Chapter 7 §4
“THE FRIARS ARE BOUND TO OBEY BROTHER FRANCIS AND HIS SUCCESSORS”
The structures and government of the Order and the administration of goods
GOVERNMENT OF HOUSES
A House is a fraternity legitimately established under the authority of a Guardian in a fixed place or dwelling. All the friars are to be assigned to a specific House.27
A House is erected by the Minister Provincial with the consent of his Definitory, and with the prior written consent of the diocesan Bishop.28
A legitimately erected House can be suppressed by the Mi?nister General on the advice of his Definitory. Beforehand, however, he must have listened to the Provincial Definitory and consulted the diocesan Bishop.29
§1 Any erection or suppression whatever must be done by decree.
§2 The Minister General is to be notified of the decree of erection issued by the Minister Provincial.
Friars who are forced to live alone by special circumstances so that they are unable to possess the fullness of a common fraternal life are to foster and manifest the same spirit of fraternity. Therefore, the Ministers and the friars themselves are to see to it that they go from time to time to the Houses or friars nearest them so that they can receive the mutual benefits and joys of charity.
The Guardians and Vicars
In accordance with universal law and the proper law of the Order, the principal responsibility of the Guardian is to foster the welfare of the fraternity and of the friars, to exercise watchful care over the religious life and discipline, to direct activities, to promote an active and responsible obedience among the friars in a spirit of true fraternity.30
Unless the General Statutes and particular Statutes prescribe otherwise, a Vicar for each House is elected to assist the Guardian.
The Guardian and Vicar are elected for the period of time and in the manner established by the General Statutes.
The local Chapter and Discretorium
§1 The local Chapter, at which the Guardian or his substitute presides, constitutes the fraternal government of a House, in accordance with the General Constitutions, the Statutes and rules of procedure.31
§2 In Houses where there is no discretorium the local Chapter functions as the council of the Guardian.32
It is the duty of the local Chapter, particularly through dialogue, to study and promote common projects, to foster harmony and an active and responsible cooperation among all, to examine and evaluate what has been done by the fraternity or by individual friars, and to treat of matters of major importance.
§1 All the solemnly professed friars in each House make up the local Chapter.
§2 The particular Statutes are to make provision for the manner in which those friars not yet solemnly professed are to participate in the local Chapter.
§1 A local discretorium can be established as the council of the Guardian, in accordance with the particular Statutes.33
§2 If there is one, the local discretorium is made up of the Vicar and the Discreets.