A Visit for the Legion
More on that soon... but in the meantime, it's emerged that Pope Benedict has ordered an Apostolic Visitation of the Legionaries of Christ.
The move was communicated to the community's superior-general, Fr Alvaro Corcuera del Rio, in a 10 March decree signed by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, the Vatican Secretary of State. In the letter, Bertone said that the inquest will be carried out by an unnamed "team of prelates."
The Decree was released earlier today by the Legion on its website and first reported by Catholic News Service.
Following recent revelations of fiscal and moral misconduct by the Legion's late founder, Fr Marcial Maciel Degollado, a visitation of the community or re-examination of its charism has been called for by several leading clerics worldwide.
A favorite of Pope John Paul II, Maciel was ordered by the Holy See to live a restricted life of prayer and penance in 2006 following a years-long investigation into allegations that the founder sexually abused Legion seminarians.
More to come... as always, stay tuned.
SVILUPPO: From the Decree...
In this holy season of Lent, a time of grace and salvation, I am pleased to remember that many people benefit from the works of education and apostolate which the Legionaries of Christ carry out in various parts of the world, moved by your desire to establish Christ’s Kingdom according to the demands of justice and charity, among intellectuals, professional people and those engaged in teaching and social action....and the response of the LC Superior:
Since this mission is of fundamental importance and is worth devoting oneself to with broadmindedness and an unsullied heart. I wish to let you as General Director know that in these delicate moments His Holiness Benedict XVI renews his solidarity with and prayers for the Legionaries of Christ, the members of Regnum Christi and those who are spiritually close to you.
The Holy Father is aware of the noble ideals that inspire you and the fortitude and prayerful spirit with which you are facing the current vicissitudes, and he encourages you to continue seeking the good of the Church and society by means of your own distinctive initiatives and institutions. In this regard, you can always count on the help of the Holy See, so that with truth and transparency, in a climate of fraternal and constructive dialogue, you will overcome the present difficulties. In this respect, the Holy Father has decided to carry out an Apostolic Visitation to the institutions of the Legionaries of Christ through a team of Prelates.
I have thanked the Holy Father from my heart for offering us this additional help to face our present vicissitudes related to the grave facts in our father founder’s life that already were the object of the investigations by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which were concluded in May of 2006, and those which have come to light more recently. We are deeply saddened and sorry, and we sincerely ask for forgiveness from God and from those who have been hurt through this.-30-
Full of confidence in divine Providence and in our Mother the Church, guardian of the authentic good of her children, we are now preparing to receive the Apostolic Visitors who, over the next months, will visit us to familiarize themselves closely with the life and apostolate of the Legion of Christ.
Let us reaffirm our commitment, and lift up our prayers to God that he will grant us the grace to continue to seek the holiness to which He is calling us, and that we will be able to bring to its fullness the charism He has entrusted to us. May the Blessed Virgin Mary accompany us and lead us to love every day more her Son Jesus Christ.