Institutes of consecrated life are canonically erected institutes in the Roman Catholic Church whose members profess the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience by vows or other sacred bonds. They are defined in the Code of Canon Law under canons 573–730.
The more numerous form of these are religious institutes, which are characterized by the public profession of vows, life in common as brothers or sisters, and separation from the world. They are defined in the Code of Canon Law under canons 607–709. The other form is that of secular institutes, in which the members live in the world, and work for the sanctification of the world from within.
Institutes of consecrated life need the written approval of a bishop to operate within his diocese, and a diocesan Bishop can erect an institute of consecrated life in his own territory, after consulting the Apostolic See.
Read more about Institutes Of Consecrated Life: Terms, Historical-juridical List in The Annuario Pontificio, Catholic Institutes of Consecrated Life
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... Institutes of consecrated life are either religious institutes or secular institutes ... Religious institute are societies "in which members, according to proper law, pronounce public vows, either perpetual or temporary, which are to be renewed, however, when the period of time has lapsed, and ... Secular institutes, are "institutes of consecrated life in which the Christian faithful, living in the world, strive for the perfection of charity and work for the sanctification ...
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