DPC LogoSmallApostolic Letter on Implementation

Paul VI, Ecclesiae Sanctae I, August 6, 1966, “Apostolic Letter, written Motu Proprio, on the Implementation of the Decrees Christus Dominus, Presbyterorum Ordinis and Perfectae Caritatis,” translated from the Latin text in AAS 58 (1966) pp. 757-758 by Austin Flannery, in Austin P. Flannery, General Editor, The Documents of Vatican II, Preface by John Cardinal Wright (New York: Costello Publishing Company, 1975).

“16. With regard to the pastoral council, which the Decree Christus Dominus strongly commended:

“(1) The work of the pastoral council is to examine and consider all that relates to pastoral work and to offer practical conclusions on these matters, so that the life and activity of the People of God may be brought into greater conformity with the Gospel.
“(2) The pastoral council, which enjoys only a consultative voice, may be established in different ways. Although of its nature it is ordinarily a permanent institution, it may be temporary as regards membership and activity and exercise its function as occasion arises. The bishop may convene it whenever he considers it advisable.
“(3) Clerics, religious and laity, specially delegated by the bishop, take part in the work of the pastoral council.
“(4) To achieve the real objective of this council, study must prepare the way for common work and the services of institutes and offices working in this field should be sought if possible.
“(5) Where hierarchies of different rites are in existence in the same territory, it is strongly recommended that where possible the pastoral council should be inter-ritual, that is, consisting of clerics, religious and laity of the different rites.
“(6) The regulation of other matters is left to the free decision of the bishop, keeping in mind what is set down in no.17.

“17. (1) In matters affecting the council of priests and the pastoral council and the relations of these councils with each other and with the councils of the bishop established in virtue of existing law, bishops, especially when they come together in conferences, should take counsel together and issue common regulations for the dioceses of the territory.
“The bishops shall also see that all the councils of the diocese are co-ordinated as well as possible, through precise definition of their competence, mutual participation of their members, through common or continuing sessions or by other means.” (nos. 16-17, p. 601)