1. They’re not actually ‘consecrated women.’
They are not consecrated virgins. The Catechism tells us that “Consecrated Virgins” are
"Virgins who, committed to the holy plan of following Christ more closely, are consecrated to God by the diocesan bishop according to the approved liturgical rite, are betrothed mystically to Christ, the Son of God, and are dedicated to the service of the Church."462 By this solemn rite (Consecratio virginum), the virgin is "constituted . . . a sacred person, a transcendent sign of the Church's love for Christ, and an eschatological image of this heavenly Bride of Christ and of the life to come.”(923)”Regnum Christi Consecrated Women do not participate in this rite. They do not make vows before a bishop. They are not actually 'consecrated' in any real sense.
They are not religious sisters. The ‘consecration’ they are making is on par with a consecration to Mary or the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It should be for devotional puposes only. But, in practice,
2. The Regnum Christi Consecrated Women live in imitation of religious sisters, yet with none of the protections of religious life.
Regnum Christi Consecrated Women lack a sufficient discernment period. Most religious orders require a period of mutual discernment followed by postulancy and than novitiate.
Regnum Christi Consecrated Women lack the protections of normal religious life. Normal religious life is a contract between the sister and her order. The sister has a responsibility to her community, but the community has an obligation to feed, clothe and educate her, and to care for her in sickness and old age. Regnum Christi Consecrated Women have none of the guarantees. They can be sent home at any time, for any reason. They exist outside of canon law and so do not have the protections of canon law.
Regnum Christi Consecrated Women lack a clear rule. During the CDF’s investigation of the Legion of Christ, the Regnum Christi Consecrated Women discovered that most of the ‘rules’ they were living under had never been approved by the Vatican.
3. The Vatican is about to launch a Visitation of the Regnum Christi Consecrated Women.
Their status within the Church and their relationship to the Legion of Christ is irregular. Girls who join today have no idea what the group will look like in 5 years.
4. The Regnum Christi Consecrated Women were founded by an evil man for a sinful purpose.
As a result of the CDF investigation, The Vatican has declared Fr. Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi movement, to be a man without scruples or religious sentiment. He was also a criminal, a child molestor, a drug addict and an embezzler. He is not a good model for a community of religious women, no matter what their canonical status.
Maciel founded the Regnum Christi Consecrated Women so that they could work in dioceses where the local bishop had banned the Legion of Christ. This is why he insisted that they remain lay women. However, the laity are required to obey the commands of their local bishops. So these women, when they work in a diocese where the Legion is banned, are actually committing a sin of disobedience. This disobedience is encouraged and applauded by their superiors. This is NOT an appropriate life for a young woman interested in serving Christ.
What should you do if your daughter insists on joining the Regnum Christi Consecrated Women?
If she’s under 18, forbid her. Do not let her have contact with the Regnum Christi Consecrated Women, especially for “Formation Dialogue” or as “spiritual directors” They do not care about her long term spiritual well-being, they only want to get her into their group.
Withdraw your daughter from Challenge and EYCD. Encourage her to join activities with people who DON’T have an ulterior motive. It doesn’t matter how ‘nice’ the Regnum Christi Consecrated Women seem. Mormons are nice too, but you wouldn’t let your daughter seek religious advice from them.
Take your daughter on retreat with actual an actual religious order. Many good orders offer teenage girl or even mother/daughter retreats. Many girls are drawn to the Regnum Christi Consecrated Women because they have no experience with authentic religious life in the Catholic Church.
Check out the CMSWR and find a community near you that offers retreats. Encourage her to investigate many different orders, so that she can better discern her vocation.
Have her read the Vatican Communique and as much information about the life of Maciel and the treatment of Regnum Christi Consecrated Women that she can handle at her age. She needs to know what she is asking to join. The Life After RC website has some good links for more information.
Pray with and for her. Try to take her to daily Mass and weekly adoration. Give her time to sit quietly with Jesus.
Get her thinking about college. Most orders won’t take a girl before she’s 21 or 22. If she thinks she’s called to religious life, she should think about her education. Take her on college visits. Some of the lure of the Regnum Christi Consecrated Women’s academy might be due to the boarding-school atmosphere- it’s pretty glamorous for a teenaged girl. Give her something better to daydream about.
Pray like crazy.
If your daughter is over 18 and wants to join the Regnum Christi Consecrated Women, you have fewer options. Chances are, by the time she mentions it to you she’s already been sucked in and made up her mind.
Try to get her to read information. Pray. Know that her mail, email and phone calls will be monitored once she moves in with the Regnum Christi Consecrated Women.
Contact the local bishop and see if he has any resources that can help you.
Write the CDF and the papal delegate. Have her read the communiqué.
See if you can get her to wait, at least a few weeks or a few months to ‘tie up loose ends.’ Groups like the Regnum Christi Consecrated Women succeed in recruiting because they don’t give the target a chance to pray, reflect and listen to the Holy Spirit before extracting lifelong ‘promises.’ If you can get her to wait, and to hear testimony from ex-members, you might just save her years of pain and heartache.
Your daughter is in a perilous position. Pray for her constantly. Ask the intercession of Mary, and for the protection of St. Michael and her guardian angel. If you act with love and wisdom now, you may save her from a terrible mistake.