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February 7, 2014

Should Ex-Religious receive the Consecration of Virgins

While both OCV [ Ordo Consecrationis Virginis ] and OPR [Ordo Professionis Religiosae ] have a profession and a prayer of blessing or consecration,

[1] In the OCV what is specific is the charismatic dimension  in the Prayer of Consecration [ ancient Church theology gives greater weight to the element of Consecration rather than the element of Blessing in the solemn prayer said by the bishop ].

She is consecrated mainly by the Church .

[2] In the OPR what is specific is the ascetic dimension in the Profession of vows [ the post Vatican II rite gives greater weight to the element of Blessing rather than on the element of Consecration in the prayer that can be said by a simple priest ].

The consecration happens mainly when he / she professes vows according to the constitution of the Institute.

Some theologians argue that in both OCV and OPR the consecration happens due to the Prayer of consecration/ blessing. [ref. Stillsong hermitage blogsite]

Argument : If this is true, then ex-religious do not need to receive the consecration of virgins because the grace of consecration they had 'supposedly received' during the ceremony of their religious profession [ Post Vatican II rite] would remain in spite of the dispensation from their vows.

So for an Ex-religious who already has the grace she needs to continue living  the evangelical counsels of religious life as an individual, it would be sufficient to renew her vows privately. Or maybe the Church can allow the public profession of vows for Ex-religious by creating another Rite without the Prayer of Blessing or Consecration.

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