As a Christian and a theologian, I take a keen interest in the involvement of different denominations in charity and service to society. Christian denominations are known to take the lead in running charity programs. Among the most common of these are orphanages. Last summer, I visited an orphanage run by the Catholic diocese of my hometown. My concern was the future of orphanages and the role of nuns and priests amidst the global move to eliminate them. The Priest confirmed support for the move and shared details of their future in caring for orphans. While teaching the theology class on Society’s Response to Special Groups last week, a student asked whether nuns still work in orphanages. Having visited the orphanage and extensively engaged the Priest and the nuns on the matter, I had a straight answer to this question. So, do nuns work in orphanages?
Nuns still work in orphanages. Nuns take oaths of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and part of their responsibilities is obeying the call to take care of the orphaned. As traditionally, orphanages were the ideal centers for the execution of this mandate, many of them still exist despite the new push to have them eliminated and replaced with a solution that is deemed more human and beneficial to the orphans.
I invite you to continue reading this article and find out the position of nuns and priests when it comes to orphanages. You will also discover the new global move on orphanages and the role of the Catholic Church in the same.
Are There Still Catholic Orphanages?
Several Catholic orphanages still exist presently. Traditionally, orphanages were the conventional way in which orphans could be taken care of from a centralized and controlled environment. Many churches and Christian denominations embrace taking care of orphans as a fundamental doctrine and essential for Christian living. This led to the establishment of many orphanages, even by the Catholic Church. Part of the duties of nuns and priests is being at the forefront in taking care of orphans. Amidst the unanimous move to phase orphanages out, some of the existing ones have still been retained while a solution that conforms to the current move is sought.
What Happened To All The Orphanages?
Currently, new models for caring for children are being developed to replace conventional orphanages. Research has exposed many setbacks associated with institutional care for children, which have a massive negative bearing on the life of a child. Some of the negatives associated with orphanages included neglect, sexual and physical abuse. Children tend to lack access to stable and consistent relationships, which consequently affects their brain development and results in poor mental health, poor academic trends, and highly inconsistent behavioral stability.
The unanimous move targets the elimination of orphanages, which have been branded as damaging institutions. The alternative is offering the children a family-like setup where they can experience better attention and love as well as a balance in their growth. Institutions responsible for the implementation of this move carefully select orphanages to be closed based on several factors, such as risk levels and abuse cases reported. They then initiate the process of shutting them down. The implementation of this new model will eventually phase out all orphanages.
Are Catholic Priests And Nuns Allowed To Adopt Children?
No, Catholic priests and nuns are not allowed to adopt children. The vows associated with the office of the Priest and a nun bars them from attachment to a family and confines them to dedicated service to society as a whole. Adopting a child brings in a dimension of ownership of the child and, consequently, emotional attachment that is created by the parent-child bond. This goes against their vows which require them to detach from family and commit to serving God.
Overseeing institutions such as orphanages is well within their scope as it is a constituent of community service, showing love and care to the general society and not close family with whom they are emotionally entangled.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.