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Spanish archbishop to lead probe of Regnum Christi

CWN - September 30, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez of Valladolid, Spain, to lead an apostolic visitation of Regnum Christi, the lay movement associated with the Legionaries of Christ.

In July the Pontiff named Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, the president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, as his delegate to supervise reform efforts in the Legion of Christ. The papal delegate will have sweeping authority to “intervene wherever he sees fit, including in the internal government of the Institute, on all levels.”

Archbishop Blazquez—one of four prelates who had earlier investigated the overall affairs of the Legionaries—will now focus on the lay movement. The Vatican appointed Bishop Brian Farrell, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, as his deputy in the visitation. Bishop Farrell is a member of the Legionaries.

Regnum Christi boasts a membership of 70,000, made up primarily of lay men and women. An AP story, which repeatedly describes the group as “cult-like,” seems to confuse the general membership of Regnum Christi with the small minority of members who live a celibate life in community.

Like the Legion of Christ, Regnum Christi has been in turmoil since the disclosure that the groups’ founder, the late Father Marcial Maciel, lived a double life. The Vatican inquiry into the religious order and the affiliated lay movement have been designed to determine whether the current leadership and governing structures of the two groups have been tainted by the founder’s disgrace.

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