The Self-Image of the Kolping Society on the Basis of Canon Law

Canon Law

1. At the 27th International Assembly of the International Kolping Society on the 29th of May 1987, in a resolution concerning "The Self-Image of the Kolping Society as a Catholic Lay Organization", it was emphasized that the Kolping Society is a free association of Catholics who, on the basis of their baptism and confirmation, feel themselves called to participate in the Church's mission of salvation. Therefore, the International Kolping Society and its members claim for themselves the freedom of association expressly mentioned in the Code of Canon Law (canon codes 215 and 216).

2. As an unequivocal consequence of this, the International Kolping Society onsiders itself and its subordinate organizations as private associations in the sense of anon Law. The general propositions concerning associations of the faithful in canon code 298 ff. and especially in the propositions concerning private associations as stipulated in the canon code 321 ff. are therefore considered valid for the Kolping Society.

3. In order to avoid legal uncertainties in the interpretation of the individual clauses in the code of Canon Law, the International Board of Directors passed a resolution on the 6th of March 1990 in Vienna, which formulated an interpretation of the respective canon codes which concern the Kolping Society. This interpretation is to have binding validity for the Kolping Society as long as, and insofar as, no other contradictory interpretation is presented to the Kolping Society by a regional or national Bishops' Conference.

a) The prescribed recognition of the constitution of a Kolping Family, as laid down in the canon code 299, paragraph 3, is considered by the international Board of Directors to be fulfilled, when the ratified local constitution has been submitted to the local bishop or the national or regional Bishops' Conference. The decision as to which ecclesiastical jurisdiction is responsible will be made on the basis of the sphere of activity as covered in the ratified constitution of the Kolping Society.

b) In the canon code 305, paragraph 1, it is stated that all associations of the faithful are subject to supervision by Church authorities. The International Board of Directors considers this supervision by Church authorities to be fulfilled, when an ordained representative is a member of the board of a given organization in the Kolping Society.

Ratified by the International Executive Board on June 20, 1990, on the basis of the deliberations of the International Board of Directors.

You can download this text as PDF file.