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Canonical Erection of a Monastery
A religious house (monastery or convent) is a fixed residence of religious persons. It supposes, therefore, continuous habitation of a community strictly so called, governed by a superior and following the rule prescribed by the respective order. Such a religious house is to be distinguished from a grange or farm, from a villa or place of recreation, and from a hospice or place for the reception of travelling religious. The conditions for the legitimate erection of a monastery are:
For the transfer of a monastery from one site to another in the same locality, no permission of the Holy See is required, as this is translation, not erection. There was an ancient law that a new monastery could not be erected within a certain distance from an older one, but it has gone into desuetude. As regards convents of religious women, the assent of the ordinary is required, but not that of the Holy See. The same holds for the erection of houses of pious congregations and institutes. BACHOFEN, Compendium Juris Regularium (New York, 1903; TAUNTON, The Law of the Church (St. Louis, 1906), s.v. Monastery; VERMEERSCH, De Religiosis Institutis, I (Bruges, 1902).
WILLIAM H.W. FANNING