The papal delegate for the Legion of Christ, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, is exhorting members of the order to embrace the will of God as their renewal process moves forward.
In a letter dated Dec. 10, Cardinal De Paolis explained that the work of revising the Legion's constitution “demands interior freedom and discernment, so that we can follow the will of God. Our own ideas are not what should prevail or what will ensure success,” he said.
This process entails “heeding the will of God, in the school of the Church, in order to correctly re-read the history of the institute and of each one’s vocation.” The cardinal said that in doing so, the “best choices” will be made “according to God’s design.”
He then thanked those who have collaborated in the Legion's renewal process and offered his gratitude to those who have worked to foster a climate of “fraternity and trust, offering forgiveness, when necessary, as children of God in imitation of their heavenly Father.”
He called the revision of the Legion’s constitution “a work of extreme importance, which requires the active participation of all, each according to his means and proper role.”
The commission charged with revising the constitution will be made up of the papal delegate and two advisers, Fr. Gianfranco Ghirlanda and Fr. Agostino Montan, who are both experts in consecrated life.
Their results will be sent to the Vatican for approval.
“The Lord will enter into us to take possession of our lives to the degree that we open the doors of our hearts to him,” he said. “Thus the Kingdom of Christ will be established in our hearts and in the life of the Legion, and thus it will truly be the Legion of Christ,” he concluded.
The religious congregation is trying to recover from revelations that its founder, Fr. Marcel Maciel, sexually abused seminarians and fathered several children. The discovery led to questions—and an apostolic visitation ordered by Pope Benedict—about whether the charism and formation process of the order were affected by the founder.
Cardinal De Paolis was appointed July 9, 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI to oversee the renewal of the religious order.