Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pope Benedict Dissolves Dissident Branch of St. John Sisters

(Vatican)  The Secretary of State of the Holy See has announced in a decree of January 10, 2013 that Pope Benedict has abolished the association of the faithful with the name Sisters of St John and of St. Dominick.  This dealt with a dissident branch of the Johannites.  A part of the Soeurs contemplatives de Saint-Jean, the contemplative sisters of St. John, which is a branch of the Johannine Community, had separated themselves from the community.

The contemplative female branch of St. John was founded on the 8th December, 1982 by P. Marie-Dominique Philippe.  The Archbishop of Lyon established it on March 25th, 1994 as a Diocesan Congregation of Right.  It shoujld not be confused with the Apostolic Sisters of St. John, the other female branch of the Community of St. John.

In 2007 the contemplative sisters had 342 members, of which 98 had taken solemn vows and 134 temporary vows.  The order numbers 40 establishments in Europe, America, Africa and Asia.  In the German speaking areas there is one house in Marchegg in Austria.

The decree of dissolution proceeded from years of internal conflicts about the founding charism.  The Church's expected reforms were not accepted by part of the Sisters.  The conflict escalated and led to a break of a  part of the Sisters from the Order. Because of this, the cloister in Marchegg has stood empty since the summer of 2012.  The dissident sisters founded a new order in Spanish Cordoba with the name of the Sisters of St. John and St. Dominick.

On February 24th, 2012 Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Henri Brincard as the Papal delegate for the sisters.  With that the Holy See undertook the direct leadership of the community.  Shortly after the Papal delegate reached his concluding report and was received by the Pope in a personal audience, Pope Benedict XVI dissolved the Sisters of Saint John and St. Dominick because of serious offenses against Church Order "with immediate effect".  The community may not then constitute itself in any new form.

The Johannine Community has published a statement on the decision of the Pope on January 25th:
Given the difficult situation, which is taking place with the community of the Contemplative Sisters of St John, inform you, about the brothers of St John, in accordance with the Superior General of the other two congregations of the family of St. John, that the Holy Father, which wants to preserve the unity of the family of St. John, in an audience transcript tells you that he has decided to dissolve the institution of the "Sisters of Saint John and the Saint Dominic," which was brought into life in June 2012 in Cordoba, Spain. Its members came mostly out of the community of contemplative sisters of St. John. 
The Community of the Brothers of Saint John wants to affirm, through its Superior General, Father Thomas,  in humble obedience, its communion with the Holy Father. The Brothers of St. John in close community of contemplative sisters continue in their prayers. They invite the Oblates and friends of the community to work together with them to trust the Holy Father, united to the intercession of the Virgin Mary.
Link to katholisches...

18 comments:

  1. So is their "sin" one of not worshipping "THE Council" with all it's errors or have they actually done something that GOD does not approve of? What do they do that is akin to the pure EVIL done by the Erie Benedictines for example? Now if ever there was a coven...er...order of religious witches...um...I mean women...that should be THROWN OUT ON THEIR UN-VEILED HEADS it is they.

    So really...just what DID these contemplative nuns do that merits this action? I guess I am suspicious given that every un-Catholic and anti-Catholic word and deed is done within the walls of the Church usually gets a pass and only those who remain Faithful get the persecution. Without more information I can only assess this based on the deeds of who oppose them.

    I am going to try to dig into this on my own but if anyone knows the answer already I would sure appreciate it.

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    1. That's a very good question and it deserves an answer.

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    2. Anon:

      Suspicion was also my very first reaction to this. I'll await developments.

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  2. Here are the "dissidents" to...whatever. http://www.johannesgemeinschaft.at/mehr/ Pretty scary alright.

    Compare them to...this...whatever they are supposed to be.: http://www.eriebenedictines.org/bfp Such fine examples. Why just look at their prioress! http://www.eriebenedictines.org/prioress



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    1. The branch being suppressed is located in Cordoba, which seems to have caused the location in Austria to be abandoned.

      The article describes the new branch as "dissident", but there's still no indication as to what that means.

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  3. Eponymous Flower report of their perpetual vows last September. http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2012/09/15-sisters-of-community-of-st-john-took.html

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    1. Thank you for posting that! They certainly don't LOOK like dissidents.

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    2. How about these?: http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2012/08/energetic-female-religious-running-out.html

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  4. I know these sisters well. They are joyous,holy young women who love God. They spend their time predominantly in prayer, adoration and in the study of the truth. It seems that like Jesus they too are to be stripped, humiliated and persecuted. May this suffering ultimately be for the greater glory of God.

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  5. I also know the sisters of this order well. My family was closely involved with the brothers and sisters of St. John throughout the 90s. After the honeymoon period, what I saw of the internal realities of the sisters and brothers was frightening. There was an obvious pattern of pushing individuals with severe moral and psychological issues into positions of authority with virtually no discernment and training. Ironically, the Community touted this practice as one of the great "wisdoms" of their founder. Many families were weakened and destroyed by their lack of diligence, including my own. I can say that my entire family's faith and my family itself was destroyed by the horrific experiences at the hands of these wolves in sheeps clothing. The habits and expressions of piety make great cover for these types of predators.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear about the suffering that you and your family went through. Know that you're not alone. Have you looked into a support group? Might I suggest a community like Regain (A group of former Legionaries)? Or another site such as http://www.life-after-rc.com and http://www.avref.fr/fr/Accueil.html?

      My heart goes out to you, and I pray for you.

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  6. My experience of these sisters is in complete contrast to the previous contributor. Infact our families faith has been strengthened and inspired by their example.

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    1. I'd be interested in finding out what alleged behaviors led to people's families being destroyed. I'd have to imagine they were criminal.

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    2. http://golias-news.fr/article5690.html

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  7. I have been familiar with these sisters for over six years. I found them to be a light for our Holy Church... So many vocations ...young women from every corner of the earth ... dedicating their whole lives to God. And this in a very secular time, when the fostering of vocations seems more challenging than ever. Yet the novice mistress and the foundress who nurtured and protected these vocations have been vilified. They are not gurus, this is not a sect. I believe that the darkness will not extinguish this beautiful light.

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  8. These sisters have now been alowed to separate from the Community of St John with the blessing of the Pope. Praise God

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  9. Thank God for their rebirth as the Sisters of Mary the Mornig Star! May Our Lady continue to bless and protect them.

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