Legionaries' " Private Vows" Abolished?

Spirit Daily
December 15, 2007

Mexico City, Dec. 14, 2007 ( - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) has directed the Legionaries of Christ to do away with the "private vows" by which members of the religious order bound themselves to avoid any criticism of their superiors, according to a Mexican newspaper story.

The Rorate Caeli blog calls attention to a story in the daily La Jornada, which backed reports that circulated earlier this year. The Jornada story said that the Pope had "personally asked for the repeal of the private vows," which had been taken by all Legionaries studying for the priesthood. The Legionaries of Christ have not formally commented on the reports.

The "private vows," which required members to avoid taking part in any conversation involving criticism of the order or its superiors, were regarded by critics as an impediment to reform of the Legionaries. The Jornada story suggests that the abolition of these vows was recommended in May 2006, when the Vatican announced that the founder of the Legionaries, Father Marcial Maciel, had been removed from priestly ministry and asked to spend his remaining days in "penitence and prayer" in the wake of sex-abuse allegations.


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