Marl. Religion: against a background of sexual abuse and abuse of power, the community of the Word of Life dissolved

A departure that shocks and will leave a void. (File photo) ©LPB

Founded in 1986 and present for 32 years in bayeto hamlet of Andecythe Community of the Word of Life is a private association of the faithful. It brings together families living in community around people who dedicate their lives to celibacy such as nuns Where nuns. Of the priests were ordained in this community, priests who will henceforth be transferred to the dioceses under the orders of their bishops.

32 years of presence in the multicentennial abbey

The community of the word of life brought together a large number of brothers and sisters and families adhering to the same spirituality in the movement of charismatic renewal. These are all those communities born of younger inspiration emerging from the ancient orders such as the Benedictines, Dominicans, Cistercians or Franciscans for example. Many of these communities were created in France in the 1980s. Among them are the Eucharistein community, the Beatitudes community, the Word of Life community, the Emmanuel community and a few others.

It was in 1990, barely a few years after the founding of this community, that the first sisters and the first families arrived in the diocese of Châlons. Monseigneur Lucien Bardonne, the bishop of Châlons, welcomes the community in place and place of nuns of another aging order. Founded in 1131, the place welcomed the first nuns. The monastery of yesteryear no longer exists and it is now an 18th century castlee century which replaces the old installations.

Terrible suffering for religious

It is now wounded men and women religious who must resolve to accept the decision of Cardinal Jozef de Kesel who announced to the community the definitive dissolution on 1er July 2023. The Bishop of Châlons, Mgr. François Touvet becomes apostolic administrator. The diocese loses a beautiful community.

It is a shock for many faithful of the diocese and more particularly among those who attended the community. The events, summer festivals and religious celebrations were popular and attracted a large number of faithful in search of lively and young celebrations.

“This fervor and this energy are no more, alas! in the parishes”, testifies a former faithful of the celebrations of the community. “The marvelous songs called for meditation and accompanied in a happy and jovial celebration. The sisters have always had the gift of bringing this joy. They had just built a beautiful brand new chapel. »

Sexual abuse and abuse of power

If the bishop of Châlons recognizes the suffering that can overwhelm the members of the community, he applies the directives of the Church and will continue on the path of dissolution. Serious problems have marked the course of the community since its creation and for more than 20 years now, the Church has been keeping a close eye on these dysfunctions. This is not a decision taken lightly or hastily, but after years of investigation.

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Created in 1986, the community was invited to settle in the Cistercian abbey of Aubazines before spreading throughout France and then in Europe. However, internal anger builds and hundreds of members leave the community, not failing to attract the attention of the Church. From 2003, investigations were opened and pointed to serious breaches, including the betrayal of the secrecy of confession or cases of sexual abuse. The Bishop of Chalons keeps no secrets and reveals the reasons for the dissolution: “Sexual abuse, excessive spiritualization, phenomena of control, lack of realism, abuse of power. The reasons are not lacking, alas! to turn all the warning lights to red.

The houses close one after the other

Community houses will close one after another. Aubazines in 2010, La Valette du Var in 2015, Josselin in 2021 and, in 2023, it will be the turn of Annecy Abbey to see the last part of the community leave, which will cease to exist after 37 years.

In a few months, the last occupants will leave the castle which belongs to the bishopric of Châlons. The future of the place is not yet decided and it will be after the departure of the last members of the community that the future will take shape.

Sad epilogue of a beautiful spiritual and religious adventure and great suffering for all those who have been faithful to the Gospel and who are the victims of the evil founders. The diocese is losing a beautiful energy.

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Marl. Religion: against a background of sexual abuse and abuse of power, the community of the Word of Life dissolved

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