Francis is revolutionizing the Legion of Christ.
Vatican Insider has
learnt that the Legion plans to announce the order’s complete
restructuring at its Extraordinary General Chapter in Rome, in a month’s
“All the work carried out so far is oriented towards making each
group that is inspired by the spiritual kingship of Christ, autonomous,”
members of the Curia have stated.
The Legion is to be split into three sections: laity, consecrated
persons and priests. Each of the Legion’s three branches will have “full
autonomy in the organisation and choice of its leaders and internal
The common reference to Christ’s kingship will translate into
various “forms of collaboration” between the three groups which will,
nevertheless, be completely independent from each another.
On the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi on 4 October, Cardinal Velasio
de Paolis, the Pontifical delegate to the Legion of Christ and the
“Regnum Christi” movement, wrote a letter addressed to all members of
the Legion, stating that the time had come to call an Extraordinary
In the letter, the cardinal, who was nominated by
Benedict XVI and kept on by Francis, mentions a letter Benedict XVI
wrote in 2010.
“Although Ratzinger did not give a specific time frame,
it was predicted right from the start that the necessary spiritual
renewal process and revision of the Constitutions of the Legion of
Christ would not be complete in less than three years,” De Paolis
Sometimes the great things in the Church are the fruit of great
sinners. This is certainly the case with the Legion of Christ and the
lay Regnum Christi movement which were founded by Marcial Maciel
In 2006 a Vatican inquiry found Degollado guilty of
committing acts of sexual abuse against numerous young disciples. But
this was not all. Following the priest’s death in 2008, another
uncomfortable secret was unmasked: Degollado had had a love affair with a
Mexican woman and fathered a child, who is now 20 and lives in Spain.
The General Chapter will begin on 8 January 2014 at the Legion’s
general directorate in Rome and chaired by the papal delegate.
following will be attending the meeting by virtue of their office: the
General Director, the members of the General Council, the Secretary
General, the General Procurator, the General Administrator, the General
Prefect of Studies, and Territorial Directors. All other delegates have
been elected by peers from the Legion’s various territories. They make
up just over two thirds of the order.
“This chapter’s 'main tasks will
be the election of a new government for the institute and the approval
of the new constitutions,' Francis announced last June.
Although it is presumed that the General Chapter will be over by the
end of February, the Chapter itself will decide on dates according to
the progress made during the meetings.
The Vatican is now aware of the
effect Degollado’s immoral acts have had on the life of the congregation
and the lay movement which he founded. “All sick branches need to be
removed in order to save a plant of great value,” the Curia says.
The sickest parts of the plant were to be found in South American
countries like Brazil and Chile; in Mexico, however, it is growing
In 2006 Benedict XVI decided to repeal the vote of charity
Degollado had introduced, whereby Legionaries had to promise never to
criticize their superiors. Malicious gossip was the most anti-Christian
of acts Legionaries were told.
When Ratzinger relieved them from this
obligation further, a whole load of cockroaches came crawling out.
order’s internal clean-up operation is being carried out without any
form of censorship or connivance; particularly in cases where priests’
reputations have been seriously tainted because of their involvement in
acts of sexual abuse.