In a statement released by Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., the Vatican spokesman revealed that the Holy See is to appoint an adviser to assist the Legionaries in the revision of their newly-drafted constitutions.
Having received numerous questions from journalists regarding the state of the Legionaries in light of the set revisions, Fr. Lombardi published the answers he received from spoken with Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz and Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, who are currently overseeing the process.
Cardinal Braz de Aviz serves as prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and Archbishop Carballo as the congregation’s secretary.
In the statement published June 25, Archbishop Carballo explained that the identity of the Vatican-appointed adviser has not yet been released. However, as “a gesture of fraternal closeness,” he and Cardinal Braz de Aviz will meet with the Legionaries general director, Fr. Robles Gil, July 3 to discuss their future adviser and the needed changes to their constitutions.
The role of the assistant “will be assumed by a consecrated person, as anticipated, who knows the Legionaries and will be able to be of help to the general Council on legal and other themes, according to need,” the archbishop explained.
He also emphasized the autonomy of the Legionaries, saying “this figure is an assistant, not a visitator, commissioner or delegate,” and as such “has neither a voice nor a vote, and is merely an assessor, and was agreed upon before the general Chapter.”
Archbishop Carballo also said after their first general Chapter earlier this spring, the Legionaries are no longer under the watch of the apostolic delegation investigating them, but have “returned to the competence of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life.”
Regarding the various corrections to be made to the text of the Legionaries’ new constitutions, the archbishop observed they are “very few in number.”
The new constitutions were drafted during the congregation’s first General Chapter meeting, which began on Jan. 9 and was mandated by Benedict XVI in wake of the revelation of the double-life led by the congregation’s founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, who is since deceased.