Saturday, July 23, 2016

Poor Francis' New Decree Calls on Cloisters to Become More Worldly


Pope Francis calls upon Catholic women religious, whose members live in cloistered communities, to a greater engagement with the world.

Vatican City (KNA) Pope Francis calls upon Catholic women religious, whose members live in cloistered communities, to greater engagement with the world. The life of prayer and contemplation should not be lived as  a "retreat into itself," but must "embrace all mankind", according to a papal decree, which the Vatican published on Friday. The nuns should pray for prisoners, refugees, the persecuted and unemployed, so Francis. At the same time the Pope recognizes the indispensability of contemplative religious. They are a prophetic sign for all Christians.

Among the most famous contemplative women religious are the Carmelites or Poor Clares. They live strictly shielded from the outside world in their monasteries, which they may leave  only exceptionally. Canon law recognizes four different forms of strict cloisters. Contemplative female orders will in future decide on one of four forms of  cloister. According to the decree, there can be varying decrees within an order.

The so-called Apostolic Constitution of Francis bears the Latin title "Vultum  Dei Quaerere - The Search for the Face of God". With the letter he wanted to take into account the teaching of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) in the face of a changing social and cultural context, the Pope explains. The last such piece of legislation dates back to the 1950s.

Francis is attempting with the decree to reverse the loss of members  at any price. "The recruiting of candidates from other countries with the sole purpose of establishing their own monastery should be absolutely avoided," it says in the text.

In the comprehensive 35-page letter (Italian version), the Pope deals with twelve points of religious life. Besides the cloister there  is training, prayer, the role of the biblical texts, the Eucharist and Confession, community life, autonomy, work, silence, communication and asceticism. Contemplative woman orders  will in future decide on one of four forms of cloister accordingly.

Francis emphasized the autonomy of the monasteries. It should be not only a canonical status; moreover, a "true autonomy of life" is necessary. A condition for this is a minimum number of nuns in a convent. Other conditions are that there is no aging populations and the dignity of liturgical life as well as ensuring the ability to economic survival. Otherwise, solutions will be sought in regard to the monasteries in question according to which the Pope will commission representatives of the local Church, the Vatican and the Order. At the same time, the Pope states that in future each monastery must belong to
an association, or a federation.

All previous Church legislation or previous decisions on religious life contrary to the new decree, Francis has abolished.


58 comments:

Nicolas Bellord said...

Oh dear.

susan said...

tomorrow's headline:

"For the good of the Church, francis to take 'excess' members of burgeoning orders and relocate them to strugging, aging orders.....for the good of the Church"'

he is obabma....in a white polyester dress.

Andy said...

Yes, he is, Susan. What other parallels can be drawn? Both occupy the two most powerful chairs in the world. The circumstances of their ascensions to these positions are so highly suspect that most reasonable people believe them both to be there fraudently. Both are surrounded by fags and rub elbows with some of the most evil humans on earth. Both adore themselves and consider themselves to be above God.

So yes. Francis is an obama in a white polyester dress. They complement eachother. They are ying and yang. Together they are the salt and pepper of world and spiritual destruction.

Anonymous said...

Think about how sweet that moment will be. Where will you be when you hear the big news: that Pope Francis is dead.

Will it be a sudden surprise? Will it be after a long, purifying illness?

He will be dead and gone and the Church will then begin to move on. The press will laud him. Lots of pictures and videos of people crying over the demise of the "People's Pope".

Pope Francis will die; and then another will take his place.

Geremia said...

This is naturalism.

Donna Bethell said...

Asking contemplatives to pray for those of us in the world is not asking them to be worldly. That is what they are supposed to do. St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower, a Carmelite, is the Patroness of the Missions because she dedicated her prayer life to the spiritual support of missionaries. I don't know what else is in the document, but asking cloistered religious to pray for the rest of us in our specific roles and vocations and challenges is normal and necessary for the life of the Church.

Barnum said...

I can't bear to read the document, but seriously, did it really say that contemplatives are not praying for those in the world? What did the Pope think the contemplatives are praying for, to hit huge on the lottery so they can buy that convertible for cruising around San Remo?

Had they wanted to be in the world, the contemplatives would have stayed in the world. A discernment process weeds them out. The tinniness of the excuses, and the pettiness worthy of a Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot or some other world class totalitarian(note to the simpletons out there: I am not saying the Pope is violent or wants to lead a bloodbath) are breathtaking. I suppose next he'll ban the wearing of contact lenses and enforce the use of baking soda as opposed to toothpaste.

Had one of the nuns who taught me in grade school been this petty, the pastor would have corrected her right away. BTW, pray for the nuns that taught, they were lovely, wonderful, happy women.

Tancred said...

Even our horrible CSJs were wonderful in their own way. I really must pray for them, even the evil commie ones who turned Gloria Steinem into one of the Appstles.

Dymphna said...

So now they're going after the cloistered nuns, the one bright spot left in the Church.

Dymphna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Francis is like a rerun of a bad TV Show 10 years after its cancelled.These stories are becoming boring.

Augie said...

Bats.

Anonymous said...

These "men" are foul shipwrecks. The are nothing but atheists. Fraudulence, and no one speaks who can make a difference. It is time ecclesiastics defy this group of snakes and call them out.

Anonymous said...

They are to pray only for his pet causes? No more praying for conversion of non christians, conversion of sinners, the dying,the afflicted,souls in purgatory,the spiritually oppressed? That in addition to lessening the hours in prayer while they get out in the world more. Satan is gleefully celebrating. Crucifying Jesus anew.

Anonymous said...

"Other conditions are that there is NO AGING POPULATIONS and the dignity of liturgical life as well as ensuring the ability to ECONOMIC SURVIVAL. Otherwise, solutions will be sought in regard to the monasteries in question according to which the Pope will commission representatives of the local Church, the Vatican and the Order."

What does this mean? Murder the elderly or Sodomite Team B will send in Killer Keehan, Andy Cuomo and Jeffrey Sachs to ensure ECONOMIC SURVIVAL? How low can these sodomites go?

"When Andrew M. Cuomo married Kerry Kennedy in 1990, Jeffrey A. Sachs served as an usher. When Mr. Cuomo’s daughter Michaela was born, he asked Mr. Sachs to be her godfather. When his marriage fell apart years later, Mr. Cuomo stayed in Mr. Sachs’s triplex near the United Nations.

Since Mr. Cuomo’s election as governor last fall, Mr. Sachs, 58, has taken on a powerful role among his health care advisers as the administration confronts crucial decisions, including how to overhaul New York’s $53 billion Medicaid program. But at the same time, Mr. Sachs, known to many in Albany as “Andrew’s best friend,”
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/nyregion/23cuomo.html?_r=0

http://nypost.com/2014/08/21/congressman-questions-cuomos-naming-of-lobbyist-to-oversee-medicaid-spending/

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/3/the-million-dollar-sister/

thewarourtime.com said...

So “Vultum Dei quaerere (VDQ), – Seeking the face of God”, is asking contemplative (i.e. those seeking to contemplate nothing but the face of God) communities of nuns, to seek out social media?

Steve said...

If any of the modern Popes, Pius XI to Francis, had any fear of God at all, none of this would have happened.

Unknown said...

This insistence that every cloister "MUST" be member of a federation or association is indeed bizarre and disturbing. It's the dreaded socialist vision that sees salvation in more and more administrative structures and bureacracy.

Unknown said...

Good point.

Savonarola said...

There seems to be nothing suggested by the Pope that is not already contained in the Rule of St. Benedict, the "blueprint" as it were for all monastic life. Why attack him for that? Traditionalists now automatically attack everything Pope Francis says, distorting it in the process to make it even more unacceptable to them. There are serious questions about the future of religious life and how it can best contribute to the life of the Church (and the world) as a whole. Kneejerk reaction is not a good way to address them.

Barnum said...

Interesting. Googling the Rule of St. Benedict gives as a first choice some abbey in Collegeville, MN. Is this your home, Savanorala? You certainly seem to have a gripe with God-- your kneejerk comments.

But to get to your dishonest point point: The Wiki entry lists the titles of the 40-some chapters of the Rule, each of which can not only resonate and be understood by any minimally formed Catholic, or Orthodox for that matter, but our minimally Catholic, could, if asked, probably anticipate what would be contained in the subject matter of each chapter. then why were the Pope's suggestions so necessary, objectively speaking?

Well, it's the thing Benedict doesn't mention: "national" matters. Benedict could never have understood the current concept of "nation." Later followers , and other monastic orders accepted novices from outside their environs. If it be as what I heard this decree to state, then no priest could be non-Jewish, no Jesuit non-Spanish; all must remain "national" in the modern sense. The comment of Karl Rahner Jr. hits that nail square on the head and countersinks it in a stroke.

Savanarola, you sound more and more like SavanOral Roberts every day. Get back to Catholicism, or at least the Benedictine Rule, by reading the Chapters on the rare admission of youths into a monastery and on visiting priests. Not that I have read them myself, but I can guess what they contain and somehow relate to your gripe.

Barnum said...

I'd tell you who the order that taught me and my lucky classmates was, but they are easily recognized by true Churchmen (note to simpletons: Churchmen includes women if you are Catholic an d know English.)and don't need any grief caused by me.

Anonymous said...

yes, the mystical body of christ is on its via crucis and is being crucified, and soon will reach its golgotha, when christ himself will be removed from the church in the abomination of desolation. this document is another station on the path to calvary.

Barnum said...

Thank you, anonymous, for a key, and what may be the key, citation. Please allow my thoughts:

1) I don't know how long the range and scope of the practice, but once upon a time women's dowries were required to be given to the order before they were accepted into the religious life to ensure the order's economic survival. This might have been a requirement precisely because of aging populations; for more explanation, read actuarial literature. Oddly for the Pope, no mercy given, at least not as far as this point is concerned. Money is all, it seems.

Then,

2) "...dignity of liturgical life..." So now the redefinitions move from "mercy" to "dignity;" can dignity of life i.e., assisted suicide, be far behind? The next synod will tell.

Anonymous said...

the self destructing spirit of vc2 novusordoism is accelarating under the false prophet ber-gog-lio.
when are the conciliar catholics going to wake up?
francis now wipes out whats left of any valid (ie non SJW) nuns.
any new nuns will have to go sspx or form new underground traditional orders.
a smaller purer church, as benedict xvi once said.

Savonarola said...

Interesting. My "gripe" (or rather concern) is not with God, but with those who now automatically attack everything Pope Francis says without reading or thinking carefully about it, as you admit you have not read the relevant parts of the Rule. You may care to get back to it. The Pope is voicing concerns about the future of religious life which many, including religious themselves I think, are wondering about.

By the way, I have never heard of Collegeville, don't know where it is or anything about it. The Benedictine monastery I know best is Douai in Berkshire UK.

Tancred said...

Even credulity is a sin, but so is dishonesty.

Tancred said...

I think it means that houses that age beyond a certain limit will lose status. Seems self-defeating to me, as the average age of most leftist houses are in the 70s.

Anonymous said...

This is mostly a bad document, but it does have some good points....Eucharistic Adoration for one.
Another is not harvesting vocations from India to keep monasteries in Spain or Italy going....which has been done for years.
A humerous reflection on that point is that I read an article about some Italian Order of nuns, who recruited vocations from India right after Vatican II when all the horrible changes were being applied. The Order of Italian nuns once had plenty of Italian vocations, but little by little, by modifying their habit somewhat, relaxing disiplines, they started to loose. In the early 1970's, they started recruiting Indian girls, and for a while, the Order had a filled novitiate again, with maybe 3-4 Italian girls, and 30-40 Indians.
The late, GREAT Cardinal Giuseppe Siri blew the whistle on this practice, and told Paul VI, who of course did nothing.
The laughable ending to the story is that when the Order modified the habit and lifestyle only slightly (late 1960's), they still had some Italian vocations, and Indian girls were attracted to the Order to make the trip to Italy to wear the basically traditional habit and be dedicated nuns.
But when the Order went radical/liberal and discarded the habit in favr of a shirt grey dress, white blouse and shirt black veil, not only did their Italian vocations disappear completely, but the number of Indian girls who wanted to join dropped from groups of 30-40-50,to perhaps 4-5. With all their modifications, no one wanted to join !!
Morale--keep to the traditional habit and traditional life and you'll flourish....turn radical (follow Francis), and you'll die out fast!
Damian Malliapalli

Anonymous said...

The bad thing about these nuns joining federations, is if the majority is radical liberal, they dominate everything. Maybe that's his goal. Which in the longrun will destroy the Order.

As for the commentator who asks where do you think you'll be when you hear that Pope Francis is dead, I'll probably be working/teaching. When he's gone, I'll lead our parish choir in a chorus of
"Happy Days are Here Again" !!
Damian Malliapalli

susan said...

yet, he'll find a way to shore up the houses that are to his philosophical liking, no matter how old and small they become. No, this is all about power and the power to control....he is a Machiavellian authoritarian, and for all his gassing about 'synodality', he is in fact all for tight, central, totalitarian governance...as long as it is he, or a fellow traveler holding the rein.

Hilary White did yeoman's work in this piece on the topic....

http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/2651-springtime-s-over-ladies-francis-plans-for-the-new-conservative-religious-orders

Athelstane said...

I highly recommend Hilary White's commentary on this over at The Remnant. She's someone who has spent more than most reflecting on the state of women's contemplative religious life.

Athelstane said...

I don't think you're being fair to Pius XI, one of the better and more zealous popes of the modern era. We're talking about the author of Mortalium Annos, Quas Primas and Casti Connubi, after all.

Athelstane said...

There seems to be nothing suggested by the Pope that is not already contained in the Rule of St. Benedict, the "blueprint" as it were for all monastic life.

The Holy See has never before dictated things like length of formation (now 9 years! under this document) - that has always been left to the individual order to determine. It's going to make it extremely difficult for any new religious communities to form.

Likewise, the Holy See has never demanded such control over the form of cloister chosen as this document does.

It's a document that represents unprecedented centralization and consolidation of papal authority, which is enormously ironic, given the rhetoric of this pontificate.

Steve said...

Google "Bernardino Nogara" if you want to know why Pius XI was mentioned by name at Fatima.

Athelstane said...

Yes, Nogara was problematic. But that was a financial matters appointment, and it's not clear how much Pius XI even knew about what was going on - certainly not enough to support the contention that he had no fear of God.

TLM said...

Well, instead of 'boring' I would say 'repetitive'. These bombshells now come weekly or bi weekly. This is actually DEVASTATING for the Church. It looks rather innocent at first glance, but.......they will be required to 'belong to a Federation'??? A no doubt....'modernist Federation'?? They will also be required to serve a NINE YEAR novitiate........NINE YEARS??????!!!!!! How long would anyone expect to last NINE YEARS in a so called 'Contemplate Order' without making final vows? And.....when expected to become more 'worldly'? Kind of like asking an engaged couple to 'discern' their relationship for marriage for nine years before taking vows!! Now, that said, I realize that some do have long novitiates, but NINE YEARS??? And they are not to 'recruit' candidates from out of their own country. What he is clearly doing, is assuring the destruction of the traditional contemplative, just like the 'spirit' of Vatican 11 all but destroyed the traditional Mass.

This is another diabolical ploy to wipe out ALL tradition, make NO mistake about that!!!!

TLM said...

Another thing that strikes me......Francis prides himself on bringing about a more 'Synodal' Church? Hmm....is that ONLY with the Bishops? For wanting to 'decentralize' he sure is acting like a dictator to me!!!

Anonymous said...

I made the mistake of thinking at first glace that there;s nothing bad about Francis' new constitution for cloistered nuns. That was until I read Hilary White's post in the Remnant about it. Thank you Athelstane. Sfter reading it, I have come to the conclusion that Francis and his people are not only radical liberals, but they are not even Catholics. This kind of thing, which will ultimately bring a great deal of harm to cloistered monasteries of nuns, is supremely evil. But then again, it's from Bergoglio....so what can one expect that.
Damian Malliapalli

Kathleen1031 said...

As I understood that to mean, the sisters MUST be "involved" with the local church. Therefore, if the order is attached to the Latin Rite, that is not what Francis is supporting. He intends the nuns to engage with the local NO church. We have not one reason to trust this endeavor of this pope at all. It no doubt was created with the intention to put the hammer down on traditional orders or turn some screws.
How awful to feel this way about a pope.

Anonymous said...

ummmmmm.............Hey Holy Father!! This was already tried pre-Vatican II. At the Council, it was STRONGLY advocated that religious communities (even those frightening CLOISTERED ONES) re-discover their charism. Aren't there enough active communities doing great work, not to mention all the laity NOT living as cloistered contemplatives.............Somebody should tell this guy about it!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for mentioning the article by Hilary White. It is a devastating critique of VD.

Anonymous said...

We wouldn't be in this mess if Pius XI had actually consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in union with all the bishops of the world.

Since he and his successors have not done so, we are suffering the consequences.

Anonymous said...

No offense and I truly sympathize with your post.
I left the Novus Ordo and haven't been back for a long while.
Maybe these people need to seek a vocation in a traditional order.
You're correct it's a diabolical plot to destroy tradition,I agree 100%.

Anonymous said...

Where is the solid proof Pius XI flatly denied consecrating anything or anyone?
I have asked this before and literally no one can point me to any evidence.
Don't accuse Pius XI of some spiritual crime without solid fact based evidence.
Not only was he a Catholic Pope but he has also been dead for centuries.(don't speak ill of the dead especially without proof)

Anonymous said...

@Steve We need to blame ourselves and our sins.Dont blame others for our immoral shortcomings.We are all to blame!!

Gerard K said...

Some of the more excitable characters on this thread might well benefit from a quick read of what Basil of Caesarea taught about monasticism. He insisted that the members of these communities refrain from showy displays of asceticism and that they become involved in the world around them even to the extent of establishing centres of learning and health care. A couple of centuries later, St Benedict followed Basil's sound advice.
Pope Francis is simply holding to and teaching that same tradition.

Anonymous said...

only one little tiny problem:
there will be no nuns to do the eucharistic adoration.
did you really think the false prophet of the apocalypse would promote adoration of jesus christ in the most holy eucharist?

Nicolas Bellord said...

The plan seems to be that the pastoral should be centralised whilst doctrine shall be delegated down to Bishops' conference level - see para 3 of Amoris Laetitia.

Stephen Lowe said...

The Bully has awoken.

Anonymous said...

O God how much longer must we put up with this mad man.

susan said...

The bully woke a long time ago....ask the FFI.

Unknown said...

It will long have been shaped into a protestant horror by then. Expect a Francis II in the vein of Billary Clinton following in Obongo's footsteps.

Unknown said...

It will long have been shaped into a protestant horror by then. Expect a Francis II in the vein of Billary Clinton following in Obongo's footsteps.

Barnum said...

Surely, you are Klowning, Gerard.

1- "...showy displays of ascetisim ..." What in the heck is a "showy display of asceticism?" Monastics are locked up tight, away from the general population, so to speak in a way you can unbderstand. In general, no one visits them, they visit no one. They fast, they pray, they work, some remain silent. That is their charism. What is showy about that? Where are the TV producers busting down the monastery doors to film their daily showy ascetic antics? Are kids now buying the bubble gumtrading cards of holy ascetics in showy poses? I really doubt Basil said it that way. Even if he did, does it apply to today? I have not read any news accounts of stylites falling off pillars and killing people or stray animals lately, or for that matter, in my lifetime, or the lifetime of anyone else in the last millennium-and-a-half.

2. Isn't quoting Basil pedantic, as well as a bit of a smokescreen, anyway?

3. When was that tradition broken, and who broke it? Inquiring Catholic minds, etc.

2)

Augie said...

Until you drop off the twig Ding Bat.

Anonymous said...

SSPV has a large order of Nun's in Oyster Bay Cove,NY.

PaxTecum57 said...

Pope Francis wishes to rake into account Vatican ll? Has he missed the part of V2 that calls on all Religious to reform and return to the spirit of their founders? Pope Francis is misleading Religious into a different direction.

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