Since joining this website and several others to do with the Catholic faith (I am wondering about starting RCIA) I have made some nice email friends who I chat to through emails ans Skype and who encourage me. Personally I don’t think I have a vocation to religious life, but one of my new friends told me she was discerning with a small order and I was pleased for her.
But more she told me, the more I think it is strange. (Sorry if I don’t express myself correctly, it’s late here and I’ve not been well.) They all live in one house and wear a habit (she showed me photos) and work with the poor in the local area but don’t have any regard for the Pope (they say they don’t need his permission to do good works and he shouldn’t control their lives as they all have consciences) and don’t go to a normal Catholic church. She said they have their own chapel and priest who comes to them.
I asked if they have a website but she said no. She emailed me some details about the “founders” and it seems are brother and sister, the priest and lady “Mother” who runs the house and all the nuns.
This doesn’t seem right, does it? My friend said she heard of them as they live in the next town to her and she is considering going to live with them.
But they can’t be nuns if just one priest (probably not a genuine priest?) decides they are to be called nuns. They don’t even seem to be part of SSPX or other groups, just a house of women.
I want my friend to be happy and she always sounds happy when we chat on Skype about joining them but is this an unhealthy group to be involved with? She is in Eastern Europe. Are there other groups like this “order”? If it doesn’t have any outside input, is there a risk the women could be abused or exploited in some way?
Excuse my ignorance of any Catholic teachings on religious orders/priests etc.