Vatican to Name New Adviser to Oversee Legion

Nicole Winfield at Associated Press advises that the Vatican will be appointing a new adviser to help oversee the Legionaries of Christ.

Nicole Winfield says that Pope Francis has kept the Legion at arm’s length since he inherited the reform project. She quoted Legion general director, Father Eduardo Robles Gil as saying that the Vatican’s congregation for religious orders is expected to announce details about the external assistant during a meeting with the leadership on July 3.

Zenit has published a Vatican statement issued by Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office. Part of the statement reads: The Legionaries, as anticipated, with the celebration of the General Chapter the Institute has returned to the competence of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life. This progression has ended the work of the Apostolic delegate.

The statement goes on to say that the prefect and the secretary of the dicastery will meet on 3 July at the Legionaries’ central seat to comment personally on various corrections that need to be made to the text of the Constitutions presented to the dicastery, and to communicate the name of the Pontifical assistant.

The role of the Vatican appointed assistant will be assumed by a consecrated person, as anticipated, who knows the Legionaries and will be able to be of help to the general Council on legal and other themes, according to need.

The AP article said that Legionary spokesman, Father Benjamin Clariond, said it wasn’t clear what the adviser’s mandate would be, but noted that the order still faces some daunting challenges, including figuring out a legal structure for its lay group, Regnum Christi.

ReGAIN Comment

Although many of us are painfully aware of the need for reform in the Legion and Regnum Christi, following the three year love-in with the Apostolic Delegate, there is little reason to expect that the Vatican is having second thoughts about the Legion based on a new assistant being appointed. Apparently the appointment of such a person was agreed to before the general chapter even began.

The one note of encouragement in the AP article is the reminder that Pope Francis has so far demonstrated a coolness towards the Legion. There is a possibility that the role of the assistant could be to keep a watchful eye on the Legion leaders and to report back. Otherwise, the Vatican statement suggests that there are only some minor changes required to the constitutions that were submitted following the general chapter. After these documents are finally approved, Pope Francis, who has shown a desire to clean up some of the corruption in the Vatican will assume a level of personal responsibility for whatever new messes come his way from the Legion after business gets back to normal.

Genevieve Kineke Speaks on NPR Radio About Legion Scandal

To Hear NPR Segment:

Genevieve offered some personal testimony regarding her own involvement for several years in Regnum Christi and explains how she was manipulated into setting her own goals aside and how she became docile to divert her energies to the LC / RC communal objectives.

Genevieve describes how Pope Benedict XVI’s strategy has already burst the bubble so that the Legion will implode of its own weight.

A sample of feedback from NPR audience:
Arnie Arneson hit the ball out of the park on Thursday with her interview with a former member of Regnum Christie – got the info, was very considerate and polite but still held her feet to the fire – ever so gently. Well done!

Departing Legionary Disappointed With Falsehood, Manipulation and Cover-ups

Father Jose Ignacio Martin Sanchez, a Legionary priest has requested a definitive exit from the Legion. In a statement to his friends, he has been quoted as saying that his decision was based on the perplexity and sadness he experienced even after the General Chapter adding that their so called renewal continues to be based on falsehood, manipulation of the consciences and freedom of many people of good will inside and outside the Legion and Regnum Christi

He has asked for prayers for his final perseverance in the faith and in the priesthood and for the Blessed Virgin to protect the Holy Catholic Church from all those who attack her with crimes, frivolous cover-ups harming the faith and the hope of the souls of the faithful.

Father Sanchez is planning to become incardinated into the diocese of Getafe, Madrid, Spain.

ReGAIN Comment

The statements made by this Legionary priest are similar to those made by many others who have left the Legion and the consecrated life in Regnum Christi and testimonies ReGAIN has reported on this site. What is different this time is that the references to the negative aspects of the Legion structure and methodology indicate that not much has changed in the five years since the bombshell of 2009, when details of the founder's became public. Since that time there has been a three year period of renewal, which provided ample opportunity to carry out positive reforms.

One thing that we believe is inexcusable anywhere within the Catholic Church is practices in a religious order that compromise anyone's free will and conscience, especially when this has been deeply ingrained into an organization. According to basic Catholic teachings, it is our intellect, free will and choice that make us different from other members of the animal kingdom. Using manipulative practices to solicit donations is bad enough but using coercive (mind control) methodology on members to recruit, form and retain them is going too far. It is long past time for a true reform or failing that a refoundation to protect members from their leaders.

We can imagine the turmoil that Father Sanchez experienced during the eighteen months of his discernment period. Our prayers are with Father Sanchez as he joins a growing number of disillusioned members of the Legionaries of Christ. We wonder how many others inside the Legion and Regnum Christi have similar feelings and who are struggling to decide whether to cut their losses and start over again somewhere beyond the Legion walls.