Fr. Thomas Berg Leaves the Legion of Christ
By Catholic News Agency
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New York City, N.Y., May 7, 2009 / 06:06 am (CNA).- Fr. Thomas Berg, Executive Director of the New York-based Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person, announced today that he will be leaving the Legion of Christ to join the Archdiocese of New York and will continue his ministry as the head of the institute.
Fr. Berg released a brief statement explaining his decision and his motivations for the change:
“After nearly 23 years of life as a Legionary of Christ, I have discerned that it is time for me to continue following Christ in the diocesan priesthood. Although the recent revelations about the Legion’s founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, were profoundly disturbing, my decision has actually been in the making for nearly three years.
Like so many, I have personally experienced again and again the vast amount of good which God has accomplished through Legionary priests and the congregation’s works of apostolate over the past six decades of its existence. I leave with a heart grateful to Christ who I know accepted and blessed the oblation of my years of religious consecration in the Legion.
In my opinion, the serious issues within the congregation will require its thorough reformation if not a complete re-foundation. I am hopeful that the upcoming Apostolic Visitation of the Legion will be a first step toward a new beginning for the Legionaries and members of Regnum Christi. I trust that God in his providence will lead them to holiness and enable them to do great things for Christ and his Church. For my part, I remain their friend and brother in the Lord.
My work as executive director of the Westchester Institute will continue under the direction of a new Board and no longer under the Legion’s sponsorship. By this means and through a very active ministry in the Archdiocese of New York, under our new Archbishop Timothy Dolan, I look forward to continuing to live my total consecration to Christ in his priesthood.
My hope is that this brief statement would preclude unnecessary and unwarranted speculation about the reasons for my decision. Having released it to the press, I do not plan to make any further comment on the matter at this time.”