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Consecration Of Virgins Ceremony And Evangelical Poverty?


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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.

 

I think, BarbaraTherese, that the real problem is not the lack of crystal clear material on the vocation- it exists.  The problem is that people want to change the Rite to fit their ideologies.  If they want chastity instead of virginity, they try to change the words of the consecration.  If they want a priest to do it instead of the Bishop as the Rite specifies, they go ahead.  If they want to live like mini-nuns, they misread the Latin that clearly lays out the duties of the consecrated virgins under the section called "The Main Duties of Virgins".  If they want to get married and thus "dispensed" from the consecration, they only look at the propositum and not at the nature of the bond that is formed.  Notice the pattern?  Each of the "controversies" stem from people who want to change the Rite.  Most of these "modern" controversies are not modern at all.  Theologians have discussed substituting the word "chastity" for "virginity" for hundreds of years.  The meaning of the word "adultery" as theologians from the all eras of the Church have applied it to the virgin who attempts marriage is unambiguous to all except those who are bent on getting a "dispensation" and going on to get "married" to some mortal man.  The very first step anyone needs to take to start understanding the nature of the vocation is to read the Promulgation of the Rite, the Rite itself, the appropriate passages in the Catechism, Vita Consecrata, and the 2 paragraphs in canon law word for word.  Preferably both in Latin and in the vernacular.  Then one can start reading other documents of the Church that mention the vocation and study the nature of marriage (marriage and consecrated virginity cannot be understood apart from each other).  Then, one can move on to the historical versions of the Rite as it has evolved, the parallels in the versions to the Rites of Ordination, Marriage, and the Profession of Religious Vows, and what led the coetus to formulate the new Rite the way they did.  Then one can also start boning up on the commentaries.  Some of these commentaries are whole books.  Others are published as articles in Liturgical, Theological, and Canonical journals.  Still others are in the different Dictionairies.  There is so much material out there that a person couldn't read all of it in a lifetime.  Some virgins have studied these sources extensively.  Most have not; yet it seems that it is those who have read the least who have the most objections to the Rite as it stands and want to change various aspects of the Rite and the lifestyle of virgins.  The fact remains that those who wish, can study and there is plenty to study.
 

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Those who live in predominately English speaking countries are at a great disadvantage because practically everything on the vocation is in a continental European language.  This results in women who pontificate on the vocation without knowing that their positions are old errors resurfacing yet again because they did not read the discussions had by theologians and canonists 1,700-100 years ago.  Also, many of these same virgins are not aware of how much the Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture has shaped some of their thoughts on the vocation, nor how many modern philosophies have distorted an understanding of its nature.  Unfortunately, this means that if you want to defend the Rite or if you want to institute some changes, you really need to know your materials cold and you should have a good understanding of the major languages.  Otherwise, virgins should stick to reading the Rite and not try to mess with it.

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ABC, I mean this totally respectfully, but I do think there are some legitimate questions on the Rite of Consecration to a Life of Virginity which still need to be answered.

 

Of course, there are some elements of the Rite that are totally clear, which people sometimes disagree with anyway. E.g., it still baffles me when some people try to argue that consecrated virginity somehow does not involve a specific call to be a "bride of Christ," since this is one of the only things that the Code of Canon Law actually does say about this vocation!

 

Also, there are some other issues which a person coming from an ultra-legalistic perspective might question, but which are practically settled beyond any reasonable doubt. E.g., some people have said that CVs are technically free to marry, since the Rite of Consecration isn't specifically listed as an impediment to marriage. But while this lack of an impediment might be true strictly speaking in the narrowest possible sense of the word, any well-disposed and reasonable person would have to admit that this kind of argument goes against the whole spirit and purpose of the Rite.

 

However, there are still some questions that still do need to be answered, and some important issues which the Church hasn't touched upon in any official way as of yet. (We've encountered many of these on this forum.)

 

So at this point, I think patience and sisterly charity is very important for consecrated virgins, and for anyone else concerned with this vocation in any way. We should be very careful about jumping to conclusions about the motives of people who might disagree with us---even if someone is saying something that might sound patently ridiculous, it still costs us nothing to presume that they are arguing their point in good faith. 

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Sr Mary Catharine OP

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.

 

It is interesting how often St. Margaret's consecration of virgins is brought up specifically so it can be used as a point of an argument. Actually it was she and 2 other sisters and yes, it was for this very reason. There isn't any more to say. Dominican nuns would have been one of the first cloistered nuns not making the consecration of virgins. For a few reasons. The origins of the nuns in Prouilhe was Cistercian and Cistercian nuns don't make the consecration of virgins as to OSB's and because the 1st nuns were converts from the Cathar heresy that saw the body as evil so they would have upheld virginity for the wrong reasons!  It is thought that St. Dominic wanted the emphasis on a life of of charity lived in community, not on continuing an attitude of "better than they" which the Cathars promoted by their way of life. This is a rather simplistic answer but all I can give off the top of my head.

 

We also know that St. Juana of Portugal, another of our "royal" Dominican Nuns, was not able to make Solemn Profession for the very same reason--because her family wanted her "available" should she be needed for a political marriage. Now at this time the solemn vow of chastity was indispensable...up until the 1917 code canon law, I believe. If one left the religious state one was dispensed from the obligations except for the vow of chastity. So, one could question why St. Margaret made the consecration of virgins and St. Juana did not.

 

So, that sheds a lot of light, doesn't it! :-(

 

Interestingly today when one is dispensed from solemn vows one is dispensed from the obligations but not from the consecration. One lives the consecration according to the new state in life. We make a vow but God consecrates.

 

Of course, wasn't this thread about the CEREMONY of consecration....perhaps we could get back to that and the CV's on this forum could PM Oremus1 with their observations and concerns about the use of the rite, etc. [Because this is very important.]
 

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It is interesting how often St. Margaret's consecration of virgins is brought up specifically so it can be used as a point of an argument. Actually it was she and 2 other sisters and yes, it was for this very reason. There isn't any more to say. Dominican nuns would have been one of the first cloistered nuns not making the consecration of virgins. For a few reasons. The origins of the nuns in Prouilhe was Cistercian and Cistercian nuns don't make the consecration of virgins as to OSB's and because the 1st nuns were converts from the Cathar heresy that saw the body as evil so they would have upheld virginity for the wrong reasons!  It is thought that St. Dominic wanted the emphasis on a life of of charity lived in community, not on continuing an attitude of "better than they" which the Cathars promoted by their way of life. This is a rather simplistic answer but all I can give off the top of my head.

 

We also know that St. Juana of Portugal, another of our "royal" Dominican Nuns, was not able to make Solemn Profession for the very same reason--because her family wanted her "available" should she be needed for a political marriage. Now at this time the solemn vow of chastity was indispensable...up until the 1917 code canon law, I believe. If one left the religious state one was dispensed from the obligations except for the vow of chastity. So, one could question why St. Margaret made the consecration of virgins and St. Juana did not.

 

So, that sheds a lot of light, doesn't it! :-(

 

Interestingly today when one is dispensed from solemn vows one is dispensed from the obligations but not from the consecration. One lives the consecration according to the new state in life. We make a vow but God consecrates.

 

Of course, wasn't this thread about the CEREMONY of consecration....perhaps we could get back to that and the CV's on this forum could PM Oremus1 with their observations and concerns about the use of the rite, etc. [Because this is very important.]
 

 

The only book I have read on this is called something like Margaret, Princess of Hungary.  It said that the Pope granted St. Margaret a dispensation from her solemn vows and she refused to accept this dispensation.  This is why she sought the consecration of virgins- to protect herself from both her family and the willingness of the Pope to accommodate her family.

 

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ABC, I mean this totally respectfully, but I do think there are some legitimate questions on the Rite of Consecration to a Life of Virginity which still need to be answered.

 

 

So at this point, I think patience and sisterly charity is very important for consecrated virgins, and for anyone else concerned with this vocation in any way. We should be very careful about jumping to conclusions about the motives of people who might disagree with us---even if someone is saying something that might sound patently ridiculous, it still costs us nothing to presume that they are arguing their point in good faith. 

 

I don't think anyone on this thread is discussing motives for disagreement.  I was merely pointing out that women who are not well formed have an easier time of slipping into age-old fallacies precisely because they didn't know their positions had been soundly refuted centuries ago or just don't make any sense when one has a rounded education.  Oremus was asking about wearing bridal wear for the consecration and a ring.  Well, there are stacks of books and articles that discuss this very thing.  Entire articles have been devoted to the use of the term "veiling" "consecration' or "benediction" of virgins, trying to determine the best terminology.  There are whole chapters and articles devoted to the meaning of the ring, of the veil, and comparing the Rite of Consecration with the Rite of Marriage that are pre-Vatican II and post-Vatican II.  These articles that are in peer reviewed Liturgy, Theology, and Canonical journals are well written and mostly consistent in their conclusions.  Some discussions that arose because of a particular Rite are later settled by Rome or a newer Rite.  But the average vicar for religious will never know that if she only speaks or reads English. 
 

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Hi there thank you all VERY MUCH INDEED!!!

 

I know the thread has derailed, but I AM very interested to know any sources which support the views you all have mentioned particularly any CDF protocols (are these published anywhere?) . I am only interested in authoritative referenced sources which I can refer onto bishops.

 

i read french, latin and spanish so any sources in any of those languages is fine.

 

this is because indeed the substance and validity of the consecration is much more important than what i would wear! i hope Phatmass does not mind! I did not expect so much help!

however if anyone has a reference for the commonly promoted idea that Tertullian advised gold embroidered veils for CVs I would be interested in that too.

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Hi there thank you all VERY MUCH INDEED!!!

 

I know the thread has derailed, but I AM very interested to know any sources which support the views you all have mentioned particularly any CDF protocols (are these published anywhere?) . I am only interested in authoritative referenced sources which I can refer onto bishops.

 

i read french, latin and spanish so any sources in any of those languages is fine.

 

this is because indeed the substance and validity of the consecration is much more important than what i would wear! i hope Phatmass does not mind! I did not expect so much help!

however if anyone has a reference for the commonly promoted idea that Tertullian advised gold embroidered veils for CVs I would be interested in that too.

 

Oremus1,

It will take me some time to go to the sources once again to give you the reference. Do you have access to a theological library ?

 

Recently I've skimmed through materials on the vocation in various languages , thinking that I'll read them in detail later.

 

1. Latin : Notitiae , AAS

2. English : Commentaries on the Decrees of the Second Vatican Council : SC on the revision of the Rite of consecration of virgins.....read especially the footnotes

3. History of the New Code of Canon law 1983 for canon 604

 

I think the reference to the CDF strictly stating that the consecration cannot be delegated to a simple priest was in some writings by Bugnini on the reform of the liturgy or the discussion of the committee that formulated canon 604.

 

Please try to refer to the above. If you are unable, it will take me some time to get info for you.

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Oremus1,

It will take me some time to go to the sources once again to give you the reference. Do you have access to a theological library ?

 

Recently I've skimmed through materials on the vocation in various languages , thinking that I'll read them in detail later.

 

1. Latin : Notitiae , AAS

2. English : Commentaries on the Decrees of the Second Vatican Council : SC on the revision of the Rite of consecration of virgins.....read especially the footnotes

3. History of the New Code of Canon law 1983 for canon 604

 

I think the reference to the CDF strictly stating that the consecration cannot be delegated to a simple priest was in some writings by Bugnini on the reform of the liturgy or the discussion of the committee that formulated canon 604.

 

Please try to refer to the above. If you are unable, it will take me some time to get info for you.

1. I have read all the refs in both but I want something that says ' this is irrevocable'. the phrase in the Rite is not sufficient, as people always say, one can be dispensed from solemn vows. I think the only way for people to understand this is a) by reference to the ontological bond formed and b) by comparison to matrimony NOT by comparison to vows of any kind

 

2) I have read many commentaries and opinions but they are not binding.

 

3) Yes I need to look at this, but i am not a theologian so will have to travel some distance to a theology library

 

If anyone has the CDF reference which says it cannot be delegated to a priest, please post it here, not just for me but for all future and other CVs and candidates so you can add to the eternal knowledge that is google.

If i find it i too will post it here.

 

Also for those of you saying that a 'well rounded' view of the vocation requires liturgical, canonical and theological journals in all major languages as well as access to theological libraries and archives, I do not think this should be necessary for the formation of CVs. Are you really suggesting that as part of the formation of CVs they should learn Latin, French, Italian and Spanish as well as advanced theological degrees? The insinuation that those who do not have those things, which probably are the majority of CVs, are not well rounding is rather offensive.

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Sr Mary Catharine OP

1. I have read all the refs in both but I want something that says ' this is irrevocable'. the phrase in the Rite is not sufficient, as people always say, one can be dispensed from solemn vows. I think the only way for people to understand this is a) by reference to the ontological bond formed and b) by comparison to matrimony NOT by comparison to vows of any kind

 

Oremus1, the Church, for various reasons may specifically not want to use the word "irrevocable". At one time for Solemn Vows it was considered that one couldn't be dispensed from them which is what St. Thomas taught but over the time the Church has decided that one may be dispensed from the obligation of SV. There are some very strong arguments for and against this but the bottom line is that they Church has decided that one may be dispensed.

 

In the end if a CV wants "out" probably she will do it no matter what the Church says. It would be better that that person could be dispensed rather than she live in a state of serious sin.

 

It may seem that dispensation from Solemn Vows is easily done and not so very serious but it is a very serious matter which the Church doesn't do without serious reflection on the part of the person petitioning and on the part of the Congregation. Nor is it automatic. It may be refused.

 

BTW, matrimony is vows--vows to another human person. Profession of religious are vows made to God. It is a two-fold movement. Vows made to God and the person being consecrated to a life of divine worship.
 

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1. I have read all the refs in both but I want something that says ' this is irrevocable'. the phrase in the Rite is not sufficient, as people always say, one can be dispensed from solemn vows. I think the only way for people to understand this is a) by reference to the ontological bond formed and b) by comparison to matrimony NOT by comparison to vows of any kind

 

2) I have read many commentaries and opinions but they are not binding.

 

3) Yes I need to look at this, but i am not a theologian so will have to travel some distance to a theology library

 

If anyone has the CDF reference which says it cannot be delegated to a priest, please post it here, not just for me but for all future and other CVs and candidates so you can add to the eternal knowledge that is google.

If i find it i too will post it here.

 

Also for those of you saying that a 'well rounded' view of the vocation requires liturgical, canonical and theological journals in all major languages as well as access to theological libraries and archives, I do not think this should be necessary for the formation of CVs. Are you really suggesting that as part of the formation of CVs they should learn Latin, French, Italian and Spanish as well as advanced theological degrees? The insinuation that those who do not have those things, which probably are the majority of CVs, are not well rounding is rather offensive.

 

What some of us are saying is that people choose to go against what is clearly written in the Rite.  The formation of a CV doesn't require extensive theological education, but adherence to what the Rite says about the nature of the vocation.  The issue isn't that the CV needs a massive amount of knowledge, but the ability to love what is presented in the Rite.  Unfortunately, there are some who misread the Rite and desire to impose their opinions on others even if they don't have the background or authority to do so.  The errors that come from some of these self proclaimed experts or even vicars for religious are widespread.  They include ideas such as the virgins needing to stay in the diocese of consecration (and the converse which a CV recently reported which is that a vicar had the audacity to tell her she could not have "permission" to move into her diocese), virgins needing to work directly for the Church, CVs having moral obligations to do things which are not expected by the Church, CVs being able to be "dispensed" from an indissoluble bond, CVs being obliged to live like religious, virgins cannot process in the Church,  etc.  These are the people who should study everything before opening their mouths because they are incompetent and need to stop disseminating misinformation. 

 

When one studies the different methodologies for the branches of theology, liturgy, and canon law, one finds that there are phrases used that won't be picked up by the average person that convey worlds of meaning to the trained person.  #1 is in the Rite in plain sight several places in the Rite but you might have to read it in some other language other than English.  #2 I am not sure you understand the role of commentaries for liturgists and canon lawyers...  according to one prominent canon lawyer, commentaries are to canon lawyers what court cases are to common law.  The Church certainly does not pronounce on every little argument when she  already has a system of interpretation in place.  #3 it is rather unfair, isn't it, that anyone can opine something and get away with it, but it takes research for those of us who care about what the Church's praxis is.  That nun who didn't want to give the virgin "permission" is a case in point.  The CV shouldn't have to be needing to prove that there is nothing restricting her right to freedom of movement.  #A  Should also say that the reason a lot is not on google is because most of the serious works on this vocation in theology, canon law, and liturgy are in physical books.  Welcome to the club.  I have CV friends who could write on the internet, but they have spent so much time and money getting the information, that they are publishing their materials.  Much of this is quite interesting and I was surprised at the variety of their sources and the impact they will have when they are in print. 

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Oremus1,

 

You do not need citations to resolve the doubts in your mind. It is all present in the Rite of consecration to a life of virginity in the ROMAN PONTIFICAL commonly called the Bishop's book of Rites.

1. The liturgically approved rite mentioned in Canon law 604  refers to the Rite in the Roman Pontifical . It is NOT present in the priests' book of rites. Every bishop knows that the statements in his book clearly spell out the Mind of the Catholic Church. They don't need to refer to citations for proof and indeed have the obligation to follow the instructions given there.

 

Even candidates and consecrated virgins have everything clearly stated in the Rite and in Canon 604 itself . The only problem is that some translations from Latin to the vernacular are not perfect. If a translator was familiar with the theology of religious life but not with the theology of consecration of virgins, there would be a possible ambiguity about the theological significance of some words.These grey areas have been corrected in the recent New translation of the Rite in yr 2011. a significant point is that the older version which was drafted prior to the New code of canon law 1983 mentioned the Minister of the Rite as the Local Ordinary .The latest translation has clearly mentioned the minister as Diocesan Bishop, the same term as it is in Canon 604

. So you see in which direction the Church is moving in this regard ?

 

I have a written reply to several of my technical questions from the Congregation for consecrated life in Rome in yr 2003 which clearly states that the consecration itself is permanent but they have received questions about person being freed from obligations. At the time they wrote , there was no formal definition. Maybe now there is. The Church is more pastoral after Vat II.

 

 

It is your life....and you have every right to clarify with the bishop why things happening in the diocese are contrary to what the canon law and the rite itself state so clearly. If he is not sure, it is very easy to write to Rome for clarification. It is possible he has never read the rite in the Pontifical . They are busy persons often depending on others.

 

The Homily in the Rite in Latin states:

“vos, ad sponsae Christi dignitatem provectas, indissolubili vinculo Dei Filio

conjungit.” OCV, Caput I, p. 14, no. 16.

 

Early Church tradition :

Yr 306 AD : the Council of Elvira in Spain imposed sanctions on virgins who had been unfaithful to their consecration to God .

Yr 314 AD :Council of Ancyra declared that consecrated virgins who marry were guilty of bigamy.

Yr 364 AD : The civil law, under Valens, declared that anyone who married a consecrated virgin was subject to the death penalty.

 

There is so much material available to support what the Rite and Canon law itself says. No scholar will feel comfortable putting citations and details on the web .

 

 

 

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Oremus1,

 

You do not need citations to resolve the doubts in your mind. It is all present in the Rite of consecration to a life of virginity in the ROMAN PONTIFICAL commonly called the Bishop's book of Rites.

1. The liturgically approved rite mentioned in Canon law 604  refers to the Rite in the Roman Pontifical . It is NOT present in the priests' book of rites. Every bishop knows that the statements in his book clearly spell out the Mind of the Catholic Church. They don't need to refer to citations for proof and indeed have the obligation to follow the instructions given there.

 

Even candidates and consecrated virgins have everything clearly stated in the Rite and in Canon 604 itself . The only problem is that some translations from Latin to the vernacular are not perfect. If a translator was familiar with the theology of religious life but not with the theology of consecration of virgins, there would be a possible ambiguity about the theological significance of some words.These grey areas have been corrected in the recent New translation of the Rite in yr 2011. a significant point is that the older version which was drafted prior to the New code of canon law 1983 mentioned the Minister of the Rite as the Local Ordinary .The latest translation has clearly mentioned the minister as Diocesan Bishop, the same term as it is in Canon 604

. So you see in which direction the Church is moving in this regard ?

 

I have a written reply to several of my technical questions from the Congregation for consecrated life in Rome in yr 2003 which clearly states that the consecration itself is permanent but they have received questions about person being freed from obligations. At the time they wrote , there was no formal definition. Maybe now there is. The Church is more pastoral after Vat II.

 

 

It is your life....and you have every right to clarify with the bishop why things happening in the diocese are contrary to what the canon law and the rite itself state so clearly. If he is not sure, it is very easy to write to Rome for clarification. It is possible he has never read the rite in the Pontifical . They are busy persons often depending on others.

 

The Homily in the Rite in Latin states:

“vos, ad sponsae Christi dignitatem provectas, indissolubili vinculo Dei Filio

conjungit.” OCV, Caput I, p. 14, no. 16.

 

Early Church tradition :

Yr 306 AD : the Council of Elvira in Spain imposed sanctions on virgins who had been unfaithful to their consecration to God .

Yr 314 AD :Council of Ancyra declared that consecrated virgins who marry were guilty of bigamy.

Yr 364 AD : The civil law, under Valens, declared that anyone who married a consecrated virgin was subject to the death penalty.

 

There is so much material available to support what the Rite and Canon law itself says. No scholar will feel comfortable putting citations and details on the web .

I have read both the current and 1962 rites in English and latin, and of course i know it is in the Roman Pontifical. The problem is when you have almost all the CVs in a country interpreting the Rite in a particular way (such as trying to remove the obvious, integral, and historical bridal and nuptial aspect), then you have bishops adopting their interpretation as 'customary'. so a mere one person going against the grain is going to have to have weighty stuff to support why they disagree with about 30 years of a practice across a country. besides, Rite of consecration allows for many 'customary' alterations. who decides what is customary? is it not the nationally acepted practice? what if that is wrong?

My background is in civil law, so i am accustomed to having the statute , then case law, ratio and obiter etc . i did not realise that commentaries of theologians held so much weight. what is they are no good? or there are two contradicting opinions? which is to be followed?

 

and why would no scholar put a citation on the web? particularly if it is of a prot. nr or some statement from the CDF, or offical response frm the CDW

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What some of us are saying is that people choose to go against what is clearly written in the Rite.  The formation of a CV doesn't require extensive theological education, but adherence to what the Rite says about the nature of the vocation.  The issue isn't that the CV needs a massive amount of knowledge, but the ability to love what is presented in the Rite.  Unfortunately, there are some who misread the Rite and desire to impose their opinions on others even if they don't have the background or authority to do so.  The errors that come from some of these self proclaimed experts or even vicars for religious are widespread.  They include ideas such as the virgins needing to stay in the diocese of consecration (and the converse which a CV recently reported which is that a vicar had the audacity to tell her she could not have "permission" to move into her diocese), virgins needing to work directly for the Church, CVs having moral obligations to do things which are not expected by the Church, CVs being able to be "dispensed" from an indissoluble bond, CVs being obliged to live like religious, virgins cannot process in the Church,  etc.  These are the people who should study everything before opening their mouths because they are incompetent and need to stop disseminating misinformation. 

 

 

I do agree that people who are responsible for forming consecrated virgins (or drafting diocesan policies with respect to them) should have a substantial theological and/or canonical background, even if this isn't absolutely necessary for all CV candidates. 

 

And, I agree it is very frustrating when CVs, Vicars for Religious, etc. misread things that are actually clearly stated in the Rite---like saying the Rite of Consecration to a Life of Virginity can be used for widows, or substituting "celibacy" for "virginity", or removing some of the bridal imagery, and so on.

 

However, there are still questions right now that can and do admit a variety of opinions, particularly those questions which concern consecrated virgins' way of life. And a lot of these yet-to-be settled questions are ones which really can't admit simply a "yes" or "no" answer, or which can only be answered when other fundamental principles are established. 

 

As an illustration, it is totally legitimate right now to ask: what exactly is a CV's relationship to her diocese? Is it purely accidental? Or is it more akin to the incardination of a priest? Or is it something in between? The Rite doesn't spell out the answer to this question explicitly. And although one might reasonably argue that the Rite might imply certain things, there are good arguments coming from all sides of the issue.

 

(Btw, I'm not actually trying to talk about CVs and their stability within their dioceses, I'm just highlighting this as an example of a question that the Church hasn't really commented on in any kind of final or definite way.)

 

So I think the bottom line is that all participants in discussions on consecrated virginity need to be generous with each other. The Church thinks in centuries on a good day, and there's necessarily going to be a lot more prayerful discernment and scholarship before we can get definite answers on a lot of things.

 

In the meantime, I think it's good when CVs study this vocation on their own and then share their studied opinions---and sharing an opinion isn't the same thing as imposing it on other people, and it's certainly not the same thing as disseminating false information. If we're committed to a cordial on-going discussion, those of us who have more of an academic background can share our knowledge and scholarship with those of us who might have less formal education. And even when CVs honestly disagree about certain things, that doesn't mean that we can't still learn from each other.

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