1 In the Church there are associations which are distinct from
institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life. In these, associations,
Christ's faithful, whether clerics or laity, or clerics and laity together, strive with a
common effort to foster a more perfect life, or to promote public worship or Christian
They may also devote themselves to other works of the apostolate, such
as initiatives for evangelization, works of piety or charity, and those which animate the
temporal order with the Christian spirit.
2 Christ's faithful are to join especially those associations which have
been established, praised or recommended by the competent ecclesiastical authority.
1 By private agreement among themselves, Christ's faithful have the
right to constitute associations for the purposes mentioned in canon 298 1, without
prejudice to the provisions of canon 301 1.
2 Associations of this kind, even though they may be praised or
commended by ecclesiastical authority, are called private associations.
3 No private association of Christ's faithful is recognized in the
Church unless its statutes have been reviewed by the competent authority.
Private Associations Of Christ's Faithful
Christ's faithful direct and moderate private associations according to
the provisions of the statutes.
1 A private association of Christ's faithful can acquire juridical
personality by a formal decree of the competent ecclesiastical authority mentioned in
2 No private association of Christ's faithful can acquire juridical
personality unless its statutes are approved by the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in
canon 312 1. The approval of the statutes does not however, change the private nature
of the association.
1 Although private associations of Christ's faithful enjoy their own
autonomy in accordance with canon 321, they are subject to the supervision of
ecclesiastical authority, in accordance with canon 305, and also to the governance of the
2 It is also the responsibility of ecclesiastical authority, with due
respect for the autonomy of private associations, to oversee and ensure that there is no
dissipation of their forces, and that the exercise of their apostolate is directed to the
1 A private association of Christ s faithful can freely designate for
itself a moderator and officers, in accordance with the statutes.
2 If a private association of Christ's faithful wishes to have a
spiritual counselor, it can freely choose one for itself from among the priests who
lawfully exercise a ministry in the diocese, but the priest requires the confirmation of
the local Ordinary.
1 A private association of Christ's faithful is free to administer any
goods it possesses, according to the provisions of the statutes, but the competent
ecclesiastical authority has the right to ensure that the goods are applied to the
purposes of the association.
2 In accordance with canon 1301, the association is subject to the
authority of the local Ordinary in whatever concerns the administration and distribution
of goods which are donated or left to it for pious purposes.
1 A private association of Christ's faithful is extinguished in
accordance with the norms of the statutes. It can also be suppressed by the competent
authority if its activity gives rise to grave harm to ecclesiastical teaching or
discipline, or is a scandal to the faithful.
2 The fate of the goods of a private association which ceases to exist
is to be determined in accordance with the statutes, without prejudice to acquired rights
and to the wishes of donors.