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Papal delegate reports on reform of Legionaries

October 22, 2010

The prelate appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to supervise the reform of the Legionaries of Christ reports that the troubled religious order is entering a time of “reconstruction and renewal.”

Archbishop Velasio De Paolis—who was named this week as one of the 24 new cardinals who will receive their red hats on November 20-- said that some substantial changes would be necessary within the order, but the fundamental approach of the Legionaries should be “preserved and promoted.”

In a letter to Legionaries, Archbishop De Paolis said that after the shocking revelations of scandalous conduct by the order’s founder, the late Father Marcial Maciel, “it is a vital requirement now to recover trust.”

The archbishop reported that he is still working to unravel questions about whether the current leaders of the Legionaries were complicit in Father Maciel’s misconduct. While accusations against Maciel had been made years ago, he pointed out, it is not easy to determine whether other Legionary officials had adequate reason to recognize the validity of those accusations.

Archbishop De Paolis said that he expects the reform of the Legion of Christ to take at least three years. During that time he will work with the order’s leadership to amend the group’s constitution, to settle financial questions, and to resolve complaints against the Legion, its founder, and its current leaders.


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