In the Catholic Church the Community of St. John is a religious institute of diocesan right under the Bishop of Autun’s jurisdiction.
How is the Community governed?
The supreme authority in the Community is the General Chapter which elects the Prior General for a term of 6 years. The General Chapter can modify the Community’s Constitutions, with the agreement of the Bishop of Autun, his mandate may be renewed for three years. The Chapter takes place every three years.
Each year during the General Chapter, the Prior General meets with all the priors and a delegate chosen by the brothers to represent each priory. The members of the chapter present to each other developments that have taken place during the year in the priory to which they belong. Then the various options for the future of the community are debated and put to a vote.
Does the Prior General work alone?
No. According to the Catholic Church’s Canon Law, the Prior General is aided by a Counsel whose members are elected by the General Chapter. The Prior General regularly consults his Counsel concerning the affairs of the Community; and, in some cases, he needs his Counsel's agreement to make a decision.
What is the juridical status of the Community in civil law?
In the United States, the Community of St. John is a non-profit corporation. The juridical status of the Community in other countries depends on local legislation.
On Monday 23rd April 2007, under the chairmanship of Bishop Benoît Rivière, Bishop of Autun (France), the General Chapter of the Brothers of St John, comprising approximately fifty delegates, have re-elected brother John-Pierre-Marie as Prior General for a term of office of three years.
Bishop Benoît Rivière, after the election