Nicole Winfield of Associated Press Click Here reports that
“The female branch of the scandal-plagued Legion of Christ religious order is in turmoil following the resignation of its leader and decision of some 30 members to split off from the movement”.
ReGAIN Comment :
The wealthy and very influential Oriol family contributed greatly toward the growth of the Legion and Regnum Christi in Spain and family members devoted much of their personal lives to serve in high profile positions. Four of Malen?s brothers, all former Legionary priests have departed from the Legion in recent years.
In 2010, Malen Oriol?s brother Fr. Santiago Oriol, who was head of the Legion school in Madrid, publicly announced he was leaving the legion. Two other brothers, Ignacio and Alfonso Oriol left earlier.
In 2011, another one of Malen?s brothers, a well-known and highly regarded priest Juan Pedro Oriol Munoz also decided to leave the Legion. He wrote an emotional letter that was shared publicly and was included in a previous ReGAIN article.
The departure of highly respected Malen Oriol, the Director of the Consecrated Women, together with a group of 30 of the consecrated 3gf women is a another major blow to Regnum Christi.
It is interesting to note that Nicole Winfield refers to “600 women” who are consecrated members of Regnum Christi. This indicates a huge decrease from what was considered normal just two or three years ago.
CBS News mentions that upwards of 400 of the consecrated Regnum Christi women have left since the revelations about the founder in 2009.
The CBS report quotes Rev. Thomas Berg, a former American Legionary who left the Legion in 2009, as saying that the only way forward for the Legion is for groups like these to “step outside the Legion shell and propose a renewed form of religious life.”
According to the CBS report, Fr. Berg did not think that the Legion would survive the formation of such independent groups.
In view of what has been happening and the seemingly futile search for the missing charism, ReGAIN wonders if the Legion and Regnum Christi, even with guidance from the Vatican have realistically accepted the situation they are in and shown that they are capable of reforming themselves. Losing good people such as the Oriol family will reduce their chances of climbing out of the hole they are in. Some are wondering if this could be a tipping point.