An indult or a grant to a religious to live perpetually outside the cloister. The Holy See alone may give this permission to religious who belong to religious institutes of pontifical right; but the Ordinary of the place is likewise competent for religious of diocesan right. A secularized religious is no longer a member of his institute; he must lay aside the habit of the order or congregation, and as to Mass and canonical hours, the use and the administration of the sacraments, he is likened to seculars. He is likewise freed from his vows, without prejudice to the obligations attached to major Orders, if he has received them; he is not obliged to say Divine Office by reason of his profession nor is he bound to the other rules and constitutions. If by Apostolic permission he re-enters the institute, he must renew his novitiate and profession, and his place among the professed is according to his new profession. If a secularized religious is in Sacred Orders, and has not lost his diocese by final profession, he is obliged to return to his diocese and his own Ordinary must receive him; if he has lost his diocese he cannot exercise Sacred Orders outside the institute until he has found a bishop who is willing to receive him or until the Holy See provides otherwise. A bishop may receive such a religious either absolutely, thereby incardinating him into the diocese, or on trial for a period of three years; if the former religious has not been dismissed from the diocese before this time has transpired he is incardinated into the diocese. Unless he has received a new and special grant from the Holy See a secularized religious in Sacred Orders may not receive any kind of benefice in major or minor basilicas, or in cathedral churches; he may not teach or hold office in major or minor seminaries or in colleges where clerics are educated or in those universities and institutions which by Apostolic indult may confer degrees; nor may he discharge any office or charge in episcopal courts, or in any religious house be it of men or of women, even though only diocesan. Those who were given a similar grant before the Code may not receive any of the aforementioned offices or charges. These disabilities affect also all those who took temporary vows, or an oath of perseverance, or have made certain promises according to their constitutions and have been dispensed from them if they have been bound by these various bonds lor a period of six years.

MLA Citation

  • “secularization”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 22 December 2010. Web. 23 January 2019. <>