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Papal Delegate to the Legionaries of Christ
Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, CS is the papal delegate to the Legionaries of Christ.

«El Delegado Pontificio, puesto que representa al Papa y actúa en su nombre, se convierte en autoridad suprema para la congregación religiosa».
Archbishop de Paolis has broad experience and proven competence in his own religious congregation, in university teaching, and in service to the Holy See. (Photo: L'Osservatore Romano)

On July 9, 2010, the Holy See’s Press Office released the news that Pope Benedict XVI had appointed Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, CS, now a cardinal, as his papal delegate to the Legionaries of Christ. In this way, following the conclusion of the apostolic visitation, the Holy Father wishes to "be close to, sustain, and guide" the congregation in this decisive moment of its history.

In the appointment letter, dated June 16, 2010, the Holy Father indicated that the papal delegate’s mission is to “[govern] this religious institute in my name for as long as it takes to carry out the 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.”

A more complete description of the papal delegate’s authority and responsibilities can be read in the decree issued on July 9, 2010 by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

The current general director, Fr Alvaro Corcuera, and the other superiors of the congregation remain in their positions under the authority of the pontifical delegate and in communion with him.

About Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, CS

Archbishop Velasio De Paolis was born in Sonnino (Latina province, southeast of Rome) on September 19, 1935. He entered the congregation of the Missionaries of St Charles Borromeo (the Scalabrinian Fathers) at a young age and received his formation in the congregation’s seminaries. He made his perpetual profession on October 4, 1958 and was ordained to the priesthood on March 18, 1961.

He went to Rome to continue his academic formation, obtaining a doctorate in canon law from the canon law faculty at the Pontifical Gregorian University, a licentiate in theology from the theology faculty at the University of St Thomas (Angelicum), and a law degree at La Sapienza University in Rome. He also completed a two-year degree in moral theology at the Alphonsian Academy.

From 1965 to 1970, he was a professor of moral theology and canon law in one of his own congregation’s centers for philosophical and theological formation. Afterwards, he was named rector of the Scalabrinian Fathers’ International College in Rome (1970-1974) while also serving as provincial vicar. In 1974, he was called to the general government of his congregation as counselor and general procurator. From 1971 to 1980,  he was an extraordinary professor, and from 1983 onward, an ordinary professor of the canon law faculty at the Gregorian University. From 1987 on, he was also named a professor at the Pontifical Urbanian University, and became dean of the canon law faculty in 1998.

He has authored many books and articles, and is a regular contributor to the magazine Periodica de re canonica. He is a member of various associations dedicated to the study of canon law.

Throughout all these years, he has dedicated himself to apostolic activity, especially to preaching spiritual exercises.

On December 30, 2003, Pope John Paul II appointed him as secretary of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, where he was already an officer. He received his episcopal consecration on February 24, 2004 and was assigned the titular see of Telepte.

On April 12, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, raising him to the dignity of archbishop. He is currently also a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and a consulter for the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

On November 20, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI raised him to the dignity of the cardinalate in a ceremony celebrated in St. Peter´s Basilica. On December 29 of that same year, the Holy Father appointed him a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

A collection of articles on the apostolic visitation (2009-2010) and the path that the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi are currently walking with the papal delegate can be read in the special section A New Chapter in Our History.



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