Nicole Winfield, religious writer with the Associated Press has written an article commenting on the preliminary remarks made by Cardinal DePaolis, Vatican appointed commissioner of the Legion following a year long visitation that was requested by the women of Regnum Christi.
The A.P. article <a href=http://ca.news.yahoo.com/vatican-proposes-autonomy-women-cult-group-within-troubled-204234011.html>Click Here</a> contains interesting comments about concerns that continue to plague the Church as well as the organizations created by Fr Maciel until they are resolved.
– <q>Of particular concern is that they have no legal status in the church</q>.
– <q>The Vatican has proposed giving hundreds of women who live like nuns within the troubled Legion of Christ order greater autonomy</q>.
– <q>The women described emotional and spiritual abuse they suffered if they questioned their vocation, and of how they would be cast aside if their spiritual directors no longer had any need for them</q>.
– <q>One of the great scandals about the consecrated women is that they were told the Vatican in 2004 had approved a set of over 1,000 rules dictating how they were to behave when, in fact, the Vatican approved only about 150 general norms</q>.
– <q>Up until recently, some 18-year-olds would make their lifelong commitments to being consecrated after a mere six-week candidacy program</q>. </ol>
The article also contains a testimony from the mother of one of the current consecrated women (3gf’s) sharing her feelings of ongoing daily grieving for her daughter.
The pace of the reform process has increased finally from dead stop to painfully slow but there is some hope that it is at least going in the right direction.
We applaud any effort made to find a truly unique God given charism for the consecrated women that is independent from the Legionaries of Christ and the progress that has been made to loosen the iron grip of the Legionary upper echelon over the women of Regnum Christi.
Arguments (not very good ones) have been presented by Legion and Regnum Christi spokespeople defending the validity of their style of <q>consecration</q> claiming that it is included in Canon Law along with <q>other forms of consecration recognized by the Vatican</q>.
Finally, the plight of women who have entrusted everything they have in life to their superiors, believing that they will be looked after for better or for worse is being recognized. If they become too sick or too old, there is no commitment from the Church or from their movement to keep them around in worst case scenarios.
There is some hope that the aggressive recruiting techniques that lead to force vocations are being reviewed and some day will be changed so that young people will not be taken advantage of.
Although the women were supposed to be able to choose their own spiritual director within or outside the Legion or Regnum Christi, it has been impractical for the consecrated women (who have no money, almost no free time and who live in a regimented environment with over a thousand rules and who have had limited access to the outside and who have had to be accompanied everywhere they go) to make a free will decision to actually select and get to any outside spiritual director on a regular basis.
The reform process has shown some signs of life as family members such as members of the Tattle family continue to grieve for their formerly <q>young and vibrant, intellectually alive and athletic daughter</q>. Our thoughts and prayers are with these family members and all of those who are waiting and watching as the process inches its way forward. In the meantime, the consecrated women continue to be committed to follow the Vatican approved (in 2004) statutes that were developed by their founder, Fr Marcial Maciel.