of the
Communio Internationalis Benedictinarum

Voted on and ratified by Abbot Primate Notker Wolf, September 12, 2002


 The one common charism, embraced by those who have lived according to the Rule of St.Benedict for 15 centuries, has been implanted and inculturated in all parts of the world to this day.  This revered and ancient tradition continues to flourish and be a source of vitality in the church.

 The Communio Internationalis Benedictinarum respects and fosters the unique and faithful expression of this charism in each of its monasteries.

  1. The Communio Internationalis Benedictinarum (C.I.B.), respecting the autonomy of each monastery, congregation and federation, brings together in a sisterly bond all womens’ communities consociated (The communities consociated with the Confederation are listed in the current Catalogus monasteriorum OSB Sororum et Monialium) with the Benedictine Confederation, and functions under the aegis of the Jus Proprium of the Confederation. ( Cf. Jus Proprium, art. 14, 15; Normae de consociatione cum ConfoederationeJus proprium Confoederationis Benedictinae, Romae 1985, 31-34.  See Appendix)
  2. The purpose of the C.I.B. is -
     a) To promote mutual support and exchange of ideas and experience among Benedictine women on an international level and to foster the development of women´s monasticism.
     b) To continue to develop the consociatio between the women´s communities and the Benedictine Confederation.
     c) To bring significant concerns of Benedictine women to the attention of the Confederation, the Synod of Presidents and the Congress of Abbots.
     d) To advise the Abbot Primate and submit proposals and suggestions to him with regard to matters which affect Benedictine women.
  3. The Abbot Primate is a symbol of the unity of the Benedictine Order, and therefore fosters collaboration between the communities of the C.I.B. and the communities of monks of the Confederation, and he promotes unity between the C.I.B. and the Confederation.
  4. 4. The C.I.B. functions through the Conference, the Administrative Council and its officers, particularly the Moderator.
  5. The Conference of the C.I.B. is formed of Delegates from Regions allocated by the Administrative Council on the basis of geographical location, regional structures and statistical information provided by the Catalogus of the communities of Benedictine Women.
  6. Each Region is represented on the C.I.B. Conference by a Delegate who is to be elected by the Major Superiors (“Major Superior” means Abbess, Conventual Prioress (Moniales and Sorores), Prioress General, President of a Federation (Sorores) or Provincial of a Congregation (Sorores).) of the Region. A Substitute is elected at the same time, who will represent the Region if the Delegate is impeded and who will replace her if she ceases to be Delegate. The Delegates and Substitutes must be or have been  Major Superiors ( Should the Benedictine Women Superiors of a Region choose to elect a former Superior no longer in office, ratification by the Administrative Council is required.). If an election is not possible in a given Region, the Moderator will designate a Delegate after having consulted with the Administrative Council. Immediately upon election, the name of the Delegate and Substitute should be communicated in writing to the Moderator. A Delegate or Substitute who ceases to be a Major Superior remains a Delegate or Substitute until the Region elects a delegate or she chooses to resign.
  7.  The Administrative Council may co-opt5 extra members to the Conference to ensure adequate representation of groups and Regions (especially in developing regions) and international Congregations. The decision to co-opt extra members must be confirmed by the Conference. Co-opted members will have active and passive voting rights and will serve for a time determined by the Administrative Council. When a member is co-opted, a substitute will also be named.
  8. The term of office of the Delegate and Substitute are determined by the Region itself, but may not exceed six years. A Delegate and Substitute may be re-elected indefinitely.
  9.  The list of Regions and Delegates is to be regularly reviewed and revised according to changing circumstances and developments.  The list of the Regions is given in an Appendix to these Statutes.  A current listing of the Delegates and Substitutes for each Region will be presented to the members of the Conference at the annual meeting.
  10. Two-thirds of the Delegates to the Conference shall constitute a quorum. In the absence of a quorum, a majority of Delegates present may make provisional decisions on urgent matters relating to the functioning of the C.I.B.  Such decisions need ratification by the Conference as soon as possible, not later than one year.
  11. The Conference of the C.I.B. meets on the occasion of the Symposia of the whole C.I.B., the Abbots’ Congress, and whenever it is deemed appropriate by the Administrative Council. Normally the Conference will meet annually.
  12. The Administrative Council may invite an A.I.M. representative to attend a meeting of the Conference as an observer without voting rights.
  13. The procedure for the election by the Conference of the Moderator, the Assistant Moderator and the Administrative Council is as follows:
    a) The election of a Moderator and Assistant Moderator is preceded by a process of spiritual discernment approved by the Administrative Council.  A facilitator, even from outside the Conference, may be appointed by the Administrative Council to direct and implement the process of discernment and election.  This process includes the following:
    * Identifying immediate and future needs and goals of the Conference of the C.I.B.;
    * Surfacing desirable leadership qualities;
    * Recognising and listing of potential leaders for Moderator and Assistant Moderator.

    b) The Conference nominates from the Delegates of the Conference a number of candidates for the offices of Moderator and Assistant Moderator.  Each member nominated informs the Conference of her decision to accept or decline the nomination. 

    c) Those who accept nomination then engage in an exchange of views with the Conference with regard to its future development and the role of the Moderator and Assistant.

    d) The Moderator and Assistant Moderator are elected in separate secret ballots by an absolute majority (
    Absolute Majority means more than half of the Conference Delegates present and voting  (See can.127#1)) of the Conference Delegates present and voting.

    e) The election of the Moderator and Assistant Moderator is followed by the election – following the same procedure as in 13 a) – d) of two members of the Administrative Council.

    f) Within one month of the election the Moderator and Assistant Moderator can appoint one or two further Conference members to the Administrative Council.  The members of the Administrative Council are representative of the various forms of monastic life.

    g) The term of office of the Moderator, the Assistant Moderator and the Administrative Council is four years with the possibility of re-election. Should the Moderator cease to be a Major Superior she may remain in office as Moderator. When the Moderator is unable for any reason to complete her term of office, the Assistant Moderator assumes the role of Moderator until the next election. The remaining members of the Council may appoint a replacement for the Assistant Moderator and/or a replacement of a member of the Council if she is unable to complete her term for any reason.

    h) Upon election the Moderator ceases to be the representative of her region.  The region elects a new representative.
  14. The Administrative Council under the leadership of the Moderator, prepares the Agenda for the meetings of the Administrative Council and the Conference, plans the Symposia and communicates with the Abbot Primate on matters relating to Benedictine women.  The Moderator summons and presides over Conference and Administrative Council meetings and directs the work of the Secretariat.
  15. A Secretary, appointed by the Administrative Council, communicates with all the members of the C.I.B. Conference, takes the minutes of the Conference and Administrative Council meetings, ensures the circulation of minutes, documents and information, supervises the archives and performs other tasks determined by the Moderator.
  16. A Treasurer, and, if needed, up to two assistants appointed by the Administrative Council, administer the funds, raise money as directed by the Administrative Council, present the accounts to the Administrative Council annually, and whenever requested, perform other tasks determined by the Moderator.
  17. Expenses incurred by membership of the Conference and Administrative Council are normally met at the regional level.
  18. The Conference and the Administrative Council will invite suggestions from the Abbot Primate for the agenda, ask him to attend their meetings and keep him informed of developments within the C.I.B..
  19.  a)  Proposals for amendments to these Statutes may be made by the Administrative  Council, the Conference or the Abbot Primate.
     b) Amendments require
        • (i) consent of the Conference by a two-thirds majority,
        • (ii) ratification by the Abbot Primate.