Institutes of Consecrated Life

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The technical term now used in official RC documents for ecclesiastical societies in which members make profession of the evangelical counsels of perfection. It covers Religious Institutes (still popularly called ‘religious orders’) and Secular Institutes. Members of Religious Institutes take public vows and live a common life. Those whose members take solemn vows are known as Orders; those whose members take simple vows as Congregations. Members of Secular Institutes bind themselves to follow the evangelical counsels and dedicate themselves to the sanctification of the world, while living in it, either in families or groups, or alone.

Subjects: Christianity.

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