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New Legionary leader explains plans for renewal, recovery of morale

Catholic World News - July 18, 2014

Father Eduardo Robles Gil, the new general director of the Legion of Christ, spoke of his plans to restore morale within the troubled order, in a lengthy interview published in the National Catholic Register.

Prodded by tough questions from interviewer Edward Pentin, Father Gil said that the Legionaries are now guided not by allegiance to their disgraced founder, the late Father Marcial Maciel, but by "fidelity to the founding charism." He revealed that Vatican officials had encouraged the Legionaries to redefine that charism.

However, the Legionary leader sharply disagreed with critics who suggest that the order should be disbanded or re-founded. Those critics, he said, "haven't paid attention to what the Church thinks, what Pope Benedict and Pope Francis think." He said that the Pontiffs have been fully supportive of the reform efforts within the Legion. Although Pope Francis has had "very little direct contact," he has signaled his support, he said.

Father Gil said that Legionaries will no longer take a vow promising to avoid criticism of their leaders, and in fact members are encouraged to think critically about the order's leadership. He said that members will not concentrate on the figure of Father Maciel: “It’s going to be part of the history that our founder didn’t behave properly.”

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Jul. 20, 2014 9:05 PM ET USA

    So now they have a charism that they dreamed up. Great! I thought a charism was a gift from God. A man-made organization will not last long. This is not pretty.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Jul. 19, 2014 8:58 PM ET USA

    I fear, the Holy See will come to regret the decision to allow the Legion of Christ to continue. The "reform" seems little more than writing the sexual sins of Fr Maciel out of their history.

  • Posted by: Bernadette - Jul. 19, 2014 1:13 AM ET USA

    At the very least, the order should change its name. Start again with new name, new charism, new leadership. However, I don't think even these radical changes will be enough. The entire order should disband, priests join other orders or diocesan priesthood or be laicized. They are doomed now to forever be associated with an evil and very sick man.

  • Posted by: shrink - Jul. 18, 2014 3:01 PM ET USA

    How does one separate the founder's person from the founder's charism?

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