Admission of Candidates to the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin: Canons 597,641-645, Ongoing Canonical Considerations
Admission of Candidates to the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin:Canons 597, 641-645Ongoing Canonical ConsiderationsJames M. Peterson, O.F.M. Cap., J.C.D.Director: Rose McDermott, S.S.J., J.C.D.Given the scarcity of religious vocations in the Western hemisphere and the copious numbers of religious vocations in some parts of the Eastern hemisphere, candidates are often admitted without the scrutiny required by canon law. In contemporary society candidates often lack depth in Catholic doctrine, are increasingly influenced by secularism, and have difficulty making permanent commitments. This dissertation examines admission to religious institutes of men in the 1983 Code of Canon Law and recommends a procedure for the admission of candidates in accord with the vocation and identity of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin.Chapter one of this thesis reviews the norms for admission to a religious institute in the 1917 Code of Canon Law, canons 538-546 and significant post-codal documents. Human experience and developments in the social sciences brought revisions, clarifications, and additions to the law on admission to religious institutes.Chapter two studies the period from the Second Vatican Council to the promulgation of the revised Code of Canon Law. Conciliar and post-conciliar teachings reflect theological developments and further progress in the social sciences, assisting the magisterium, major superiors and formators in updating the admission process. The teachings informed the code revision process.Chapter three analyzes the revised norms on admission to the novitiate in the 1983 code, canons 597 and 641-645. Post-codal documents and a symposium reflect ongoing papal and curial concerns for the admission of suitable candidates.Chapter four examines admission to the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. It addresses the Fourth Plenary Council, the proper law of the Capuchin Order, and the future of Capuchin formation and the development of a ratio formationis.
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