CPAG '04



1.- Every missionary, community, province or region of the Congregation of the Mission has the legitimate right to send its wishes, suggestions and petitions to the General Assembly (cf. Code of Canon Law, Canon 631, 3°).

2.- Not every wish, suggestion or petition presented to the General Assembly is, per se, a postulate. A postulate, properly so called, is every petition, desire or suggestion legitimately sent to the General Assembly by a physical or moral person of the Congregation, in view of the good of the entire Congregation or of almost the entire Congregation, be it according to the Constitutions and Statutes, be it against the Constitutions and Statutes, be it outside the Constitutions and Statutes, and which the General Assembly must treat.

Concretely, the following constitute material for a postulate:

  • Requesting some modification in the Constitutions (cf. C. 137, 4°), or in the Statutes (cf. C. 137, 3°);

  • Asking to have a Decree promulgated (cf. C. 137, 3°);

  • Requesting the authentic interpretation of some point of the Statutes (cf. C. 137, 5°);

  • Asking that the authentic interpretation of some point of the Constitutions be requested of the Holy See (cf. C. 137, 5°);

  • Requesting a declaration of doctrinal or exhortative character;

  • Requesting that the General Assembly include some particular theme in the project of the Congregation for the next six years.

3.- The General Assembly, as the supreme authority of the Congregation, has the right to determine which of those presented as postulates it desires to treat during the Assembly itself and which it does not, referring the latter, as it sees fit, to other forums (Superior General, General Council, Visitor, Provincial Council or Assembly, etc.).

4.- Before the General Assembly, the Superior General, with the consent of his Council, names a special Commission to study the postulates received and to make appropriate recommendations to the Assembly as to how those postulates should be studied, always safeguarding the right of the Assembly to discuss and study them as it wishes (Directory of the General Assembly 38, 1°).

5.- Postulates are approved by an absolute majority of the valid votes, with the exception of those which suppose an amendment to the Constitutions or request an authentic interpretation which must be sent to the Holy See (cf. C. 137, 4° and 5°), for which a majority of two-thirds is required (Directory of the General Assembly 38, 2°).

6.- To facilitate the work of the Assembly, it is helpful that the postulates be formed with attention to these formal criteria:

    1. Each postulate must be limited to presenting only one point and must be drafted on an independent sheet.

    1. The postulate must be written in a positive/declarative sense, in such a way as to allow one to pronounce clearly with a YES or a NO.

    2. Each postulate must be motivated in a clear and precise way, distinguishing between the postulate properly so-called and its motivation. The name of persons or communities (province or region) who present it must also be included in the presentation of the postulate.

    3. It is not convenient to be lavish in the presentation of postulates, nor to propose to the General Assembly that which could be the result of taking into account the principles of co-responsibility, unity in diversity, subsidiarity and decentralization (cf. C. 98).


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