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Secular Institutes
(1,941 words)

The “secular institutes” (instituta saecularia), as defined by Pius Xll in the Apostolic Constitution Provida Mater Ecclesia of 2 February 1947 (AAS 39 [1947], pp. 114-24), are the third public state of perfection in the Church, consisting of societies of priests and laity. Their members consecrate themselves to God by binding themselves to perfect charity through the observation of the three evangelical counsels. The object is the exercise of a fruitful apostolate in the world. There are three types of such institu…

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Jean Beyer, “Secular Institutes”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 27 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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