The Super Catholic Syndrome
The New Oxford Review published an article Click Here that refers to a new term
Super Catholics? that has been coined to describe members of Catholic groups that are cult like and that set themselves up as being somehow an elite part of the Church yet remain isolated from others with a polarized
us – vs. – them mentality.
The article mentions the secrecy, servile obedience, financial irregularities and spiritual abuse associated with the Legionaries of Christ and how it and Regnum Christi are back in the media spotlight because of the resignation of six editors of Zenit (refer to previous ReGAIN article) and the long, drawn-out Vatican investigation of the order and the Regnum Christi movement.
The article refers to the founder’s
bizarre double life as a pedophile priest and deadbeat dad? and the plight of the consecrated women, who have no legal status in the Church and who may be in a precarious position as they have none of the legal protections that are normally provided for religious sisters.
The article describes further details of the unfortunate situation the consecrated women are in after having made solemn promises (similar to the vows that nuns make) and having agreed to renounce their decision making capacity.
The Vatican commissioner, Cardinal DePaolis has acknowledged that the issues relating to their personal and community life are
many and challenging. One of these issues that the article refers to as being
strange? is that the consecration state is not necessarily permanent – it may be ended easily with no obligation to provide for financial or other needs of women who are no longer wanted.
The New Oxford Review questions how it is that new orders and movements are able to rise up and operate as
parallel churches, appearing to be healthy organizations within the Church but in reality having self-serving agendas.
The concept of being
super Catholics? does not fit with scriptures. Our salvation is a gift. Individuals or groups of people who claim to be
more saved than others (us vs. them) fail to fully understand Jesus’ message. Christian spirituality does not encourage us to be one-up on others but rather to develop our own personal relationship with Jesus and to use our God given talents to serve Him.
The bible does not teach us to lord it over others who are less holy than us. In fact Jesus spoke out against the attitude of the Scribes and Pharisees, who also had many rules to suit all occasions but lacked humility.
For years, ReGAIN and several other websites and blogs have provided information and testimonies from former consecrated (3gf) members about the lopsided agreement, whereby dedicated and trusting people offer everything they have and are in exchange for being provided with the essential requirements of life, leading a form of religious life similar to that of a religious sister but that is only recognized within their own movement should they decide to leave or be suddenly be forced to leave and go elsewhere. If the 3gf consecrated ladies are truly
brides of Christ, then how is it that they can end such relationship simply by writing to a local bishop? An even more controversial question is why is it allowable for the movement to suddenly discharge one of Jesus’ brides suddenly and without notice or warning if it is decided that one of the women
does not have a vocation after all?. Are the many hundreds of former 3gf consecrated women to be considered as Jesus’ exes?
We hope that the reform process includes provisions to ensure that before anyone makes a commitment to enter a formation program, they are made fully aware of all the rules they will have to follow and that they fully understand that in the past women have been terminated because of serious illness or any reason after years of service without notice and without adequate financial assistance and have found that the movement has had no obligation to provide for them in any way.