Pope Allows Unordained Lay Brothers to Lead Religious Orders

The Vatican announced on Wednesday that religious orders can select lay brothers to serve as provincial superior or superior general of the communities, America Magazine reported.

According to a rescript from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, a body that oversees the religious orders, the exception to canon law was approved by Pope Francis on Feb. 11.

The rescript does not give permanent permission to elect a brother as a superior general. Instead, it requires those seeking the position to obtain a license from the overseeing body.

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