• Varghese Koluthara Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore, India.
Keywords: poverty, property, possession, will, usufruct, renunciation, alienation, ecclesiastical, ceding, ordinary


By law religious institutes are public juridic persons that can acquire, possess, administer and alienate temporal goods that are considered ecclesiastical. At the same time religious institutes are radically committed gospel idea of the vow of poverty that may vary from a monastic institute to an order and to a religious congregation. Hence Codes of Canon Law require religious institutes to draft norms that prescribe a method of administering temporal goods consistent with the vow of poverty appropriate to the institute. The typikons, constitutions or statutes of a religious institute must take great care to integrate the universal norms on temporal goods and harmonize them with the institute’s particular charism and spirit. The Church recognizes that religious institutes will differ among themselves in interpreting the vow of poverty. Nevertheless, it obliges all religious institutes to a corporate witness of poverty. This witness is to be derived from and constituent with the tradition, ‘faithfully observing the mind and designs of the founder’ and the entire charism of each institute. It is high time that religious collectively think and act as ambassadors to provide a powerful witness in the Church.

Author Biography

Varghese Koluthara, Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore, India.

Fr. Varhese Koluthara, a professed member of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI) in the Syro-Malabar Church, was born in 1953 in Kerala, India, and ordained priest in 1983. Besides holding Licentiate in Theology from Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram (DVK), Bangalore and LLB from Bangalore University, he has obtained Licentiate in Canon Law from Lateran University, Rome, and Doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome. At present he serves as the Director of the Institute of Oriental Canon Law at DVK, Bangalore, an executive members of the Canon Law Society of India, consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, Vatican since 2008 and Judicial Vicar of the diocesan Marriage Tribunal of Mandya functioning at DVK Bangalore. He is also a visiting professor St. Peter’s, Bangalore and other ecclesiastical institutes in India. He has published a book titled “Rightful Autonomy Religious Institutes” and many articles in national and international journals.