Pope Francis approves new constitutions for Legionaries of Christ [CNA]

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/images/size340/Legionaries_of_Christ_CNA_World_Catholic_News_5_16_12.jpgVatican City, Nov 1, 2014 / 05:21 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After four years of drafts and adjustments, the troubled Legion of Christ has announced that its new constitutions have been approved by Pope Francis.

The Pope’s approval of the final draft of the new constitutions brings the first phase of renewal and purification to a close after it was discovered that Legion founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, had been living a double life.

The new constitutions were drafted during the congregation’s Extraordinary General Chapter meetings, which began on Jan. 9 and was mandated by Benedict XVI in the wake of the revelation of Fr. Maciel’s scandalous activities.

Among other discoveries, it was found out that Maciel was a pedophile, a womanizer and had fathered at least one child.

In 2006, with the approval of the pope, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith imposed upon Maciel “a retired life of prayer and penance, renouncing any form of public ministry.” Due to his advanced age, it was decided not to subject him to a canonical process.

From that point on, Benedict XVI carried out a process of reform for the Legionaries, and in 2010 the then-Archbishop Velasio de Paolis was appointed as their Papal delegate, thus initiating a three-year process of renewal.

All members of the Legionaries had the opportunity to participate and contribute during the last three years of consultation and reflection.

Fr. Eduardo Robles-Gil, appointed general director of the Legionaries of Christ during their January and February 2014 general chapter meetings, announced the definitive approval of the Constitution in a Nov. 1 letter to all the members of the Legionaries of Christ.

In the Vatican-approved letter dated Oct. 16, he urged members to be “grateful for the paternal care with which Popes Benedict XVI and Francis and Cardinal De Paolis and his councilors have guided our congregation’s steps in these years.”

These represent the sixth edition that have been approved for the Legion by ecclesiastical authorities. Previous editions were approved in 1948, 1965, 1970, 1983 and 1994.

While the previous statutes consisted of 878 paragraphs, the new ones consist of 247 paragraphs.

The first part of the new statutes is dedicated to the charism and patrons saints of Legionaries of Christ, while the second part describes the four vows every Legionary must profess.

In addition, the Constitutions lay out the steps for formation, the characteristics of suitable candidates to be Legionaries of Christ, the religious profession, the studies, the ordination and the management and administration of the order.

A key difference between the old and the new constitutions are that the old ones included many clauses regarding the application of the norms, while the new constitution focuses more on essential principles.

The initial draft of the statutes were given to an ad hoc commission established by the Congregation for Consecrated Life, whose results were presented by Cardinal Braz de Aviz to the government of the Legion on July 3.

It was also on that occasion that the appointment of Fr. Gianfranco Ghirlanda S.J. as Pontifical advisor for the Legionaries of Christ was made public.

An expert in Canon Law, Fr. Ghirlanda has been among the consultants of the Legionaries of Christ since the very beginning of their renewal process.

Following the suggestion of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the constitutions include references to the documents of the Second Vatican Council as well as other official documents on consecrated life.

The Congregation also asked that clear references to Sacred Scripture and the Code of Canon Law be included.

It was also suggested that the relationship between the Regnum Christi Movement and the Legionaries of Christ be clarified, which is a task that is currently underway.

At the end of the Legionaries’ 2014 extraordinary general chapter, which took place in January and February, Cardinal Velasio de Paolis declared the congregation to be “reconciled with themselves, with their history, with the world and the Church.”


Full article…

Has a religious order ever been disbanded? I’m not saying the Legion should be, but it’s going to take decades for their reputation to geal, if it ever does. John Zmirak, in The Bad Catholic’s Guide to the Catechism, recounts his experience with the Legion, saying they were manipulative into getting men to become Legionary priests under implied threat of nortal sin. He also reproaches the Legion’s supporters for their denial of Maciel’s double life.

I sincerely hope they can heal and move on… but I wonder if they are receiving any new vocations? Sadly, the black mark left by their founder will not be quickly forgotten.

Do the Knights Templar count?

Greetings…The Legionaries of Christ should be disbanded! There are people in that cult that protected the dead leader, who was a drug addict, pedophile, father of illlegitimate children and a priest! This priest lied to the Holy Father, then St.Pope JohnPaul ll! They are not worthy to be included in the Church!

So anyone who lies should not be part of the Church?

Pope St. John Paul II himself could, at any time, have expelled them. But did not. Why not follow his example?

And likewise, if Pope Francis himself approves of the changes they have made, why not you?

Greetings… A priest should never lie to the Holy Father, its just totally evil! The changes are just that…changes. Follow the money trail and then you will see that its BIG BUCKS for the Church. So for me that evil still exists with in the LOC! The Holy Father should disbanded the LOC…they are really bad PR for the Church!

One wants to have a merciful and forgiving attitude towards the LOC, but it’s incredibly hard. Maybe a new order could take their place, and have Legionary priests integrated into it (a sort of “re-branding”, if you will). Maybe the current members had nothing to do with Maciel’s treachery, and therefore they don’t deserve punishment.

I understand that, but a priest ( or anyone else) can be forgiven

And if Pope Francis has chosen not to expel this order, why not accept his judgment? One would presume that he knows more about the situation than you or I.

Do you doubt Pope Francis has the best interests of the Church at heart? Or do you consider Pope Francis to be part of that ‘money trail’ as well

Greetings…Of course the Holy Father knows more of the nightmare situation with the LOC. I cannot give his reasons why he revised their constitution. But in my heart I feel with all the abuse in the Church this is yet another example of manipulation by priests of great authority to do great damage to the Church. Well the Holy Father inherited a BIG MESS from the Vatican bank ,plus all these other sideshows like the LOC ect. I pray daily to Pope St JohnXXlll ,that the Holy Spirit will guide Pope Francis.

Good, and since you recognize that he knows about the situation than you do, recognize that his decision is a just one.

Greetings…I still think they should have been disbanded by the Holy Father

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