[quote=“the_coppersmith, post:21, topic:458177”]In any case, religious are accountable only to their Ordinary or to the Holy Father. The rest of us owe them the respect they are entitled to by being in the state of perfection of consecrated life, striving to follow the Evangelical Counsels of Christ. If they make mistakes or embrace things that are problematic, that’s for their superiors, locally and in Rome, to deal with. Badmouthing them will not help a bit.
Agreed. We can’t judge the individual religious, or any other person, in terms of their personal good or evil. Furthermore, the religious orders have different strengths and different weaknesses, so generalizing needs caution.
That said, we can generalize to some extent as to the public witness of religious communities. Where I live, some institutions that are heavily secularized still advertise as “Franciscan” or “Jesuit”. Parents and students looking for a Catholic education often enroll based on their previous history. They end up paying Catholic school tuition for what is in effect mostly a public school education. Alumni give money, based on the past, because they are contacted by religious, who pretend the school is still Catholic and Franciscan, or Jesuit.
It is not “badmouthing”, but it is prudence, for us to point out to people the current reality of these institutions. I do not blame the current religious employees for secularizing those institutions, but it is fair to point out they are participating in something not quite honest by keeping their label on those schools. This is one reason why so many Orders are dying, they have no credibility.
It is not wrong, but charitable, for laity to inform other laity when things are different from what they are advertised to be.