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Exclaustration of religious
Question from Dr. Honeygosky on 2/1/2005:

Years ago my errant sister was exclaustated by the Roman Curia (don't know what section)from the ----- Sisters in Pa. She still continues to wear the veil, lives independently in another diocese in Virginia and publishes Catholic philosophy without an imprimatur. The order will take no action against her since they say she is in another diocese.

Questions: Is she able to continue to violate the religious life in such independent action with no attempt by the ------ diocese to cease her behavior. (I have requested such for the past ten years and the superiors claim they have no jurisdiction over her?

How can I obtain minutes of the proceedings by the Roman Curia as to what were the causes for her exclaustration?

Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 2/1/2005:

If one is exclaustrated, one is still in religious life, although it is meant to be an opportunity to discern whether or not to continue in religious life. It is ordinarily granted for three years. A decree of exclaustration from Rome would be handled by the Congregation for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. I am not sure if I can give a clear answer on the authority of her religious superiors or of the local bishop where she resides without knowing what the indult of exclaustration states. Her continued rights and obligations would be defined in the indult of exclaustration, including whether or not she can continue to wear the habit. The constitution and statues of her religious institute also might give pertinent information.

For more information, refer to canons 686-687 of the code (which can be found on-line at the Vatican web site -- vatican.va).

I am curious as to what jurisdiction or responsibility you have over her or for her.

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