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Consecrated Virginity Question


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Sponsa-Christi

Okay, here's a definition of "moral obligation" from a legal dictionary, and one which is basically the same as the definition I learned:

 

MORAL OBLIGATION. A duty which one owes, and which he ought to perform, but which he is not legally bound to fulfill. 
     2. These obligations are of two kinds 1st. Those founded on a natural right; as, the obligation to be charitable, which can never be enforced by law. 2d. Those which are supported by a good or valuable antecedent consideration; as, where a man owes a debt barred by the act of limitations, this cannot be recovered by law, though it subsists in morality and conscience; but if the debtor promise to pay it, the moral obligation is a sufficient consideration for the promise, and the creditor may maintain an action of assumpsit, to recover the money. [1 Bouv. Inst. n. 623.]

 

(Source: "A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856." http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/moral+obligation)

 

In saying that a commitment to some level of stability might be what's termed a "moral obligation" (i.e., a real obligation that's not strictly juridical) I'm not saying that moving is therefore immoral per se

 

I'm totally fine if people understand what I'm saying and then disagree with me, but it does seem that we all keep missing each other. AbrideofChrist and Laurie, would you be able to give a short definition of the term "moral obligation" as you're using it so that I can better understand where we're all coming from?

 

I am familiar with St. Thomas' discussion on the nature of law, but I still don't see how his writings invalidate the definition of "moral obligation" that I'm using here.

 

If I stopped using the term "moral obligation," and instead used a term that I would consider a synonym (such as something like "non-juridical" or "non-canonical obligation"), would that make my arguments at least make basic logical sense to you (even if you still disagreed with my conclusions)?

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ETA: This is not aimed at anyone- just to lighten the mood.  :saint2:

I ask one question and this happens.

I mean this as respectfully as possible, but the exact nature and extent of consecrated virgins’ secularity is far from a settled question. I’m saying this not because I want to debate (I truly do

Sponsa-Christi

Since I feel like I'm being continually misunderstood here, I just wanted to make clear that I'm NOT saying "consecrated virgins have an absolute obligation never to move out of their home diocese under pain of sin."

 

What I am trying to say is that consecrated virgins should foster a sense of special devotion and commitment to the local Church for which they were consecrated, while proposing that maintaining a sense of stability toward their home diocese would seem to me the most logical practical consequence of this. 

 

Insofar as I think this would probably be the fullest manifestation of the charism of consecrated virginity, and insofar as we're all called to live the vocation of our state in life as fully as we can in our circumstances, I think a consecrated virgin therefore might have some kind of obligation--albeit not a strictly canonical one--not to leave her home diocese permanently without an appropriately serious reason.

 

And I do acknowledge that a consecrated virgin may indeed have an appropriately serious reason to move permanently at some point, whether this be a matter of grave personal necessity for her, or else for the greater benefit of the wider Church. I'm just saying that I don't think a such a move should be taken lightly.

 

Also, this truly isn't a matter of me working backwards from what is merely my own personal preference. I really do believe that my opinion in this matter is implied by the pertinent legal documents, and that it's objectively true based on the nature of the Rite itself.

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abrideofChrist

Okay, here's a definition of "moral obligation" from a legal dictionary, and one which is basically the same as the definition I learned:

 

MORAL OBLIGATION. A duty which one owes, and which he ought to perform, but which he is not legally bound to fulfill. 
     2. These obligations are of two kinds 1st. Those founded on a natural right; as, the obligation to be charitable, which can never be enforced by law. 2d. Those which are supported by a good or valuable antecedent consideration; as, where a man owes a debt barred by the act of limitations, this cannot be recovered by law, though it subsists in morality and conscience; but if the debtor promise to pay it, the moral obligation is a sufficient consideration for the promise, and the creditor may maintain an action of assumpsit, to recover the money. [1 Bouv. Inst. n. 623.]

 

(Source: "A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856." http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/moral+obligation)

 

This is the source of disagreement right here.  You are not using the term in a Catholic sense.  Even canon lawyers do not simply use this particular definition in isolation.  They understand moral obligation in a much broader, theological sense.  The ordinary, Catholic definition of the term moral obligation is an act or avoidance of an act is binding in conscience (under pain of sin).  There is a whole theological branch devoted to moral theology. 

 

Even if you look online for a quick definition of moral theology, one definition that pops up is an "obligation that arises from considerations of right and wrong".  Here's a Catholic encyclopedia article on obligation > here.  And here's another one on moral theology > here.  Moral theology and moral obligations in the Catholic viewpoint has to do with virtue and vice.  From the latter article, I cite but one paragraph which shows that moral obligation in the theological sense has to do with virtue and vice:

 

In all these branches of moral theology, a great advance was noticeable at the time of the Council of Trent. That more stress was laid on casuistry in particular, finds its explanation in the growing frequency of sacramental confession. This is freely conceded by our adversaries. Döllinger and Reusch say (op. cit., 19 sqq.): "The fact that casuistry underwent a further development after the sixteenth century, is connected with further changes in the penitential discipline. From that time on the custom prevailed of approaching the confessional more frequently, regularly before Communion, of confessing not only grievous, but also venial sins, and of asking the confessor's advice for all troubles of the spiritual life, so that the confessor became more and more a spiritual father and guide." The confessor needed this schooling and scientific training, which alone could enable him to give correct decisions in complex cases of human life, to form a correct estimate of moral goodness or defect, duty or violation of duty, virtue or vice. Now, it was inevitable that the confessor should meet cases where the existence or exact measure of the obligation remained obscure even after careful examination, where the moralist was therefore confronted by the question what the final decision in these cases should be: whether one was obliged to consider oneself bound when the duty was obscure and doubtful, or how one could remove this doubt and arrive at the definite conclusion that there was no strict obligation. That the former could not be the case, but that an obligation, to exist, must first be proved, had always been known and had been variously expressed in practical rules: "In dubiis benigniora sequenda", "odiosa sunt restringenda", etc. The basic principle, however, for solving such dubious cases and attaining the certitude necessary for the morality of an action was not always kept clearly in view. To establish this universal principle, was equivalent to establishing a moral system; and the various systems were distinguished by the principle to which each adhered.

 

 

Within the category of virtue is good and better.  The reason I had earlier brought up the question as to whether you understood the difference between counsel and precept is that even among goods there is good and there is better.  You are taking a possible counsel (remaining in one place) and elevating it to a precept for CVs instead of seeing that it is one good among many good choices. 

 

I am leaving it to Laurie to discuss the nature of law and from whence moral obligation arises.  My point here is to show you that you do not appear to share the same working definition of moral obligation as the average Catholic.  Hence, when we ordinarily talk about a moral obligation, we mean that it is binding in conscience.  This is why it really bothered me that you were claiming a moral obligation for CVs to remain in their home diocese.  This is the kind of slippery slope that a lot of other people have taken in other matters (for example you like simplicity so all of a sudden plain amish clothes are the only kinds of clothing permitted because it is "better" because it doesn't lead to vanity.... from that it is a small jump to say that all other clothes ARE vain... which in turn means that one has an obligation to wear "modest" clothes that look Amish... which once this "obligation" is established, obviously has a consequence in "immodesty" or sinfulness in those who do not conform to one's amish styling rules.  You can point to tradition, saints, and so on all you like, but amish Catholics's clothing emerged from Calvanistic principles and the Puritan tradition which is certainly not Catholic... and therefore incorrect.  The truth is that unless the Church banned bright colors, or lace (and why would it since even cassocks have lace?), it is not sinful to wear such articles of clothing no matter how much a person's private dressing rituals or opinions desire otherwise. 

 

Let me reiterate.  It really bothers me that you would lay down the law where none exists.  I have already pointed out a ton of arguments that have been made proving that CVs are not required in conscience to stay in their dioceses.  You have not refuted even one of them.  You know, the Church expanded the canon law licentiate program from two years to three.  One reason given was that the students weren't well grounded in theology and philosophy.  I thought they were joking. Now I'm not so sure.
 

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This is the source of disagreement right here.  You are not using the term in a Catholic sense.  Even canon lawyers do not simply use this particular definition in isolation.  They understand moral obligation in a much broader, theological sense. 

 

 

Bingo. This is why I have said a few times that I am at an impasse in the discussion. It's also why I simply suggested 3 excellent books instead of trying to get into the weeds of the argument. Because I myself, in explanations and clarifications, cannot supply the basic formation in Catholic teaching that is lacking.

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If I stopped using the term "moral obligation," and instead used a term that I would consider a synonym (such as something like "non-juridical" or "non-canonical obligation"), would that make my arguments at least make basic logical sense to you (even if you still disagreed with my conclusions)?

 

No. Because you can't responsibly argue on the topic of obligations, of any serious kind of obligation, without understand the Catholic Church's teaching on moral obligation. It doesn't help the matter to spin off into other kinds of "obligations" that you are cooking up yourself. The solution is to treat seriously, and in depth, what the Church has already gifted us with.

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Also, this truly isn't a matter of me working backwards from what is merely my own personal preference. I really do believe that my opinion in this matter is implied by the pertinent legal documents, and that it's objectively true based on the nature of the Rite itself.

 

I realize you really do believe it. But the burden of demonstration (cohesive, learned demonstration) lies on you. You can believe it and, sure, that's your opinion. But unless you can demonstrate it, within the grand tradition of Catholic teaching (that is, not creating your own definitions as you go along to suit the arguments you want to make to support your own opinions--and also not selecting narrow definitions you happen to know about when there is a far more robust definition that actually applies to the discussion at hand) it's not going to hold water on an intellectual level.

 

Part of the problem here is that you can say the documents imply X. You can say they "imply" any number of things. "Implication" is not something around which a woman can form her life. It's far too nebulous and rooted in a personal reading of X document. The Church can and does take a vocation far more seriously than basing a woman's life on what Cheryl or Susan think is "implied" in certain documents.

 

The CV vocation is not a free for all. That's not to say benefit couldn't be derived from the Church clarifying a few issues, or deciding one way, or another, on a few issues. So far, in some instances regarding this vocation, she has not. The fact that she has not means that anything she has left undetermined is NOT a realm in which it is wise for CV's to cook up pseudo-obligations that meet their own expectations for the vocation. If the Church has left something undefined, that means she has purposefully left that realm free for an individual consecrasted virgin (a well-formed, spiritually mature woman) to determine what her best course of action is, in conjunction with her spiritual director and her bishop.

 

As for the definition of moral obligation from the legal dictionary, again, sure. That is one slender, very generic way of definining moral obligation, in the very narrow arena of positive law. It serves a purpose, certainly. But to mistake that for the Church's definition of moral obligation is gravely in error. That's the crux of our problem. (At least, that's the crux of the sole problem that I decided to deal with head on. Other problems follow, as I've said, from a flawed foundation.)

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I'm totally fine if people understand what I'm saying and then disagree with me, but it does seem that we all keep missing each other. AbrideofChrist and Laurie, would you be able to give a short definition of the term "moral obligation" as you're using it so that I can better understand where we're all coming from?

 

I'm sorry, I meant to address this in my other posts and I forgot.

 

I've already given an outline of moral obligation and what it is rooted in. Several times! I also included large excerpts from Fr. Higgins that treat the broad outlines of the topic! I also suggested two books, apart from Fr. Higgins.

 

Granted, the topic of moral obligation is a huge area of discussion. There is far more that could be said. But I gave the basic points. Several times. I'm baffled. This isn't a murky area of Catholic teaching. It's not a gray area. It's a building block of Church teaching. And it is absolutely fundamental that it is grasped by someone who is setting forth her own interpreations of a vocation in a public forum.

 

As I mentioned quite a bit earlier, I highly recommend reading the section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church titled "God's Salvation: Law and Grace." That a great jumping off point.

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Sponsa-Christi

With all due respect, I have always been very clear that my opinions are only my opinions, so I don’t think it’s likely that anyone will mistake my thoughts for actual law. And I think it’s obvious that I don’t have the power to impose laws on anybody.

 

I do think in certain contexts it’s legitimate to use the term “moral obligation” in the way I’ve been using it here. Still, taking “moral obligation” in its fuller philosophical sense, I personally do think that yes, it would be objectively a sin for a consecrated virgin to have no sense of commitment whatsoever to her home diocese, and that for this it would be objectively wrong for her to leave permanently without an appropriately serious reason. (Though please note that I’m not presently speculating on how grave a sin it might be, exactly what constitutes an appropriately serious reason for leaving, or how much of a sense of commitment might be “enough.”)

 

However, this is very different from saying that the act of moving is in and of itself a sin, which is something I’m not saying. Also, I fully acknowledge that this is my own understanding, and that other people can still disagree in good faith since the Church hasn’t clarified this issue yet.

 

So I’m not saying that any individual CV’s choice to move (or her personal lack of a sense of commitment to her home diocese) would be actually a sin, since of course sin in the formal sense has a necessary subjective dimension. If a CV is sincerely convinced that she hasn’t even the slightest shade of an obligation toward her home diocese, we couldn’t say that she was sinning if she left without a good reason—even if, hypothetically, it were to be later clarified that what she did was objectively wrong. 

 

 

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Sponsa-Christi

And, if it should happen that a CV reads my thoughts on being devoted to one’s home diocese and feels a twinge of conscience…perhaps we should take this as a sign that my concerns have some objective validity (rather than assuming that it’s because I’ve done something wrong in sharing the fruits of my discernment on this issue).

 

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Sponsa-Christi

Argument of example-  The Blessed Virgin Mary (Egypt and possibly Ephesus; both locations far from the place of consecration of Nazareth).  If the Blessed Virgin can relocate, why can't others?

Argument of example-   The CVs who relocated from Rome to Palestine.  Again, at a great distance from original site of consecration.

Argument of authority-  Cardinal Burke (in his writings and talks to the USACV)

Argument of authority- Sr. Sharon Holland, in charge of CV affairs (at the time of writing the article)at the  Congregation for Religious

Canonical argument-  Restrictions of rights cannot take place without due promulgation by competent authority (cf. canon 18).

Philosophical argument-  Laws that are binding upon the consciences of humans must be promulgated.  Nothing contrary to relocation has been promulgated (you only partially agree by saying that there is no "canonical" obligation).

Argument of praxis-  CVs all over the world have relocated and continue to do so for obvious reasons.

Theological argument- The CV has the charism of the Universal Church.  Thus she has the ability to move out of one diocese to fulfill the needs of the Universal Church in another diocese.

Theological argument-  Stability has different senses, including the one of mendicant and missionary orders whose members can move all over the globe.  The stability required of the CV pertains more to personal maturity than to staying in one physical location.

 

 

Because AbrideofChrist asked me why I didn't answer any of her arguments, here is how I would briefly respond:

 

From the arguments of example – This isn’t actually refuting my argument, because my argument is NOT that consecrated virgins should never move for any reason. Rather, it’s that consecrated virgins should have some significant sense of commitment to their home diocese and thus shouldn’t move without an appropriately serious reason.

 

From the arguments from authority – Cardinal Burke and Sr. Holland, while they are experts who should certainly be taken seriously, have never been empowered to make legally binding, authoritative interpretations in this area. Any writings of theirs on the subject of consecrated virgins are, strictly speaking, only their expert opinions. Even when Sr. Holland worked for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life, her famous article was not written as an official document on behalf of that Congregation.

 

From the canonical argument – I think it could be argued that, because a bond with a particular diocese could be seen as an essential part of virginal consecration, CVs implicitly make a certain degree of renunciation of the natural right to move freely when they consent to receive the Rite. (Though of course, in individual cases, someone isn’t going to be bound to a renunciation which they didn’t know/didn’t believe they were consenting to.)

 

From the philosophical argument – Similarly, since I think a bond with a particular diocese is discernible through consideration of the nature of the Rite itself, you could argue that it’s made known or “promulgated” that way.

 

From the argument of praxis – Just because a practice is widespread doesn’t automatically make it correct.

 

From the 1st theological argument – It’s true that CVs have the charism of the Church herself…but, it’s also true that the Church manifests herself in particular as well as in universal form. And when it comes to doing moral acts in our own lives, we can really only do so in terms of particulars. Unless a CV is working for the Vatican or undertaking a special mission on behalf of the Pope, if she could be said to serving the Church in a general way, she's going to have to be doing so in the context of a particular local Church as well. (And besides this, I think it could be legitimate for a CV to move to another diocese, after careful discernment and with the blessing of her bishop, in order to meet a real need there. This would seem to be an appropriately serious reason for moving.)

 

From the 2nd theological argument – Stability does have different senses, and I think that “stability” for consecrated virgins means having some level of commitment to a particular diocese. I would hope that personal maturity for consecrated virgins would be a given in any case, but there’s nothing in the Rite or the other pertinent documents that suggests that “stability” for consecrated virgins means only personal maturity to the exclusion of other types of stability.

 

 

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And, if it should happen that a CV reads my thoughts on being devoted to one’s home diocese and feels a twinge of conscience…perhaps we should take this as a sign that my concerns have some objective validity (rather than assuming that it’s because I’ve done something wrong in sharing the fruits of my discernment on this issue).

 

No. This is another example of loose thinking not based in the Church's way of seeing things.

 

A well-formed CV should not have a "twinge of conscience" on this topic. If she does, she needs to carefully examine her personal formation. This is not an aspect of the vocation that warrants "twinges of conscience."

 

My point about your fruits of discernment is that they stand or fall on their own merit. They don't have validity just because they are your opinions. If you want them to be persuasive, you have to formulate them cohesively, and, in addition to that, they have to stand up to critical analysis. I should add, they aren't educated opinions simply because you have degrees. An educated opinion demonstrates in itself that it is clear, cohesive, rational, and relevant to the topic it addresses.

 

Sharing the fruits of your discernment on a public forum (the purpose of which is to answer, as objectively as possible, the questions of those discerning this vocation) carries responsibilites.

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Sponsa-Christi

 

The CV vocation is not a free for all. That's not to say benefit couldn't be derived from the Church clarifying a few issues, or deciding one way, or another, on a few issues. So far, in some instances regarding this vocation, she has not. The fact that she has not means that anything she has left undetermined is NOT a realm in which it is wise for CV's to cook up pseudo-obligations that meet their own expectations for the vocation. If the Church has left something undefined, that means she has purposefully left that realm free for an individual consecrasted virgin (a well-formed, spiritually mature woman) to determine what her best course of action is, in conjunction with her spiritual director and her bishop.

 

 

Laurie,

 

The thing is, I’m not simply tacking on gratuitous obligations that happen to correspond to an eccentric personal presence of mine. I’m trying to make sense of what is presently a real lacuna or gap in the Church’s expressed understanding.

 

Consecrated virgins must have some type of relationship to the institutional Church. No matter how you define this relationship, in doing so you’re necessarily either going to be making a comment on the nature of the Rite, or acknowledging some kind of obligation for somebody, or both.

For example:

 

- If we were to argue that consecrated virgins have absolutely no obligation to obey any bishop or serve the Church in any way or sense other than the sense in which all baptized Christians are bound to these things, then this would mean that the Rite is either essentially the same thing as a merely private vow—or else that it’s basically meaningless as a commitment.

 

- If we were going to argue that consecrated virgins do have some kind of special accountability to a bishop, but have a right to move wherever they want for any reason, then we’re imposing an obligation on bishops to take responsibility for vocations which neither they nor their predecessors had accepted had the chance to discern personally.

 

- If we’re going to say that individual diocese have the obligation to form aspiring consecrated virgins, but that they have no corresponding right to expect those CVs to maintain a special commitment toward the spiritual enrichment of that diocese, then we would seem to be imposing an unfair burden on local Churches. 

 

 

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Sponsa-Christi

No. This is another example of loose thinking not based in the Church's way of seeing things

.

Obviously, the Church not going to create a law based solely on a few persons' subjective experience of conscience. But I think it's very Catholic to say that God can use our conscience to convey a level of knowledge of objective truth.

 

A well-formed CV should not have a "twinge of conscience" on this topic. If she does, she needs to carefully examine her personal formation. This is not an aspect of the vocation that warrants "twinges of conscience."

 

Respectfully, you seem to be using this as the conclusion, when this would actually seem to be the very question at hand.

 

My point about your fruits of discernment is that they stand or fall on their own merit. They don't have validity just because they are your opinions. If you want them to be persuasive, you have to formulate them cohesively, and, in addition to that, they have to stand up to critical analysis. I should add, they aren't educated opinions simply because you have degrees. An educated opinion demonstrates in itself that it is clear, cohesive, rational, and relevant to the topic it addresses.

 

To be clear, I thought this discussion wasn't really focused on exactly why I believe that consecrated virgins have a special bond with their home diocese, but was more about clarifying exactly what my argument actually is (and then later, on my right to have an opinion on this in the first place). Recounting the details of how I arrived at my convictions would seem to be a separate conversation. 

 

Sharing the fruits of your discernment on a public forum (the purpose of which is to answer, as objectively as possible, the questions of those discerning this vocation) carries responsibilites.

 

To be fair, a lot of what AbrideofChrist writes is also technically just her opinions as well. I think that, insofar as the Church hasn't given definitive answers to the questions we're engaging, that sharing different opinions is legitimate (and is probably also the best reflection of the reality of the situation for CVs)

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[Quote from Laurie] "A well-formed CV should not have a 'twinge of conscience' on this topic. If she does, she needs to carefully examine her personal formation. This is not an aspect of the vocation that warrants 'twinges of conscience.'"

 

[Response from Sponsa Christi] "Respectfully, you seem to be using this as the conclusion, when this would actually seem to be the very question at hand."

 

 

No. The Church is not ambigous on this level. If she thought CVs were morally obligated to stay in their dioceses of consecration, she would have issued an ecclesiastical law stating as much.

Further, I don't know how you can even dispute whether this is a conclusion or not when you have repeatedly said, of your own accord, that you don't understand the Church's teaching on moral obligation. You asked abrideofchrist and I to clarify it for you. We have, several times. You seem to want to both say it is up for debate and yet you yourself don't understand the terms used for definitions in the "debate."

 

I’m guessing it’s frustrating for you that I keep hammering away at the same points. From my perspective, I’m not going to go down intellectual rabbit holes, chasing ill-formed arguments, in order to try to make some sense out of them. I selected one glaring example of an error in the foundations of your argument (the fact that you don’t grasp the Church’s understanding of law and moral obligation) to address. There’s no point in my seriously weighing other statements you make when you are basing them on a flawed foundation.

 

If you don’t understand moral obligation, you can’t venture into what might constitute a valid “twinge of conscience.”

 

You've shifted your conversation from whether a CV is morally obligated to stay in her diocese to whether she is morally obligated to seriously consider that she has a special bond with her diocese. There's no point in my addressing the latter when you clearly don't understand the nature of a moral obligation. We could spin of possible "maybe moral obligations" until the day we die--if we don't grasp the Church's teaching on what constitutes a moral obligation, there is no point.

 

Again:

 

A CV is not morally obligated to stay in her diocese of consecration.

 

Ecclesial laws can bind morally. If there were an ecclesial law requiring her to stay in her diocese of consecration, that would bind morally. There are none.

 

In the absence of an ecclesial law, we'd have to resort to some other kind of law in order for her to be bound morally to stay in her diocese. No one has demonstrated that there is another kind of law that would bind her morally to stay in her diocese of consecration. That's because, due to the very nature of this kind of obligation, it would need to be clarified in ecclesiastical law. It would need to be clarified in ecclesiastical law because it is not a self-evident moral truth for which human reason alone could be relied upon. Again, it COULD have been made a moral obligation very easily. By the Church. In her ecclesiastical laws. She chose not to. That means it doesn't bind morally. Period. (There is a finality here because she explicitly chose not to bind morally in this instance.) She doesn't leave CVs out there, hanging on a limb, trying to figure out what might be expected of them, in terms of serious obligations. The Church doesn't play verbal shell games of "guess which shell has your real obligation." "Guess which document implies your real obligations."

 

On this note, I'm out. I wish each of you all the best & will hold your intentions in prayer. Cheers!

 

 

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abrideofChrist

 


 

 

To be fair, a lot of what AbrideofChrist writes is also technically just her opinions as well. I think that, insofar as the Church hasn't given definitive answers to the questions we're engaging, that sharing different opinions is legitimate (and is probably also the best reflection of the reality of the situation for CVs)

 

 

While it is true I did give you my opinions, I also gave you a long list of facts.  Let me reiterate these facts to refresh your memory:
 

Fact:  Our Lady went to Egypt
Fact:  Our Lady is said to have gone to Ephesus
Fact:  Many virgins went from Rome to Palestine
Fact:  Canon law and moral theology require an explicit promulgation or contract for natural law rights to be restricted. 
Fact:  Many CVs move.
Fact:  Cardinal Burke does state that virgins are free to relocate.
Fact:  Moving is so tough that it implicitly requires a serious decision/reason. 
Fact:  Sr. Holland did write for the official journal of the Congregation.  I don't know how it is that you think it was somehow disconnected to the Congregation.  Just because you lightly dismiss an article because it wasn't an "official document of the Church" (even though she quotes official documents in the Church AND reflects the ongoing praxis of the Congregation) doesn't mean all people share this dismissive attitude.  Do you really think the Congregation is going to allow an article in its official journal to be published that doesn't conform to its own theology and praxis?
Fact:  Members of secular institutes are able to receive the Consecration (and to move).
Fact:  Moral obligations involve virtue and vice.  Good and bad.  You haven't directly responded to how your definition of moral obligations contrasts to the Church's.

Fact:  The Church is universal and local. A CV is espoused to the King of the Universe.

Fact:  The Church forms married couples and we don't think it's unfair if they relocate from the diocese.

Fact:   Stability has many meanings.  People thought it was best for consecrated persons to remain in one location until the mendicants restored other meanings of the term.

 

I have opinions - and have expressed them- based on a logical flow of reasoning stemming from these facts.  You, on the other hand, have reverted over and over to the "implications of the Rite", without specifically citing anything really pertinent to the issue at hand that would move someone to believe that yours are logical implications.  But remember, even implications are dead in the water when there are factual laws that contradict any "implicit" concepts. A simple example is the expression "The spirit of Vatican II".  Everyone knows that the so-called spirit (the "implications" many people point to) is often contrary to the actual letter of the law.  What trumps?  The letter.  In my mind, you keep referring to the "spirit" or "implications" of the Rite.  What trumps is the actual wording, read in the light of moral theology. 

 

Laurie and I have both pointed out how the Catholic Church understands moral obligation. You have danced around this central point, without letting people know whether you persist in your original definition of "moral obligation", or if you accept the the Church's understanding. We need to know if you have broadened your understanding so that when you talk of "obligation" you mean binding in conscience or whether you continue to use the generic legal definition.

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