Virginity is ‘luminous and fruitful’, says Pope

May 15th, 2008 - 10:48 pm ICT by admin  

Vatican City, May 15 (DPA) Pope Benedict XVI praised Thursday the Catholic women who have vowed to remain virgins, a choice which is “as luminous and fruitful in the eyes of the faith as it is obscure and futile in the eyes of the world”. Virginity “recalls the transitory reality of life on earth and an anticipation of good things in the future,” Benedict told representatives of the Ordo Virginum, or Order of Consecrated Virgins, who met him at the Vatican.

The Order, which has a worldwide membership of some 3,000 “consecrated virgins” - lay women as opposed to nuns or other members of religious orders - is holding a week-long congress in Rome.

Benedict, in his remarks to the delegates, quoted the theme chosen for the congress: “Consecrated Virginity lived in the World: A Gift for the Church and in the Church”.

A woman is eligible to become a consecrated virgin if she has never married nor had sexual relations and “who by age, prudence, and good character is deemed suitable for dedicating herself to a life of chastity in the service of the Church and of her neighbour,” according to the website of the US branch of Order.

Once consecrated by her local bishop, she is responsible to pray for her diocese and clergy, while continuing to live an otherwise normal life, the website said.

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