On Thursday, while speaking to members of Regnum Christi, Legionary priests and staff of the University Francisco de Vitoria in Madrid, the Vicar General of the Legion of Christ, Father Luis Garza, revealed that he had asked the Holy See to create a pontifical commissioner to bring order to the Legion of Christ. The Legion issued a statement today clarifying that their vicar general was only speaking on a personal basis and not for the order.
Friday morning, Luis Posada Pescador from Albadigital.es reported that while speaking at a conference, Fr. Garza explained that a pontifical commissioner would help bring credibility to the congregation and that the Holy See should review the charism, the statues and the policies of the order.
He added that the Legion previously asked for the participation from all of its members in any review.
Father Garza also said he requested that the Holy See appoint advisors to manage the order’s relationship with civil officials regarding the victimsabused by the founder of the Legion, Father Marcial Maciel.
It was also reported that Fr. Garza mentioned that the congregation inquired about having consultants appointed to deal with the founder’s personal secretaries who were involved in concealing his double life.
The Legion responded on Friday evening with a statement explaining that the “author of the article –who was not personally in attendance at Fr. Garza’s conference- based his writing off information others had given to him, mixing it indistinctly with other pieces of information and opinions of a vague consistency.”
They said that as a result, the “majority of the article did not correspond” to what was actually said and that “now there are statements circulating that Fr. Garza did not actually make.”
The Legion statement continued, “Speaking about the possible conclusions of the apostolic visitation and the various speculations about its outcome which have been published in various sources,” Fr. Garza affirmed, “‘I don’t know what the Holy Father will decide.’” He added that no indication has been given as the official reports of the visitors “fall under pontifical secrecy.”
However, the statement continued, “Fr. Garza added, ‘Now it could be possible that the Holy Father will send someone from the outside, to help us in the congregation, as a commissioner, as an assistant, or in some other capacity.’”
The Legion’s statement then emphasized that Fr. Garza was only “sharing his personal beliefs on the topic.”
The religious order reported that Fr. Garza said:
“Sincerely, I consider, personally, that this sort of action on the part of the Holy Father would be something extremely useful and extremely good for the Legion because it would give much credibility and clarity to our whole process. I truly await it, and I asked the visitors with whom I spoke, I suggested to them that they do a thing like this to be able to effectively, not only comply–because I believe that our disposition is to comply – but so that there not be doubts on the part of anyone about the process of complying with what the Holy See will want to say to us.”
Fr. Garza also stated that the apostolic visitors had not formally investigated some issues within the Legion, so he expressed his desire for “the help of people from the outside” to investigate in order to provide credibility and clarity to the process.