14. Our Own Laws As Community

  1. The General Council, is competent to establish and repeal the Constitution. Even the General Council and the successors to the founding Av may not change anything essential to the founding charism of the community contained in the Constitution. Interpretation of laws established by the General Council falls within the competence of the Av or General Council. Outside the General Council interpreting is entrusted to the Chapters of the particular expressions of our community, with consultation and confirmation from the Av. An interpretation made outside of the General Council has authority until the next General Council, unless the General Council approves it.

  2. It is the role of the Constitution to offer norms necessary for good order in the lifestyle of the Companions of Christ wherever we may be.

  3. It is the role of the leadership of the particular expressions of our community to establish particular directories in light of personal and local needs or circumstances. These may never be contrary to the norms of the Constitution, the General Directory, or the General Rule, and must be approved by the Av.

  4. For a just reason, the Av can dispense from laws of discipline enacted by the community, even in habitual and particular cases.

  5. No leader of the community has the power to dispense from what touches the very substance of our community life (The General Rule), or unless expressly stated otherwise, from the laws of the Constitution, namely, those pertaining to structures or government, even enacted by a Chapter.

  6. The laws contained in the Constitution do generally bind in conscience since faithfulness to the gospel can scarcely be attained in a way proper to this community without faithful observance of these laws. We should strive to keep them with the greatest care.