We have heard a lot of talk about a Missionary Society over the past nine months. Archbishop Duncan said that a Mission Society cannot also be a jurisdiction, and that the AM needed to chose one or the other. He said, “in that letter we talked about jurisdiction, and any church body that has bishops and clergy and congregations and ordinations, that’s a jurisdiction, you can call it anything you want, you can call it a Missionary Society if you want, but that’s not classically what it is. Classically, its a jurisdiction.” The new Constitution says:
Societies of apostolic life and mission are associations of men and women, lay and ordained, who live in faith communities pursuing the particular apostolic purposes of the society and leading lives reflective of the Baptismal Promises and the Great Commission, striving for apostolic witness through the observance of their constitutions and charters.
This is something of a paraphrase of the Catholic Canon Law:
Can. 731 §1. Societies of apostolic life resemble institutes of consecrated life; their members, without religious vows, pursue the apostolic purpose proper to the society and, leading a life in common as brothers or sisters according to their proper manner of life, strive for the perfection of charity through the observance of the constitutions.