If they were marriage vows, the commitment would be life-long


From the mailbag:

Pete - I was told by my spiritual director that my commitment to RC is just like wedding vows. Is this true? Is there a way I can break them?

No, your commitment to RC is not like wedding vows. If the two were similar, then you would take actual vows when joining RC or the 3gf, and these vows would be binding for life. This means RC could not determine suddenly that a member no longer has a vocation to the movement. (The life-long commitment goes both ways).

If your RC spiritual director is telling you that your commitment is similar to marriage, then you need to report him/her to your local Ordinary (diocesan Bishop, vicar general, episcopal vicar). Not only is this poor theology, but it is something that the Church may wish to look into for potential coercion. (Not that one's commitment to RC changes one's state in life.)

As far as any promises or commitment you made in RC, simply discuss them with your parish priest or whoever hears confessions at your local parish. He can remove them. Additionally, you can also write to your local ordinary, asking that they be removed. Your letter doesn't have to be any longer than a page, and should include the following: a sentence or two stating when you joined, a paragraph or two explaining why you want to leave, a sentence asking him to dispense you from any promises or commitment you made to the movement.


This is what is so insidious about LC/RC and its power to control its members. They want to have it both ways: telling a person that their vocation has been decided by God from all eternity and then when they're not useful to the Legion anymore, they're told that they don't have a vocation. Well, which is it?!

This is no different than the Protestant understanding of "once saved, always saved". If you walk down the aisle and accept Jesus as your Personal Lord and Savior, you're saved and your salvation is eternally secured. However, if you decide you want to become a Catholic later in your walk with Jesus, "well you were never really saved in the first place."

There are so many non-sequiturs here. If the commitment to RC or 3gf is just like a wedding vow, then no one can tell a member or consecrated that they don't have a vocation. Or could it be that vocations to LC/RC are transitory and valid only insofar as an SD or superior decides you are still useful in building MM's kingdom?

What other conclusion can we draw from this fuzzy thinking? If the LC/RC never make a mistake, if they have the charism to discern a given person has a vocation and then discern that he/she doesn't have a vocation, we have to conclude that it was God who made the mistake in calling from all eternity this poor soul to a vocation that wasn't a vocation after all.

Last time I checked there were only 7 Sacraments. Membership in the LC/RC isn't one of them! Much like membership in the Opus Dei or various confraternities, etc...... aren't sacraments either.
I have often encountered, even on parish level, a serious overemphasis on voluntary activities - the impression created was that of either guilt if you don't volunteer or a worthy, even more important, substitute of your other vocation if you do.
That is absolutely outrageous.


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This page contains a single entry by Pete Vere published on September 13, 2009 10:13 PM.

Vocations are not to be coerced, states canon law was the previous entry in this blog.

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