Bird’s Eye View of the News
While reading it, I was struck by the denial that a consecrated virgin must make of her personal leadership qualities. It affirms:
“Considering the number of consecrated women and the practical circumstances, together with the diocesan Bishop they identify ways to provide a service of communion that fosters mutual understanding and stable relationships between them, promotes the exercise of co-responsibility in a synodal manner and gives continuity and integration to common initiatives, without establishing relationships of hierarchical subordination between the consecrated women. ” (n. 45b)
Above, the Archbishop of Detroit accepts the promises of virgins, binding them to a rigid formation; below, a Spanish Bishop with a newly consecrated virgin
At the same time, any personal leadership is forbidden. This means that if a woman is a natural leader or has different ideas about how to do this or that, she has to quash this quality in order to “exercise co-responsibility.”
It seems to me this verbiage says: The Bishop will establish an agenda, will choose one or two delegates to enforce it and, thus, ensure that the virgins as a whole follow it religiously, without any divergence. Any original idea born from one of the virgins is considered outside of “the service of communion,” posing the risk of creating “hierarchical subordination between consecrated women.”
Further on, the documents reiterates the same constraint against originality, now characterized as an “individualist tendency.” It reads:
“At the same time vigilance is to be exercised about the risk of individualistic tendencies, which hinder the acquisition and development of a true sense of ecclesial belonging and the spirit of communion within the Ordo virginum.” (n. 77b)
So, the virgin who was dreaming of having the liberty to tread her own spiritual path now finds herself forced to renounce any private particularity she has that makes her distinct from the others. Everything has to be sacrificed on the altar of the “spirit of communion within the Ordo virginum.”
A system of mind-control
Now, that we know what should be expunged, let me enter into the “positive” program of formation imposed upon the consecrated virgins.
I transcribe some few texts that synthetically reflect the dictatorial control established over each woman who falls into the web of the Ordo virginum. I stress that this “mind-control” can also be found scattered in small doses throughout the document.
“Since their purpose is to foster the development of the capacity to interpret reality according to evangelical criteria, formative programs must include, as indispensable elements:
- theological, cultural and pastoral formation, gradually increasing in depth and breadth, appropriate for the type of witness to which the consecrated women are called, acquired through personal study and formation meetings, possibly with experts;
- spiritual experiences, including personal and liturgical prayer, penitential practices, retreats and spiritual exercises that hold the person in an atmosphere of attentive listening and constant searching for the will of God;
- insertion in a network of ecclesial relationships to nurture the integral growth of the person and in particular to increase the potential of relationships between the aspirants and the consecrated women who contribute to the formation service;
- spiritual accompaniment;
- and the sharing of experiences with and among the consecrated women.” (n. 78)
A formation conference for consecrated virgins in Philadelphia, now obligatory for all
But it is not all. The demand continues for increasingly new terrains of formation, including modern psychology. This particular requirement translates into initiating the woman into the obsessively sex-oriented Freudian philosophy:
“An adequate knowledge and assimilation of the foundations of Christian anthropology must be offered, so that the choice of consecration will mature on the basis of a balanced understanding of human sexuality and affectivity, relationality and freedom, self-giving, sacrifice and suffering.
“In this framework, in the formation process the contributions of human sciences can also be used, particularly psychology and pedagogy, to put the candidate in a position to better understand relational dynamics and human development, and thus her own personal history and her way of relating to others.” (n. 102a)
How can a consecrated virgin be a laywoman and have a secular job in the world when her time is consumed by such an intense schedule? This program of formation is so absorbing and intrusive that it is difficult to calculate when she would find time to exercise a profession outside of being a consecrated virgin.
Then, comes the strict control discharged by the Bishop and his agents – a police control – over the will of a single consecrated woman to monitor almost every detail of her personal life:
Women consecrate themselves, unaware of the progressivist program they will have to follow
This text is interesting in that it reveals how a woman who enters the Ordo virginum web must forget about being a free laywoman. She virtually becomes a religious woman without the name.
Further, she is transformed into a gear in a machine controlled by a rigorous system that has a specific goal, which is not especially turned toward virginity. She becomes one part of a mechanism to propel the social goals of the Conciliar Church, as I shall show in my next article.