CRI Guidelines
National Regional Local



1.         Statutes……………………………………………..5

4.         Chapter I……………………………………………7

5.         Chapter II …………………………………………12

6.         Chapter 111 .............................................................13

7          Chapter IV .................. ............................................17

8.         Chapter V ........………………… ........................... 21

9.         Chapter VI .............................................................. 21

10.       Chapter VII .............................................................23

11.       Chapter VIII ............................................................24

12.       Chapter IX .............................................................. 25


Approved by the National Assembly

at Dharmaram College

on 26 '" April, 2003


The Church as the sacrament of salvation and sign of eschatological hope, is commissioned to convey the Good News of Jesus Christ to all nations. She fulfils this mission as a communion of believers exercising various functions according to the charisms apportioned by the Spirit.
In this ecclesial communion some are called to freely as assume a life consecrated through the profession of the evangelical counsels in a stable form of living (Can. 573), in Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, canonically established by the competent ecclesiastical authority. The Church' through these consecrated persons; each according to his/her specific charism wishes to give an increasingly clear witness, both within and without, of Christ contemplating on the mountain; announcing God's Kingdom to the multitudes, doing good to all and obeying the will of the Father who sent him (LG 46). They have the prophetic mission to bear witness through word and deed to the values of Christ, affecting, and, as it were recasting, by the power of the Gospel, humankind's criteria of values, judgements and models of life, when these are in contrast with the Word of God and the plan of salvation (EN 19),

In view of the Indian reality, the Church in India has the following special areas of concern to which all Institutes of Consecrated Life should be fully committed.

1.         Witnessing to the reality of God's love through contemplation and service;

2.         The proclamation of the Word by sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ;

3.         The Liberation in Jesus Christ of the whole person and all peoples from, the dehumanizing forces at work within ourselves and in the society;

4.         Meaningful inter-ecclesial and inter-religious dialogue;

5.         Facilitating the emergence of newer forms of consecrated life suitable for India.

The Church in India has been blessed with numerous vocations to religious life, both of men and women, in Institutes of indigenous origin; and those coming from abroad. Drawing inspiration from Pope Pius XII, the major superiors of these Institutes met, at first men and women separately in 1960-1961, and then jointly in 1962 so that by combined effort they may work to achieve fully the purpose of each Institute ... and also deal with affairs which are common to all, and work to establish suitable coordination and cooperation with the Bishops' Conference of India and with individual bishops (cf. CIC C. 708). In 1963 the Holy See formally erected CRI and approved its Statutes. The same year it was registered under the Societies' Registration Act of 1860.

In the course of years the CRI organization and Statutes underwent several changes: (1) local units were set up from 1962; (2) regional units were started from 1973; (3) a CBCI-CRI joint committee was set up in 1966; (4) revised Statutes were approved by the Holy See in 1980; (5) the Statutes were further revised and approved in 1985;(6) with approval in 1990 any sectional president (priest/brother/sister) could become the National President; (7) profound modifications in the Statutes were proposed in 1995. The Holy See then asked the Conference in 1996 and 1998 to rewrite the Statutes incorporating certain redactional items. The Statutes are now being revised in compliance with these directions.

Chapter I


Article 1: Name

The name of the body is CONFERENCE OF RELIGIOUS, INDIA, hereafter referred to as CRI.

Its registered office is   CRI Secretariat, CRI House,

                                      Masihgarh, New Friends Colony P.O.,

                                      Okhla, New Delhi 110 025, India.


Article 2: Nature

CRI is a conference of the major superiors of all Religious Institutes and of Societies of Apostolic Life (cf. CIC cc. 607, 731, 734), operating within the territory of the Republic of India, constituted in the tenor of CIC cc. 708 and 709: This Conference established by the Apostolic See in 1963, is a juridical person (cf. CIC c. 114). CRI is also a Society within the purview of the Constitution of the Republic of India, registered under the Societies' Registration Act of 1860 (Registration No. S. 2316 of 1963-1964),

Article 3: Goals

CRI has the following goals:

3:1. To bring together the major superiors of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, so that they share the experiences, challenges and concerns of their religious commitment and get mutually enriched.

3.2. To make combined effort to achieve more fully the purpose of each Institute, while respecting the autonomy, nature, and spirit of, each (CIC c. 708).

3.3. To deal with matters common to all Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, especially those affecting consecrated life in India’ and to work to establish suitable co-ordination and co-operation with various Episcopal bodies and with individual bishops (CIC c. 708}.

3.4. To promote fellowship at all levels of the Christian community in a spirit of humble service and in collaboration with all sections of the people of God and all people of good will.                                   .

Article 4: Functions

The goals of CRI are to be achieved more specifically through the following objectives and corresponding functions.

4.1 To focus the, attention of the religious constanly on their common mission within the Church, according to their own charism and the context of the complex Indian reality: helping its members bear witness to the unique role of the contemplation of the Father in the mission of Christ; and by supporting the emergence of new forms of religious life in harmony with the Indian spiritual reality;

4.1.2. by fostering in the religious, both a sense of belonging to the local Church and a  genuine concern for and openness to the needs of the universal Church; developing among the religious keen awareness of the Church's mission of evangelization entrusted to her by Christ. A mission,     ' urging them to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, leading people to an explicit acceptance of Christ in  the Church if the Spirit so calls them; bearing witness to Christ's preferential love for the poor and the marginalized in the choice of their apostolic work and target groups;  calling for a sense of urgency to share their Christ experience with those of other faiths, in a spirit of mutual dialogue, and with non-believers, in a search for common basic values; involving the process of inculturation in all aspects of life and work: liturgy, spirituality, theology, value, systems, life style, etc: demanding that the religious keep abreast of the Indian situation and assume their duties as citizens of a country, beset with many problems, among which stands out the need for, national integration; and

4.1.3:6. furthering research into those spiritual and cultural values, a deeper understanding and assimilation of which is imperative for religious to be more authentic

and relevant Christian witnesses  the local context.

4.2. To pool resources and coordinate efforts:

4.2.1 by enabling its members through regular meetings and timely communications to share common concerns and to set and review goals;

4.2.2. by encouraging inter-institutional collaboration in those aspects of the Church's activities, which call for coordinated efforts.

4.3. To provide opportunities for consultation and dialogue:

 4.3.1. with the laity in a spirit of openness and trust, so that common problems can be resolved in a sense of mutual interdependence;

4.3.2. with its own members and other  groups,  including

government authorities when needed.

4.4  To offer service:

 4.4.1. A by helping the religious to grow in all aspects of religious life and particularly in the convictions that their commitment requires of them: a deep life of prayer and the spirit of contemplation; assisting its member in their task of formation and in the renewal of religious life;

4.4.3. by  providing for major superiors develop their role as animators and leaders

4.4.4.. by fostering the study of those trends and developments within the Church which affect the role of religious and by encouraging the formulation of guidelines for action related to them.

4.5. To promote relationship:

4,5.1. CRI does not interfere with the legitimate autonomy of each Institute and the responsibility of the respective superiors; however, being a forum for communion among the religious, it can have an inspirational role and be a dynamic element for religious life in India.

4.5.2.  Relations with bishops: CRI acknowledges.the authority of individual bishops as per the provisions of Canon Law and of the various episcopal bodies of India and other episcopal bodies, and works in collaboration with them in matters of common concern for the Church in India:

4.5.3. At the level of the universal Church, CRI loyally accepts the unique role of the successor of Peter and readily follows the directives of the Apostolic See.


Chapter II



Article 5: Membership at the National Level

At the national level membership is open to:

5.1. All major superiors

5.1.1 of Religious Institutes with public vows (CIC c. 607#2); and

5.1.2. of Societies of Apostolic Life and Societies of Common Life in the manner of religious with public bonds or promise (CIC c. 731 #2 and CCEO c.572).

5.2. The superior who exercises the highest authority in the Institute that does not have in India a major superior.

5.3. The legitimate successors of those already enrolled as members of CRI.

5.4.New Institutes wishing to be enrolled as members have to apply formally in the prescribed Form, to the National Secretary.

5.5. When a member is unable to attend a meeting of CRI, his/her vicar or councillor in the absence of the vicar, can attend the meeting as duly authorized representative with the right to vote.

5.6. The major moderators of Secular Institutes are not members of CRI.


Article 6: Membership at other Levels

The membership of CRI at the regional and local levels shall be as laid down in the Statutes approved by the National Assembly.



Chapter III



Article 7: Three Sections and their Functional Autonomy

7.1. CRI, though basically one Conference, has, however, three sections, each having functional autonomy, namely,

  • Religious Priests;
  • Religious Brothers, and
  • Women Religious.

7.2. To exercise functional autonomy each of the above three sections possesses its own

  • Plenary Assembly;
  • Executive Council, and
  •  permanent Committees.        
Article 8: Plenary Assembly

8.1. The Plenary Assembly is a gathering of all the members of CRI belonging to a particular section (priests/brothers/women religious) convoked by the President of the respective section at the time and place determined by its Executive Council.

8.2. The Plenary Assembly is ordinarily held once in three years or extraordinarily it may be convoked when the Executive Council or two-thirds of the members of the section deem it necessary (cf. 13.2; 18.2).

8.3 Preparation: For an ordinary meeting of the Plenary Assembly the notice of convocation along with the detailed agenda is to be given to the members at least two months in advance. In the case of extraordinary meetings the members are to be notified at least 15 days in advance. The Secretary takes care of the details of the organization of the Plenary Assembly.

8.4. Procedure: The Plenary Assembly is presided over by the respective President, or in his/her absence by the respective Vice President. The various sessions are chaired by the President or a moderator appointed by the Executive Council. .

8.5. Follow-up: The follow-up of the. Plenary Assembly, whether of a decision taken or policy adopted, is the overall responsibility of the Executive Council, which may discharge this function through the National Secretary.

Article 9: Executive Council

9.1. Each Section of CRI has an Executive Council consisting of the following office bearers:

9.1.1. The President

9.1.2. The Vice President

9.1.3. The Secretary and Treasurer

9.1.4. Two elected Councillors for Brothers' and Priests'

          Sections,and three for the Women Religious' Section.

9.'1.5 The Women Religious' Section will ' have a Treasurer ' other than the Secretary.

9.2.  The members of the Executive Council are elected from among the members of the Plenary Assembly for a term of three years and may be re-elected for another term. If, an elected member ceases to be a major superior before the completion of his/her term he/she will continue as the member of the Executive Council till the next election, After the election the consent must be communicated to the President in the tenor of CIC c. 177 #1 and CCEO c. 957 #1.

9.3. Functions: The Executive Council assumes the overall responsibility for the preparation of the meeting of the Plenary Assembly and its follow-up. It guides the affairs of the section, when the Plenary Assembly is not in session and in an urgent case, takes decisions on behalf of the section.

9.4. The Executive Council meets at least twice a year.

Article 10: Office Bearers of each Section

10.1. The President of each section presides over the meeting of the Plenary Assembly and the Executive Council. He/she provides over-all leadership for the working of the section and guides the other office bearers of the section and represents the section in the other bodies of CRI and outside.

10.2. The Vice President assists the President in the discharge of his/her duties and takes the President's place in his/her absence or during the period when the office is vacant.

10.3, The Secretary acts as the secretary of the Plenary Assembly and of the Executive Council.

10:4. The Treasurer is in charge of the funds of the section, receipts and expenditure, keeping of accounts and auditing.

10.5. The Councillors are jointly responsible with the other office bearers of the Executive Council for the decisions taken' by it.

Article 11; Permanent Committees

The Executive Council may constitute as many permanent or ad hoc commissions or committees as are found necessary to deal with various areas of concern for the mission of the Church in the country or for the formation, apostolate and welfare of the religious' themselves:


Chapter IV:



Article 12: Organization Set-up

To ensure the complete solidarity of the three functionally autonomous sections and to express that it is juridically and constitutionally one association, CRI at the national level has an organization set-up consisting of

12.1 National Assembly

12.2; National Executive Council and

12.3. National Secretary.

Article 13: National. Assembly

13.1 . The National Assembly is the gathering of all the members of CRI.

13.2. The National Assembly is convoked by the National President ordinarily once  in three years, or when demanded by the National Executive Council. it is held at the time and place determined by the' National Executive Council.

13.3. Regarding preparation, procedure, and follow up of the National Assembly, what has been laid down in these Statutes in respect of the Plenary Assembly shall apply mutatis mutandis (see art. 8).

13.4. The main concerns of the National Assembly shall be to promote all the objectives of CRI, to evaluate its activities in the light of these objectives and to propose amendments to them. It is competent to discuss and decide on all matters relevant to the purpose of CRI, including financial matters.

13.5. Whenever the National Assembly is in session, provision will be made for the Plenary Assemblies and regional gatherings.

Article 14:' National Executive Council

14.1. The National Executive Council consists of the members of the Executive Councils of all the three sections and one major superior elected by each region of CRI as approved by the National Assembly. Ordinarily it meets twice a year or when the National President deems it necessary.

14.2. The National Executive Council is competent to deal with all matters that further the purpose of CRI, which are of common interest to all the three sections. When the National Assembly/Conference is, not in session, the National Executive Council is authorized to take executive decisions for the whole CRI in urgent matters.

14.3. All decisions of the National Executive Council will lapse unless they are ratified by the following National Assembly/Conference or the Plenary Assemblies of all the three sections.

Article 15:  Procedure for the Meeting of the National Executive Council

15.1 The National Executive Council is presided over by the National President. 

15.2. The National Secretary, or a member of the National Executive Council nominated by him /her acts as secretary during such, meetings.           

15.3. The quorum for the National Executive Council will be twelve members.

Article 16. National President, Vice Presidents

16.1 The National President is elected d by the National Council for a term of three years from among the presidents of the three sections of CRI. He/she represents CRI in matters that concern all the three sections. He/she assisted by the National Executive Council.

16.2. One of the other two sectional presidents is elected as the first Vice President and the other becomes the second Vice President, The Vice -Presidents, in their order; substitute the National President when he/she is incapacitated or impeded.

Article 17: National Secretary and National Secretariat

17.1. The National secretary is appointed by the National Executive Council with the consent of his/her major superior for a term of four years. He/she may be re-appointed, but only for one more term. His/her major superior may recall him/her after giving three months' notice the National President. The National President, with the consent of the National Executive Council may terminate his/her services after giving three months' notice.

17.2. The National Secretary functions as secretary to the National Assembly and the National Executive Council. He/she takes part in the deliberations; but does not have the right to vote,

17.3. He/she serves CRI on' a full time basis. While. functioning under the authority and responsibility of the National President and the National Executive Council, and while adhering closely to the directives issued by the National Assembly, he/she sees to the effective fulfillment of his/her office, including animation and coordination of the activities of CRI throughout the country.

17.4. He/she is responsible for the custody of the movable and immovable properties of the CRI office, its archives, and funds, and for making disbursements with an approved budget, proper accounting and auditing.

17,5. He/she works in collaboration. with the Secretaries of the three sections of CRI.

17.6.  The National Secretary is responsible for taking up legal issues, civil and ecclesiastical, and for entering into agreements for and on behalf of CRI with the authorization of the National Executive Council or the National President as the case may be.

17.7. He/she is paid a suitable remuneration, which will be determined by the National Executive Council.

17.8. The Staff of the National Secretariat is appointed by the National Secretary in consultation with the National President. All CRI members cooperate by' making available the services of their personnel.


Chapter V


Article 18: Organization set-up

CRI may be organized at the regional and local levels as per norm laid down in the Statutes approved by the National Assembly. Each regional assembly elects one major superior to the National Executive Council.


Chapter VI



Article 19: Election

19.1.The office bearers are elected by secret ballot by their Plenary Assemblies according to the general stipulations laid down in CIC cc. 164-196.

19.2. The lections are decided by an absolute majority (half plus one) of valid and certain votes.

19.3. If after the first ballot no candidate obtains such absolute majority a second ballot is held immediately. If nobody gets the required majority at the second ballot, a third ballot is held. In the third ballot only the two persons getting the highest number of votes in the second ballot will have passive vote, and these two will not have active vote. In the third ballot, the one getting the greater number of votes is declared elected even without an absolute majority. It there is a tie at the third ballot, the senior by first profession, and, if the two were professed on the same day, the senior by age is chosen.

19.4. The newly elected d office bearers take charge only after the completion of the Assembly electing them.


Article 20: Voting on Affairs

20.1 Any proposal Submitted to the National Assembly or any sectional Plenary Assembly, which needs the decision of the same’ is to be formulated as a precise motion, so as to elicit an affirmative or negative vote. Such a motion is decided by majority vote of the Assembly. The vote of the Assembly  may be taken, either,

20.1.1. by tacit assent of the Assembly after a motion has been proposed by one and seconded by another without any expression opposition; or ballot, that is, by an absolute majority of valid votes, if there be opposition to the motion before the Assembly votes, or if the importance of the matter calls for this procedure rather than the former, according to the judgement of the President. If the vote is taken by ballot, only certain and valid votes are counted to determine the required absolute majority. In case of a second ballot is taken and if the tie is still unbroken, the vote is considered negative, rejecting the motion. The President has no casting vote.

20.2. The Assembly usually takes an open vote, either by tacit assent or by show of hands. However, for certain matters of greater importance, or of a more delicate nature, the President may call for vote by secret ballot, or he/she does so, if at least three members of the assembly demand it.


Chapter VII


Article 21

21.1.  CRI as a National body and as functionally autonomous section is competent to own, administer and alienate movable and immovable properties for furthering its goals, programmes and activities.

21.2, The National Executive Council decides on the membership fees and other contributions to be made by the members.

21.3. The National Executive Council passes the annual budget of CRI and approves the statement of accounts and the extraordinary expenses over limits decided by the Council itself. Each section` may have its own funds for specific purposes.

21:4: The Treasurer of each section and the National Secretary in respect of the National Secretariat, are in charge of the day to-day financial management of the CRI funds.

21.5. The National Executive Council approves the budget at its April meeting. The balance sheet is approved by the National Assembly. When required, the National Assembly authorizes the National Executive Council to approve the balance sheet.


Chapter VIII


Article 22: Relations with the Apostolic Nuncio

In accordance with the Motu . Proprio, Sollicitudo Omnium Ecclesiarum (IX, 2), the Apostolic Nuncio Shall be invited to the opening session of the National Assembly. The agenda thereof shall be sent to him in good time and afterwards the Acts of the Assembly shall be forwarded to him for his own information and for dispatch to the Holy See.

Article 23: Relations with Episcopal Bodies

At the National level CRI endeavours to play its role in close collaboration with the Episcopal bodies. The joint committees or any other suitable forum will facilitate this cooperation. One such forum, the CBCI-CRI Joint Committee, will have seven representatives of the of the CRI: The President (Priests' Section), the President(Women Religious' Section) The President . (Brothers'  Section) the National Secretary and an  election representative from each of the three Sections who will be elected every two years.


Chapter IX

Article 24: Interpretation of the Statutes

It is the competence of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life to give authentic interpretation to these Statutes. The National Assembly, however, and also the National Executive Council, when the National Assembly is not in session, is authorized to resolve doubts.

Article 25: Amendment of the Statutes

Amendments to the Statutes are reserved to the National Assembly, passed by a two-thirds of valid votes. Every such amendment comes into force only if and when approved by the Holy See.                                          

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