What is a secular institute?

“A Secular Institute is an institute of consecrated life where the faithful live in the world,  striving for perfection in charity;  and seeking, especially, from the interior , for the sanctification of the world.”  (Canonical Code of Right  Code of Canon Law  # 710).
Secular Institutes are still a recently  young reality in the history of the Church.  They began during the first half of the twentieth century and were approved by Pope Pius XII in 1947-1948  by  the Constitution, Provida Mater Ecclesia,  and the Moto Proprio, Primo Feliciter.   Up until that time, persons desiring to consecrate themselves to God had to  renounce the world in order to enter Religious life, be it in a religious community, or be it in a congregation.  With the founding of Secular Institutes, those who feel  called by God can consecrate themselves to Him without leaving their lay state of life.
Secular Institutes  unite secularity and consecration.  In effect, the member of a Secular Institute is fully in the lay state and fully consecrated, uniting, thus, two realities which had hitherto been incompatible.  (cf: Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, number 31).
Secular Institutes in these challenging times, are the experimental laboratory in which the Church verifies what her relationship with  the world should be.

Esta entrada también está disponible en: French German Spanish Czech Portuguese Vietnamese