Concerns on the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE)

A former novice of the Institute of the incarnate Word, (IVE – Instituto del Verbo Encarnado) wrote a letter summarizing his concern about this particular religious institution. There are several blogs and facebook pages that describe the dubious and abusive practices of the hierarchy, superiors of the Institute of the Incarnate Word. The IVE history is an interesting saga with a mix of everything: an abusive founder Carlos Miguel Buela which was requested by Pope Benedict XVI to step down as IVE General Superior; a religious organization that has been intervened a couple of times by the Vatican sending Pontifical Commissaries and resulted in closing down in Argentina; political manipulation using the divided Cardinals and Bishops differences, using Vatican insiders, which resulted in approval of the Institute as diocesan religious Institute in Segni, Italy; a high number of ordinations and a high number of defections of priest and religious females and males; several members have written describing the manipulation and abuse of power within the IVE particularly from the Institute superiors… It took 40 years to former Legionaries to be heard about the abuse within the Legion of Christ… How long is going to take to finally intervene and change the structure of abuse in the IVE.

Here is a letter from an american novice and his experience in Segni, Italy.

Published by:

We received the below email with permission to publish and it is so thorough we are publishing it below unedited and in its entirety.   Our impression from this mail is one of familiarity.  The IVE has the same problems worldwide.  These aren’t isolated experiences.  

(Photo: P. Carlos Walker, IVE General Superior)
I just want to let you know of my experience with IVE as a former novice and seminarian in Rome (Segni and Montefiscone). I found the Institute to be very arrogant and there was a distinct lack of charity there. The Institute believe they are the only faithful order in the Church and that everyone else (especially diocesan priests) are unfaithful, or at least lacking in something. They will constantly criticise other orders within the Church. The following are some of my concerns with the Institute in point form:

•  There is no clear distinction between the interior and exterior forum – superiors will frequently act as spiritual directors and confessors to postulants, novices and less regularly seminarians. This is in breach of what the Church lays out for priestly formation.

•  The Institute frequently breaks its own constitution and spirituality guidelines. For example, the constitutios state that the novice master and seminary rector muct be a minimum of 5 years fully professed and be at least 30 years old. The last 3 novice masters in the Italian province do not meet these basic requirements. The present novice master was appointed just months after his ordination.
•  The constitutions and spirituality state that Sundays and solemnities must be celebrated as feasts but we work every Sunday; in fact in my time with the Institute we worked every Sunday and even on Christmas day and Easter Sunday which I found ridiculous.
•  The Institute take a 4th vow of slavery to Our Lady but in practice there is no clear evidence of this devotion. In novitiate we did pray the rosary as a community daily but in the seminary it was left up to the discretion of each seminarian. But other than this there was no clear visible signs of our committment to live lives of slavery and devotion to our Blessed Mother.
•  The first thing to be sacrificed in the daily routine was Eucharistic adoration – on days where things were busy, or we were travelling somewhere, or something unexpected cropped up, the first thing to be cancelled was adoration. I’ve lost count of the amount of times adoration was cancelled or shortened ven though the constitutions and spirituality state we must have at least an hour of adoration daily. Interestingly, I cannot recall work ever being cancelled, although I can remember many instances of it being extended.
•  When we travelled to St. Peter’s for papal Masses we never queued along with the other members of the public, seminarians and priests queuing. We were always told by our superiors to slip into the queue close to the front. This often led to friction with people who had been queuing for several hours. I was always very embarrassed by this.
•  We were told not to speak to women (even our own Sisters within the Institute) and we were frequently told in talks that the greatest obstacle to our vocation was our family. Sigue leyendo

The Next Pope Will Be God’s Choice . . . Right?

by Jimmy Akin Thursday, February 28, 2013 9:23 (Article in National Catholic Register)

It’s common for Catholics to say that a newly elected pope is “God’s choice” or that, the Holy Spirit chooses the new pope.

There’s a sense in which this is true.

But does that mean that we can just sit back and assume the ideal candidate will be elected?

If so, why do we need to pray for the election of the new pope?

And what has Pope Benedict XVI had to say about the matter?

The Mystery of Providence

Since God is omnipotent, he could stop any particular thing in the universe from happening. Therefore, if something does happen, it is only because God allowed it to happen.

If God chose to allow it, anything that does happen could–in this broadest sense–be described as God’s choice.

But that does not mean it is what God prefers.

There are a lot of things in history that God allowed but that would not have been his “first choice.”

Take the fall of man and our redemption by Christ. In one sense, that’s clearly God’s choice. But we cannot ascribe Adam’s sin to God as his ideal choice.

How man’s free will relates to God’s providence is complex, and we should be careful of simplistic solutions.

God Guides the Church

We can be confident of the general principle that God guides his Church. This is something we have biblical assurance of.

But his guidance does not prevent human free will from operating, and that means there is the potential for humans to abuse their free will.

That applies to the college of cardinals, too, even when they are electing a pope. They do not lose their free will.

Human Failure in History

We have been very fortunate in recent times to have a series of very holy, wise popes, but this has not always been the case.

If you look at history, certain popes have been real scoundrels, like Pope Benedict IX (first elected in 1032).

He was elected pope when still a boy. His reign was scandalous. He insisted upon monetary compensation in order to get him to resign. And then he didn’t stay resigned. He was the only man to ever hold the papacy more than once. (In fact, he may have held it as many as three times.)

Without going into all the scandals attributed to him, the Catholic Encyclopedia states: “He was a disgrace to the Chair of Peter.”

What Has Pope Benedict XVI Said?

Pope Benedict XVI frankly acknowledged the fact that cardinals can elect sub-optimal popes in an interview with German television back in 1997.

Sigue leyendo

A Vatican Spring?

Published: February 27, 2013 – TÜBINGEN, Germany

THE Arab Spring has shaken a whole series of autocratic regimes. With the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, might not something like that be possible in the Roman Catholic Church as well — a Vatican Spring?

Of course, the system of the Catholic Church doesn’t resemble Tunisia or Egypt so much as an absolute monarchy like Saudi Arabia. In both places there are no genuine reforms, just minor concessions. In both, tradition is invoked to oppose reform. In Saudi Arabia tradition goes back only two centuries; in the case of the papacy, 20 centuries.

Yet is that tradition true? In fact, the church got along for a millennium without a monarchist-absolutist papacy of the kind we’re familiar with today.

It was not until the 11th century that a “revolution from above,” the “Gregorian Reform” started by Pope Gregory VII, left us with the three enduring features of the Roman system: a centralist-absolutist papacy, compulsory clericalism and the obligation of celibacy for priests and other secular clergy.

The efforts of the reform councils in the 15th century, the reformers in the 16th century, the Enlightenment and the French Revolution in the 17th and 18th centuries and the liberalism of the 19th century met with only partial success. Even the Second Vatican Council, from 1962 to 1965, while addressing many concerns of the reformers and modern critics, was thwarted by the power of the Curia, the church’s governing body, and managed to implement only some of the demanded changes.

Sigue leyendo