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What Happens When Nuns/sisters Leave The Order?

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brandelynmarie
:console: I also want to thank everyone who has contributed on this thread as well...I cannot even imagine the pain :sadder: that you have experienced...It sounds difficult at times to distinguish between what is healthy & not healthy in a community while you are experiencing it & even afterwards! (i.e. Is this to teach me humility or is this absolute humiliation & abusive?) It is also edifying to hear how you guys have continued on your journeys to find His will for your life :) .I have suggested to some on here privately about starting a book on such a topic & so I am tickled that nunsense has such a project in the works :blush:

Wasn't Thomas Merton who said a monastery is a refugium peccatorum? :saint:

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Antigonos
[quote name='brandelynmarie' date='28 March 2010 - 02:01 PM' timestamp='1269774078' post='2081899']
[img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/console.gif[/img] I also want to thank everyone who has contributed on this thread as well...I cannot even imagine the pain [img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/sadder.gif[/img] that you have experienced...It sounds difficult at times to distinguish between what is healthy & not healthy in a community while you are experiencing it & even afterwards! (i.e. Is this to teach me humility or is this absolute humiliation & abusive?) It is also edifying to hear how you guys have continued on your journeys to find His will for your life [img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif[/img] .I have suggested to some on here privately about starting a book on such a topic & so I am tickled that nunsense has such a project in the works [img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/blush.gif[/img]

Wasn't Thomas Merton who said a monastery is a refugium peccatorum? [img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/saint.gif[/img]
[/quote]


Your point about the difficulty of distinguishing between testing and abuse reminds me of a biography of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque I once read. Her visions were derided by the community she lived with, and she was really treated like dirt by some of them, including, IIRC, her own confessor, who thought she was deliberately concocting them to singularize herself. It was only near the end of her life that the veracity of what she said she'd seen was accepted. But her view was that God had intended her to suffer in her conventual life in order to be worthy of grace.

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Divine Mercy 9999
[quote name='Antigonos' date='28 March 2010 - 06:08 AM' timestamp='1269774482' post='2081900']
Your point about the difficulty of distinguishing between testing and abuse reminds me of a biography of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque I once read. Her visions were derided by the community she lived with, and she was really treated like dirt by some of them, including, IIRC, her own confessor, who thought she was deliberately concocting them to singularize herself. It was only near the end of her life that the veracity of what she said she'd seen was accepted. But her view was that God had intended her to suffer in her conventual life in order to be worthy of grace.
[/quote]


St Faustina suffered similarily, as I recall... .

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nunsense
Yes, God can certainly write straight with crooked lines. He can take abuse and turn it into testing. If only all of us were saints, then it wouldn't matter how badly we were treated, of course. And we can certainly take every advantage of these things that happen to us to bring us closer to God. There is no doubt about that. I have found that in my own life, although some things have felt as if they might destroy me, in fact they have actually made my faith in Jesus much stronger. I am sure that many others have felt this.

On the other hand, I do know of others who have left their faith because of the abuse. It has to be a very fine line I am sure, and I don't think anyone would agree that any abuse of any kind is welcome or acceptable. After all, all the founders of their communities told them to be full of love and charity for each other. So it is not unreasonable to hope for or even expect that religious life will be a place of charity towards each other. If hoever, this is not the case because of whatever reason, then what really matters of course, is how we handle the difficult situation ourselves. When faced with hostility or abuse, we need to try to return this with love and forgiveness as much as we can, considering that we are all human.

God will use anything and everything to help us come closer to Him. No one wants to criticise any religious community, and we all know that suffering is a means of purification and drawing us deeper into God's embrace, but we can still pray that our religious communities be beacons of love and charity and not places where women are abused or mistreated as many of the saints were.

My prayers are for all who suffer, that it may bring them into the embrace of Our Lord and Our Savior, sweet Jesus. And for all those who cause suffering, that they may be released from their own pain and see that they are injuring others with what they do, and want to change. We are all broken in one way or another, that is why we need Jesus so very much.

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vee
I remember hearing that St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi climbed up to the chapel crucifix and hung her keys on Christ`s hand to help stop herself from leaving although I dont know how often she did that. More frequently she would go ring the main bell, even in the night, during her ecstasies as she wanted to call all to the love of Christ. Carmelites :ohno: :hehe:

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laetitia crucis
[quote name='Totus Tuus' date='27 March 2010 - 12:47 AM' timestamp='1269661653' post='2081106']
Nunsense - I think you are spot on in believing that a book of that nature would help many women. If anything, it should be read by women before they enter! I experienced what a religious of another community called the "stardust phenomenon" (haha!) where I fell head over heels in love with a community only to realize after "being dumped" what the issues were in the first place! I think it's so beautiful when a girl is completely in love with a community that she can see no wrong, but I think, considering the numbers who in reality do leave religious life (just because that's how reality is), something like this book could also serve as preventative medicine.

...

In addition to what you said about the book, a lot of the observations you made really struck home with me as well. For example, talking about how being expelled from religious life can psychologically be more painful than a divorce I think is [i]SO[/i] true!!

Anyway, I think it was a very thoughtful post. God bless.
[/quote]

This. :yes: Absolutely yes, on all accounts.

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Maggyie
What I have noticed is that a lot of the more "progressive" liberal orders seem to have a healthier understanding and practice when it comes to Sisters leaving. That's one area where the more faithful communities could learn something from other groups!

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IgnatiusofLoyola
[quote name='nunsense' date='28 March 2010 - 05:23 PM' timestamp='1269814995' post='2082216']
Yes, God can certainly write straight with crooked lines. He can take abuse and turn it into testing. If only all of us were saints, then it wouldn't matter how badly we were treated, of course. And we can certainly take every advantage of these things that happen to us to bring us closer to God. There is no doubt about that. I have found that in my own life, although some things have felt as if they might destroy me, in fact they have actually made my faith in Jesus much stronger. I am sure that many others have felt this.

On the other hand, I do know of others who have left their faith because of the abuse. It has to be a very fine line I am sure, and I don't think anyone would agree that any abuse of any kind is welcome or acceptable. After all, all the founders of their communities told them to be full of love and charity for each other. So it is not unreasonable to hope for or even expect that religious life will be a place of charity towards each other. If hoever, this is not the case because of whatever reason, then what really matters of course, is how we handle the difficult situation ourselves. When faced with hostility or abuse, we need to try to return this with love and forgiveness as much as we can, considering that we are all human.

God will use anything and everything to help us come closer to Him. No one wants to criticise any religious community, and we all know that suffering is a means of purification and drawing us deeper into God's embrace, but we can still pray that our religious communities be beacons of love and charity and not places where women are abused or mistreated as many of the saints were.

My prayers are for all who suffer, that it may bring them into the embrace of Our Lord and Our Savior, sweet Jesus. And for all those who cause suffering, that they may be released from their own pain and see that they are injuring others with what they do, and want to change. We are all broken in one way or another, that is why we need Jesus so very much.
[/quote]

Everyone has limits on how much suffering they can endure before breaking down.

For myself, I have a hard time believing that God would want anyone to suffer--a broken person can't serve others as well as someone who is healthy and happy.

I see all these young girls entering religious life and being so happy, but I wonder how they will feel when they are 40.

I realize that a lot of the reasons for the exodus of nuns in the 60's/70's were a result of Vatican II changes, but I also wonder how much of it was due to the fact that large numbers of women entered religious life post WWII, and they would be turning 40ish right around the time of Vatican II.

Psychology has shown that we DO go through emotional changes at certain critical times in our lives. Jung particularly wrote a great deal about what we today call the "mid-life crisis. But, he, and others didn't see these changes as a sign of abnormality, but as a natural process, just like the changes of physical aging are a normal process. So, I wonder if we will see a similar exodus of Sisters/Nuns when they reach their late 30's, for example, and it is their last chance to have children.

Yes, these women have made a vow before God that they never intend to break. But, young women in their 20's don't really know themselves yet (although they think they do--I certainly did). Many Sisters/Nuns won't have problems when they reach these critical periods in their lives, but I can't help worrying that many will.

Divorce is a parallel situation. Marriage is a sacrament and a vow before God. But, every person has limits, so for example, I don't believe that a woman should have to put up with physical abuse from her husband. In my case, my husband told me point blank that he was going to lead a gay lifestyle--and as much as I hated getting divorced, I couldn't live in a marriage that didn't at least TRY to be monogamous, and one that would expose me to AIDS, etc. I felt like a failure, even though it was not my fault. To give due credit, I think my ex-husband tried VERY hard to make the marriage work. We certainly gave it a good shot--we were married for 14 years.

But, as a result of my divorce, I am viewed by many as "damaged goods" and everyone always says that the fault is on both sides. My fault is that I was "clueless"--I had no idea of my ex-husband's homosexual feelings. NONE.

My ex-husband was the Catholic, not me. Yet I stood up in church and said that my vocation is marriage, which I still believe is the case, although I have lived as a celibate, single woman for a long time now.

I'm rambling, but the point is that, I understand, at least in a small way, your feelings of shame and personal failure, and the rejection and disappointment you have received from family and the community. Catholic marriages aren't supposed to end in divorce, and nuns/religious sisters aren't supposed to leave the convent. But, I also don't think that God wants us to place ourselves in emotional danger, or to facilitate those who are doing the emotional abusing by allowing them to abuse us. Just as there is no excuse for priests and others to physically abuse children, to me, there is also no reason that adults should be expected to endure emotional and physical abuse. The saints that went through physical abuse in religious life lived in a different time, with different values. Such behavior by Religious Superiors would never be tolerated today (I hope).

Yes, we learn from all we've been through, because we naturally try to find some positives as part of our recovery. But, I suspect we also might be healthier, happier people if we had never had to go through that experience. Ideally, we could find a way to prevent the emotional abuse that sometimes occurs in religious life BEFORE it happens. Edited by IgnatiusofLoyola

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Sister Marie
God bless you for saying that Maggie. I agree with you on the most part. The more progressive communities definitely have a more thorough understanding of human psychology and have applied it to their formation programs, not because the more conservative communities are at fault, but probably because of opportunities to study which contemplative communities do not have but active communities do. We are definitely in a difficult time in the history of religious life because there is a real boundary between the "liberal" and "conservative" communities. I think that this boundary has become a stumbling block to some dialogue that could potentially help each community to grow in charity toward their youngest members.

My community is pretty moderate and it is interesting to see how that works out in "inter-community" relationships. Our sisters study at the archdiocesan seminary, as do many other communities of religious women during the summer. When I studied last summer, I felt quite lonely. The sisters who wore "full" habits wouldn't even say hello to me, and the sisters who wore no habit wouldn't say hello to me either because I wore a modified habit. There were a lot of comments judging how each particular community lived. We aren't supposed to be exactly the same, although we are supposed to be faithful! I couldn't believe that it would be so difficult for religious women to be charitable to one another but it is sometimes a real problem. We are living in a time of fear of the other; in our country, in our communities, and in religious life. It is true that we need to speak the truth, and that there are definitely guidelines that are necessary to abide by in order for community to be faithful to religious life. However, this truth needs to be spoken with charity and generosity. In addition, the differences between active and contemplative communities need to be realized and embraced as different but important gifts to the Church and to religious life.

I have been very lucky to find some communities that have been willing to be very friendly with my community in spite of our differences and it has been such a wonderful experience. These communities have been charitable and generous in their willingness to dialogue, educate, and work with us. These relationships have made me so happy and so grateful to God for these sisters. It has been a true witness to me of Christian charity and the Body of Christ. I hope these communities do not mind but I would love to mention in particular the beautiful presence of the Little Sisters of the Poor and the Daughters of Saint Paul. We have had wonderful relationships with them in which we have been able to learn from one another. I hope that that might continue throughout this difficult time in religious life.

I hope that this makes sense. Please know that all I say is in union with the mind and heart of the Church. I would never go against her teaching. If something is unclear or sounds unorthodox, it is by ignorance and accident, not by malice. If I need to clarify something, please let me know!

For all of you discerning it is important to keep in mind that we are all striving towards the same goal, Jesus! God love you for trying to enter into this life in such a difficult but exciting time! We desire to become saints, and this is how it happens! Thank you, Lord!

Many prayers for all you brave souls out there!
Sister Marie

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IgnatiusofLoyola
[quote name='vee8' date='28 March 2010 - 07:10 PM' timestamp='1269821451' post='2082281']
I remember hearing that St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi climbed up to the chapel crucifix and hung her keys on Christ`s hand to help stop herself from leaving although I dont know how often she did that. More frequently she would go ring the main bell, even in the night, during her ecstasies as she wanted to call all to the love of Christ. Carmelites [img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/ohno.gif[/img] [img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/hehe.gif[/img]
[/quote]

Geez, no wonder the other nuns were mad at her! Even nuns have to sleep SOMETIME!

It doesn't excuse the abuse against her, but if someone woke me up several times a night to share her ecstasies, I would be less than ecstatic. LOL Edited by IgnatiusofLoyola

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Indwelling Trinity
[quote name='IgnatiusofLoyola' date='28 March 2010 - 11:33 PM' timestamp='1269830025' post='2082346']
Geez, no wonder the other nuns were mad at her! Even nuns have to sleep SOMETIME!

It doesn't excuse the abuse against her, but if someone woke me up several times a night to share her ecstasies, I would be less than ecstatic. LOL
[/quote]

Laughing... she is one of my favorite siants but I never really thought about being woken up so much especially with the little sleep you get in Carmel! I think i thank God for my deafness...:topsy: I would have slept like a baby! :rolling: Edited by Indwelling Trinity

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HisChild
[quote name='IgnatiusofLoyola' date='28 March 2010 - 07:00 PM' timestamp='1269828020' post='2082331']
Everyone has limits on how much suffering they can endure before breaking down...

For myself, I have a hard time believing that God would want anyone to suffer--a broken person can't serve others as well as someone who is healthy and happy.

Divorce is a parallel situation. Marriage is a sacrament and a vow before God. But, every person has limits, so for example, I don't believe that a woman should have to put up with physical abuse from her husband. In my case, my husband told me point blank that he was going to lead a gay lifestyle--and as much as I hated getting divorced, I couldn't live in a marriage that didn't at least TRY to be monogamous, and one that would expose me to AIDS, etc. I felt like a failure, even though it was not my fault. To give due credit, I think my ex-husband tried VERY hard to make the marriage work. We certainly gave it a good shot--we were married for 14 years.

But, as a result of my divorce, I am viewed by many as "damaged goods" and everyone always says that the fault is on both sides. My fault is that I was "clueless"--I had no idea of my ex-husband's homosexual feelings. NONE.

[/quote]

First, thank you for your words. They were very heartening. Yes, everyone does have limits as to what they can handle and I don't believe one person who might be able to 'handle' more than the next person is any weaker for having those lower limits.

Like you, I don't believe that God wants anyone to suffer. Religious life is a life of sacrifice as it is with all its daily penances and mortifications just by living the daily horarium. I have a difficult time believing in the value of another sister(s), someone who is essentially on the same 'team' as you, using humiliation and unkindness as a form of making you a better nun/sister.

As for your divorce and feeling that many view you as 'damaged goods', I can fully understand those feelings. I love the way the Eastern (Orthodox) Church views divorce and even remarriage. Regarding divorce, one bishop said it this way: “Since Christ, according to the Matthaean account (Matthew 19:9), allowed an exception to His general ruling about the indissolubility of marriage, the Orthodox Church also is willing to allow an exception”. They see divorce as a tragedy resulting from human weakness and sin. ( It's similar to the way the Catholic Church allows for some annulments.) And for remarriage: "It is permitted as a pastoral concession in the context of “economia,” to the human weakness and the corrupt world in which we live." Both divorce and remarriage are serious issues, but in some instances are allowed as a measure of compassion. It's such a beautiful way of looking at a horrible situation.

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HisChild
[quote name='Sister Marie' date='28 March 2010 - 07:10 PM' timestamp='1269828606' post='2082336']

My community is pretty moderate and it is interesting to see how that works out in "inter-community" relationships. Our sisters study at the archdiocesan seminary, as do many other communities of religious women during the summer. When I studied last summer, I felt quite lonely. The sisters who wore "full" habits wouldn't even say hello to me, and the sisters who wore no habit wouldn't say hello to me either because I wore a modified habit. There were a lot of comments judging how each particular community lived. We aren't supposed to be exactly the same, although we are supposed to be faithful! I couldn't believe that it would be so difficult for religious women to be charitable to one another but it is sometimes a real problem. We are living in a time of fear of the other; in our country, in our communities, and in religious life. It is true that we need to speak the truth, and that there are definitely guidelines that are necessary to abide by in order for community to be faithful to religious life. However, this truth needs to be spoken with charity and generosity. In addition, the differences between active and contemplative communities need to be realized and embraced as different but important gifts to the Church and to religious life.

Many prayers for all you brave souls out there!
Sister Marie
[/quote]

Sister Marie, thank you for your visible witness of your vocation to Jesus. It's so heartening to see sisters in habits. Among other things, it really does provide to the laity a religious moment - a time out, if you will, in our crazy and sometimes horrid world that our Lord is in our midst during our struggles. The habit, "even" modified, also often provides to a young woman or man a seed, one that may grown into a vocation. So thank you.

I have seen, in my discernment, the polar opposites you speak of. I really felt for you when I read your words of loneliness. When I had first begun discerning in the 90s, we did not have any sisters in the diocese that wore easily identifiable habits. But of course, I knew that those sisters existed somewhere. One day during a religious life discernment retreat we were all sitting in a big circle talking about religious life and its various forms. I asked one of the sisters who was sitting there in jeans what was the difference between her congregation and those that wear habits, because I was really that ignorant and didn't know. And back then, I didn't have the easy access of the internet to be able to even find that out. She became so irate, and yes I mean lividly irate. Her face turned red and she started going on and on about how the sisters who still wear habits are backwards automatons, etc. I was so floored. And because of my question, even asked in innocence, she would not speak to me for the rest of the retreat.

Likewise (and I won't mention if this was a community I entered or just visited, for charity's sake) I remember one community who had a basket in their recreation room that contained correspondence and newsletters form other communities. One night the sisters all sat around this table pulling items from this basket and would proceed to talk about how this community wasn't 'really' sisters because they were no longer using a grill in the parlor and sometimes went out to Mass, that community wasn't 'authentic' because they altered their veils and you could ~gasp~ see their bangs/hair and foreheads, etc. Another night we were all sitting outside during recreation. I had asked if there were others considering entering the community any time soon. The conversation spiraled into talking about those who'd entered and left, and let's just say the conversation was not charitable, accusing these poor women and laying bare their faults to everyone sitting there. At first I thought it was horrid that these women weren't there to defend themselves, but then I realized it was a blessing to not have to hear what these nuns were saying about them. It really made, in my eyes, these nuns who seemed so beautiful in pictures, look quite ugly in reality in these instances.

So, I unfortunately understand where you're coming from. I think that many, if not most, of us who've left communities, and had experienced the pain we had over that leaving for whatever reason, can say that these experiences came from those communities that are more traditional. It just reminds me that the habit does not make the community. I'm not sure I can articulate what's in my heart but let me try... While I would wish to wear a habit to be a visible witness for Christ, I have also seen in my own religious life journey that in the more traditional, fully habited communities sometimes the loving compassion gets lost among the tunic folds. I found myself more than once wanting to shout out that just because you're a nun doesn't mean you cease to be a Christian person.

Yes, I know we (the laity) sometimes place religious on pedestals, expecting them to be somehow better than the rest of us... but you know what? They really should be! I pray I do not scandalize you with my fervent thoughts. I once read this book about an old woman in Europe who had visits from many souls in purgatory. She said a lot of these souls were monks and nuns (that wasn't what the book was about, I just remember her talking in one chapter about religious), that since our Lord gave them the gift of their vocation, more was expected of them. Their entire lives were about leaving the world behind to follow Christ singularly so when they sin against charity, etc. their sins are more grave for this very reason. So lest someone think I'm being unfairly critical, I don't mean to come across as too harsh, but in the same respect, I also believe that while we're all on a journey toward Christ, religious life should be an opportunity for monks/nuns/sisters to practice MORE charity, not less.

At any rate, lest my post be a complete downer, I have also had some lovely experiences from both traditional (Sisters of Life) and more moderate (Hawthorne Dominicans) congregations. The Sisters of Life, when I was with them as a postulant in 94, were a beautiful witness to those who wished to offer their lives to Christ. I rarely witnessed anything in my 4 months with them other than sisterly charity and friendliness. They are a community I'd recommend to all. I visited the Hawthorne Dominicans in 92, I think. It was actually my first exposure to the Sisters of Life as they took classes together. Until Cardinal O'Connor and Mother Assumpta helped them design their new habits, they wore a modified beige habit and were completely content with what they had. I think they were happy to be in any habit, to be honest. :love: Anyway, the Hawthornes modified their habit due to their apostolate. With their work with incurable cancer patients, they found a slightly shorter habit and veil was more practical. Although one might think they'd be sad with all the death they witnessed, these sisters radiated joy and charity with their patients and also with each other.

So, dear Sister, I just wanted to share that I understand what you speak of... and also to exhort those that reads these posts down the line who are discerning religious life to carefully discern your vocation to ANY community. What's the old saying? Don't judge a book by its cover. A pretty habit does not a holy community make. I just see so many posts here go on about the habits. This one wants to join this community because the habit is so traditional and so pretty and that one wants to join that community because the veil is to the waist or the habit is in the color she likes. And they think that BECAUSE of the habit and the traditional horarium or the grill separating the sisters from the people, makes the community somehow better or more authentic. These habits, these rubrics ARE beautiful, and can be incredible tools to help one along the way to holiness, but don't get seduced by the externals to the point that you do not see the inner heart of the community. Some of us have been there... and then post here today.

God bless you Sister for your vocation and your service to the Church. Have a blessed Holy Week and a beautiful Paschal season.

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HisChild
[quote name='IgnatiusofLoyola' date='28 March 2010 - 07:33 PM' timestamp='1269830025' post='2082346']
Geez, no wonder the other nuns were mad at her! Even nuns have to sleep SOMETIME!

It doesn't excuse the abuse against her, but if someone woke me up several times a night to share her ecstasies, I would be less than ecstatic. LOL
[/quote]


I fell in love with St Maria Maddelena de Pazzi many years ago. In fact, I entered DCJ in 93 on her feast day because in all the saints books I'd read, she seemed so incredibly holy and wonderful. Then I read her book from the Classics of Western Christianity. As I read in further detail about some of her ecstasies and the things she said to her sisters, I kept thinking, 'Wow, she really is a bit of a nutter, isn't she?' LOL! As soon as I saw her name again, I started laughing. I still love her, don't get me wrong, but she was just something else. Fool for Christ, to be sure. The pragmatic Teresa of Avila probably would have had a field day with her!

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Antigonos
The more I read in this thread, the more I begin to feel that a great deal of the current situation depends on two things:

1] that the changes made by Vatican II opened a big can of worms. Prior to that council, religious orders seemed to be more homogenous -- the main distinction being active/contemplative, and that the various "branches" [if that is the right word] of a particular group [i.e. Franciscans, Benedictines, etc.] conformed to certain norms that made each Order unique and instantly recognizable. Liberalization brought a certain degree of chaos in its wake, with a lot of tried-and-true practices being modified without due thought as to the long-term consequences.

2] Leadership comes from above. On a local level, it is the Abbess/Prioress/Mother Superior who can make a major difference in how her nuns behave, with regard to charity and the avoidance of back-biting and gossip, etc. And at each successively higher level, right up to the Pope, it needs to be reinforced, but for that, it needs a clear vision of what the Church is meant to be. It seems to me, IMHO, that ever since Vatican II, the Papacy has been unclear on how much of the legacy of Vatican II it wants to encourage, and how much it has realized was a mistake in the long term.

From this outsider's view, I sometimes think the Church needs another Counter Reformation if it is not to fragment even further. Times change; solutions over a thousand years old do not always meet today's requirements. Perhaps the Church needs a new form of religious life for women which meets the need to live a consecrated life IN the world, while conventual life needs to return to its roots. [Maybe there is, and I simply don't know about it]

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Totus Tuus
[quote name='Antigonos' date='29 March 2010 - 01:29 AM' timestamp='1269840559' post='2082435']

1] that the changes made by Vatican II opened a big can of worms. Prior to that council, religious orders seemed to be more homogenous -- the main distinction being active/contemplative, and that the various "branches" [if that is the right word] of a particular group [i.e. Franciscans, Benedictines, etc.] conformed to certain norms that made each Order unique and instantly recognizable. Liberalization brought a certain degree of chaos in its wake, with a lot of tried-and-true practices being modified without due thought as to the long-term consequences.
[/quote]

Sorry, I get nauseous anytime someone starts to blame a situation on Vatican II. It's become the scapegoat of Catholicism, and it's not right. Liberalization is not equivalent to Vatican II. It came from, among other things, a misinterpretation or ignorance of what the council actually said. Having the sexual revolution occur in conjunction with the council didn't help matters, either.

You may acknowledge that already, I just wanted to point it out for any unsuspecting readers who may happen upon this thread.

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Antigonos
[quote name='Totus Tuus' date='29 March 2010 - 02:26 PM' timestamp='1269862012' post='2082545']
Sorry, I get nauseous anytime someone starts to blame a situation on Vatican II. It's become the scapegoat of Catholicism, and it's not right. Liberalization is not equivalent to Vatican II. It came from, among other things, a misinterpretation or ignorance of what the council actually said. Having the sexual revolution occur in conjunction with the council didn't help matters, either.

You may acknowledge that already, I just wanted to point it out for any unsuspecting readers who may happen upon this thread.
[/quote]


Then you think it was the sexual revolution which caused the disintegration of so many religious communities and so many nuns and priests leaving religious life, rather than Vatican II? Did [i]everyone[/i] misinterpret it? Were its decisions so confusingly written? [I'm quite serious about wanting to know your opinion; I'm not being sarcastic]

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