The IVE go to great lengths to present the image of a growing, joyful, orthodox order.  Unfortunately, this isn't quite the case.  Their seminaries are unhappy places with very questionable formation.  As a result they have an enormously high attrition rate among both the priests and seminarians.  Suffice to say that many are wounded.  

Outside of Argentina they have concealed this truth well, manufacturing an image of orthodoxy and piety.  So we felt a moral obligation to make these things known to the broader Catholic community in order to prevent more from being hurt and to help those who already have been.

We want people to know what they are getting into with the IVE. We think the Institute takes advantage of faithful Catholics and their children, so we want to give you the necessary tools and knowledge so you and yours don't get poor advice, get manipulated into joining, or feel trapped once inside.   In a nutshell, we want to give you the information we wish we had before we decided to enter the IVE.

It wasn't a simple decision to create this site. We would prefer to simply put it behind us and move on, but we feel a moral responsibility to make this information available to you for two reasons:

Firstif you are discerning your vocation you are especially vulnerable.  You are actively seeking God's will. You are open and accepting to what God puts in your path. You are looking for direction. Because of this, it's very easy for someone to take advantage of your desire to do good and to mislead or manipulate you for their own purposes.  

Secondthere is important, relevant information that the IVE will not tell you and that you could not previously find on the web.  Prior to this site, if you did a search on the "Institute of the Incarnate Word" in English you wouldn't find much beyond their own website, a wikipedia page written like an advertisement, and a few forum posts making nice, but superficial observations.  If you spoke with the IVE they would never be open about themselves and you would never have reason to question them.  We felt that, without this site, there was not enough information to make an informed, prudent, and prayerful decision to enter the IVE, so we acted.  

Third, the IVE have severe practical, theological, and institutional problems.  These aren't obvious at first glance - in part because so much is actively hidden - yet they are there.   These are problems that have harmed many a vulnerable person who was discerning their vocation with this order without full knowledge of the IVE's history or background.  

We hope the information and practical advice we give you will help you avoid being misled and instead help you make a free, informed choice to follow God in the state you have properly discerned.


We want to provide you with relevant, objective, information that will help you make informed, prudent decisions during your discernment. There are three main topics this site will cover:

#1 Recruiting and discernment at the IVE: Discernment is very important, yet the IVE does not encourage discernment prior to or after entering.  It is also negligent to the Church and its members in its near non-existent application and screening process.  We discuss and link to all these issues and more in this section.

#2 Issues with the order's founder and history: The order has been investigated by the vatican multiple times, was at odds with Pope Francis when he was an Argentine Bishop, the founder Fr. Buela has stepped down twice, and the second Superior General of six years resigned and left the order altogether.  Their US benefactor is the very liberal, scandal-plagued Cardinal McCarrick and their Italian benefactor is the abuser-protecting Cardinal Sodano.  All this is thoroughly discussed at the link.

#3 Serious irregularities in Formation: Things that violate canon law, US law, prudence, and charity that you should know about before entering.  

#4 Why:  Why these things happen, why you should be wary, why we feel so strongly, etc.

You can see these topics in the navigation bar above.


This site is intended mainly for individuals who are thinking about joining the IVE, but we hope family and friends of those individuals see this information as well.  We've also found the site is helpful for ex-IVE members in dealing with their experiences and encourage you to reach out to us if you've left the IVE and need to talk.

We apologize if some of the subjects seem a bit obscure. We understand how this could be the case for those who have not been in a religious community.  If you have any questions or concerns, you are encouraged to contact us at


We are all people who have entered and spent some time with the IVE, but have now left to other orders, seminaries, or states of life.  We all chose to leave due to the problems we saw with the IVE.  We are all practicing Catholics.  Some of us have a concern for privacy and require anonymity, therefore all of us must be anonymous.  Yet, we agree with Rod Dreher that we should not be silent.

We are not trying to post from a position of personal authority (ie. We aren't asking you to just take our word for it.)  All of the historical information can be verified using Google search or by following the links on this site.  Further, many of the problems we outline can be confirmed with only a short visit and a careful questioning of those in formation.  We also encourage you to reach out to third parties for objective opinions and advice on discernment and vocation.   You can even go here and here to read and ask about other people's experiences with this group.


This is your vocation. It is important.  Like St. Paul, St Ignatius, et al, take you your time in prayer to be sure you are making a mature, informed decision.   Don't be afraid to reach out and talk to people and put some effort into the process:

Inform: Read the information on this site about the IVE and get as much information as you can so you can make an informed decision.

Ask: At the bottom of our discernment page we've provided a list of questions you should ask the IVE or SSVM before you engage with them in any way. 

Discern: Educate yourself on discernment, spend time and effort discerning, reach out to others for guidance.  We especially recommend Ignatian discernment and in the sidebar we have a link to Fr. Gallagher's book on the subject. 

Discuss: Talk to 3rd parties, other orders, local vocational directors. Ask detailed questions about discernment and their application process and compare.  Get a non-IVE spiritual director and spend some time discussing this and your discernment with them.

If these sound too difficult for you or not worth your time, then we have some bad news for you:  You aren't being prudent or approaching your vocation and spiritual life in a serious, mature manner.