A year after assuming duties as pontifical delegate for the Legion of Christ, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis gave a speech evaluating the current situation of the religious congregation. He sharply criticized “dissidents” within the order who create division and internal tensions.
Cardinal De Paolis gave a “provisional assessment” of the task of rebuilding the order in a July 3 speech delivered at the Legion’s Center for Higher Learning in Rome. He explained that the order has already implemented “one-third” of the preparations to be completed before the Legion's general chapter meeting.
The meeting could be held as soon as 2013.
Leaders of the order are expected to then vote on major changes and revisions to the Legion’s constitutions.
“This period has provided an opportunity for greater serenity within the congregation and for a strengthening of renewed fidelity of the members to the congregation,” the cardinal explained.
“While it is true that in 2010 the institute suffered its greatest losses, it is also true that the exodus has been contained with regard to priests,” he said.
However, regarding the abandonment of the order by its youngest members, Cardinal De Paolis noted “the negative influence exercised by some companions who, upon entering the process of renewal, have adopted an absolutely critical attitude towards the path of renewal.”
“From the beginning, a group of members have joined together and has been described, by whom I don’t know, as ‘dissidents’,” the cardinal continued.
“In reality it is not a very large group, as there are very few people leading it. In emphasizing a ‘structural contamination’ of the congregation, they have manifested a radical lack of confidence in the continuation and renewal of the congregation. And in every way they have become antagonistic towards the legitimate superiors, seeing themselves almost as custodians of the orthodoxy of the road that must be traveled. They are using the internet extensively, with a network that extends to perhaps 200 or more people, including Legionaries, ex-Legionaries or friends of Legionaries with whom they usually meet,” Cardinal De Paolis stated.
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