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#61 of 92 Old 09-08-2009, 12:38 PM
 
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Bluegoat, my apologies for misstating the branch of the Anglican Communion you belong to. Thanks for correcting that.

And thanks for explaining your interest.
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#62 of 92 Old 09-08-2009, 01:18 PM
 
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I think that no matter how you look at the inquisitions and the crusades, one has to admit that at one time the Church sanctioned torture, imprisonment and execution for some crimes of heresy and apostasy. We also recognize that this is no longer the case. So, the question is, how do you deal with the difficult things in Church history? Can you reconcile Church history with the viewpoint that the Church has never been wrong? How do those of us connected with the Church deal with the history of the Church, especially the darker parts, and how does it relates to whats currently going on?

My view is a bit simplistic, but I think those mistakes are human mistakes, not Godly ones. I realize there is the whole papal infalliability clause, but I also bet that if one spoke to the Pope he would happily admit many mistakes he has made in his life before and after ordination.

We pray and have faith that the Pope and the Church are led by the Holy Spirit, but alas, this is not always the case. :

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#63 of 92 Old 09-08-2009, 05:04 PM
 
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How very true!

Also, I am wondering about the doctrine of papal infallibility ... is that more of a big-T tradition, or more little-t?

From my understanding, it was one big reason why the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church went their separate ways.

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#64 of 92 Old 09-08-2009, 06:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
How very true!

Also, I am wondering about the doctrine of papal infallibility ... is that more of a big-T tradition, or more little-t?

From my understanding, it was one big reason why the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church went their separate ways.
Well, the official dogma of papal infallibility wasn't defined until the 19th century during Vatican I, long after the Orthodox and RC Church split. The Orthodox believe all bishops have the same standing and do not accept that the authority of the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) is supreme. They also have not accepted the authority of any Councils that have been summoned after the split. The Orthodox/Catholic split really requires its own thread. Hopefully some of the Orthodox girls can jump in if you have any questions relating to their faith (for instance, I do not believe they accept the doctrines relating to Purgatory since they were also defined in the 19th century).

Papal infallibility is greatly misunderstood by most people (I was one of them until recently!) and only applies in very specific parameters.

http://www.catholic.com/library/Papal_Infallibility.asp

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#65 of 92 Old 09-08-2009, 11:51 PM
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The patriarch of the Orthodox churches occupies the seat of St. Andrew in Istanbul, while the Catholic Pope occupies the seat of St. Peter in Rome. My priest explained the Catholic/Orthodox split as a fraternal feud (Sts. Peter and Andrew were brothers). The original problem was (and still is today) the issue of papal authority -- is the Pope of Rome "the first among equals" or the head of the Church? The 19th century doctrine of papal infallibility complicates this problem further. Another problem was the word "filioque" that was added to the Nicene Creed by the Pope of Rome, but that theological issue has been worked out between the Catholics and Orthodox.

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#66 of 92 Old 09-08-2009, 11:58 PM
 
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Another problem was the word "filioque" that was added to the Nicene Creed by the Pope of Rome, but that theological issue has been worked out between the Catholics and Orthodox.
That would be a very controversial statement. If you threw it into a small room full of RC and OC members, I'm not sure how many would emerge.

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#67 of 92 Old 09-09-2009, 10:57 AM
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That would be a very controversial statement. If you threw it into a small room full of RC and OC members, I'm not sure how many would emerge.
Well, I think the Eastern Catholics would emerge just fine. The joint statement issued in 2003 says that the "filioque" is no longer a "church-dividing issue."

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#68 of 92 Old 09-09-2009, 02:20 PM
 
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The patriarch of the Orthodox churches occupies the seat of St. Andrew in Istanbul, while the Catholic Pope occupies the seat of St. Peter in Rome. My priest explained the Catholic/Orthodox split as a fraternal feud (Sts. Peter and Andrew were brothers). The original problem was (and still is today) the issue of papal authority -- is the Pope of Rome "the first among equals" or the head of the Church? The 19th century doctrine of papal infallibility complicates this problem further. Another problem was the word "filioque" that was added to the Nicene Creed by the Pope of Rome, but that theological issue has been worked out between the Catholics and Orthodox.
His Holiness Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch, Patriarch of Constantinople and New Rome, to give him his full title, is *not* "the patriarch of the Orthodox Churches." He is *one* patriarch. He occupies a place similar to that of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Anglican Communion. While there is only one patriach in the West (Rome, the pope), there are many among the Orthodox. Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria are the other original members of the Pentarchy. But there are also patriarchs of Russia and Serbia, to name two.

The Filioque issue has *not* been worked out. And the issues of papal supremacy and infallibility are *huge* issues.

Disclaimer: I'm Orthodox, but was raised Catholic.

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#69 of 92 Old 09-09-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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That would be a very controversial statement. If you threw it into a small room full of RC and OC members, I'm not sure how many would emerge.



and yes, it is still very much a divisive issue.

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#70 of 92 Old 09-09-2009, 04:19 PM
 
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His Holiness Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch, Patriarch of Constantinople and New Rome, to give him his full title, is *not* "the patriarch of the Orthodox Churches." He is *one* patriarch. He occupies a place similar to that of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Anglican Communion. While there is only one patriach in the West (Rome, the pope), there are many among the Orthodox. Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria are the other original members of the Pentarchy. But there are also patriarchs of Russia and Serbia, to name two.

The Filioque issue has *not* been worked out. And the issues of papal supremacy and infallibility are *huge* issues.

Disclaimer: I'm Orthodox, but was raised Catholic.
Also, it is worthwhile to point out that in the OC, there is a slightly different way in which the Church is perceived to speak compared to Catholicism. Even if ALL the patriarchs and Bishops were to agree, if the Orthodox people reject it, it doesn't fly. It's not exactly democratic, it's not like there is a vote, but it has happened in the past. There seemed to be an agreement with all the appropriate leaders involved, but when they returned home, no one would follow them on the issue.

The understanding of what constitutes the Tradition of the Church is the key, I think. It is not what the hierarchy proclaims on any given day. It is the full consensus of the Church, past, present and future. The Church includes not only Bishops and Patriarchs, but common people and the saints in Heaven and those yet to be born.

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#71 of 92 Old 09-09-2009, 08:53 PM
 
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ETA: Oops the article is not there any more, so I pulled the link.

Thought you ladies might be interested in this article about a nun being banned from teaching catechism in her area, because of her public support of women being ordained as priests.

Most of the commenters seem to be in favor of women's ordination -- and I get the impression that most or all of the commenters are Catholic.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#72 of 92 Old 09-10-2009, 06:41 PM
 
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Whoooops posted in wrong thread.
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#73 of 92 Old 09-11-2009, 11:24 AM
 
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mammal: your article has been pulled or something, because it wasn't there. I found an article on the same thing on another site. I applaud the Archbishop for pulling her, although I think it just makes sense and it would have been an outrage if he hadn't. I am very happy that the Vatican is doing a "visitation" or investigation of nuns in the US. I hope to see more of this in the future! So many religious orders in this country (and probably around the world) have gone way off base and need to be disciplined.

Honestly though, the orders that are very liberal are dying out. No girl wants to be part of them. On the other hand, conservative, orthodox orders are growing quickly. Some have so many girls they have to turn them away because they can't accomodate them! That's awesome!

Actually, it's the same in the seminaries. The very orthodox -particualrly the Latin Mass orders- are growing by leaps and bounds. It's exciting! We need priests and God is giving them to us. Like He said, the gates of hell shall not prevail against Her.

Thanks for sharing the article!

Corrie, "trad" Catholic, wife to DH and Mom to DD (4/07), DS (2/09), DD (2/11), DD (4/13), two angel babies. 
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#74 of 92 Old 09-11-2009, 11:50 AM
 
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I am very happy that the Vatican is doing a "visitation" or investigation of nuns in the US. I hope to see more of this in the future! So many religious orders in this country (and probably around the world) have gone way off base and need to be disciplined.
Even though I strongly disagree with you on this point, I deeply respect your perspective and right to your opinion. My question is why is the Vatican not doing this with male religious orders too?

And WHY did they never do it to weed out or discipline religious and priests who were sexually abusing children? The Vatican's choice to focus on who is "toeing the line" of official Church teaching when it looked the other way as much as possible when religious (men and women) and priests were violating the commandments of scripture, church teaching and morality, as well as the law enrages me as a Catholic.
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#75 of 92 Old 09-11-2009, 01:02 PM
 
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On the other hand, conservative, orthodox orders are growing quickly. Some have so many girls they have to turn them away because they can't accomodate them! That's awesome!
That's really interesting. I'm not aware of any women's religious orders that are growing rapidly right now. Could you post some links about this?

Thanks.

(Also one really tiny point: Girls do not take vows to enter religious communities. Women enter religious life.)
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#76 of 92 Old 09-11-2009, 02:39 PM
 
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That's really interesting. I'm not aware of any women's religious orders that are growing rapidly right now. Could you post some links about this?

Thanks.

(Also one really tiny point: Girls do not take vows to enter religious communities. Women enter religious life.)
THis is from the NY times.

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#77 of 92 Old 09-11-2009, 09:47 PM
 
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Bluegoat, the article is interesting -- but it was actually talking about the new women wanting tradition in areas like communal living, common prayer, and wearing a habit.

I think people can enjoy a more traditional liturgy and style of living, without necessarily being theologically or politically conservative.

But maybe I say this because of my experience with VERY conservative (both theologically and politically) fundamentalist folks who are totally cool with wearing jeans to church and worshipping to rock music (I am cool with jeans and rock in church, too -- but am also finding an appeal in old liturgy ... maybe it's my advancing age, LOL).

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#78 of 92 Old 09-11-2009, 11:18 PM
 
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Bluegoat, the article is interesting -- but it was actually talking about the new women wanting tradition in areas like communal living, common prayer, and wearing a habit.

I think people can enjoy a more traditional liturgy and style of living, without necessarily being theologically or politically conservative.

But maybe I say this because of my experience with VERY conservative (both theologically and politically) fundamentalist folks who are totally cool with wearing jeans to church and worshipping to rock music (I am cool with jeans and rock in church, too -- but am also finding an appeal in old liturgy ... maybe it's my advancing age, LOL).
The Vocations forum at Catholic.com is both informative and interesting to read. http://forums.catholic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=75 In my experience of reading about various religious orders, it does appear that the more orthodox orders continue to wear habits - it is sort of an outward physical indicator of their orthodoxy. This is probably not true in all cases but for the most part it seems to be.

This is a bit of a tangent, but the physicality of Catholicism was one of the first attractions I had to the religion. The incense, the candles, the glorious altar, the various garb worn by religious (in fact, I am now living in a more conservative diocese and in my parish the priests wear cassocks, all the altar servers are boys and also wear traditional garments, which immediately tipped me off that the parish was going to be very conservative and it certainly is), the statues, rosaries, etc. Many Protestants (myself included when I was a practicing Protestant) shrugged all the "trappings" off as distraction or labeled them as even worse, but I've found those physical things get me into a spiritual space in a way that a rock band and a pastor wearing jeans was never able to do so. It feels more reverent for ME, it is like dressing a really nice table for a holiday dinner to indicate that it is special and has significant meaning to the participants, if that makes sense.

If you'll humor me, I'll add a sweet story that goes along with what I was trying to say in the above paragraph. I entered the Church this past Easter during the Vigil service and my children were baptized then as well. We had no family living nearby so aside from my local sponsor and his wife, the only people who attended with my family was a good friend of mine and her daughter, the friend being a very active Protestant in a non-denominational church. Her daughter was a new 4 and had never been to any other Christian denomination service before so the sanctuary during the Vigil was probably overwhelming a bit for her. Remember, the Vigil is sort of the pinnacle of Catholic liturgy during the year, it is AWESOME and I encourage you to attend this year if you can. Anyway, shortly into the service my friend's daughter leans over to ask her, "Mama, is this heaven?" And that just sums up my own feelings about the physical experience of celebrating the liturgy of the Mass knowing that we are indeed joined with heaven, the choirs of angels singing right along with us. It is a miracle each and every time for me.

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#79 of 92 Old 09-11-2009, 11:44 PM
 
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Her daughter was a new 4 and had never been to any other Christian denomination service before so the sanctuary during the Vigil was probably overwhelming a bit for her. Remember, the Vigil is sort of the pinnacle of Catholic liturgy during the year, it is AWESOME and I encourage you to attend this year if you can. Anyway, shortly into the service my friend's daughter leans over to ask her, "Mama, is this heaven?" And that just sums up my own feelings about the physical experience of celebrating the liturgy of the Mass knowing that we are indeed joined with heaven, the choirs of angels singing right along with us. It is a miracle each and every time for me.
Wow, Charbeau, that is beautiful!

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#80 of 92 Old 09-12-2009, 09:47 AM
 
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Bluegoat, the article is interesting -- but it was actually talking about the new women wanting tradition in areas like communal living, common prayer, and wearing a habit.

I think people can enjoy a more traditional liturgy and style of living, without necessarily being theologically or politically conservative.

But maybe I say this because of my experience with VERY conservative (both theologically and politically) fundamentalist folks who are totally cool with wearing jeans to church and worshipping to rock music (I am cool with jeans and rock in church, too -- but am also finding an appeal in old liturgy ... maybe it's my advancing age, LOL).
Well, I think you will find that the two are somewhat related. They are interested in a more traditional religious expression because they have a more traditional understanding of some aspects of religion.

Conservative isn't always the best word to use in this context though some do, and it's a somewhat of a subtle distinction that you can see in all of the small-c catholic groups. It is difficult to suss it out at first coming from a more fundamentalist background. But it doesn't mean conservative much like politically conservative - you would find such people vote a variety of ways for example. (One very conservative priest I knew always voted for the Communist Party of Canada - he wasn't a communist at all but said they came closest to actually representing what he thought was important.) It does see the continuity of the Church and the basic catholic/orthodox understanding of Scripture and Tradition as fundamental, and also tradition as having an important place in supporting that.

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#81 of 92 Old 09-12-2009, 11:38 AM
 
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Conservative isn't always the best word to use in this context though some do, and it's a somewhat of a subtle distinction that you can see in all of the small-c catholic groups. It is difficult to suss it out at first coming from a more fundamentalist background. But it doesn't mean conservative much like politically conservative - you would find such people vote a variety of ways for example.
I completely agree. Generally amongst Catholics, descriptive terms that include traditional, orthodox and conservative imply that the person/parish/group adheres to current Church teaching and dogma. Conservative in the mainstream media indicates an alliance with the Republican party and while many Catholics I know do tend to sway more Republican simply due to life issues that doesn't mean the conservative political party in anyway fully represents the beliefs of orthodox Catholics.

The US College of Catholics Bishops recently released a statement regarding their beliefs about the need for health care reform, for instance.

http://www.usccb.org/healthcare/

You may also want to take a peek inside a site that contains most of the social justice teachings:

http://www.osjspm.org/

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#82 of 92 Old 09-16-2009, 11:13 PM
 
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Religious who are less traditional still share many of the traditions that people say they want. They still live communally, only maybe in a house of just a few women integrated into a neighbourhood instead of with dozens or hundreds of women in a convent that is separate from the neighbourhood. These communities still engage in common prayer, praying the liturgy of the hours together every day.

As for the habit, the garments that we now refer to as religious habits were not something that set religious women apart from society when they were first worn. Nuns wore the common garb of the day and went into the community, caring for the poor and sick, wearing what the widows of the day would wear so they could be left alone to travel in the streets and not be bothered. For some reason the tradition became to wear the same garments as the founding members of religious communities wore, not to dress with the same purpose in mind. That is why some religious congregations stopped wearing habits. They looked into the histories of their founders and changed some customs to be more faithful to what their founders intended.
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#83 of 92 Old 09-20-2009, 10:24 AM
 
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[QUOTE=chfriend;14366304]That's really interesting. I'm not aware of any women's religious orders that are growing rapidly right now. Could you post some links about this?
QUOTE]

The monastery down the street from me (Our Lady of the Angels... Franciscan)) is always receiving new women/girls. Not all of them stay, because they are not all called to stay. However, it is full and the many of the novices are young.

A convent about an hour from me, Casa Maria, is full of some of the nicest, happiest women I have ever met. They belong to the Sister Servants of the Eternal Word. Many of the postulant and novices are under 30.

Mother Teresa's order, Missionaries of Charity have over 4000 nuns- and that is one HARD order to live in. I am reading Mother Teresa's writing right now and WOW. She was amazing!

The Heralds of the Gospel include consecrated men and women, as well as lay people. They have over 30,000 members, although most of those are lay people.

I think the Dominican orders are also thriving, but there are so many of their convents around the world that I couldn't get a "number."

I would be curious to know if there are any orthodox orders that do not wear traditional habits that are thriving. I am willing to bet that there are not many. I just went to an auction yesterday at a Benedictine convent and it was the saddest thing. The nuns are all older, at least over 40, and their convent is dying out. They were selling off so many of their beautiful things because they needed money. I found it ironic that they had an old sewing table that belonged to the order before they even settled here (it was old). IT was used for sewing habits... but they no longer wear habits.

I realize that clothing doesn't make a person. However, people who wear uniforms generally draw respect. Plus, uniforms set people apart from other people- they distinguish. I know that in the beginning nuns habits weren't really different from everyday garb (I wrote an article on this once), but as time went on, they kept the habit.

In todays "age" not many girls even consider becoming a nun. Those that do are usually traditional Catholics and they desire to wear a trad. habit. It is kind of like a symbol that they are set aside for Christ and no one else.

Choosing to abandon the habit may have been out of a good intention (though I have read some other reasons that were not so good), but the "experiment" pretty much failed.

As for why the Vatican is looking into US religious orders of nuns... it isn't a criminal investigation!!!! They are doing a study to see why so many convents are dying out and why so few (when compared to the number of Catholic women in the US) women are considering a religious vocation. That's all. I would not be surprised if the Vatican eventaully did that for the men's orders too. Heck, I wish they would! THey would probably find a very similar trend- traditional (especailly Latin) orders are growing much faster than the "regular" orders.

Corrie, "trad" Catholic, wife to DH and Mom to DD (4/07), DS (2/09), DD (2/11), DD (4/13), two angel babies. 
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#84 of 92 Old 09-20-2009, 10:26 AM
 
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They looked into the histories of their founders and changed some customs to be more faithful to what their founders intended.
How would changing your clothes make you more or less faithful to the founders intentions?

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#85 of 92 Old 09-20-2009, 10:59 AM
 
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To piggy-back onto Cagnew's list, here is another story about a rapidly growing order in MI. There is a short vid attached to the article too.

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=16940

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#86 of 92 Old 09-20-2009, 12:54 PM
 
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Speaking of tradition, here's an interesting article that was published yesterday in our local newspaper (The Kansas City Star) titled "My spirit came alive through Latin Mass" --

http://www.kansascity.com/656/story/1454965.html

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#87 of 92 Old 09-20-2009, 04:08 PM
 
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Great link! Thank you!

Corrie, "trad" Catholic, wife to DH and Mom to DD (4/07), DS (2/09), DD (2/11), DD (4/13), two angel babies. 
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#88 of 92 Old 09-20-2009, 04:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Shantimama View Post
Religious who are less traditional still share many of the traditions that people say they want. They still live communally, only maybe in a house of just a few women integrated into a neighbourhood instead of with dozens or hundreds of women in a convent that is separate from the neighbourhood. These communities still engage in common prayer, praying the liturgy of the hours together every day.

As for the habit, the garments that we now refer to as religious habits were not something that set religious women apart from society when they were first worn. Nuns wore the common garb of the day and went into the community, caring for the poor and sick, wearing what the widows of the day would wear so they could be left alone to travel in the streets and not be bothered. For some reason the tradition became to wear the same garments as the founding members of religious communities wore, not to dress with the same purpose in mind. That is why some religious congregations stopped wearing habits. They looked into the histories of their founders and changed some customs to be more faithful to what their founders intended.
I'm not sure this is a totally true picture. As far as clothes for various monastic and other orders, it is the case that they usually reflected the clothing of the day. But they weren't just random assortments - they were a uniform that identified the members as belonging to a certain group. And they continued to wear them even when they began to be "uncommon" clothing as such.

Groups that decided to abandon that dress did so for a variety of reasons, and some went to a modified habit that was less difficult to maintain, less expensive, and more practical for certain activities. As far as I can see this has worked well. Or there are newer orders like the Sisters of Charity who took a similar POV, and chose readily available, inexpensive fabric, appropriate to the climate, and wore it in the local style. But, it is definitely a habit, and you can see they are sisters of a particular order right away.

Now some other groups decided to do away with uniforms, except for something like a cross. This seems to have had somewhat mixed success - in some types of work it was probably sensible. But it also reduced the visibility of the orders to a large extent - wearing a cross, even prominently, does not tell many people that this person has a special vocation. And I think for some it has tended to cut off one possible link to the past, and to their own history - especially when other changes happened that also tended to have the same effect. And any kind of uniform has a psychological effect that can be quite profound.

And there were other changes that didn't always have great effect. For example, many sisters and brothers had restrictions lifted on the amount of time that could be spent among the laity working, on what were acceptable reasons to be away from the daily prayers and meals of the group, or for traveling away, and they were often given more responsibilities in the world. This was seen as a good thing, strengthening their missions.

But it has actually not been entirely positive - what many groups have found is that they have ceased to be a group or community to the same degree, that the prayer life which anchored their work is undermined, and then the work itself is undermined.

A lot of groups are having a look again at their purpose, their way of life, and are seeing that some of the rules they thought were outmoded actually had a very well thought out rational. It's probably a very healthy activity I think, and perhaps in some ways a lesson in humility.

 I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt.
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#89 of 92 Old 09-20-2009, 05:11 PM
 
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Speaking of tradition, here's an interesting article that was published yesterday in our local newspaper (The Kansas City Star) titled "My spirit came alive through Latin Mass" --

http://www.kansascity.com/656/story/1454965.html
I just moved out of that area of the country. You are located in one of the fastest growing Traditional/Latin-Rite Catholic communities in the country. I never tried a Latin Mass when I lived there, though.

"Hey, I've got nothin' to do today but smile." - S & G
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#90 of 92 Old 09-22-2009, 08:49 PM
 
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How would changing your clothes make you more or less faithful to the founders intentions?
Well, it seems that today the orders that choose to wear a habit are doing it (among other reasons) in order to visibly set themselves apart. That is fine for orders that always did that. There are also orders that began with the call to serve the poor and in the time and place where they began, the best way for them to do that was to blend in and appear as the widows of the community. They chose the dress they did so as to be free to go about the work to which they felt called.

If the founders felt the community was to blend in and not be visibly set apart, then clearly the habit is not faithful to that intention. Getting caught up in traditions which may be lovely but are not in clear accordance with the particular charism and original mission of the community would be something that religious would want to correct in time - just as other religious congregations might feel it was important to return to wearing the habit or some other traditions of their order.

I am not saying I believe one way is better than another, but all can have validity. Sometimes we get caught up in numbers and believe that wherever the greatest numbers are must be the place being most faithful to God and the 'best' way to go. While that can be true, I do not believe there is always a direct correlation between numbers and God's blessing and approval. God can choose the small, quiet and hidden people and communities as easily as the thriving, popular and well known. God may have a different mission for the communities that appear to be dying out that we do not understand, one that may be vital and precious in God's sight.
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