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An Important and Challenging Period Begins
Letter from papal delegate outlines some initial conclusions from apostolic visitation to the consecrated members in Regnum Christi.

Mons. Velasio de Paolis
Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, papal delegate for the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi.

Rome, October 17, 2011. In a letter addressed to the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi consecrated members, the papal delegate, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, shared some initial conclusions from the recent apostolic visitation to the consecrated members.

The letter began by recalling that “in his apostolic visitation, carried out from January to June 2011, His Excellency Ricardo Blázquez, archbishop of Valladolid, has met almost all of the consecrated members of Regnum Christi in a number of countries, whether in group meetings or individual interviews.” 

Cardinal De Paolis commented that in September, he and his Council read through the visitator’s report for the first time and have exchanged reflections in a joint meeting with the Legionaries and consecrated members of Regnum Christi.

On the one hand, the apostolic visitation found that “at a personal level the consecrated members are grateful for their vocation and live their consecration to God according to the evangelical counsels with joy, aware that they render a valuable service to the Church with their self-giving.” On the other hand, on the institutional level, it also found that there are many and challenging issues that will have to be handled “with the people that are first affected, that is, the consecrated persons.”

The papal delegate then covered one of those questions, explaining that there is a generally positive judgment about the relationship between the Legion and the consecrated members in Regnum Christi due to the good fruits that it has borne in the apostolate. However, he noted that the members desire “a proper autonomy – which the consecrated persons should enjoy, and which pertains to them as a form of association within the Church,” while maintaining with the Legionaries of Christ “a link of participation, even if specified in a distinct manner, in the same charism, spirituality, and apostolate, thus saving a precious inheritance.” Thus, the next step will be to find “an adequate configuration that corresponds to Canon Law in order to better conserve, promote and develop this treasure.”

As with the Legionaries of Christ, the papal delegate said that the path ahead will be an “important and challenging period to study the issues that will come up” and that the main means will be “serious, appropriate and decision-oriented reflection” to be held with “all those involved, according to each one’s responsibility, whether at the individual or collective level.”

Until the concrete channels for this process are defined, Cardinal De Paolis established some provisional guidelines: the reflection process will unfold “under the responsibility of the Pontifical Delegate for the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ, assisted by his personal councilors.” The Statutes of Regnum Christi approved by the Holy See “remain in force” and “the superior general of the Legionaries conserves authority over the consecrated persons according to the current regulations contained in the Statutes.” However, just as it was established for the Legionaries, “all of the important decisions regarding the consecrated women and men of Regnum Christi, particularly admission of new consecrated persons, transfers, nominations and the dismissals or dispensations from promises, will need the approval of the Pontifical Delegate, after hearing the opinion of the general assistant of the consecrated women or the consecrated men.”

Cardinal De Paolis also indicated that there will no longer be a priest delegate of the general director or territorial directors to deal with matters pertaining to the consecrated women of Regnum Christi.

Finally, he stipulated that “all that has been established for the Legionaries of Christ concerning spiritual direction, the sacrament of penance, correspondence and the use of the Internet, and the protection of the conscience in dialogue with superiors also applies to the consecrated women and men of Regnum Christi,” emphasizing that the directors are “required to diligently provide that sufficient and suitable ordinary and extraordinary confessors be available for the consecrated women and men, and that among these there always be priests who do not belong to the Legion of Christ.”

Cardinal De Paolis concluded his letter by exhorting the members to “begin and to walk this path of personal and community reflection in an environment of prayer, dialogue, and respect in order to bring to completion the beautiful reality of consecrated life in Regnum Christi in the Church.”

The complete text of the letter can be read at this link. The original Italian version can be read here



Related links

Official web site of the Vatican.
Legionaries of Christ
For Your Vocation
Mater Ecclesaie College

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