But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that among the pagans their rulers lord it over them, and make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No, anyone who wants to be great must be your slaves...and to give his life as ransom for many." (Mt 20:25-28).
Thus, far from being in opposition to one another, authority and individual liberty go together in the
fulfillment of God's will which is sought fraternally through a trustful dialogue between the superior and his brother, in the case of a personal situation, or through a general agreement regarding what concerns the whole community.
(Evangelica Testificatio, 25).
Authority in the Society respects the rights of individual
and fosters their well-being.
The right of every member to have recourse to a
higher authority is acknowledged.
The Missionary Society of St Paul aims to provide missionaries and in fraternal charity assist members
fulfill their vocation. Being a part of the people of God the Society has authority which superiors receive from God through the ministry of the Church for the government of the Society. This authority is exercised in the spirit of service. Thus members who accept the responsibility of authority shall receive it as a ministry which is exercised with charity, gentleness, humility and
Among members, authority is exercised through the principles of
subsidiarity, co-responsibility and accountability. In this way, decisions will be made at the level where normally the situation is best understood, the making of decisions will both express and contribute to the responsibility of the members who make them, and higher superiors will be freed from concern for details in order to concentrate on higher questions.
The general structure of government within the Society is as follows:
1. The General Chapter is the highest authority of the Society when it is legitimately in session. It is an assembly representing the whole Society and thus becoming the true sign of unity in charity for the welfare of the Society. Even when in session the General Chapter does not suspend the administrative powers of the Superior General and his Council. When the General Chapter is not in session the highest authority rests with the Superior General assisted by the General Council.
2. The General Council is composed of four members who are called
Councillors. The first of the Councillors shall be the Vicar General of the Society.
3. Each mission circumscription is governed by a local superior.