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I am confused!


BarbaraTherese

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On Catholic Answers, I had queried this statement by SerraSemper....:....... "whereas anyone can do a profession of religious. "  http://forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=12860497&postcount=22

Received this reply (in part) on Catholic Answers:

Originally Posted by SerraSemper View Post
The Rite of Profession of Religious (who are not simultaneously receiving the Consecration of Virgins) is contained in the Roman Ritual which is open to all priests. Religious do not have to be virgins and widows were never permitted to receive the veil from the hands of the bishop. Yes, a priest can say the prayer of blessing for all religious because religious life is not the same thing as consecrated virginity. The consecration of religious occurs at the profession of vows made before a superior which means that it is the superior (lay or clerical) who mediates the consecration by virtue of receiving the vows.
 
I would have thought that the person receiving the vows would have to have had at least some sort of authority from the Bishop to do so?  (Although I always thought that profession of religious was presided over only by a Bishop). I would think that a priest, on his own authority, can not consecrate a person to religious life?
 
 
I don't have any answers, only questions.
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This is correct. For some Orders, for example, mine, the Order of Preachers, it is not the priest at all, it is the Prioress. We used to do our profession in the Chapter hall with only the community present. As did Carmelites. The authority to receive profession is invested in the superior not the bishop. 

For us, at profession, the presiding priest only makes a statement that one is consecrated totally to God through our religious profession. It is the profession itself that is consecratory. Sisters may use the prayer of consecration from the Roman rite but it is not in our tradition and is discouraged.

Our veil and ring are blessed by the priest or bishop. 

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Dear Barbara,

It is true that religious consecrate themselves through the Profession of vows and in many Institutes it is the Superior who receives them on behalf of the Church.  Since vocations are becoming rare in some places, it has become common for Bishops to preside over the Eucharistic during which the Profession of vows takes place, to encourage vocations.  There is a trend to have these ceremonies in the presence of the parish community although this is not in the tradition of the Institute.  The Rite of Profession of Religious is present in the book of Rituals used by Priests.

In case of the Consecration of virgins, it is mandatory for the Bishop to consecrate the candidate otherwise the consecration does not happen.  Here's what the Vatican office for consecrated life says,

Prot. n. SpR 862-4/2003

            It is to be hoped that as the Rite is better known, and is studied both by the candidate and by the consecrating bishop, it will be clear that the candidate's proposito expresses her intent, and the solemn prayer of the Bishop consecrates herThis is distinct from the rite of religious profession in which the profession of the evangelical counsels-all other canonical requirements being in place-consecrates the candidate to God (c.654).

 

 

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