The Legion of Christ recently released a statement regarding the decision of St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop Harry Flynn to ban the work of the movement throughout the Archdiocese.
On November 23rd, Archbishop Flynn stated in a letter sent to all parishes of the Archdiocese that the Legion of Christ, and its lay affiliate, Regnum Christi, cease activity within the Archdiocese.
Allegedly, the letter was never planned to be made public but has received press in many national and local Catholic news outlets, prompting a response by the Legionaries.
The letter to the parishes included a letter written to Fr. Anthony Barron, North American director for the Legion of Christ, from the Archbishop stating that “pastors continue to sense that a ‘parallel church’ is being encouraged, one that separates persons from the local parish and archdiocese, and creates competing structures.”
The Legionaries pointed out that “there has never been deliberate neglect in complying with Archbishop Flynn's wishes and requests, but perhaps we have not understood properly his concerns as Pastor and thus have not acted as he wished and expected of us.”
According to the Archbishop’s letter, laypeople are perfectly allowed, according to Canon law to “join associations of the faithful, such as Regnum Christi”. The group’s activities however, “are not to be held on diocesan property, nor promoted through any diocesan channels.”
The group says it has “encouraged Regnum Christi members in the Twin Cities to continue to support diocesan and parochial programs and activities as they have always done, as well as being faithful to their spiritual commitments and formation.”
According to their website, the Legionaries “seek to cooperate with bishops in the realization of diocesan pastoral programs, especially education, the family, social services, and the mass media. They thus promote diocesan programs by contributing their own charism, which is a gift from God to the whole Church.”
The Legionaries explained in a statement that while they hope to resolve and clarify this matter with the Archdiocese, they will “faithfully observe [the Archbishop’s] dispositions in a spirit of filial obedience.”