Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Reforms coming for Regnum Christi
Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, who is acting as the Pope’s delegate in supervising reform within the Legion, disclosed on October 17 that an investigation of Regnum Christi uncovered a series of concerns, which would require rewriting the group’s norms. Vatican officials expressed concern that the consecrated members of Regnum Christi were subject to strict discipline, but had no clear definition of their own rights within the Church.
Cardinal De Paolis said that “the issues regarding personal and community life that have emerged from this same visitation on an institutional level initially appear to be many and challenging.” He indicated, however, that Regnum Christi would continue its affiliation with the Legion of Christ.
The AP reported under the blunt headline "Vatican weighs in on cult-like group in Legion"
The Vatican has proposed giving hundreds of women who live like nuns within the troubled Legion of Christ order greater autonomy after a Holy See investigation found serious problems in their regimented communities.
The pope's delegate running the Legion, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, said in a letter published Monday that the problems of the consecrated women of the Legion's lay branch were "many and challenging." Of particular concern is that they have no legal status in the church.
In a 2010 Associated Press expose, former consecrated women spoke of the cult-like conditions they lived in, with rules dictating nearly every minute of their day — from how they ate to what they watched on TV — all in the name of God's will.
The Vatican ordered the investigation after word of the abuses emerged during a broader Vatican probe into the Legion, a conservative order founded in Mexico in 1941 by the late Rev. Marciel Maciel.
After decades of denying allegations Maciel was a pedophile, the Legion in 2009 began admitting to his double life: that he sexually abused seminarians and had fathered at least three children with two women.
The revelations have put the Legion in a tailspin and cast a shadow over the Vatican since Pope John Paul II had held Maciel up as a model for his orthodoxy and ability to attract new priests and donations.
Maciel had created the consecrated branch of the Legion's lay movement Regnum Christi primarily as a fundraising tool and to provide unpaid teachers for Legion-owned schools. The consecrated women also run youth programs and work to recruit new members.
The members, who at their height numbered about 900 women and a few dozen men, make promises of poverty, chastity and obedience like nuns do, though they enjoy none of the legal protections nuns have that make it difficult for their orders to kick them out.
One of the great scandals about the consecrated women is that they were told the Vatican in 2004 had approved a set of over 1,000 rules dictating how they were to behave when, in fact, the Vatican approved only about 150 general norms.
Read more here...
at 10:35 AM