We advocate for the rights of women religious.
Support our work!
Join us!


We advocate for the rights of women religious.
We support individual religious and religious communities in all their canonical questions.


We promote international cooperation and networking.
We develop good structures of canon law in Benedictine associations worldwide.


We serve as catalysts of change for women in the Catholic Church by supporting the development of new structures and forms of communication.

Welcome to the
Institute of
Canon Law
for Women religious

by women and for women

from left:
Sr. Scholastika Häring OSB,
Dr. theol. lic. iur. can. and 
Sr. Lydia Schulte-Sutrum OSB,
Dipl. theol., lic. iur. can.

Our Expertise

Advising women religious

We offer canonical support to women religious from all backgrounds, including those who have been mistreated or abused by ecclesiastical institutions and those who have no financial means to obtain professional help. We also offer canon law advice for day-to-day issues within religious communities.

International cooperation and networking

We facilitate cooperation between Benedictine associations worldwide and contribute to the further development of canon law. We have a strong global network and support women religious and religious communities worldwide in shaping their canonical future.

Research and development

We are writing a commentary on canon law from a female perspective that we hope will affect implementation of canon law on a global level. We will translate the commentary into English, Spanish and Italian in order to have a greater impact on the contemporary development of canon law worldwide.

What sets us apart

by women for women

Community from Burg Dinklage

A Sojourning Church

Our Benedictine community in Burg Dinklage has long been active on the international scene, participating in pivotal discussions held by Benedictine women worldwide. A desire for renewal has grown out of these experiences.

Our goal is to promote dignity and equality for women religious.

To this end, we aim to write a critical commentary and to update the understanding and interpretation of canon law. This project is in keeping with historical approaches within the Catholic Church and is rooted in the Benedictine tradition.

Sr. Scholastika Häring OSB
Dr. theol. lic. iur. can.

Our experience

Our work is built on a strong foundation. Sr Scholastika Häring has been responsible for the Münster commentary of the CIC for several years but up to now has only been allowed to comment on changes in individual cases. Due to numerous canonical innovations made by Pope Francis, she has been and is increasingly in demand as an expert on canon law and especially in women’s communities. At the international level, Sr Scholastika is particularly active in the worldwide association of Benedictine women (CIB – Communio Internationalis Benedictinarum) and in the development of gender-equitable church structures.

Sr. Lydia Schulte-Sutrum OSB
Dipl. theol., lic. iur. can.

What Makes us Unique

A second member of our community, Sr. Lydia Schulte-Sutrum, is also qualified as a canon lawyer and she, too, is committed to this vision.

Both sisters are supported by the whole community in this important task.

Canon law creates Habitats

Voices from Church and Order

„An institute for religious law by women and for women is an excellent project. Not many people understand the intricacies of canon law as it applies to religious and especially women religious.“

Lynn McKenzie OSB

CIB Moderator
Alabama, USA

„Many religious congregations are in transition and need help with canon law. The Institute is a great idea for dealing competently and promptly with the numerous enquiries.”

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schüller

Unversity Münster

„For canon law to serve the lives of people, it must also be read and understood between the lines. Both sisters bring the competence for this and the experience of lived monastic life.“

Myrèse Dupagne OSB

EBCR President
Hurtebise, Belgium

„In the development of the Church on its synodal journey, it is important that there are also women with expertise in canon law to conceive the future of religious life – with a view to women.“

Emmanuele Sipkema OSB

Prioress, Sint Lioba
Egmond, Netherlands

„I am pleased about the new Institute for Religious Law in Dinklage. I hope that it will become the nucleus of a think tank in which the future organisation of the Benedictine Sisters will be envisaged and its development accompanied.“

Jeremias Schröder OSB

Abbotpresident of the
Missionary Benedictine
Congregatio Ottiliensis

Bitte unterstützen Sie uns

Join us!

Support us!

So that we can start

We welcome your start-up funding in the form of a one-off donation.

Our donation account:
Kloster Burg Dinklage

Intended purpose: Ordensrecht
IBAN DE21 2806 2560 2015 5352 01
VR-Bank Lohne Dinklage

Support the project regularly

In order to maintain a high standard of service, we are dependent on the regular, reliable support of monthly and annual donations.

Contact us

Are you interested in supporting our work and need further information?

Send us a message. We will be happy to share a detailed portfolio of the project.

We are happy to advise you!


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