Whenever it grants formal approval to a religious institute, the Church would seem to be approving the “charism” of the founder. And because in Catholic belief popes can in some instances speak “infallibly” on matters of faith, it is possible to claim that the pope’s recognition of a religious order’s charism, characteristic work, and founder is an infallible judgment.This is a bit of a stretch... to approve of an institute and the exterior manifestation of its charism is not to make an infallible judgement, nor a judgment that it is definitely from God--it is only a judgment that there is nothing obviously counter to Catholic faith and morals, and that it appears to be consonant with what the Church teaches about religious life, no? The article itself recognizes this:
For another, theologians have recognized that Church approval of a religious order is not necessarily an infallible judgment. The Second Vatican Council in 1964 in Lumen Gentium held that the pope is infallible when “as supreme pastor… he proclaims in an absolute decision a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals.” Decisions on other matters fall within what is called, in technical language, the secondary objects of infallibility. Catholic theology is more careful than in the past to attribute infallibility to a secondary object such as the approval of a religious order.Fr. Bannon gave a spiritual conference during the retreat I attended. As he is Vocations Director, it is not surprising that he has written so much about vocation discernment.
Discerning A Vocation, by Fr. Anthony Bannon, L.C.
Rejuvenating the Faithful: Thousands Gather in Baltimore for 2002
Center for Integral Formation