In a wide ranging 90-minute conference held on Pentecost Sunday, the General Directors of the Legionaries of Christ, Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi and the Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi were accompanied by members of the General Renewal Commission in answering questions regarding the new draft of the General Statutes of Regnum Christi.
Fr. John Bartunek LC moderated the event which included questions that he had asked the speakers to prepare answers for, as well as live questions from the audience of legionaries and consecrated members present, and those sent through ‘What’s App’ by some of the Movement’s lay members from around the world.
The draft general statutes of Regnum Christi propose the organization of the Movement into the juridical form called a federation. When asked about why this structure is proposed, Fr Eduardo Robles-Gil LC answered, “It’s the canonical form with the most flexibility for our needs. When the movement began it was something simple and spontaneous, but now we have grown, and it is not enough to be simple and spontaneous in living our mission. The church needs us to be organized.”
Fr. Bartunek remarked that the word charism is mentioned many times in the statutes, but that there are no numbers that clearly define what the charism is. He asked the panel to explain why. Viviana Limon (General Councilor for the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi) began by saying that the charism is “a supernatural reality, a gift from God which he gives to enrich his Church. It is not a simple reality, it’s complex with many elements. These elements are explained in the identity, goal and mission of Regnum Christi, and the specific way RC does things. Having one number define the statutes is too limiting to explain a charism.” Jorge Lopez (General Director of the Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi) added that “although the statutes explain the parts of the charism, the charism continues to unfold over time. God acts in us and we have to be open to how the charism unfolds now and how it will over time.”
Noting that there is a whole section on communion, Fr. Bartunek said “This concept of communion has emerged as central in these last few years. How is this reality seen in the draft statutes?” Jorge Lopez explained that “The word communion is in the statutes 22 times, and it is found in 15 numbers. The complete article describing it is four numbers long. It’s a relevant topic to us, not just a slogan… There is a newness in the vision of the communion in Regnum Christi…. It is not a monolithic unity, not like an army, but more like the Church…The spirituality of communion is lived as Pope Francis said in the Pentecost vigil this year: ‘a diverse and unified people: the universal church,’ not perfect, but a field hospital for sinners that help each other to live our vocations.”
The discussion touched on other areas of the statutes including the definition of the second degree for lay members of Regnum Christi, leadership as a talent for evangelization, and the distinction between the ‘mission’ and the ‘apostolate’ of the Movement.
After fielding questions on different topics, Fr. Eduardo concluded the conference by reflecting that “we are in a situation that is bigger than us. If this was a human work that we were able to complete with our goodwill and intelligence, we could work with our human capacities to find appropriate solutions. But we are working with a work of God that is beyond us, not just a human idea that we will arrive at with our own processes and consensus.
“We must be open to listen to God, to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. We have spoken for years about what is most intimately held in our hearts because it is a profound, deep conviction that God has given each one of us. But God also speaks to me through the thoughts of my brothers and sisters if I am open.”
Concluding with a prayerful request for how this period should be lived, Fr. Eduardo said “In an informal way I would like us to make this the ‘Year of the Holy Spirit’ for Regnum Christi, that he be the one who guides us in this process and that we ask our Lord through the intercession of his mother to make us open to his spirit as she was, the handmaid of the Lord open to do whatever he tells us. We need to live this time with trust in God and others.”