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Consecration Of Virgins Ceremony And Evangelical Poverty?


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This is part of the source which you will find in the USACV info packet. I am not even american and I know your resources  better than you guys! Also I checked with the USACV and they reiterated the below.




Rome 2008 International Congress-Pilgrimage of Consecrated Virgins

Rome, Italy

May 16, 2008

LEX ORANDI, LEX CREDENDI

THE RITE OF CONSECRATION AND

THE VOCATION OF CONSECRATED VIRGINITY LIVED IN THE WORLD

20

 

. What about the validity of the consecration imparted by a priest or bishop other than the Diocesan Bishop? I have learned only today of an official response from the Holy See, indicating that the consecration is not validly imparted by a priest and that, in the case of a virgin who was consecrated by a priest, the situation must be sanated by the private imparting of the consecration by the Diocesan Bishop. I do not have in hand the response and, therefore, cannot comment further. I do not believe that there has been any other official response to the question. It would seem to me that the consecration carried out by a priest or auxiliary Bishop, at the explicit direction of the Diocesan Bishop, is validly imparted, even though the full sign of the consecration by the Diocesan Bishop is not rightly respected. In other words, in the case of the consecration imparted by a priest or auxiliary Bishop, at the direction of the Diocesan Bishop, it seems clear that the Church intended to consecrate the virgin.

 

What Cardinal Burke is saying there is that until he verified that the official response existed (he had only heard of it from a "reliable source that day), he thought that a priest could be delegated to impart the consecration.  He refused to comment on it further because he wanted to verify for himself that the communication was real.  If it existed as per his reliable source, then he would naturally acknowledge that priests cannot validly impart the consecration.


 

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Both England and Canada - and possibly Ireland- have had priests attempt to consecrate virgins with or without delegation from the bishop.  They are also strong in their conviction that bridal attire should not be worn, contrary to the Church's tradition. 

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What Cardinal Burke is saying there is that until he verified that the official response existed (he had only heard of it from a "reliable source that day), he thought that a priest could be delegated to impart the consecration.  He refused to comment on it further because he wanted to verify for himself that the communication was real.  If it existed as per his reliable source, then he would naturally acknowledge that priests cannot validly impart the consecration.

 

Well the USACV has recently told me it is validly imparted (if it has been properly delegated), but just the sign has not rightfully been respected.

 

 Can anyone can cite any document saying that it is invalid???

 

This is important because it happens so much here. We would need to get many of them re-consecrated.

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Can the USACV provide documentation that it IS valid?  Cardinal Burke did not make the qualification of whether the virgin's "consecration" by a priest was delegated or undelegated by the bishop.  It is well known that a priest doing this of his own accord would be doing it invalidly.  Therefore, this situation that he is talking about is most likely about a bishop who delegated the Rite to a priest.  If the USACV does not have a document, then you can always write to Cardinal Burke and ask him directly!  I have heard of a virgin being consecrated by a bishop per Rome's instructions in the East Coast of the USA because she had been invalidly consecrated by a priest. 

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The documentation I am talking about from the USACV would be either a letter from Cardinal Burke saying that he checked the "official response" from the Holy See and it did NOT require a sanation as he had been led to believe, or an official dispensation from the Holy See saying that it is okay to have a bishop delegate the consecration to a priest.  Remember that the laws of the Church councils over the centuries repeatedly forbade priests to do the consecration and reserved it only to bishops.  Rene Metz does not allude to these laws in his second book on the vocation of 2001. 

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This is part of the source which you will find in the USACV info packet. I am not even american and I know your resources  better than you guys! Also I checked with the USACV and they reiterated the below.




Rome 2008 International Congress-Pilgrimage of Consecrated Virgins

Rome, Italy

May 16, 2008

LEX ORANDI, LEX CREDENDI

THE RITE OF CONSECRATION AND

THE VOCATION OF CONSECRATED VIRGINITY LIVED IN THE WORLD

20

 

. What about the validity of the consecration imparted by a priest or bishop other than the Diocesan Bishop? I have learned only today of an official response from the Holy See, indicating that the consecration is not validly imparted by a priest and that, in the case of a virgin who was consecrated by a priest, the situation must be sanated by the private imparting of the consecration by the Diocesan Bishop. I do not have in hand the response and, therefore, cannot comment further. I do not believe that there has been any other official response to the question. It would seem to me that the consecration carried out by a priest or auxiliary Bishop, at the explicit direction of the Diocesan Bishop, is validly imparted, even though the full sign of the consecration by the Diocesan Bishop is not rightly respected. In other words, in the case of the consecration imparted by a priest or auxiliary Bishop, at the direction of the Diocesan Bishop, it seems clear that the Church intended to consecrate the virgin.

 

Dear Oremus1,

 

Congratulations on your upcoming consecration, and I'm sorry to hear about the frustrations you're having face.

 

I'm an American (!!!) consecrated virgin presently living in Rome. I've been consecrated for five years, and I'm finishing my last year of a canon law degree.

 

A few clarifications on this quote:

 

As he indicates, in this talk Cardinal Burke is sharing his opinion that if a priest was expressly delegated by the diocesan bishop to consecrate a virgin, then that consecration would be valid. However, right now, this is only his opinion. Nowhere in the Church's law or liturgical rubrics does it actually say specifically that a priest can consecrate a virgin (although the 1984 Ceremonial of Bishops does say that the diocesan bishop can delegate another bishop to confer the Rite.) 

 

While he makes a very interesting point about the Church's intentionality vis-a-vis the validity of the Rite of Consecration to a Life of Virginity, there are also a lot of other canonical, theological, and historical arguments to support the idea that only bishops can validly consecrated virgins.

 

Also, even setting aside the fact that Card. Burke is commenting on something he heard via word of mouth and not on a document he had in hand, Card. Burke's terminology actually seems to be a bit imprecise here. If a diocesan bishop had to "privately" (in scare quotes because no liturgy is ever technically private) impart the Rite of Consecration upon a woman who had already been consecrated by a priest, this would not be a sanation. Rather, it would be more like a conditional re-consecration.

 

Basically, a sanation is when permission is retroactively given in order for something to be valid, in a situation where only proper permission was lacking for validity. So if a priest was definitely capable of consecrating a virgin, all that would be needed to "sanate" that consecration would be something like a piece of paperwork. The fact that the consecration had to be entirely re-done by a bishop seems to suggest that it's doubtful that a priest has the power to consecrate virgins at all in the first place regardless of the circumstance. 

 

I'm not sharing this with you to trouble your conscience, but because you deserve all the clarity and information you can get in order to be sure that everything in your situation is done properly. 

 

Also, feel free to PM me if there's anything you think I could help you with otherwise.

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In my country, however, bridal attire, nice music in the liturgy, flowers, even the insignia of the veil, are avoided due to evangelical poverty. it is mainly elderly religious ex-sisters, they just turn up at a side chapel in everyday clothes, trousers etc and are consecrated by a priest (yep you read that right) then go back to work.


In addition to that attitude seemingly missing a portion of the Gospel, the funny thing is that from what I've seen, even Franciscans take a more lavish approach to such things than what the people in your country are advocating for. The pictures demonstrate that even the Poor Clare Colettines (who are among the more austere Poor Clares) use at least wedding dresses and flowers on the day that a novice is clothed. St. Clare herself dressed in bridal attire and the Friars Minor sang.

How could flowers and nice music be against poverty? Neither requires a fortune, unless you choose to spend one for something especially lavish. If you're involved in music or gardening or have friends involved in those, you'd have an advantage of course. It would just have to happen when flowers are blooming. Even if you bought the ring new, something like this might be an option: http://www.amazon.com/Solitaire-Swarovski-Zirconia-Crystal-Engagement/dp/B00EPYYFVM/

If you would decide to appease their appetite for doing things a poor way, you could always demonstrate to them that there are ways to live out evangelical poverty without sacrificing beauty and meaning for the sake of appearing not to think that anything extraordinary is happening in the name of poverty. That's what that set of actions would communicate to me at least; it's like there's nothing to celebrate. As Mother Mary Francis said in A Right to be Merry:
 

Poverty was truly "most high" to St. Francis and St. Clare. Most high in the spiritual ideal of the Order, it must also take the highest place in the material side of the Franciscan life. And if St. Francis' mystical personification of poverty was an exquisite bride, its lowest reflection on the material plane is also intended to radiate beauty. Strangely, however, Franciscan poverty is thought by many to be a thing compounded of dirt, want, and ugliness.
...
What we love, we always beautify. What we truly love, we desire others to admire. That is why, even in the lowliest aspect of holy poverty, the material, St. Clare and her daughters know how to turn its full sweetness outward. I have lived in only two monasteries of the Order, but the intimate pictures we exchange with the other monasteries all score the same point: the monasteries of St. Clare are houses of a poverty not grim or drab, but bright and charming. We do not paint things black where we could paint them white. We plant flowering tamarisk around our homemade incinerator because there is no reason why emptying the garbage should not be done with beauty and grace. We stitch our flour-sacking night guimpes with a precision and care that others might reserve for silk and satin.


There's also the parable (Matthew 22:1-14) about a guest showing up at a king's wedding not dressed in a wedding garment and being cast out. Is it not all the more important that the bride try to dress appropriately, especially when the groom is the King of the Universe? I know that the clothing symbolizes being spiritually prepared, but there are often multiple simultaneous meanings present in the Bible, including the literal physical one. Both seem relevant here.

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In addition to that attitude seemingly missing a portion of the Gospel, the funny thing is that from what I've seen, even Franciscans take a more lavish approach to such things than what the people in your country are advocating for. The pictures demonstrate that even the Poor Clare Colettines (who are among the more austere Poor Clares) use at least wedding dresses and flowers on the day that a novice is clothed. St. Clare herself dressed in bridal attire and the Friars Minor sang.

How could flowers and nice music be against poverty? Neither requires a fortune, unless you choose to spend one for something especially lavish. If you're involved in music or gardening or have friends involved in those, you'd have an advantage of course. It would just have to happen when flowers are blooming. Even if you bought the ring new, something like this might be an option: http://www.amazon.com/Solitaire-Swarovski-Zirconia-Crystal-Engagement/dp/B00EPYYFVM/

If you would decide to appease their appetite for doing things a poor way, you could always demonstrate to them that there are ways to live out evangelical poverty without sacrificing beauty and meaning for the sake of appearing not to think that anything extraordinary is happening in the name of poverty. That's what that set of actions would communicate to me at least; it's like there's nothing to celebrate. As Mother Mary Francis said in A Right to be Merry:
 


There's also the parable (Matthew 22:1-14) about a guest showing up at a king's wedding not dressed in a wedding garment and being cast out. Is it not all the more important that the bride try to dress appropriately, especially when the groom is the King of the Universe? I know that the clothing symbolizes being spiritually prepared, but there are often multiple simultaneous meanings present in the Bible, including the literal physical one. Both seem relevant here.

 

Good point about the Franciscans!  I love the Poor Clare traditions!  :)
 

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In addition to that attitude seemingly missing a portion of the Gospel, the funny thing is that from what I've seen, even Franciscans take a more lavish approach to such things than what the people in your country are advocating for. The pictures demonstrate that even the Poor Clare Colettines (who are among the more austere Poor Clares) use at least wedding dresses and flowers on the day that a novice is clothed. St. Clare herself dressed in bridal attire and the Friars Minor sang.

How could flowers and nice music be against poverty? Neither requires a fortune, unless you choose to spend one for something especially lavish. If you're involved in music or gardening or have friends involved in those, you'd have an advantage of course. It would just have to happen when flowers are blooming. Even if you bought the ring new, something like this might be an option: http://www.amazon.com/Solitaire-Swarovski-Zirconia-Crystal-Engagement/dp/B00EPYYFVM/

If you would decide to appease their appetite for doing things a poor way, you could always demonstrate to them that there are ways to live out evangelical poverty without sacrificing beauty and meaning for the sake of appearing not to think that anything extraordinary is happening in the name of poverty. That's what that set of actions would communicate to me at least; it's like there's nothing to celebrate. As Mother Mary Francis said in A Right to be Merry:
 


There's also the parable (Matthew 22:1-14) about a guest showing up at a king's wedding not dressed in a wedding garment and being cast out. Is it not all the more important that the bride try to dress appropriately, especially when the groom is the King of the Universe? I know that the clothing symbolizes being spiritually prepared, but there are often multiple simultaneous meanings present in the Bible, including the literal physical one. Both seem relevant here.

 

Great points.  St. Clare wore her best silks and expensive jewels to her investiture.  St. Therese wore an expensive wedding gown for her clothing worth a fortune.  Many of the religious orders who had solemn vows of poverty often had magnificent bridal gowns for their novices.  If religious could wear such gowns, a consecrated virgin can too.  It should be remembered that the Church teaches that the vow of poverty does not mean the same thing for secular consecrated people as it does for religious.  If secular consecrated people -in secular institutes - under vows can own property and administer it, surely consecrated virgins who make no vows of poverty have even more reason to be able to wear proper bridal clothes than religious and secular consecrated laypersons who do have vows of poverty.
 

Edited by abrideofChrist
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i think what Card.Burke 'heard' during the International pilgrimage in Rome--was about a CV from my country. The auxiliary Bishop had delegated it to a priest. Later when the virgin got some information from CVs in another country , the bishop wrote to Rome and received a reply and the  consecration had to be sanated [?]. I do not have details whether the word sanation was used by the women who informed Card.Burke about it ---in a 'general' sense to mean that it had to be made valid by the bishop conferring it again or a supplying of power retro-actively. Since this is not a profession of vows as in the sacrament of marriage, theologically I believe the consecration would have to be repeated at least conditionally for it to have " the Full effect".

 

From what I've been reading about this Rite - the commentaries on the revision of the Rite and on the formulation of canon law 604 mention that the experts were themselves not well-versed with the theology and history of this ancient vocation. They still attempted to arrive at some consensus.

 

The 'direction' in which the Church Magisterium [teaching authority] is moving with regard to the understanding of the Rite is as follows :

 

1. Recognizing that the consecration itself is 'permanent' and cannot be un-done......but possibility of the virgin being freed from the obligations.....for which there is no formal definition. There is varied practice around the world.

2. That the consecration has to be approved and conferred by the Diocesan bishop . It is an act of the Church 'electing' or choosing a virgin and confirming this publicly. Even an auxiliary bishop in charge of consecrated life , needs to have it approved by the Diocesan bishop and delegated to him in every case.

3. The commentaries on the revision of the rite / formulation of  canon law 604 clearly mention that there was discussion whether a consecration could be delegated to a priest . The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith clarified for them that  the historical , theological and other factors clearly require that a bishop alone can confer the consecration. Shall try to get a photo-copy of this discussion from a library if possible.

4. Any changes made to the Rite , to change the vocation from virginity to celibacy....means the person is not entering the order of virgins. There would be effect of the Rite in accordance to the intention of the bishop.....but that would not be the charism of the order of consecrated virgins. It would be the adaptation of a ceremony for another new kind of vocation not yet defined in canon law , which may have some effect but is illegal.

 

The USACV is an association of CVs to support each other. It is not the authority. For authoritative statements one has to contact the Congr. for Divine worship and Discipline of the Sacraments or the CDF . The Congr. for Cons. Life would itself contact the other congregations for any formal definition. Their own approach is supposed to be pastoral as far as I'm aware.

 

I do not wish to start a debate....but think it is very important for a candidate and discerners or people reading this thread --to be aware that the understanding is not black and white. There are a lot of grey areas and ambiguities.

 

Finally in God's eyes what matters is Love.

 

 

GB

 

 

.

 

 

 

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Finally in God's eyes what matters is Love.

.

 

  :like2:

I really hope for the sake of Consecrated Virgins especially and those contemplating this vocation that all the canonical ins and outs - and anything else not crystal clear and on paper as it were - will very soon be sorted out and things made very clear for all involved - and especially our Bishops too.

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Great points.  St. Clare wore her best silks and expensive jewels to her investiture.  St. Therese wore an expensive wedding gown for her clothing worth a fortune.  Many of the religious orders who had solemn vows of poverty often had magnificent bridal gowns for their novices.  If religious could wear such gowns, a consecrated virgin can too.  It should be remembered that the Church teaches that the vow of poverty does not mean the same thing for secular consecrated people as it does for religious.  If secular consecrated people -in secular institutes - under vows can own property and administer it, surely consecrated virgins who make no vows of poverty have even more reason to be able to wear proper bridal clothes than religious and secular consecrated laypersons who do have vows of poverty.
 

 

Yes I know about them. But our national co-ordinator, and hence all the others she has formed in our country say that all those things went out with Vatican II, and we no longer empahise the female so we cannot be brides of Christ, it is not possible to marry God, and so they ignore the bridal part.
 

i think what Card.Burke 'heard' during the International pilgrimage in Rome--was about a CV from my country. The auxiliary Bishop had delegated it to a priest. Later when the virgin got some information from CVs in another country , the bishop wrote to Rome and received a reply and the  consecration had to be sanated [?]. I do not have details whether the word sanation was used by the women who informed Card.Burke about it ---in a 'general' sense to mean that it had to be made valid by the bishop conferring it again or a supplying of power retro-actively. Since this is not a profession of vows as in the sacrament of marriage, theologically I believe the consecration would have to be repeated at least conditionally for it to have " the Full effect".

 

From what I've been reading about this Rite - the commentaries on the revision of the Rite and on the formulation of canon law 604 mention that the experts were themselves not well-versed with the theology and history of this ancient vocation. They still attempted to arrive at some consensus.

 

The 'direction' in which the Church Magisterium [teaching authority] is moving with regard to the understanding of the Rite is as follows :

 

1. Recognizing that the consecration itself is 'permanent' and cannot be un-done......but possibility of the virgin being freed from the obligations.....for which there is no formal definition. There is varied practice around the world.

2. That the consecration has to be approved and conferred by the Diocesan bishop . It is an act of the Church 'electing' or choosing a virgin and confirming this publicly. Even an auxiliary bishop in charge of consecrated life , needs to have it approved by the Diocesan bishop and delegated to him in every case.

3. The commentaries on the revision of the rite / formulation of  canon law 604 clearly mention that there was discussion whether a consecration could be delegated to a priest . The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith clarified for them that  the historical , theological and other factors clearly require that a bishop alone can confer the consecration. Shall try to get a photo-copy of this discussion from a library if possible.

4. Any changes made to the Rite , to change the vocation from virginity to celibacy....means the person is not entering the order of virgins. There would be effect of the Rite in accordance to the intention of the bishop.....but that would not be the charism of the order of consecrated virgins. It would be the adaptation of a ceremony for another new kind of vocation not yet defined in canon law , which may have some effect but is illegal.

 

The USACV is an association of CVs to support each other. It is not the authority. For authoritative statements one has to contact the Congr. for Divine worship and Discipline of the Sacraments or the CDF . The Congr. for Cons. Life would itself contact the other congregations for any formal definition. Their own approach is supposed to be pastoral as far as I'm aware.

 

I do not wish to start a debate....but think it is very important for a candidate and discerners or people reading this thread --to be aware that the understanding is not black and white. There are a lot of grey areas and ambiguities.

 

Finally in God's eyes what matters is Love.

 

 

GB

 

 

.

Those are interesting ideas, but the info promoted by some of the USA-CV and otherwise floating around on the web is of a 'friend of a friend' variety, or 'some say that'. there is nothing out there with concrete citations. However the points you have raised, are some i am including in a document to our bishops to try to stop some of these odd practices. 

 

1) I only have one reference from L'Ossavatore that it is irrevocable. i have opinions of theologians but no other formal position.

2) That was my understanding - i have cited the Ceremoniale Episcoporum
3) I have heard this but i have not seen anything to that effect. if you can PM me of the name of any source where i can find such a discussion, that would be excellent. i would very much like to cite those discussions in my report to our bishops.

4) i can see that from canon 605, a new vocation like that (we also have consecrated widows) needs to be approved. but i cannot see how it is illegal - just ineffective - i.e. they would not be in the consecrated state at all. The CCC says the consecrated state needs to be a state approved by the church.

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Just to add, although the USA-CV are 'pastoral' and unofficial, i think they have done absolutely wonderful things for this vocation in the english speaking world, may god bless those wonderful and hard working ladies!! :-)

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Yes I know about them. But our national co-ordinator, and hence all the others she has formed in our country say that all those things went out with Vatican II, and we no longer empahise the female so we cannot be brides of Christ, it is not possible to marry God, and so they ignore the bridal part.
 

She is incorrect.  The revision of the Rite came about BECAUSE of Vat. II.  Vat. II ORDERED that the Rite be revised.  The Decree of Promulgation and the Rite itself disagrees with your co-ordinator.  How does she interpret the Decree of Promulgation where it says "In the course of the centuries this prayer, embellished with other sacred ceremonies whereby the significance of sacred virgins as the image of the Church espoused to Christ might be more clearly protrayed, has been made part of the Roman Pontifical"?  Or how does she understand "The Nature and Force of th eConsecration of Virgins:  1.  The custom of consecrating virgins, which also flourished in the early Christian Church brings it about that a solemn rite be established whereby the virgin is constituted a sacred person, a transcedet sign of the love of the Church for Christ, an eschatological image of the heavenly bride and the future life.  By the rite of consecration the Church makes manifest her love of the virginal state, besseches the heavenly grace of God for virgins and earnestly asks for the pouring out of the Holy Spirit."  Or the numerous times the Rite refers to the virgin as a "bride of Christ"?  Ask her for her sources.  She won't have anything worth your time because they are merely her opinions that are not officially stated anywhere by the Church.

 

Those are interesting ideas, but the info promoted by some of the USA-CV and otherwise floating around on the web is of a 'friend of a friend' variety, or 'some say that'. there is nothing out there with concrete citations. However the points you have raised, are some i am including in a document to our bishops to try to stop some of these odd practices. 

 

1) I only have one reference from L'Ossavatore that it is irrevocable. i have opinions of theologians but no other formal position.

The formal position is laid out in the Rite itself which uses very specific wording to ensure people understand that it is irrevocable.

 

2) That was my understanding - i have cited the Ceremoniale Episcoporum
3) I have heard this but i have not seen anything to that effect. if you can PM me of the name of any source where i can find such a discussion, that would be excellent. i would very much like to cite those discussions in my report to our bishops. 

This was something I have personally read and the citation gave a specific CDF protocol number.  Unfortunately, I lost my copy of that page.

4) i can see that from canon 605, a new vocation like that (we also have consecrated widows) needs to be approved. but i cannot see how it is illegal - just ineffective - i.e. they would not be in the consecrated state at all. The CCC says the consecrated state needs to be a state approved by the church.

 

 

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Yes I know about them. But our national co-ordinator, and hence all the others she has formed in our country say that all those things went out with Vatican II, and we no longer empahise the female so we cannot be brides of Christ, it is not possible to marry God, and so they ignore the bridal part.
 

Those are interesting ideas, but the info promoted by some of the USA-CV and otherwise floating around on the web is of a 'friend of a friend' variety, or 'some say that'. there is nothing out there with concrete citations. However the points you have raised, are some i am including in a document to our bishops to try to stop some of these odd practices. 

 

1) I only have one reference from L'Ossavatore that it is irrevocable. i have opinions of theologians but no other formal position.

2) That was my understanding - i have cited the Ceremoniale Episcoporum
3) I have heard this but i have not seen anything to that effect. if you can PM me of the name of any source where i can find such a discussion, that would be excellent. i would very much like to cite those discussions in my report to our bishops.

4) i can see that from canon 605, a new vocation like that (we also have consecrated widows) needs to be approved. but i cannot see how it is illegal - just ineffective - i.e. they would not be in the consecrated state at all. The CCC says the consecrated state needs to be a state approved by the church.

 

Re. your first point---I believe there was a saint who was a princess who became a Dominican nun, whose father later wanted her forcibly dispensed from her vows so that she could enter a politically useful marriage. In order to stop her father's plan, this saint asked and received the consecration of virgins so that she could never be able to marry. If someone could fill us in on the details (Sr. Mary Catharine, maybe?) this would at least give us one very clear historical precedent for the Church's understanding of the absolute permanence of virginal consecration.

 

On your third point---I would also be very interested if anyone had some kind of citation or reference for quoting the CDF's discussion on the possibility of priests as ministers of the Rite of Consecration.

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