Francis calls Legionaries of Christ to ‘continuous conversion’ at end of Rome meeting

Catholic News Agency

February 29, 2020

By Hannah Brockhaus

Pope Francis Saturday told the Legionaries of Christ religious order to look toward the future as they continue to reform themselves, seeking continuous conversion under the guidance of the Church.

The pope’s message was sent to the religious order of priests at the end of the congregation’s 2020 Ordinary General Chapter in Rome, which began Jan. 20, to elect new leadership and to discuss handling of abuse.

The pope told the Legion there is still much that “must be discerned on your part. So the journey must continue, looking forward, not backward. You can look back only to find trust in the support of God, who has never failed.”

“Returning to the past would be dangerous and meaningless,” he said.

The nearly six-week-long meeting took place during a time of widespread public criticism of the Legionaries of Christ, which reported in December 2019 that since its founding in 1941, 33 priests of the congregation have been found to have committed sexual abuse of minors, victimizing 175 children, according to the 2019 report.

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