by Therese Ivers, JCL, OCV

Since this website is all about vocations, it is essential for discerners to know the most fundamental elements of each vocation.  Marriage is a vocation.  Spousal love is a special way of demonstrating love to another person, and it intimately involves the complementary nature of men and women.  It would be remiss not to discuss the role of intercourse in marriage.  To start with, let’s take a look at part of what canon law says marriage is:

Can.  1096 §1. For matrimonial consent to exist, the contracting parties must be at least not ignorant that marriage is a permanent partnership between a man and a woman ordered to the procreation of offspring by means of some sexual cooperation.

§2. This ignorance is not presumed after puberty.

Why is intercourse so important in marriage?  It is because marriage reflects the union of Christ and His Church.  The crowning glory of human marriage is reserved for the baptized who consummate their marriage, thereby reflecting the Church in her fruitfulness.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of popular misconceptions about the role of intercourse in marriage, and what the Church really believes in with respect to NFP.

Myth #1

It goes against being open to children to have marital relations during an infertile time.

Sterile and infertile people can lawfully have marital relations even though it is unlikely they will conceive.  The Church has a very clear definition of what openness to life really means.  In a nutshell, it means that 1) the act proper to the generation of children is not impeded artificially such that conception deliberately blocked [artificial contraception] 2) that once conceived, the child is not aborted or subject to infanticide after birth 3) that the parents do not deliberately plan to withhold the basic necessities for raising a child once born until they reach emancipation, and 4) intercourse is not limited to infertile days on a consistent and deliberate basis solely to avoid children when a serious reason for avoiding the possibility of conceiving a child is lacking.

Myth #2

It is wrong for a married couple to completely abstain from intercourse because God commanded us to be fruitful and multiply.

There is nothing against a married couple mutually deciding to forgo the conjugal embrace permanently, indefinitely, or even for a limited amount of time to devote themselves to prayer or good works.  The first and most important parenthood each man and woman should foster is spiritual parenthood, spiritual fruitfulness.  Such an agreement to remain continent must be mutual and if one spouse decides after a while that they require the marital embrace, the other must comply (unless there is a serious reason otherwise; a private vow of continence or agreement is not binding nor serious cause to refuse).

Myth #3

I have the right to have children if I get married.

This is incorrect.  Each spouse gives the other spouse the right to “acts proper to the generation of children” (intercourse).  In other words, nobody has the right to have children.  But Sue may ask Joe to render the “marital debt” and he may not refuse without serious reason.  Likewise Joe may require Sue to render the “debt” and she may not refuse without serious reason.  But Sue cannot expect or demand “children” like she can expect and require the conjugal act.  Why?  Because conception is not a spousal right.  The right that is exchanged in marriage is the right to the act that is “apt” for generating children.  This act must be reasonable, free (the opposite of free would be marital rape), and done without artificial contraception, without intention of abortion/infanticide, and without intention of depriving a child from the basic necessities.


The marital act, done freely, reasonably, in a human manner, and without intention of future abortion/infanticide or depriving a potential child of basic necessities is by its nature both unitive and open to life.  Neither sterility nor infertility preclude this basic openness to life.

To be continued.

(c) 2014 by Therese Ivers, JCL, OCV

Posted in Marriage | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Consecrated Virgins

by Therese Ivers, JCL

Some may wonder why it is that I do not participate a lot in the internet discussion on my own vocation to sacred virginity, commonly known as consecrated virginity.   Many people who write about the vocation in English base their reflections on the vocation on the English translation of the Rite, and a small selection of writings available to them online or in a limited number of books or articles.  The problem with this approach is that there is a vast amount of literature written on the vocation or that touches upon key points written over the history of the Church in other languages that is underrepresented, thus leading to otherwise preventable errors on interpretations on the Rite, role, and lifestyle of sacred virgins.  My approach is and will be different.  Let me explain how and why.

To begin, this website is meant to be for people who are discerning their vocations.  It is not meant to be a place for erudite theological discussions on vocations, including sacred virginity.  Nevertheless, everything that is on it is meant to be the fruit of thorough scholarship faithful to the mind of the Church.  Concretely, this means that any statement that is made, is made usually with authoritative sources in hand and/or in mind, even if such sources are never explicitly cited (because this is not a place for erudite scholarship!).  The idea is that people need easily accessible information on vocations.  For example, if I am writing on the priesthood, I will indeed claim that only males can become ordained priests.  I will write about the essential elements of marriage without excessive citations.  I will bring up the fundamental elements of each vocation without citations because anyone can look these essentials up in the catechism or easily accessible Church documents.

While I permit comments and reasonable discussion on this website, it is not the intention for me or others who help run this site to delve in and start “proving” positions with citations.  Why?  Because this website is intentionally written for people who need solid and reliable information that is not littered with citations.  Providing citations for things the Church takes for granted (like male ordinations, the nuptial relationship of sacred virgins, marriage is between a man and a woman, etc.) is unnecessary and inefficient for this purpose.  People who wish to seriously challenge these positions are welcome to do so on their own websites.  I simply have no intention or desire to re-invent the wheel or to prolong discussion on what theologians have settled often centuries ago.

For serious discussions on vocational topics, readers should keep in mind that I have personally invested the equivalent of a house mortgage into my education.  In addition to the financial expenditures with its concurrent loss of opportunity costs for my education, I have spent years of my life researching and studying vocations in depth.  It took two years to get the diploma for the course in the Theology and Law of Consecrated Life that the Vatican hosts for formation directors of religious communities.  Ongoing study requires both a financial and time investment.    In turn, it is only reasonable that this be compensated fairly by people who desire to have greater access to what has taken me years to accumulate.  This means that although I am always open to appropriately assisting people who are in financial straits, I will ordinarily provide the more in-depth scholarly materials to those who purchase them or who exchange services.  These materials and information will be available in different formats, whether they be by paid membership to the Society of American Virgins, books, published articles, lectures, or private one on one consultations.

Another reason my more in-depth treatments about consecrated virginity and other vocational topics of interest do not and will not appear regularly on this website is because many issues require an extensive theological context to properly understand.  What might look like a minor quibble might actually take pages or chapters to truly “get” in context.  For example, it might appear that my insistence that only a bishop is allowed to consecrated a virgin living in the world is a minor detail.  It isn’t.

To truly “get” the picture, the theological context of why only a bishop can consecrated a woman to a life of virginity lived in the world, one must understand how the Church has understood intact virginity (think of the three divisions of women the Fathers repeatedly mention).  Why was primary virginity always a requirement throughout the history of the Church for this Rite up to the present version?  The virgin’s relationship and the bishop’s relationship are also things that must be understood (their roles) to get why only a bishop can veil the virgin.  History must also be investigated.  Why did the earliest Councils and legislative documents of the Church and later ones as well, repeatedly forbid any but the bishop to veil/consecrate virgins?  What was the theological reason the CDF used to absolutely prohibit the publication/promulgation of the new 1970 Rite when the draft allowed for clerics other than bishops to consecrate virgins (yes, the CDF itself forced changes before it allowed the Rite to be promulgated)?  How does the virgin represent the Church and what does this mean for the Rite with respect to episcopal involvement?

This is only a minor sampling of what is involved in the theology of having only a bishop validly impart the consecration to the virgin living in the world.  It’s easy enough for a person to deny it, but it takes true knowledge and ability to adequately demonstrate why such a denial is an error.  And yes, I have actually personally encountered the pseudo “consecrated virgin” who was denied the consecration by her own bishop and went through an invalid Rite with some random priest.  While one could easily point to the Rite and the Ceremonial of Bishops to show that only the bishop-ordinary of the virgin’s (arch)diocese or his (bishop) delegate can impart the consecration, people who have their own agenda will say that any priest can conduct the ceremony.  In doing so, however, they are innocent of a lot of the liturgical, theological, and canonical context for this regulation.

There are so many errors written about the Rite, role, and lifestyle of consecrated virgins, that I have determined that the best way of combating them is not by taking them on, one by one.  Simple blog posts that I have read about my vocation can contain so many errors it is impossible to refute them without writing a mountain of words.  I do not have the time for that.  Why should I defend something that should be straightforward like bishops are the only ministers of the Consecration?  Or that the Rite calls for bridal insignia (which is why nuns like the Benedictines or Carthusians who traditionally separate Final Profession from the Consecration of Virgins give the bridal insignia like the ring in the later ceremony, usually 10 or 25 years after Final Profession respectively).  Yes, more than one person is upset that the Rite itself calls for bridal insignia since they are used to a post-Vatican II paradigm for religious sisters who no longer wear bridal wear that others have over the centuries, including the extremely expensive haute couture wedding gown St. Therese of Lisieux wore and claim that “poverty” somehow requires the absence of bridal wear.

This is why, dear readers, I refuse to citation to death my statements on this website.  I don’t want each thing I say have to be followed by twenty footnotes just because some low information person thinks that they have a strong position based on their private opinions and feelings about the Rite and traditional lifestyle of the sacred virgin on this website.  This website is for straightforward teaching on vocations in line with the Church’s teachings and tradition.

While I will not go in-depth on consecrated virginity on this website because it is outside the scope of the site’s intended purpose, I do intend to write a great deal on the vocation in a holistic manner.  As I have said before, there are so many errors on the internet and in much of the English language material online/offline, that someone has to get some of these issues resolved using a theologically sound approach.  This requires a book or a series of books because of the complexity and depth and beauty of the different vocations, particularly of consecrated virginity.

Also, one reason I’ll be turning to writing books and peer reviewed articles on consecrated virginity is because there is a lot of passion involved.  A sacred virgin shared with me how one prelate who has consecrated a number of virgins commented on how drably the virgins dressed and how he wished they were more cheerfully attired.  Wisely, however, he did not communicate or interfere with their mode of dressing because he knew one thing, which is that women do not take very kindly to being told what to wear!  Interestingly, some of the most contested issues pertaining to both the Rite and lifestyle of consecrated virgins have to do with clothing, and yet, even when some things pertaining to dress can be ascertained by reviewing the Rite and writings of the Fathers and other reliable sources, it is still challenged!  Women have rejected the Rite’s insistence on bridal insignia.  Some deliberately drop the veil, the one consistent element of the Rite in the entire history of the Church!  Others, not content with the ring being the one visible sign of their marriage with Christ, agitate for habits, despite the clear signal from the Church that virgins living in the world are not expected to wear distinctive garb (if the Church intended habits to be worn, She would have retained the blessing of garments that was present over certain centuries in the Ritual).  Again, education here is essential and needs to be thorough in inflammatory matters.

Unfortunately, resources for formation required for thorough treatment on these matters are not readily available in English.  I am blessed to have one of the most extensive personal collections on consecrated virginity written in many languages and from multiple historical periods in my library.  However, having the materials and going through them are not the same thing!  One heavily footnoted modern liturgical commentary devoted to just the Rite is about 1100 + pages in fine print!  I have no idea when I will be able to finish reading it or a number of other studies on the vocation that I turn to when researching a point.

Certainly, my dissertation on diocesan hermits takes precedence!  Hence, my work on vocations must necessarily proceed at a snail’s pace.  I wish there were competent scholars who would like to work on contributing solid materials for English readers to read.  Yes, there is an alluring call beckoning me to open that 16th century (I think) commentary on the Rite of Consecration that looks to be quite informative… but I simply do not have the time for this.  As time goes by, I hope that something can be organized for serious research projects to be initiated by competent scholars.  In the meantime, I will try to get some worthy books published or reprinted in the English language.

The One Bride: The Church and Consecrated Virginity by Sr. M. J. Klimisch, OSB is an example of a reprint project I have undertaken.  It has taken about a year, but this limited edition is now available on Amazon for people who want a Benedictine viewpoint on consecrated virginity for nuns.  I was able to obtain a license for a limited number of copies of this valuable book, and have thus made it possible for English readers to have this fine work available for their own collection on consecrated virginity.  It is rather spendy, but worthwhile.  There is a book I’d like to see translated into English and more readily available to virgins at a significantly discounted rate than its approximate cost of $500 a copy because of its recognized stature in the literature on this vocation.  Projects like these, however, take a lot of time, negotiation, working with translators, and a budget.  It’s hard to tell what the interest is on the part of sacred virgins, however.  The One Bride reprint is an experiment to see if virgins care enough about their ongoing formation in this area to supplement their libraries with good materials.

Whew!  In just one post I have managed to explain why this website is not intended to be chock full of footnotes and citations for my positions on consecrated virginity.  You also now know that I do think it is important enough to warrant a book but that book will have to wait until I have completed my dissertation.  And, if you haven’t guessed it already, these are reasons why I don’t post that often on this site!  What I do provide on this site takes time, expertise, and is quite frankly, a drain on the pocketbook as well because of hosting expenses.  I try to post as often as I am able, because I think it is very important you have access to information that may make a huge difference in your ultimate vocational decision.  Don’t be surprised, though, if it takes another month before I am able to find some time to write up another post.

God bless you!

(c) 2014 by Therese Ivers, JCL




Posted in Consecrated Virgins | Leave a comment

Presbyterium: What This Means for Consecrated Virgins

by Therese Ivers, JCL

UPDATE:  St. Cantius parish has removed their post and photos of the virgin consecrated at their parish.  You may still see it cached on at least one search engine.  Are they trying to distance themselves from their own liturgical faux paus by removing their online entry?  That’s not the way to do it. Either they had documentation backing up their actions (which they could have shared) or they decided of their own authority to do things the way they did.  If the latter was the case, all they had to do was issue an explanation or an apology for those paying attention to the matter.  Something like “We did not realize the rubrics called for the virgin to remain in the sanctuary…. and mindful of the fact that people look to us for information on how the rubrics are to be carried out, apologize for this.  We will follow them more carefully should another virgin honor us with her consecration.”

I was excited when I heard today that Marie Margaret Beccaloni was consecrated to a life of mitre st thomas becketvirginity recently.  (For photos, simply search online.  The brief description of the ceremony and who celebrated it are on one site, and the photos are on Flicker)  However, the photos taken of her consecration surprised me.  It is not clear what Rite was used, the current one, or the 1962 Rite (to my knowledge, Summorum Pontificorum doesn’t apply to this case).  What was surprising?  Several things:

1)  Whether the 1970 or the 1962 Rites is used, the virgin is to be seated in the presbyterium (sanctuary) along with the priests and bishop from the calling of the candidate on through the rest of the Mass.  I am surprised that for a parish that apparently cares for the rubrics, that Rev. Miss. Marie Beccaloni was left out of the sanctuary for what is probably most of the Mass.  You can tell this by the photos of her exciting the sanctuary with the priest celebrant still seated in the sanctuary and of her with her veil and insignia on, actually sitting in the pews with her bridesmaids.

It is true that I myself did not sit in the sanctuary, but this was for an eminently practical reason- my consecration ceremony was held in a very small cathedral adoration chapel

Priests in front pew kneeling for Litany of the Saints
Priests in front pew kneeling for Litany of the Saints

that had like 2′ around the altar of space; even the concelebrating priests had to sit in the pews.  The main cathedral itself was closed since it was in the middle of a three year renovation.   Beccaloni’s parish, however, has an enormous sanctuary compared to my tiny little one.  There was plenty of room for her to be seated in the sanctuary, even if they had to borrow three chairs and kneelers/cushions to do so.

2)  The most dramatic point* of the Rite of Consecration, whether it be in the 1962 or 1970 Rite, is of the sacred virgin receiving Holy Communion (if the rubrics are followed).  In the 1962 Rite, the virgin ascends the altar steps to receive Communion from the Bishop.  She doesn’t simply stay at her seat in the sanctuary, she climbs the additional 3-7 steps to the actual altar.  She kneels on the predella with her two attendants and receives under both Species.   Since the rubrics indicating that this was a Pontifical Mass was ignored to begin with (you don’t have a priest celebrating Mass with the Cardinal just sitting in choro, sorry, it isn’t done any more than you’d have an ordination done with the priest celebrating it and the bishop sitting in choro), Beccaloni probably did not receive Communion at the hands of her bishop under both Species (as is her right under both Rites).

Since this is a dramatic photo opportunity and there are no photos to this effect, one wonders if they made her receive Communion under one species at the altar rail at the hands of the priest!  The Church intends for the symbolism to be very clear to the faithful:  this is a spouse of Christ.  She consummates her wedding at the high altar, and the bishop who represents her Spouse communicates her under both Species at the altar.  Even in the 1970 Rite, the virgin, who is already seated in the sanctuary, leaves her place to approach the altar and receive directly after the Bishop, at the hands of the Bishop.  If there are steps, she climbs them.  If not, then she simply goes up close to the Bishop at the altar and there she receives.

3)  At this liturgy, one of the most important liturgies that a Diocesan Bishop can celebrate in his diocese, there are a mere handful of clerics (for what can be seen in the photos).  Here again, the Church is very clear about what is expected at a consecration ceremony:  the bishop is to be surrounded by the college of priests and important ministers.  Contrast  the consecration photos published by the parish to those of an ordination that took place at the very same parish!  There are over a dozen clerics in the sanctuary!  Yet the expectations are exactly the same.  The bishop is to be surrounded by his priests and ministers whether he does an ordination or a consecration.

Bottom line?  This is not a private vow ceremony.  This is not a profession of religious vows ceremony.  This is the ceremony of a bride being wed to Jesus Christ through the ministry of her bishop.  It was deliberately written over the centuries (as can be seen by the different Pontificals in existence) to take place in the same manner as an ordination.  Why?  Because of all the forms possible in the consecrated life, only sacred virgins going through this Rite fully participate in the Church’s charism and identity as virgin, bride, and mother.  She is the clearest image of the Church-Bride after Our Lady you can get.

It may make some people uncomfortable to see a sacred virgin in the sanctuary, but two thousand years of liturgical tradition (starting with the sacred Virgin who was physically a sanctuary for 9 months) should not be ignored.  Of course, things will always get dicey when you try to mix a non-pontifical Mass with a Rite that demands pontificals, which is why it is not suitable to use the 1962 Rite for non-monastics.  While it was a very nice gesture for the Cardinal to try to accommodate the desire for a traditional liturgy, it just does not work out.

*Obviously, liturgically, the two most important moments in the Consecration Rite is when the virgin is ontologically changed to be a bride of Christ through the prayer of consecration and when the bread and wine are ontologically changed to be the Body of Christ through the prayer of eucharistic consecration.  Most people, never having seen a sacred virgin ascend the steps of a high altar for Communion, would point to the prostration during the Litany of Saints (a favorite photo moment for ordinations) as being the most visually compelling moment.  When, however, the rubrics are followed and Mass is held in a location with a high altar and is celebrated at the high altar with several steps, this is certainly the most visually dramatic moments of the entire Liturgy.  Astute liturgists who have read the different versions of the Rites promulgated over the centuries have pointed out plenty of parallels to priestly ordinations.  Examples abound beginning with the call of the candidate from the pews to within the sanctuary, the Litany of the Saints, the presentation of the candle to the bishop at the offertory by the newly ordained priest or virgin, the placing of hands within the bishop’s, the bishop personally giving Communion to the newly ordained priest or consecrated virgin, etc.

The first reader who can identify (1) which current document specifies that liturgy of the consonebrideconsecratedvirginityecration of virgins is one of the most important diocesan Masses a bishop can celebrate surrounded by his priests (2) which Pontifical [name and century] specified that enough Hosts from that Mass were reserved for the sacred virgin to consume for the octave following the consecration will receive a complementary copy of The One Bride by Sr. Klimisch due to be released any day now in reprint form.  Use the contact form for this as the comments do not always work.

Update: The One Bride has now been republished and available on Amazon. Those who purchased it at the discounted pre-order rate will be mailed their copy as soon as we get our shipment in.

Update #3:  Because of the St. John Cantius priests’ reluctance to keep the consecration post up on their website, I am going to add another thought.  Both the 1962 Rite and the 1970 Rite (and the Rites proceeding them throughout the centuries) called for a Bishop to celebrate not just the Consecration, but the Mass.  In the older Rites, the Bishop gives Communion to the virgins.  He receives the candles from the virgins after the offertory.  He prays the prayers written specifically for the Consecration Mass.  What on earth is a mere priest doing, usurping the place of the bishop in this Mass?  There is a reason why it is in the Roman Pontifical.  The only excuse I can come up with is that they truly do not understand the gravity of this vocation.  Only if you think it is akin to a private vow ceremony or a “consecration” to Our Lady ceremony can one proceed thus.

(c) 2014 by Therese Ivers, JCL

All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Consecrated Virgins | 9 Comments

The Justice of the Peace Style Consecration of Virgins

by Therese Ivers, JCL

Protestant conception of the veiling of virgins
Protestant artistic rendition of the veiling of virgins

Discerners must always be vigilant to ensure that the community they are discerning is both in communion with Rome and that if the Consecration of Virgins is imparted, that it be done validly.  Here’s a case in point.  People formally adhering to the Society of St. Pius the Tenth (SSPX), are excommunicated.  Certainly pseudo nuns who make vows in a convent formally established by the SSPX and only attending SSPX liturgies can be considered formally adhering to this group and hence excommunicated.  Why someone would want to join a religious community that is excommunicated is beyond me.  However, it gets better.  The SSPX, though they vaunt their great fidelity to tradition, cast tradition and theology of time immemorial aside when they “consecrate” virgins with one of their priests.

Having a priest be the “officiant” at the “consecration” is like having a justice of the peace preside at a Catholic wedding:  Neither has the authority to for officiating!  The Catholic man and the Catholic woman standing in front of the Justice of the Peace can say the vows but they are not married in the eyes of God or the Church.  Similarly, the women in SSPX communities can make vows in front of their priests and the prayer of the Consecration of Virgins can be read over them, but they are no more religious, no more consecrated persons than Edel Quinn or Gianna Molla.  The Church regulates what is required for validity in the Sacraments, Sacramentals, etc.  If these requirements are not met, the most elaborate ritual will not make a difference in effect.  The people might as well be actors in a make believe play for all the good it does.  Or perhaps worse, there is scandal since it is truly “simulation” of what the Church does.

Posted in Canonical Requirements, Consecrated Virgins, Religious Life, Vows | 4 Comments

Ontological Bonds: Priesthood, Sacred Virginity, Marriage

by Therese Ivers, JCL

The existence of ontological bonds in some of the Church vocations are among the most challenged teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.  Three bonds in particular are challenged for different reasons.  They are the ordained priesthood, the nuptial bond of sacred virgins, and the nuptial bond of marriage.


Most Protestant sects do not believe in ordained clergy in the sense that Catholics do.  Catholics believe that clergy receive a special mark of the soul, an ontological bond that is unique to men who receive Holy Orders.  This ontological bond separates the clergy from the rest of the faithful.  The Church teaches that this bond:

  • Has ontological existence (it is based in metaphysical reality and not just moral or legal)
  • Comes into existence when the Sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred upon the man
  • Is restricted to baptized males
  • Is indissoluble (nothing can dissolve it; men can be priests in Hell)
  • Is essentially different from the common priesthood of the faithful

Most Protestants, however, consider this to be an elitist position and following their interpretation of St. Paul in his “one Body” analogy, do not believe that a priest is essentially different than a layperson.  They cannot conceive of a Divinely instituted hierarchy with a power given to some that is not equally given to others.  Protestant pastors are pastors by reason of their persona, education, preaching ability, by choice of the people, etc., and not because they have a special ontological bond with Christ Jesus that the other faithful do not possess.  This is especially true of the beliefs of major sects who do not accept Transubstantiation and/or other Sacraments.


The Roman Catholic Church teaches that an ontological bond is formed between a man and a woman when they are validly married.  Here are some dogmatic facts about this ontological bond:

  • Has ontological existence (it is based in metaphysical reality and not just moral or legal)
  • Comes into existence during the exchange of vows of the spouses
  • Is restricted to the unions of one man with one woman
  • The bond is indissoluble only when it is both sacramental and consummated(the bond is dissoluble by death alone; once a spouse has died the bond totally disappears)
  • Is essentially different than the common motherhood or fatherhood of the baptized faithful since it is a commitment of a specific woman to a specific man

The Catholic Church, from its very inception, has been under attack for these teachings.  Licentious Rome was all for divorce.  Polygamy, polyandry, adultery, and other sins against the bond of marriage were and continue to be quite common.  The most challenging dogma is about indissolubility of consummated sacramental marriages.  All major religions other than the Catholic Church teach that under certain circumstances, the consummated sacramental marriage can be dissolved.  Many speculate that it was not so much the primacy of the Pope or the stance on consubstantiality that led to the rift between the Catholics and the Orthodox, but the teaching on divorce with the Catholics claiming indissolubility and the Orthodox claiming dissolubility of consummated sacramental marriages.  People are very passionate when it comes to sexual matters, and we live in an age of “temporary marriages” and other aberrations.

Sacred Virginity

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that sacred virgins (female virgins who have received the Consecration to a life of Virginity from their bishop) have an ontological bond between the virgin and Christ.  Here are some facts about this bond:

  • Has ontological existence (it is based in metaphysical reality and not just moral or legal)
  • Comes into existence when the Sacramental of Consecrated Virginity is conferred upon the woman
  • Is restricted to baptized females who are virgins
  • Is indissoluble (nothing can dissolve it; virgins can be virgins in Hell)
  • Is different from the common priesthood and bridehood of the faithful

The sacred virgin’s bond, just like the bond of the priesthood and of marriage, does not come about simply by her fiat, but by the ministry of another (in marriage this is a mutual conferral).  The Church teaches that it is an indissoluble nuptial bond, which means that it cannot be dissolved by anyone.   While it may come as a surprise to some, Martin Luther was not the first person to think that consecrated life, and in particular, consecrated virginity or consecrated chastity was worthless, or even against Christian principles.  Jovinianus was one of the first to erroneously claim that all lifestyles (marriage, digamy, virginity, widowhood, etc.) were all to be given the same and equal reward in Heaven.

Because there are people who dispute these aspects of all three of these vocations with ontological bonds in the Catholic Church, no comments will be permitted that make it clear that documents such as Pastores dabo vobis, The Council of Trent Session 24, the Rite of Consecration to a Life of Virginity, and Vita Consecrata have not been read and understood.   A working knowledge of theological terms (such as vinculum) and their significance, as well as ecclesiastical Latin may be necessary to fully understand the full import of the Church’s writings.  Any comments not in keeping with these documents will be deleted or edited.

(c) 2013 by Therese Ivers, JCL

All rights reserved.


Posted in Consecrated Life, Consecrated Virgins, Holy Orders, Marriage, priesthood | 5 Comments