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The important facts are:

1. They are a public association of the faithful (RC is private), so their consacration has a higher canonical standing than the 3GFs, although they are canonically still lay and not consacrated. It has been erected by Ezzati, one of the apostolic visitors and entrusted to a Cardinal.

2. The Pope has given his approval, bypassing the Delegate.

3. This is a great chance for other 3GFs who are despairing on their vocation because of the situation inside to save their vocation, before this they had to live by themselves. Now, like the priests who go to dioceses, they have some place to go.

Does this appear to be a complete break for Malen from the Legion? I admit it is a terrible state of my soul that I am so filled with suspicion. I will work on that this Lent.

On the other hand, it takes a great many honest interactions to heal broken trust. Such is the nature of the human heart. I pray for the day that I can trust again.

The important facts are:

1. They are a public association of the faithful (RC is private), so their consacration has a higher canonical standing than the 3GFs, although they are canonically still lay and not consacrated. It has been erected by Ezzati, one of the apostolic visitors and entrusted to a Cardinal.

2. The Pope has given his approval, bypassing the Delegate.

3. This is a great chance for other 3GFs who are despairing on their vocation because of the situation inside to save their vocation, before this they had to live by themselves. Now, like the priests who go to dioceses, they have some place to go.

Wow, just wow!

For the first time since the writing of the May 2010 communique, we do see what Benedict really meant behind the understanding of vocation... IT is Christ's call, which does not disappoint, this consecration is simply to Him, and NOT to be understood necessarily as in RC/LC.

"He urges them not to lose sight of the fact that their vocation, which originates in Christ’s call and is driven by the ideal of being witnesses of his love to the world, is a genuine gift from God, a treasure for the Church, and the indestructible foundation on which each of them can build their own future (and that of the Legion)" Parentheses duly noted by me and confirmed by His Holiness which means "and maybe".

The divergence between DePaolis' tone and Bertone's is duly noted and welcomed.

Thank God, I've been praying for Malen, that she have courage to break the wall of fear and uncertainty and with her courage, tenacity and leadership experience lead her sisters to freedom. I continue to pray that she finds help to break with the control techniques and mind washing of the legion and discovers the truth of a suffering Latin America and as one equal with and not superior to her sisters, searches for a real option for the poor and needy.

While the so-called manly men of the Legion have been impotently creating 10 point plans, PIPs, POPs, focus groups and "SWOT Analyses", these women have shown true faith, courage, healthy discernment and openness to God's loving will, even a will that leads them OUT of RC. Their credibility quotient has gone way up. By contrast, those remaining both in the 3gf as well as the LC just look all the more pathetic for clinging to this sinking ship.

I pray their actions will inspire others to faithfully shed the shackles of this cult and walk with Christ in authentic freedom.

It has taken some time but finally some common sense prevailed. I left 3 years ago b/c of this whole mess but I prayed for Malen and more directors to be completely independent of the Legionaries. I hope many others wake up including families that still support their daughters if they want to stay. Are they blind to the fact that 300 of us have left and now this other group including our former director? Are we all wrong? Who would not like to live without the cloud of Maciel over them and this cultish formation? I hope many more leave because this is truly the best for their souls and peace of mind.

I am sure it will take some time for the new foundation to gel, but it creates by itself an immediate and deep fissure in the thought structure that currently binds LC/RC.

The underpinning tone in the LC/RC apologetics of self-preservation was that the Church, the Pope, only had one expectation for a successful outcome to the MM debacle- that all members remain and practically just let superiors and Delegate dictate the meaning of their vocation for the future. Everywhere in this the possibility of taking another route was understood as unfaithfulness, emotional weakness, a darkened mindset caught up in the undue influence of blogs and media news. Even the Delegate has been of this mind in many ways.

All of this came from taking advantage of the ambiguous moves of the Holy See in the post 2009 period which could have lent itself to this skewed vision.

In clear terms, this new foundation now formally recognized and blessed by the Holy Father, cannot be interpreted as being for the faithless, but rather for the faithful, especially since the LC world uses the same authority to justify their own path. In this step, a chain has been broken, a door has been opened in a way that was not there before. To justify your choice you cannot just hide behind the Pope's authority to discern for you, you have now multiple options blessed by the Church. Therefore the ball has now been put back in the court of each individual conscience free to seek more than one option to love the Lord and purify their soul of the bad effects of a false prophet.

This indeed shakes the whole edifice, this puts every thought pattern under revision, for many inside this is, unavoidably, a whole new playing field.

I hope this group exists for healing and discernment, not as a new religious body. They can not be ready to start a new religious foundation without some serious debriefing and expert re-briefing on spirituality and praxis.
But, of course, they would not know that. Their bad training has led them to think that they are led by the God in whatever. If Maciel is no longer around, well, then, somebody else is. There is no PRUDENCE, no mediation between law or inspiration and action. If a person formed like they are has a good goal, it is to be immediately undertaken and God will supply the details. This is not Catholicism and the project is premature, imho.

Mary Ann: You don't know the project and you are judging it. This is project is just a way to offer a healthy environment to preserve their vocation, just as a diocese is a healthy environment for a priest. But women cannot insert themselves in the diocesan church like priests, they need some form of support. This is not a new religious body.

They don't know what a vocation is. If it is what you say, not a new religious body, then it is what I would wish for them, but they cannot be under their own leadership (and the bishop does not count - that is minimal)and they need people from other orders to help them.

And, no, I am not judging them. I am judging, evaluating, a situation.

They went to a diocese where they can get help, they have the support of one of the Bishops who investigated the LCRC and he has a whole lot of experience with religious groups and religious committments... a good choice, have a little trust

He can get them the contacts they need.

Mary Ann:
Evaluating the effects of MM within a determined institutional structure is one thing, but to understand its lingering effects pre and post 2009 for specific individuals, especially the recently departed would be extraordinarily hard to do. In theory if everyone were so universally impacted this particular event would never have been possible. Clearly they have taken steps the others could not.


I agree Mary Ann that their experience of this call needs to mature, Malen implied that in her letter and the nature of the association they are forming implies the maximum flexibility for that process.

I would not agree they should not be permitted to act vocationally- that would be in effect a very bad move. You do not resolve your future hung up in a wound licking spirit, but rather with recapturing those true ideals Christ wants for you and let that become the key to understand the past you are leaving and the future you are gaining.

True vocational ideals have to be respected as long as the path and means are healthy ones. That is precisely what the whole process 'forming a foundation' is all about. The role of the Bishop over the founding group has the task to ensure the steps are solid, and an adequate sense of consecrated life is acquired. He may appoint outside spiritual advisors to attend to the group, and no doubt priests who are not LCs will be there to help too.

Let's not forget who Ezzati is as well. He knows very well what the difficulties these women may encounter given he was a Visitor and a religious himself. I have confidence he knows well what he is doing, and the state of mind and soul of these 30 women.

One may also note there are many foundations that have taken place with individuals who had no experience of consecrated life (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, or a weak one before founding an order (St. Theresa of Avila) and we even note those who had need to adjust and learn. Mother Theresa wanted to have her nuns eat only rice. She had to change that place after some outside advice.

I truly wish them the best and pray they become a light to their brothers and sisters.

We must not loose sight that the main goal here is to save vocations, not to find new ones. So I hope this will be a healing process for them, they obviously will have external help. They don't seem to me as a self-centered group

I'm glad they escaped.

Okay, so are they going to be Sisters? Or some other "we are not this, but not that..." If they are going to be Sisters they should be Sisters, not pretend nuns like the 3gf. If they are a group of lay faithful they should be just that,perhaps a secular institute, and not live in community or have superiors.

This is exciting! I think the Holy Spirit can shine his light clearly to these ladies without the legacy of Maciel in their way. I will continue to pray for them on their new path.

Anon Observ - how did the Pope confirm the understanding of the below statement to mean "and maybe"?

""He urges them not to lose sight of the fact that their vocation, which originates in Christ’s call and is driven by the ideal of being witnesses of his love to the world, is a genuine gift from God, a treasure for the Church, and the indestructible foundation on which each of them can build their own future (and that of the Legion)" Parentheses duly noted by me and confirmed by His Holiness which means "and maybe"."

Most took it to mean they should stay and the Legion had the Pope's OK. I read emails of LCs sent around shortly after the May 2010 communique that interpreted the whole thing in a positive light just because of that one statement. I do agree with the "and maybe" and was amazed how that statement was misinterpreted.

I also agree that we just saw a huge sign that the "maybe" became a no for the highest ranking consecrated. If I were consecrated - that would be a red flag for me to really question my vocation within and to get out. If I was still in RC - that would be a sign also that things are not right within RC. I thought consecrated life was just a higher level than the typical first and second degree RC. I thought we read the same handbook during our retreats but they had extra rules...but not sure??

Ohh, there is absolutely no opposition in being lay and living together and every association has some form of obedience although it may not be fully alike to religious obedience. There are a lot of new ways of being consacrated within the church other than nuns. Yours sounds like and old fasioned view.

Scipio- What new ways of being consecrated?

We have consecrated virgins, religous sisters (active) and nuns (contemplative).

These other lay groups are not really institutes of consecrated life, because they make 'promises', not vows, right?

Honestly, I think the unbridled enthusiasm for 'newness' to the point where people ignore signs pf trouble b/c it's new! is what got the Church into the LC mess (and the Intercessors of the Lamb mess, and the covenant community mess, and the coming neocat mess....) in the first place. There's a lot to be said for the 'democracy of the dead' in all this.

And a lot of the 'new!' looks a lot like the 'old' that's led to problems in centuries past.

I'm finally reading Enthusiasm by Knox, btw---it's most instructive....

Thank you Giselle for posting this. Best news in years regarding this mess, imho. This happened also in part thanks to your tenacious efforts. Lots of prayers for their success.

Well Scipi perhaps I am "old fashioned" in my view of religious life, although I am considered "liberal" in other areas, but I prefer the clarity of religious Sisters, Nuns, and laity who are lay.

As Deirdre mentions the hybrids seem problematic. But they are out, that's the good news. Freedom, glorious freedom! I presume they have the wisdom to chose what is best for themselves.

Wait a minute!! Isn't this more or less what we've been saying the exiting 3gfs need? Lessee, a small group, under a bishop who knows what they're going through, is forming a group with the Pope's guidance. They aren't nuns, not sisters, not Consecrated Virgins. They're going to discern properly what God wants of them, and in a somewhat sheltered environment since they don't know how to function in society. I think I'll go ahead and wait until they start aggressively recruiting local children under false pretenses before I start screaming.

Oh, and also, if your read Canon 604, it notes that the Church does view private promises of chastity and poverty benignly; the women just don't get the sacramental of being a CV (WHICH DOES ENCOURAGE many years of living private promises successfully before going through the process of becoming a CV.

See http://www.consecratedvirgins.org/ for the USACV website for more information.

Real christian commitment comes from the sacrament of Baptism, makes one a disciple of Jesus, which is all anyone should want to be. The rest is structure, to be chosen if one needs it, but not really necessary

Btw-- while I'm not keen on 'new forms of the consecrated life!' I'm excited about this oppurtunity for the 3gf...

I'd like to see the pope approve something similar for the LCs-- I think many of the men WERE called to life in a religious community--just not in THIS religious community-- and it would be helpful if they could leave yet live in a community setting rather than as diocesan priests (because with the low numbers, that can often be a lonely life-- if you're someone who doesn't LIKE living alone, it could be miserable, I think...)

Something like the Oratorians-- they could still serve a bishop, but they could live in community and have a bit more time and space to reflect and heal..... plus, while they discerned a direction for their community, they could live the Oratorian rule and charism-- ready made with a great patron saint! (Who had a good sense of humor--something any exiting LCs will need to make the transition!)

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