General Principles 96-100

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Section I--GOVERNMENT General principles

96.--All members, since they have been called to labor for the continuation of the mission of Christ, have the right and responsibility, according to the norms of our own law, of working together for the good of the apostolic community and of participating in its government. Consequently, members should cooperate actively and responsibly in accepting assignments, undertaking apostolic projects, and carrying out commands.

97.--§1.--Those in the Congregation who exercise authority, which comes from God, and those who have part in this exercise of authority in any way, even in assemblies and councils, should have before their eyes the example of the Good Shepherd, who came not to be ministered to but to minister. Hence, conscious of their responsibility before God, they shall consider themselves servants of the community for furthering its own purpose according to the spirit of St. Vincent in a true communion of apostolate and life.

§ 2.--They should, therefore, engage in dialogue with members, while retaining the authority to decide and command what is to be done. 98.--All members, in accepting assignments given to them by the community, have the authority necessary to carry them out. For this reason, those matters which can be managed by individual members or lower levels of government should not be referred to higher levels of government. That unity of government which is necessary to achieve the purpose and good of the entire Congregation must, however, be preserved.

99.--By special grant of the Roman pontiffs, the Congregation of the Mission, its houses, its churches and all of its members enjoy exemption from the jurisdiction of local ordinaries, except in those cases expressly provided in law.

100. -- The General Assembly, the superior general, provincials, and superiors of houses and of legitimately established communities have over members that authority defined by universal law and our own law. They have, moreover, ecclesiastical authority of government or jurisdiction both in the external and internal forum. Superiors, therefore, must be in sacred orders.