New rule sends shock waves through consecrated virgins

New rule sends shock waves through consecrated virgins July 19, 2018

Because an increasing number of Catholic women apparently want to hitch themselves to Jesus, the Vatican issued fresh instructions earlier this month regarding ‘Brides of Christ’  – and in doing so has shocked the US Association of Consecrated Virgins.
Why? Because the Vatican document – Ecclesiae Sponsae Imago – suggests that literal virginity is not a prerequisite for their consecration.
According to the Guardian, the association of virgins said in a statement that the document is:

Deeply disappointing in its denial of integral virginity as the essential and natural foundation of the vocation. It is shocking to hear from Mother Church that physical virginity may no longer be considered an essential prerequisite for consecration to a life of virginity.

The association, which claims that there are 235 consecrated virgins in the US, had just staged the 2018 United States Convocation of Consecrated Virgins. Participants – 28 of them – ranged in age from late 20s to late 70s and represented 16 states and six countries, including Australia, Austria, El Salvador, Germany, Goa, and the US. Four of the women were from Florida, including three from the Archdiocese of Miami.
One of them, Kathleen Danes, who was the first woman to become a consecrated virgin in the archdiocese in 2003, said:

To be a consecrated virgin, you’re going to want to have the best lover you could ever have, and that is the Lord. That’s why we do it, to marry the Lord.

Theresa Jordan, who was consecrated along with two other women in Detroit last June, said:

It’s a promise that we make to be faithful to Christ all our life. [We] make him a promise of our virginity as a gift back to him.

There are an estimated 5,000 consecrated virgins in at least 42 countries, with the largest numbers in France, Italy and Argentina.
Consecrated virgins are unmarried women who offer their physical virginity as a gift to Christ, and devote time to penance, works of mercy and prayer. Unlike nuns, they do not live in enclosed communities or wear special clothing. Most have jobs, and they provide for their own needs.
The 39-page Vatican document offers detailed guidance on the vocation, including advising up to two years’ preparation before consecration.
It says consecrated virgins:

Are dedicated to the Lord Jesus in virginity … They experience the spiritual fertility of an intimate relationship with him.?

But the clause that has shocked some says actual virginity is not essential for a woman to become a consecrated virgin.

The call to give witness to the church’s virginal, spousal and fruitful love for Christ is not reducible to the symbol of physical integrity. Thus to have kept her body in perfect continence or to have practiced the virtue of chastity in an exemplary way, while of great importance with regard to the discernment, are not essential prerequisites in the absence of which admittance to consecration is not possible.

• The photo used to illustrate this report is of Jennifer Lynn Settle, of Pennsylvania, who was declared a consecrated virgin at the Cathedral Basilica of SS Peter and Paul in 2017 by Archbishop Charles J Chaput.
Hat tip: AgentCormac

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  • gedediah

    What, is Jesus a Mormon now? What if he doesn’t fancy an “intimate” relationship with with someone? What does that mean anyway? Does he even get a say in this?

  • Cali Ro

    These women don’t seem to understand what a’lover’ is if they think the invisible sky fairy is the best. Virginity is absence of sex, not love and that requires a physical body. Since there’s been no physical presence of their imaginary god in the history of Christianity there’s never been any sex with a person so how did he get a reputation as the best lover?
    Everywhere I look I see stupid people and most of them are religious. Does religion make people stupid or are only stupid people attracted to religion?

  • Dianne Leonard

    I grew up catholic, and didn’t know I was bi for many years. The church says it’s OK to “be” gay (it really isn’t) but it’s NOT OK to act on your desires. I know for a fact that I hauled around a load of guilt about this for a long time–for 20+ years after becoming an atheist and rejecting their sorry asses. So: are these “consecrated virgins” lesbians who are still “guilty”? I don’t want to put words in anyone else’s mouth, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

  • barriejohn

    There was a young virgin from Goa,
    Whose standards could not have been lower.
    Suspicions were raised
    When the nymphette was praised
    By her priest, who said: “God, she’s a goer!”

  • barriejohn

    Dianne Leonard: Similar experiences to mine as a gay man. They could hardly be more wrong about “not acting upon your desires”, as Jesus quite plainly said (or so they allege) that looking upon a person and lusting after them is equivalent in their god’s eyes to engaging in the act! Like you, I lived with the most appalling feelings of guilt and self-loathing for at least twenty years, and it completely fucked up my life.

  • AgentCormac

    Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Money.
    It’s what religion is obsessed with.

  • AgentCormac

    Most have jobs, and they provide for their own needs.’
    Being virgins, I’m sure they do provide for their own needs.

  • David Anderson

    Look at that shifty-eyed git with the shaved bonce. What’s he thinking or is it best not to know?

  • CoastalMaineBird

    the symbol of physical integrity
    How is it that virginity came to be associated with “integrity”?
    I’d be willing to bet that every one of them was born of a mother who was NOT a virgin. Is that really so horrible?

  • Angela_K

    I suppose technically I am a virgin because I’ve only had sex with other women, so I qualify. The hurdle I would have is believing all the rubbish in the Bible, I can’t let my brains fall out.

  • John the Drunkard

    So, Miami didn’t join in this weirdness until 2003? Where does the whole concept come from? Are these just nuns on the cheap?
    Wiki says:
    ‘…reintroduced in 1970, under Pope Paul VI,’
    But two of their three examples were actually nuns at least part of their lives.

  • Benno

    In proportion to the number of child raping Roman Catholic Priests it is highly likely that at least of one of the clerics shown in the picture has done just that. Dwell on that for a few seconds. The hapless woman has been indoctrinated by men just like those Priests to consider sex to be dirty, immoral, unholy and shameful. Bastard hypocrites one and all.
    Caption Competion:-
    The bald one with specs ….”Whoooarrr, I’d give her one if she was 40 years younger”.

  • barriejohn

    (i) What’s he thinking or is it best not to know?
    (ii) Caption Competition:-
    “Whoarr, I’d give her one if I was 40 years younger”!
    Two birds with one stone, as it were.

  • andym

    “These nutters make me glad I’m celibate.”

  • Vanity Unfair

    Fortunately, JHWH isn’t a virgin, otherwise there would be no Christianity. However, I don’t want to be part of a religion that worships a rapist.

  • StephenJP

    One wonders what consecrated virgins are actually for. I mean,there must be some utility to the RCC in having a cohort of women who “are dedicated to the Lord Jesus in virginity…and experience the spiritual fertility of a relationship with him”. Otherwise why would they relax the entry criteria?
    And is there a male equivalent? If not, why not?

  • Cali Ro

    AC: LOL
    Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Those crosses can come in handy too.

  • 1859

    Religion and sex -the association has fascinated me for years. To prove how maligned the RCC’s view on sex really is, just take a walk down any busy street, because every single human being you see must be the result of someone’s orgasm. And don’t forget these are orgasms that resulted in successful fertilisation. The are probably ten times as many orgasms that did not result in conception. So all told there must be the most phenomenal amount of bonking going on every second of every night and day all over the planet. And the RCC is trying to make us feel guilty about doing one of the most existential facts of life. This proves beyond any shadow of doubt that their brand of religious insanity is one of self-loathing, self-disgust and hate.

  • Gaurav Tyagi

    @Barry Duke, there is an error in this article. You have mentioned Goa as a country. Goa is not an independent nation instead it’s just a province in India.

  • Robster

    Isn’t this consecrate nonsense what popes and bishes’ do to cathedrals and stuff before the punters are allowed in? Playing let’s pretend is an even bigger part of a Catholic affliction than it used to be. Now there are pretend virgins alongside their pretend fairy, pretend edible flesh of Jesus, pretend forgiveness, pretend magic tricks from the priestly class and so on. Pretend virgins it would seem, are quite in keeping with the whole silly carry on.

  • AgentCormac

    @ Robster
    Excellent point. Perhaps it should also include ‘pretend it never happened’ – which is presumably what priests say to choir boys after they’ve abused them.

  • barriejohn

    All religion is a fantasy, indicating retreat from reality, so why would it surprise us that they come up with ever more bizarre inventions like this? It helps keep the show on the road. This is really no more ridiculous than the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection and Ascension, Transubstantiation, and so on. There’s no doubt that, generally speaking, people have come to accept belief in all those, even if sceptical themselves, and don’t even challenge the idea that it is possible to have conversations with, and receive communication from, a mystical spirit being. It’s our duty to keep pointing out that such beliefs and practices are totally irrational and without a shred of evidence to support them. Again, if it weren’t for nearly two thousand years of conditioning, holding such beliefs would be considered evidence of mental illness!

  • Broga

    If you want a laugh and a bit of entertainment to brighten your day then read that bollocks. How can they write this stuff? Have they no shame? Is embarrassment beyond them?

  • Bill

    There was a young girl from Thrace.
    Who’s corsets wouldn’t lace.
    The priest said “Nelly”.
    “There’s more in your belly
    than ever went in through your face”.

  • sailor1031

    one consecrated virgin and three “celibate” priests? One gets the impression that virginity is their only option (other than child rape). The whole bunch looks like they’d have a hard time getting any at the ball of Inverness.
    As for what is the purpose? I’d suggest free labour for the local bishop and his lads. “Comfort” women too maybe?

  • Broga

    So virginity is not literal virginity because the Vatican cannot get enough alleged virgins. A nephew in the USA wanted to marry an already married RC woman and she wanted him.
    After a lot of money had been spent, discussions with priests, contacts with the Vatican and the husband becoming an RC and promising the kids would be raised as RCs the inconvenient marriage was cancelled on the grounds of non consummation. I suppose on their month long honeymoon in Hawaii the happy couple on the first marriage looked at the view and held hands.
    The current alliance has produced three sprogs and the wife is a devout RC. The kids have been home schooled as their mum was worried about what they were hearing at school. The priest visits often. They have also been stopped from staying with their USA cousins.