holds the munus regendi. Thus scholars dispute whether or not Superiors may consider themselves members of the Council and, consequently, whether or not they can vote with the councillors. Opinions are various and divided, supported by the differing traditions of Institutes.
The Author holds that the Council, with respect to the Superior, is an interlocutor and therefore distinct, since the law excludes collegial government as a norm. However the distinction Superior-Council does not imply distance or opposition, but rather Councils are a help to Superiors who ought to and can avail themselves of their opinion and advice (cf. c. 127). From this, one can deduce that the Superior and Council are two juridically distinct figures that act at different times with different responsibilities. Superiors are solely responsible for the acts they accomplish with the consent of their Councils because the acts are theirs: Councils place only validating acts so that the Superior's are carried out in a juridically valid manner.