The conditions for a visit by a male religious are very severe; according to some authors he can only receive permission if he is a blood relation to the first or second degree, and then only four times a year.
479) the houses where only two or three religious dwell permanently, and obseve their rule as they can, are subject to this law ; it is not necessary that the religious be in a number which secures them the privilege of exemption from the bishop's jurisdiction. On the other hand, the law of cloister does not apply to houses which are simply hired by religious, and which cannot therefore he looked upon as fixed and definitive homes, nor to the Villa-houses to which the religious go for recreation on fixed days or for a few weeks every year.
The law makes exceptions for queens and women of like rank, as, for example, the wife of the president of a republic; such persons may also be accompanied by a suitable retinue.
Exception is also sometimes made for notable benefactresses, who must, however, previously obtain a pontifical indult.
(b) Female Material Clausura Those parts of the convent to which the nuns have access are all within the cloister, the choir not excepted. If the convent church be public, the nuns cannot go into those parts accessible to the people. The law is much more severe for female than for male houses; in fact, even women are rigorously excluded from the cloistered parts. Hence, in spite of the general terms of the law, it seems probable that the sister who should introduce a child under seven would not incur the ecclesistical censure.
Further, the building should be so constructed that neither the sisters can look outside their enclosure, nor their neighbours see into the court-yards or gardens at the disposal of the sisters. restricting still more this law, recognized only three legitimate causes: fire, leprosy, and contagious malady. The penalty for those who enter and for those who admit or introduce them is the same -- an excommunication absolutely reserved to the Holy See ("Apost. This regime, however, admits of exceptions; corporal or spiritual needs demand the physician's or the confessor's presence, the garden must be cultivated, the building kept in repair. cit.), who maintains that when one has an evident reason for entering within the cloister, he avoids both the censure and the sin, even though he have only an oral permission.