Contrary to previous reports, leaders from the Regnum Christi Movement stressed that the visitation to be conducted by Church officials will focus on the 900 or so consecrated members and not on the group’s 70,000 lay people.
Although Regnum Christi leaders in the U.S. emphasized that consecrated members will be the primary focus of the visitation, a spokesman in Rome clarified to CNA that lay people will not be excluded from the visitation and are free to contact Church officials during the process.
Last month, Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, Pontifical Delegate to the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ, announced the names of the four counselors who will assist him in reorganizing the beleaguered religious order. He also announced that the apostolic visitor to Regnum Christi, the lay movement associated with the Legion, will be Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez of Valladolid, Spain.
The main task of the counselors will be to help Archbishop De Paolis revise the constitutions of the Legion.
Contrary to recent news accounts, Regnum Christi leaders said that the visitation of the group will not encompass all of the laity involved, but consecrated members only.
“We continue to read media reports of a pending visitation to the Regnum Christi Movement,” read an Oct. 25 statement. “Our understanding is that the announced visitation is to the consecrated members of the Movement.”
“In other words, the visitation will focus on the 900 or so consecrated members, not the 70,000 members of the laity,” the leaders added.
“Archbishop Blázquez, who will conduct the visitation of the consecrated, has not announced the details of his visitation plan, but the direction is clearly described in last week’s letter from Archbishop Velasio De Paolis to Legionaries and consecrated Regnum Christi members.”
In his letter, Archbishop De Poalis wrote that the “visitation will be carried out under the responsibility of the papal delegate and in coordination with the responsibility he exercises over the entire Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement.”
“The Regnum Christi Movement is a treasure that is indivisibly connected to the Legion, which should feel responsible for it and continue offering it its help,” the archbishop noted. “Nevertheless, this relationship must also be the object of serene reflection and it is part of the path of renewal regarding the Legion itself and its constitutions, also in relation to the members of Regnum Christi.”
Clarifying aspects of the visitation in an e-mail to CNA, Fr. Andreas Schöggl – spokesperson for the Legionaries of Christ in Rome – said that “the visitator will actually visit the centers of the consecrated members,” since “a visit to each family involved with Regnum Christi would just not be feasible.”
However, he added, “this does not exclude” non consecrated lay people, who “can also contact the visitor on their own initiative.”
“Archbishop Blázquez and Archbishop De Paolis are working out the concrete details according to the instructions given by the Holy See and then they will inform us and those to be visited,” he said.