|Pope Benedict XVI with Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, CS.|
July 23, 2010. Rome, Italy. The appointment letter of Archbishop
Velasio De Paolis as papal delegate for the Legionaries of
Christ refers to the following decree which defines further details
about how he will accomplish the task entrusted to him.
That decree was issued by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of
State, with the Holy Father’s approval and handed over to
the general council of the Legionaries of Christ on July
21, 2010. The original Italian text can be read here, and an unofficial English translation is presented below.
MODALITIES OF FULFILLMENT
OF THE OFFICE OF PAPAL DELEGATE
FOR THE CONGREGATION OF THE LEGIONARIES OF CHRIST
his letter of June 16, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI:
appointed His Excellency Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, CS, Titular Archbishop
of Telepte and President of the Prefecture for the Economic
Affairs of the Holy See, as his Delegate for the
Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ;
- conferred on him the
responsibility of governing this religious institute in his name “for
as long as it takes to complete its path of
renewal and lead it to the celebration of an extraordinary
general chapter, whose main purpose will be to bring to
completion the revision of the Constitutions”;
- considered the “need and
urgency of a path of in-depth revision of the Institute’s
charism” and expressed his “desire closely to accompany, sustain, and
guide this process” through his own personal Delegate for that
Religious Family, who would both be a concrete sign of
his closeness and act in his name;
- left for a
specific Decree “some further modalities regarding the fulfillment of this
II. Now, by this Decree, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of
State, issues the following specifications and instructions approved by the
Supreme Pontiff regarding the modalities in which the Papal Delegate
for the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ will fulfill
1. The broad authority granted by the Holy Father
to the Papal Delegate, to be exercised in the name
of the Supreme Pontiff himself, covers the entire institute. It
extends over all the superiors at the various levels (general,
provincial, and local), all communities, and the individual religious. This
authority regards all the problems proper to the religious Institute
and the Delegate may always exercise it when in his
judgment it is necessary for the good of the institute
itself, even overruling the Constitutions.
2. The superiors of the Institute
at every level exercise their authority according to the Constitutions
and under the authority of the same Papal Delegate. Therefore,
they remain in their positions, ad nutum Sanctae Sedis, unless
it becomes necessary to provide otherwise.
3. The Institute’s superiors are
to act in communion with the Papal Delegate. He is
to be informed of the life of the institute, in
particular the most important matters, and in addition, only he
can approve the decisions of the general government itself: decisions
regarding persons (admission to novitiate, profession, priesthood; appointment and transfer
of personnel); apostolic and formation choices (seminaries, academic institutions, schools),
and extraordinary administrative matters or the disposal of assets.
necessary, the Delegate himself may act firsthand or indicate the
decision to be made in specific instances.
5. Everyone has open
access to the Delegate and all can deal personally with
him. The Delegate, in turn, has the power to intervene
wherever he sees fit, including in the internal government of
the Institute, on all levels.
6. As he goes about his
task, the Delegate will have four personal advisors to aid
him in carrying out his work according to the circumstances
and possibilities. These aides may be assigned specific tasks, particularly
visits ad referendum. With their help, the Papal Delegate will
identify, discuss, and clarify the principal topics as they arise
during the process he is called to lead.
7. Whenever it
becomes evident that certain topics, regarding either persons or things,
need to be studied more deeply, the Papal Delegate may
appoint study committees using either personnel internal to the Congregation
of the Legionaries or competent external persons.
8. At his own
discretion, when it seems opportune or necessary, he may select
someone other than his advisors to study a point or
make a visit ad referendum.
9. The paramount task of the
Papal Delegate is to initiate, accompany, and complete the revision
of the Constitutions. This implies a profound knowledge of the
Congregation of the Legionaries, their history and development. All members
of the Institute must collaborate in the revision of the
Constitutions, both as individuals and communities, following a plan to
be drawn up and activated from the outset. Therefore, a
Commission for the revision of the Constitutions is to be
created as soon as possible on the various levels of
the Institute, with the participation especially of the members of
the Institute itself, who must feel personally responsible for revising
and rewriting their own plan of gospel living, always in
harmony with the teaching of the Church. The president of
the central Commission for the revision of the Constitutions will
be the Papal Delegate himself.
10. The Papal Delegate coordinates
the Apostolic Visitation to the Regnum Christi Movement, following the
indication of the Holy See.
11. Appeals against acts of the
superiors of the Institute will be directed to the Papal
Delegate himself; regarding acts of the Papal Delegate, it will
be possible to appeal to the Holy Father.
Vatican, July 9, 2010
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Secretary of State
(Original text in Italian)
• The Holy Father’s
letter to Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, SC, appointing him
papal delegate for the Legionaries of Christ.
• Archbishop Velasio De
Paolis’ letter to the Legionaries of Christ (July 10,
• Archbishop Velasio De Paolis’ homily during Mass
with the Legionaries of Christ at the Center for Higher
Studies in Rome on July 10.