The Legion of Christ has been told it must undergo a “brief but intense” period of reflection in conjunction with its associated lay movement, Regnum Christi, before its reform can proceed.
Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the pontifical delegate supervising the reform, said it is not possible to consider the government, apostolate and administration of the Legion “without also taking the broader reality of Regnum Christi into account”.
The cardinal was appointed to oversee the reform after revelations that the Legion’s founder, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, had lived a double life, abusing children and fathering a son.
The pontifical delegate’s letter follows external criticism of the slow pace of reform of the Legion.
Cardinal De Paolis indicated that both the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi should establish a clear understanding of their respective identities as they prepare to draft new rules of the Legion.
“One could say that we are seeking to elaborate a ‘general statute’ or a ‘fundamental norm’, or a ‘rule’ common to all the members of Regnum Christi, including Legionaries,” he wrote.
A central commission in charge of revising the Legion’s constitutions will prepare a draft text to “guide the reflection” by members of Regnum Christi and the Legionaries.
This period of reflection will also involve “a historical investigation regarding the origins of the Regnum Christi movement.”
While members of the Legion remain committed to the revision of their constitutions, some of their communities want additional time to reflect on “the nature and purpose of the congregation”, Cardinal De Paolis said.
The order’s particular gift, or “charism”, has been called into question due to revelations about the founder’s double life.
Meanwhile, as work continues on the revised constitutions, “the life of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi movement continues on”, Cardinal De Paolis wrote.
Image: Whispers in the Loggia
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