Perfectae Caritatis

The decree Perfectae Caritatis (abbreviation: PC) via the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life is a document of the Second Vatican Council and was published on 28 October 1965.


This conciliar document changes and a redesign of the religious life began. The Council Fathers deemed it necessary to seek new forms of community life and apostolic service and minted by the religious way of life, their actions in the Church and in the world to reshape profound. In the conciliar decree conferences and councils for higher Upper explicitly be supported (see PC 23). This resulted later in Germany, the German Superiors Conference. Broad lines of such arrangements were also in Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, adopted and incorporated.

Renovations and preservation

In this regulation, it is required that, within their respective nature, the monks and nuns should always replace the old traditions of charitable activity and to adapt them to current needs of the people, so that their monasteries [ ... ] the promotion and renewal of the Christian people serve ( comp.. PC No. 19 ) " the way of life of religious communities is directed according to the three evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience. The members of all institutions are to remain aware that they are followed by their profession of the evangelical counsels, especially a divine call [ ... ] who have renounced the world in order to live to God alone; because they have their whole lives over to His service. Therefore was to look at the effort to renew that the forms and services of the nature and the needs of today's society meet. The opinions, judgments and manners of his contemporaries, among whom we live must be tested and what is found in good and justifiable to them as valuable elements for the contemporary life in religious communities not adopt (see PC # 3 )

To celibate chastity

Perfectae Caritatis states that celibacy a " very high gift of grace " is for the sake of the kingdom of heaven and should therefore be highly valued by the religious. First, the religious will be faithful to their promises, on the other hand should be directed to the religious life, the selection and training of candidates that they will be admitted to the vows only after obtaining the necessary affective maturity and guided it " the godly celibacy for the benefit to take over the whole person inside. " (PC 12)

To poverty

A conscious renunciation of the free disposal of the goods of the world, as is done by the vows of poverty, makes the religious free for the intangible assets of the future world. The disposal of the things you need for life and the apostolic activities of the religious community, carried out in agreement with the superiors. Perfectae Caritatis states that the poverty of the religious are not limited to, the dependence of the rulers in the use of things, but should be an actual poverty, and the attitude should be after. It may also are "newer forms" of poverty are practiced. (PC 13)

For obedience

After a spiritual derivation is performed in Perfecte Caritatis that although the religious afford their superiors obedience, but to also use the special gifts:

" The subordinates are intended so the Upper humbly obey the spirit of faith and love for the will of God in accordance with the Rule and the Constitutions, and in such a way that they entrusted the execution of what is arranged, and in the fulfillment of their use tasks that own intellect and will power and the gifts that have given them nature and grace, using, in the knowledge that they contribute thus to the edifying of the body of Christ according to God's purpose. (PC 14 "

The Superiors are again particularly encouraged to let the members of the Order " due liberty in relation to the confession and the direction of conscience " and to listen to their subordinates and to lead them to an active and responsible obedience.

The professed

For holy promise, the profession is arranged so that after three years of temporal vows, the candidate may request from the government of the Order, the permission to take the vows in the Order. ( ext. PC # 5 )

The management of monasteries

It is for the competent authorities to ensure that laws and institutions really promote and support the contemporary life of the community and not hinder as outdated and inadequate progress of life. This requires the Second Vatican Council with this Regulation if it prescribes,

" To review the Constitutions and the way the line of the monasteries, the congregations and of the Order and revise accordingly after removal of obsolete provisions (see PC # 3 ). "

Pope Paul VI. explained this as "obsolete" was to be considered, which is not inherent in the nature or target of the institute, had its content and meaning is lost and so the religious life no longer really supported. But it must be noted that the religious state according to its task symbolic character wearing ( cf. Motu Proprio Ecclesiae Sanctae Paul VI. Dated August 6, 1966).

It emphasizes Perfectae Caritatis, based on all appropriate renewal of religious life, the " constant return to the sources of all Christian life and to the spirit of the origin of individual institutions, but also their adaptation to how times have changed. "

Forty Rochester anniversary

By being followed the directives of the Magisterium of the Church in the past 40 years, the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life have come a fruitful path of renewal. He was the one inspired by the desire to gift received from the Holy Spirit through the company founders to remain faithful, and on the other hand, " the physical and psychological conditions of the people of today" adjust by the desire of life, prayer and work, " but - as far as the character of the institute demands - the demands of the apostolate, to meet the demands of cultural, social and economic environment" ( Perfectae Caritatis, 3).