Chapter 7 §3
“THE FRIARS ARE BOUND TO OBEY BROTHER FRANCIS AND HIS SUCCESSORS”
The structures and government of the Order and the administration of goods
The Provincial Chapter, the Capitular Congressus and the Plenary Council of the Province
§1 It is the responsibility of the Provincial Chapter to exa?mine the present state of life and activity of the friars of the Province, to search for and propose suitable means for its growth and improvement, to discuss and, by common council, to decide on new undertakings and affairs of major importance, and to carry out elections.
§2 The enactment of particular Statutes belongs to the Provincial Chapter; these Statutes, however, need approval by the General Definitory. The Provincial Chapter draws up other special Statutes for the Province on its own authority.
§1 The Provincial Chapter is governed by these Constitutions, the General Statutes, the particular Statutes and its rules of procedure.
§2 Without prejudice to the prescriptions of these Constitutions and the General Statutes, matters which concern the composition, convocation and holding of the Provincial Chapter, as well as the elections that are to be carried out in Chapter, are to be defined in the particular Statutes.
Within three months of the Chapter – unless the Statutes make other provisions – at the time set by the President of the Chapter along with the Definitory of the Province, the Capi?tular Congressus for the conferral of offices that are vacant takes place.
A Plenary Council can be established in a Province to treat of matters of major importance. It is governed by the norms of the General Statutes and particular Statutes.
The Minister Provincial
A solemnly professed friar enrolled in the Province is to be elected as Minister Provincial. In a particular case, a friar of another Province can be elected in accordance with the General Statutes.
§1 The Minister Provincial is elected for a period of time determined in the General Statutes.
§2 The prescriptions of the General Statutes are to be observed with regard to re-election and vacancy of office.
§1 The Minister Provincial is to visit his friars frequently, admonish and comfort them spiritually, and correct them humbly and charitably.23 At the time specified by the General Statutes, he is obliged to make canonical visitation of all the Houses and friars.24
§2 All matters concerning canonical visitation are set forth in greater detail in the General Statutes, in particular Statutes and in special Statutes.
The Provincial Definitory
§1 The Provincial Definitory, as a collegiate body in accordance with the law, is made up of the Minister Provincial, the Vicar Provincial and Provincial Definitors. As the council of the Minister Provincial, it is made up of those named above with the exception of the Minister Provincial.25
§2 The Provincial Secretary discharges the office of notary in all sessions of the Provincial Definitory.
§3 The General Statutes and particular Statutes are to make provision for the election and number of Provincial Definitors.
As a collegiate body, the Provincial Definitory is to act in accordance with law; as the council of the Minister Provincial it is to assist him and express its consent or advice in accordance with universal and proper law.
The Provincial Definitory is the collegiate tribunal of first instance in contentious and criminal cases of the Province.26
Outside of the Provincial Chapter, the authentic interpretation of the particular Statutes belongs to the Capitular Congressus, the Provincial Definitory and the Plenary Council of the Province when it is in session. An interpretation given outside of Chapter has no force beyond the next Provincial Chapter unless that Chapter approves it.
Neither the Minister Provincial nor the Visitator General can alter decisions and decrees issued by the Definitory, without the consent of that same Definitory.
Conferences of Minister Provincial
§1 Ministers Provincial and others specified in the Statutes can by mutual agreement, establish a Conference of Ministers Provincial.
§2 The Conference of Ministers Provincial are governed by the General Statutes and their own Statutes, drawn up with the common consent of the members and approved by the General Definitory. These proper Statutes are to prescribe all that concerns the nature, composition, convocation and celebration of the Conferences, as well as the items of business they are to deal with.
The Vicar Provincial
The Vicar Provincial assists the Minister Provincial in the discharge of his duty; he substitutes for the Minister Provincial with ordinary vicarious power when the Minister Provincial is absent or impeded; he also substitutes for him until the election of a new Minister Provincial when the office of Minister Prov?incial becomes vacant outside of Chapter.
The Vicar Provincial is elected for the same period of time for which the Minister Provincial is elected, in such a way that the office of Vicar always becomes vacant when the Minister Provincial is to be elected in Chapter.
The Secretary of the Province and others offices
§1 In each Province there is to be a Secretary of the Province. The General Statutes and particular Statutes are to make provision for his election and duties.
§2 The Provincial Secretary also holds the office of notary of the Province.
§1 In each Province there are to be other offices and positions, and commissions are to be set up, when their contribution appears necessary or advisable in various sectors of life and activity.
§2 The General Statutes and particular Statutes govern the offices or positions and commissions referred to in the preceding paragraph.