Papal Delegate Writes to Consecrated Men and Women

Regnum Christi
February 17, 2012

Cardinal Velasio De Paolis

Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, c.s., Papal Delegate to the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi, wrote to the consecrated members of the movement February 15. In his letter, he reviews the process of their renewal to date and progress in verifying the vocation to the Third Degree in the Regnum Christi Movement. He also outlines organizational changes designed to move the process forward.

(Translation of the original letter in Italian)

Rome, 15 February 2012

Dear consecrated men and women of Regnum Christi,

After completing his visitation, the Apostolic Visitator delivered his report in September of 2011. We thanked him and began to study it. He draws attention to many positive points, but also to a good number that need correction or improvement. In obedience to the task given us by the Holy See, we began to undertake the path of discernment. The outset was rather laborious, but as we moved forward the path became clearer.

We saw that we needed in the first place an “illuminative phase” that would help us to detect more clearly the path to follow. We therefore made the effort to meet, help and support each other in our desire to renew our adherence to the consecrated life in Regnum Christi. The meetings held for this purpose in Mexico and Brazil guided by Fr Ghirlanda, and here in Rome by me with the help of Fr Agostino Montan, were in everyone’s opinion highly positive. After these encounters we were convinced that our reflection on the vocation of consecrated life in Regnum Christi was on the right path; that your vocation is authentic, and there was a renewal of the commitment to preserve and persevere in it.

As we reflected on the lay consecrated vocation in Regnum Christi linked with the Legion of Christ, we found points of substantial agreement that reflect the lived experience of many of you over many years: we are in agreement on the lay consecrated vocation, we have seen that association is the path to pursue, we have also confirmed that consecrated life in Regnum Christi is linked to the charism of the Legion, in the perspective—which needs deeper examination—of a single ‘Charismatic Family’ in which Legionaries, consecrated lay men and women, and non-consecrated lay members share in different ways in the one charism. As well as these acquired points, we also singled out the means to cooperate with Legionary priests in this process, even if many points still remain to be clarified. We also realized that within our own communities we needed time for reflection. The desire to not rush the process and to give more space for reflection was also expressed. Both I and my collaborators also reached the same conclusion. We have therefore thought of extending the time of reflection and of re-examining some aspects of how our work is organized, the better to prepare the inner workings of the governance of the association of the consecrated men and women.

In the meantime, we also had to give an answer to the general assistant, Malen Oriol, who some time ago had expressed her desire to withdraw from her position as general assistant, but not to leave the 3rd degree of Regnum Christi, and she reiterated this desire in a meeting with consecrated women. Despite attempts to persuade her otherwise, we finally had to take note of her decision and accept her resignation. We thank her for her service and it is our hope that she will continue in her commitment as a consecrated woman in Regnum Christi, continuing to place her long experience and the richness of her personal talents at the service of the Movement.

In light of these developments, my collaborators and I have had to rethink the plans I outlined in my previous letter. We have decided to extend the “illuminative phase” until Easter. Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda and Father Agostino Montan, will continue to follow this process closely and, in agreement with me, will provide you with the necessary instructions so that this phase will be more abundantly fruitful.

As we continue to work through the illuminative phase, and pending our reflection on the statutes with its own commission, we need to address the problem of governance. It is necessary that the consecrated men and women each have their own internal government. In order to accomplish this we thought it opportune to take the following decisions. First of all, we will simplify the government of the consecrated men and women, discontinuing the position of the General Assistant for the consecrated women and also the General Assistant for consecrated men, currently Diego de Robina. I am happy to take the opportunity to also thank Diego for his generosity and commitment in fulfilling his duties at the service of the consecrated men. We hope to continue to draw on his experience and dedication.

In addition, in order to move more quickly, to unify efforts and aid the common reflection between the Legion and the consecrated members of Regnum Christi, I am reserving to the Papal Delegate the faculties of the General Director regarding the internal life of the consecrated men and women. I am giving Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda the responsibility of accompanying in my name the consecrated men, and Father Agostino Montan the same for the consecrated women, in matters of their internal governance. I refer here to the internal governance typical of an association of the faithful. It is not my intention at this time to enter into the workings of their governance as regards their participation in the charism, spirituality and apostolate in collaboration with the Legion and the other components of the Regnum Christi Movement.

Starting now, therefore, at the level of general governance, the consecrated men will refer to Father Ghirlanda and the consecrated women to Father Montan. At the territorial level, however, until such time as the internal governance of the consecrated men and consecrated women has been established, the Territorial Directors retain their faculties and we ask them to work closely with Fr. Ghirlanda and Fr. Montan. These in turn will refer the more important matters to the Papal Delegate especially with regard to reassignments, appointments and dispensations from the commitments of consecrated life.

The above is to be understood in the context of what has been defined in our journey so far to verify the vocation to the third degree of Regnum Christi. These points are: the confirmation of lay consecrated life, the juridical status of association for the consecrated groups, the participation in the charism, spirituality and apostolate of the Legionaries. I feel it is important to point out that these decisions were taken after consulting with the general director and his counsel, who are in agreement.

All of us are fully aware that the consecrated men and women ought each to have a proper autonomy, and that this implies an association with its own juridical personality. Their participation in the charism, apostolate and spirituality, which is part of the identity of this group is made concrete in their collaboration with the Legion of Christ. How this collaboration is to be carried out needs to be specified through the reflection that will take place among the consecrated men and consecrated women, and the Legionaries of Christ themselves.

More clarifications and specifications will follow soon, especially after a meeting with the Territorial Directors, the Territorial Assistants, to be as soon as possible in Rome, in agreement also with the Legion’s General Directorate.

During these days with their times of special communion and renewed joy for the rediscovery of the beauty of consecrated life, there has also been the sadness caused by the fact that some of our sisters have asked to leave Regnum Christi. They say they have reached the decision to leave Regnum Christi only after a long period of reflection that took years. We thank them for the good they have done and they say they have also received. They deserve to have their choice respected. I would hope that those who intend to leave Regnum Christi do not give into the temptation to try and influence others who intend to remain steadfast and remain faithful to the commitments they took upon themselves. As respect is justly demanded for those who leave, the same is also to be expected for those—and they are the vast majority—who intend to persevere in the choice they already made in Regnum Christi.

We must, however, also realize that those who have chosen to leave can no longer retain any positions of responsibility and authority they may currently occupy, such as a Territorial Assistant or a Director. I ask the Territorial Directors to propose to the Papal Delegate the names of those they consider apt to fulfill these positions—after consulting the members of the communities in the case of directors of centers, and at least the directors of centers in the case of Territorial Assistant—so that he can fill these positions temporarily, pending the definitive appointments to be made as soon as possible.

Let us live in joy the times of grace and light; let us live the dark times with faith in the Lord, knowing that our lives are always and ever in the hands of God who always loves us, forgives us, and renews us.

May God bless you,

and I ask you for a prayer for me and my collaborators who serve you,

Yours devotedly,

Velasio Cardinal De Paolis, c.s.

Papal Delegate








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