This congregation was very much occupied, being empowered to deal with all disciplinary matters concerning both the secular and regular clergy, whether in the form of consultations or of contentious suits; it had further the exclusive right to regulate the discipline of the religious orders and congregations bound by the simple vows, the statutes of which it examined, corrected and approved; finally it judged disputes and controversies between the secular and regular clergy.
Withdrew from this Congregation all disciplinary matters affecting the secular clergy, and limited its competency to matters concerning the religious orders, both as regards their internal affairs and their relations with the bishops.
But in all cases the disciplinary authority is evidently the same; we need only note that acts concerning individuals do not claim the force of general law; the legal decisions serve at most to settle matters of jurisprudence, like the judgments of all sovereign courts.
With the reservation of those questions, especially of a dogmatic character, which belong to the Holy Office, and of purely ritual questions, which come under the Congregation of Rites, this Congregation brings under one authority all disciplinary questions concerning the sacraments, which were formerly distributed among several Congregations and offices.
In closest connexion with the church is the group of buildings appropriated to the monastic life and its daily requirements - the refectory for eating, the dormitory for sleeping, the common room for social intercourse, the chapter-house for religious and disciplinary conference.