Legionaries. The Young Vicar and the Restless Virgins


A new man at the top of the congregation: the German Heereman. Meanwhile, however, many consecrated women are leaving. The torment of their leader, Malén Oriol. The silent revolution of Cardinal De Paolis

by Sandro Magister

ROME, February 23, 2012 – For one week, a new man has been at the head of the Legionaries of Christ. He is young, only 36 years old. He is German, from Bavaria. He belongs to the noble lineage of the van Zuydtwyck. He has a brother who is a religious, and a sister who is a consecrated virgin. His parents testified for him in St. Peter’s Square, in the pope’s presence, on the eve of the closing of the Year for Priests, on June 10, 2010.

His name is Sylvester Heereman. He is the new vicar general of the Legion, in the role that previously belonged to Father Luis Garza Medina, the most powerful of the close collaborators and then successors of the infamous founder Marcial Maciel.

The appointment came unexpectedly, on February 16, with a statement from Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the pontifical delegate to whom Benedict XVI has given full powers in order to avert the downfall of the Legion and of the associated lay movement Regnum Christi, with its hundreds of consecrated men and women.

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