Vatican City, Nov 2, 2013 / 05:39 am
In the context of a discussion on the exodus of religious and priests, the heads of the congregation for religious have said that Pope Francis is open to a reformation of the Code of Canon Law.
At a conference on “vocational perseverance” held at the Pontifical University Antonianum in Rome Oct. 29, Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, noted that in the last five years the congregation dispensed nearly 12,000 people from religious life.
Archbishop Rodríguez discussed reasons for this vocational crisis, and lamented that “the Code of Canon Law does not allow us to have longer novitiates in order to permit a better discerning.”
According to the current code, novitiates in the religious life must last from a minimum of 12 months up to a maximum of two years.
Archbishop Rodríguez told CNA, “we could need even more time for discerning.”
During the conference he had asserted that he would “hope (for) a change to the Code of Canon Law” so as to better manage vocational paths.
At that point, Cardinal Joao Bráz de Aviz, prefect of the congregation, interrupted him, saying that “this is what the Pope told us.”
Archbishop Rodríguez responded, “yes, when I was pointing this out, I was thinking about what the Pope told us.”