Read the communiqué in pdf format at this link. Read
Fr Alvaro Corcuera´s letter on the communiqué here.
Thy Kingdom Come!
regarding the current circumstances
the Legion of Christ
and the Regnum Christi Movement
March 25, 2010
Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
we are gathered for the annual meeting of the territorial
directors with our general director, we wish to write to
our brothers in the Legion of Christ, to the consecrated
and all the members of Regnum Christi, our families and
friends who accompany us at this juncture in our history,
and also to all those who have been affected, wounded,
or scandalized by the reprehensible actions of our founder, Fr
Marcial Maciel, LC.
It has taken us time to come to
terms with these facts regarding his life. For many, especially
the victims, this time has been too long and very
We have not always been able, or found the way
to reach out to everyone in the way we should
have, and in fact wanted to. Hence the need we
feel to make this communiqué.
1. Regarding some facts in the life
of our founder, Fr Marcial Maciel, LC (1920-2008)
thought and hoped that the accusations brought against our founder
were false and unfounded, since they conflicted with our experience
of him personally and his work. However, on May 19,
2006, the Holy See’s Press Office issued a communiqué as
the conclusion of a canonical investigation that the Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) had begun in 2004.
At that time, the CDF reached sufficient moral certainty to
impose serious canonical sanctions related to the accusations made against
Fr Maciel, which included the sexual abuse of minor seminarians.
Therefore, though it causes us consternation, we have to say
that these acts did take place.
Indeed, “the Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith, […], mindful of Father Maciel’s
advanced age and his delicate health, decided to forgo a
canonical hearing and ask him to retire to a private
life of penance and prayer, giving up any form of
public ministry. The Holy Father approved these decisions” (Communiqué
of the Press Office of the Holy See, May 19,
We later came to know that Fr Maciel had fathered
a daughter in the context of a prolonged and stable
relationship with a woman, and committed other grave acts. After
that, two other people surfaced, blood brothers who say they
are his children from his relationship with another woman.
reprehensible these and all the actions in the life of
Fr Maciel that were contrary to his Christian, religious, and
priestly duties. We declare that they are not what we
strive to live in the Legion of Christ and in
the Regnum Christi Movement.
2. The Legion of Christ and the Regnum
Christi Movement in the face of these facts
Once again, we express our sorrow and grief to each
and every person damaged by our founder’s actions.
We share in
the suffering this scandal has caused the Church, and it
grieves and hurts us deeply.
We ask all those who accused
him in the past to forgive us, those whom we
did not believe or were incapable of giving a hearing
to, since at the time we could not imagine that
such behavior took place. If it turns out that anyone
culpably cooperated in his misdeeds we will act according to
the principles of Christian justice and charity, holding these people
responsible for their actions.
We also ask our families, friends and
benefactors to forgive us, and all other people of good
will who have felt that their trust has been wounded.
In addition, as members of the Mystical Body of Christ
we feel the need to expiate his sins and the
scandal they caused, making reparation with a Christian spirit. We
ask all the members of our religious family to intensify
their prayer and sacrifice.
It is also our Christian and priestly
duty to continue reaching out to those who have been
affected in any way. Our greatest concern is for them,
and we continue to offer them whatever spiritual and pastoral
help they need, hoping thus to contribute to the necessary
Christian reconciliation. At the same time, we know that only
Christ is able to bring definitive healing and “make all
things new” (cf. Rev. 21:5).
For his own mysterious reasons, God
chose Fr Maciel as an instrument to found the Legion
of Christ and Regnum Christi, and we thank God for
the good he did. At the same time, we accept
and regret that, given the gravity of his faults, we
cannot take his person as a model of Christian or
Christ condemns the sin but seeks to save the
sinner. We take him as our model, convinced of the
meaning and beauty of forgiveness, and we entrust our founder
to God’s merciful love.
3. The apostolic visitation
We wish to express our
gratitude to the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, not only
for renewing “his solidarity and prayers in these delicate moments”
(cf. Letter of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, to Fr
Alvaro Corcuera, March 10, 2009), but also for offering us
the Apostolic Visitation as a means to help us “overcome
the present difficulties” (ibid.). Thus we hope to take the
necessary steps to reinforce our foundations, formation and daily life
as Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi members.
We thank the
five apostolic visitators, Bishop Guiseppe Versaldi, Archbishop Ricardo Blázquez, Archbishop
Charles Chaput, OFM Cap., Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati, SDB, and Bishop
Ricardo Watty, MSSP, for all the work they have done
with such dedication and fatherly concern.
We will embrace with filial
obedience whatever indications and recommendations the Holy Father gives us
as a result of the apostolic visitation, and we are
committed to putting them into practice.
4. Looking toward the future
time since January 2005 when we held our last General
Chapter and Fr Alvaro Corcuera, LC, was elected as our
general director, we have striven to guide the Legion of
Christ and Regnum Christi in fidelity to all we have
received from God and has been approved by the Church.
Humbly and gratefully we acknowledge the blessings and fruits that
the Lord has granted us up to now, and we
accept our responsibility to deepen our understanding of our history,
charism, and spirituality.
We face the future with hope, knowing that
our one support is God. We trust totally in him
and in his all-powerful love which, as St Paul says,
“makes all things work for the good of those who
love him” (Rom. 8:28). We know that as we follow
this path we will be aided by the Holy Spirit
and the Church’s motherly guidance.
Our purpose as individuals and as
an institution is to love Christ, live his Gospel, and
extend throughout the world his Kingdom of peace and love.
We know that if we are to do this we
must constantly renew ourselves as individuals and as a community,
in fidelity to the tradition of consecrated life, the better
to serve the Church and society. The past months have
helped us to reflect on our identity and mission, and
they have also moved us to review various aspects of
our institutional life, humbly and in all simplicity.
We are resolved,
among other things, to:
- Continue seeking reconciliation and reaching out
to those who have suffered,
- Honor the truth about our
- Continue offering safety, especially for minors, in our institutions
and activities, both in environments and in procedures
- Grow in
a spirit of unselfish service to the Church and people
- Cooperate better with all the bishops and with other institutions
in the Church.
- Improve our communication
- Continue our oversight to
insure that our administrative controls and procedures are implemented on
all levels, and to continue demanding proper accountability
- Redouble our
dedication to the mission of offering Christ’s Gospel to as
many people as possible
- And above all, seek holiness with
renewed effort, guided by the Church.
We cannot end this communiqué
without thanking the thousands of Legionaries, consecrated men and women
and all Regnum Christi members who have given and continue
to give their lives to God in the service of
the Church and society with absolute generosity, and all those
who work in our centers and works of apostolate. Thanks
to you and your work, we can say that today
Christ is more known and loved in the world. We
also express our gratitude toward every person that has always
been there to support us with their faith, prayers and
suffering united to Christ’s.
Signed today, March 25, the solemnity of
the Annunciation of Our Lord. Through the intercession of his
Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, may the Lord grant us
the grace to enter ever more deeply into the mystery
of the Love of God made man, and to live
and share it with renewed fervor.
Fr Álvaro Corcuera, LC, general
Fr Luis Garza, LC, vicar general
Fr Francisco Mateos,
LC, general counselor
Fr Michael Ryan, LC, general counselor
Joseph Burtka, LC, general counselor
Fr Evaristo Sada, LC, general
Fr José Cárdenas, LC, territorial director for Chile and
Fr José Manuel Otaolaurruchi, LC, territorial director for Venezuela
Fr Manuel Aromir, LC, territorial director for Brazil
Fr Rodolfo Mayagoitia, LC, territorial director for Mexico and Central
Fr Leonardo Nuñez, LC, territorial director for Monterrey
Scott Reilly, LC, territorial director for Atlanta
Fr Julio Martí,
LC, territorial director for New York
Fr Jesús María Delgado,
LC, territorial director for Spain
Fr Jacobo Muñoz, LC, territorial
director for France and Ireland
Fr Sylvester Heereman, territorial director
for Germany and Central Europe