Archbishop of Baltimore Edwin F. O’Brien has said he has received a “rather significant volume of information” from the Legionaries of Christ following his June request for information about their membership and programs in his archdiocese.
In a June 6 letter Archbishop O’Brien wrote to the Superior General of the Legionaries of Christ, Monsignor Alvaro Corcuera Martinez del Rio, asking the leader of the prominent religious order to identify all Legionary-associated clergy, ministries, apostolates and youth programs in the archdiocese.
The archbishop had requested the information be provided within a month of his letter and asked that a Legionaries priest be appointed as a liaison to the archdiocese.
Citing a “sense of secrecy” and “seemingly heavily persuasive” recruiting methods reportedly present among Legionaries-associated programs, he also asked that no “ongoing and individual spiritual direction” be given to youths under the age of 18. He further requested that the archdiocese’s vocations office be informed of all candidates for the priesthood.
Archbishop O’Brien recently told the Baltimore Examiner that the archdiocese had a meeting several weeks ago with three priests from the Legionaries of Christ.
“They handed over a rather significant volume of information concerning membership and the programs that they run,” he said, saying that his further support for the congregation depends on their “ongoing cooperation.”
The archbishop noted he has recently written pastors to welcome approaches from representatives of the Legionaries’ lay association Regnum Christi within their parishes, “especially at the grassroots.”
Scott Brown, executive director of the Legionaries-run Woodmont Academy told the Baltimore Examiner “We are fully in agreement with what the archbishop has asked us to do.”
The Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi have about 70,000 members and 700 priests throughout the world.