Jump to content

Good article on "new movements"


Sponsa-Christi

Recommended Posts

Thanks for pointing it out. What I'm always scratching my head about is the "new forms of consecrated life" which seem to be a distinct category under Consecrated Life. But I haven't met anyone who can tell me what that is!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well...canon 605 in the current Code of Canon Law envisions the possibility of new forms of consecrated life developing (it indicates the hierarchy's role in discerning and/or approving potential new forms, while urging pastors to be open and sensitive to the workings of the Holy Spirit). And to me, this canon makes sense, since new developments in organized radical evangelical living are a natural sign of a living, growing Church. In one sense, active women's religious life as we know it today was a kind of "new form" not too very long ago. 

But this doesn't mean that new forms of consecrated life per se are "a thing"---although there are some people within the Church who are proposing forms of consecrated life that don't fit into any specific category we have right now. (An example which comes readily to mind is those who are working for a revival/re-creation of an Order of Widows.) If there were a viable idea for a category of consecrated life that we currently don't have a canonical classification for, then this proposed way of life could rightly be called a "new form."

But, I know what you mean when it seems that "new forms" seem to be already treated like their own category! At the big symposium for the closing of the Year of Consecrated Life in Rome this past winter, the "new forms" had their own two days of conferences. (Talk about a field day for a canonist! ;) ) I'm assuming that those attendees were founders and early members of new moment-type things, although I'm also wondering if a lot of those attendees were people trying to start new communities that would fall into the category of existing forms of consecrated life---i.e., founders of new religious communities, societies of apostolic life, and secular institutes. 

New movements are different from new forms of consecrated life, though, in that most of them involve lay people with families in a fairly central way.

But the confusing thing with the "new movements" is that a lot of them have branches where some members live a de facto consecrated life, but are very adamant about not being technically considered "consecrated." And on one level this is totally fine, as Christians have always been free to live the evangelical counsels through a purely private commitment. But things get really confusing really fast when the "not technically consecrated" start to request a quasi-official status within the wider Church that reflects the deliberately private (i.e., non-"official") commitments they have made within their movement. Then, you start getting invented terminologies which are essentially contractions in terms, like describing someone as a "consecrated lay person." 

However, usually when---or rather, if---the "consecrated but not technically" members of new movements do decide to move into a structure which has a recognized canonical standing, in the vast majority of cases it seems to me that they would be able to fit into one of the existing forms of community-based consecrated life. (E.g., if a group wants to live as celibate secular lay persons but share a common spirituality, they can become a secular institute; if they want to live in community but not vow poverty or wear a habit, they can become a society of apostolic life; etc.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/14/2016 at 6:15 PM, Sponsa-Christi said:

But this doesn't mean that new forms of consecrated life per se are "a thing"---although there are some people within the Church who are proposing forms of consecrated life that don't fit into any specific category we have right now. (An example which comes readily to mind is those who are working for a revival/re-creation of an Order of Widows.) If there were a viable idea for a category of consecrated life that we currently don't have a canonical classification for, then this proposed way of life could rightly be called a "new form."

I just re-read this and realized how totally confusing it sounds. :wacko:  (It made sense in my head, I promise!)

What I was trying to say is that there is no official, standard, recognized category called" "New Forms of Consecrated Life." But the Church recognizes the possibility that it is possible for a new expression of consecrated life---i.e., a new form---to emerge. The phrase "new forms of consecrated life" refers to potential new categories of consecrated life. 

In other words, it's not like someone can say: "I'm called to New Forms of Consecrated Life!" and leave it at that. You might be called to something specific that doesn't have a canonical category yet; but you can't be called to a undefined, vague "new form" in and of itself. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


It costs about $850 a year for Phatmass.com to survive–and we barely make it. If you’d like to help keep the Phorum alive, please consider a monthly gift.



×
×
  • Create New...