ROME (October 5) -- Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, Pontifical
Delegate of the Legion of Christ and Regnum
Christi, announced that the Legion’s Extraordinary General Chapter will begin
on January 8, 2014.
The chapter is projected to conclude
at the end of the month of February. But
the Chapter itself will establish the time-frames in light
of how the tasks progress and the requirement of
addressing all the issues that are on the agenda.
Extraordinary General Chapter comes at the end of a
long journey of spiritual renewal and will have as its
principle purpose the conclusion of the revising of the
Constitutions,” said Cardinal De Paolis.
In all, a few more
than 60 Legionaries are expected to participate in the
chapter. Approximately one-third will participate ex officio and
two-thirds will be elected. Those who participate ex officio
will include: General Director, General Counselors, General Procurator, General
Administrator, General Secretary, General Prefect of Studies, and Territorial
The Cardinal’s letter announcing the chapter follows:
the original Italian.]
Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi,
October 4, 2013
Very dear Legionaries of Christ,
gave me the mission of governing the Legionaries of
Christ in his name, the Holy Father set out
a goal to reach, but he did not establish a
determined timeframe. He wrote: “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” (letter of His Holiness Pope
Benedict XVI, June 16, 2010). From the beginning it was
clear that the necessary time could not be less
than three years. Now, three and a half years have
passed. The moment has come to summon the Extraordinary
General Chapter indicated by the Holy Father. I thought that
it would be good to announce it on the
day that the Church celebrates the memory of St. Francis
of Assisi. Let us place this important event
under the protection of the Poverello of Assisi. It comes
at the at the conclusion of a long journey
of spiritual renewal and effort revising the Constitutions. The
Chapter that I am convoking today, October 4, 2013,
will take place at Via Aurelia, 677 in Rome
and will begin on January 8, 2014. It is
projected to conclude at the end of the month of
February. But the Chapter itself will establish the time-frames
in light of how the tasks progress and the requirement
of addressing all the issues that are on the
The General Chapter should represent the whole
institute and be “a true sign of its unity
in charity” (CIC c. 631 §1). The upcoming Extraordinary
General Chapter comes at the end of a long journey
of spiritual renewal and will have as its principle
purpose the conclusion of the revising of the Constitutions.
Because of this, and in response to the desires
of many, an agreement has been made to increase
the representation of the elected members, while the number of
members who participate ex officio will remain the
same, as is indicated in number 149 §1 of the
draft of the Constitutions.
The following norms will
apply in the election of the delegates.
- All perpetually professed Legionaries
will have active voice1 in
the election of the delegates, including those who have
received the indult of extra domum (cfr. CIC c. 665
§1). Exclaustrated religious, on the other hand, neither have
active nor passive voice.
- Only those religious who are priests as
of the date of this letter have passive voice.
Evidently, those who are already ex officio members of the
Chapter cannot be voted for.
- Each territory constitutes an
electoral college that elects one delegate per twenty five
perpetually professed religious or fraction thereof.
- The election will
take place in two rounds. Those delegates will be
elected who in the first round receive more than
one half plus one of the number of votes.
In the second round, a relative majority will suffice.
Those who received the most votes after those elected
will be substitute delegates.
- Every voter will have as many
votes as the number of delegates of his electoral
- Besides the territorial colleges, there will also be
a special college composed of the perpetually professed religious
who depend directly on the General Directorate [the members of
the centers of Rome]. While it remains the case
that the perpetually professed religious will only have active
voice and the priests will have active and passive
voice, for this college a special norm regarding representation
is in place: the number is still one candidate for
every 25 members and fraction thereof, but only of
the priests that enjoy passive voice.
- The territorial directors
are responsible for the scrutinies2
in their territories, with the help of at least one
of the counselors and in the presence of two
or more witnesses. They will communicate the results of
the first scrutiny on October 25 and the results
of the second scrutiny November 10.
- Having established that the
ex officio members enjoy neither active voice nor passive
voice, the territorial authorities will distribute the lists of
the religious with active voice, the list of the priests
with passive voice, the electoral forms, the calendar and
the practical indications for carrying out the vote and
sending it to the territorial directorates.
It is useful to
remember that this Chapter’s “main tasks will be the
election of a new Government for the Institute and
the approval of the new Constitutions” (letter of His
Holiness Pope Francis, June 19, 2013) which will have to
be presented to the Holy Father. Other questions will
be considered according to a list of issues approved
by the chapter fathers themselves, in the degree to
which there is time available.
As established by the
Code of Canon Law, not only the territories and the
local communities, “but also any member can freely send
wishes and suggestions to a general chapter” (c. 631
Let us prepare spiritually for this moment of grace,
begging for the Holy Spirit’s assistance and the Blessed
Virgin Mary’s intercession. I hope the Lord brings you every
good thing. I am keeping you in my
1. “Active voice” means they have
the right to vote. “Passive voice” means they
have the right to be elected.
2.“Scrutiny” refers to the process of counting