Founding a new order



I’m not sure which is the right forum for this, but here is my question anyway.

Is it licit to start a new order with a leadership, constitution, and with aims that have not been reviewed or approved by the local bishop or even the parish priest?

What would be the proper protocol for establishing a new lay order or community for example?

Thanks in advance,
God bless,


Not a canon law expert here, but I don’t imagine one is free to do this without permission from the bishop – which means the procedure for it would probably have to start with contacting the local diocese.



Thanks Dante,

I found the relevant canons at the vatican website. Canon 312 to 326 seems to cover it fairly well.

312 states

Can. 312 §1. The authority competent to erect public associations is:

1/ the Holy See for universal and international associations;

2/ the conference of bishops in its own territory for national associations, that is, those which from their founding are directed toward activity throughout the whole nation;

3/ the diocesan bishop in his own territory, but not a diocesan administrator, for diocesan associations, except, however, for those associations whose right of erection has been reserved to others by apostolic privilege.

§2. Written consent of the diocesan bishop is required for the valid erection of an association or section of an association in a diocese even if it is done by virtue of apostolic privilege. Nevertheless, the consent given by a diocesan bishop for the erection of a house of a religious institute is also valid for the erection in the same house or church attached to it of an association which is proper to that institute.

It seems pretty straightforward. No approval from the bishop, no order.

Thanks again for your help,


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