What does “open violation of chastity” mean?
I don’t know the context but to me if one were said to have been in “open violation of chastity” I would figure they had carried out impure behaviors and were forthright of having done so.
The reason I asked was that I read that one of the requirements of a consecrated virgin is that they had not made an “open violation of chastity.”
How “forthright” do you mean? Do you mean telling at least one person (who isn’t a priest in a confessional) or do you mean telling just about anybody?
The phrase is found on EWTN’s website: “A woman living in the world who has never married or lived in open violation of chastity”
So, as contrasted to marriage, which is a holy estate but makes one ineligible for consecrted virginiity, an “open violation of chastity” is sexual intercourse outside marriage: fornication, cohabitation, etc.
It doesn’t mean whether or not the act is publicly known or whether or not you’ve told someone about it.
It is the fact of having engaged in the act that disqualifies a person.
So, does it only refer to sins which involve sexual intercourse as 1ke said?
To be a consecrated virgin, one must actually be a virgin. If you are considering consecrated virginity, you should contact the association for guidance, questions, and direction to a spiritual advisor.
Yes, I know one must actually be a virgin and I am.
I’m still having trouble understanding what “open violation of chastity” means. Does it mean committing any sin against chastity, or only if it involves sexual intercourse?
Thank you for the link.
Quoting from that link:
The 1970 Prænotanda to the Rite of Consecration to a Life of Virginity states the following requirements for women living in the world to receive the consecration:
that they have never married or lived in open violation of chastity;
that by their, prudence, and universally approved character they give assurance of perseverance in a life of chastity dedicated to the service of the church and of their neighbor.
that they be admitted to this Consecration by the Bishop who is the local Ordinary.*
The consecrated virgin … has the gift of physical virginity to offer to Christ, as she has not knowingly and deliberately engaged in sexual relations at any time during her life. [It is important to note that women who may not have the gift of physical virginity to offer to Christ may still make some form of personal consecration to Christ or pursue another form of Consecrated Life, such as being a member of a religious institute or a secular institute, or living an eremetical life.] A woman who has engaged in sexual relations before Baptism, or a woman whose marriage has been annulled, is not eligible to receive the consecration of virgins. In cases in which the loss of physical virginity was not intended by the woman, for example in case of rape or involuntary incest, she remains eligible for the consecration of virgins.
My understanding of that is that the candidate must not have voluntarily engaged in sex. In addition, she needs to have shown that she can persevere in a life of good chastity. I suppose “open violation of chastity” would be any behavior which caused public scandal e.g twerking on a national television broadcast.
This is correct. A history of stripping as well, even with having never allowed a man to touch you, would still invalidate you for consecrated virginity. Please share specific concerns with a priest though; they would have to be the ones to walk you through the process anyway.
This seems very sensible. He would have a good idea of what the phrase means, since it seems fairly common in Church-speak.
If the OP doesn’t have a spiritual director, she may want to consider getting one. The USACV recommends several years guidance from a spiritual director before applying to be a consecrated virgin.
I asked my spiritual director. He doesn’t know. I’ve been reading a packet on consecrated virginity of which this is an excerpt:
“The requirement of never living publicly or manifestly in a state contrary to chastity
guarantees the integrity of the consecration. In other words, the consecration is for a woman
who has preserved her virginity and offers her virginity to Christ and His Church for
consecration. Public or manifest acts are committed with another and, therefore, are clearly
known by another, even if by only one individual. An act contrary to chastity in what pertains to
the state of virginity is the conscious and deliberate giving of one’s body for sexual union by
which the state of virginity is lost. Once the virgin has knowingly and willingly given up her
virginity, even by a single act, she no longer has the gift of virginity to offer to Christ and the
The wording confused me.
If anyone can understand exactly what the excerpt means, in regards to open violation of chastity, please post a response as soon as you can. I am anxious about this.
I’ve been searching all over the internet for the past several days trying to figure this out myself. The question seems to be: what is considered virginity in the eyes of those deciding who can be consecrated? How pure does a person have to be?
When I read that a woman must not have committed any public acts against chastity I start thinking…well a person could take that so many different ways. If a married woman were to look at some random guy and allow herself to lust after him for a moment and then goes and tells her friend about it, the married lady has committed an act against chastity. In our culture we might think it’s okay for an unmarried woman to do the same thing, but really it is still an act against chastity. And the fact that the married woman told her friend makes it a public act against chastity. So, does such an action disqualify a person? What about kissing a boyfriend? What about inappropriate touching? The list goes on and on. When is when?
The bolded part of the quote you gave seems to say that virginity is lost when you have sexual intercourse with another person and so it is only after this has happened can a female not be able to be validly consecrated as a virgin. However, that does not jive with the theological definition of virginity. According to theology there are two fascets to virginity. The first is physical virginity, is about bodily integrity where a person has not had sex and so is still a virgin. A female can prove this virginity by being in-tact, whereas a male does not have any form of proof. The second is moral virginity where a person has not willfully given into any sexual pleasure at all ever, including lustful thoughts, and so is as pure as a person could possibly be.
IMO, for consecration as a virgin it seems that it is not required for a person to be morally virginal. She must not have been married, she must not have fornicated, she must not have committed the solitary sin. Essentially she can’t have had an orgasm. Also she cannot have made other lifestyle choices that would cause scandal if she were to become a consecrated virgin (having been a stripper, being a president of some organization that promotes values contrary to the Catholic concept of chastity, etc.). However that is only my opinion and I am not a canon lawyer or your bishop. Best to ask your bishop for clarification.