Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, Pontifical Delegate to the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ, announced today in Rome the names of the four counselors who will assist him in fulfilling his duties in the reorganization of the Mexican-born congregation. He also announced the apostolic visitor to Regnum Christi, the lay movement associated with the Legion.
The counselors to Archbishop De Paolis will be Bishop Brian Farrell, LC, Msgr. Mario Marchesi, Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda, SJ, Father Agostino Montan, SC.
The visitor to Regnum Christi will be Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez of Valladolid, Spain.
Vatican Radio, which made the announcement in its Italian edition, recalled that, "according to the decree signed on July 9 by the Secretary of State, (Cardinal) Tarcisio Bertone, Archbishop De Paolis "will have four personal advisors to aid him in carrying out his work, according to the circumstances and possibilities.
“These aides may be assigned specific tasks, particularly visits 'ad referendum.' With their help, the papal delegate will identify, discuss, and clarify the principal topics as they arise during the process he is called to lead."
The main task of the counselors will be to help Archbishop De Paolis revise the constitutions of the Legion of Christ.
Bishop Farrell, 66, is the Dublin-born secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and a consultor for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He was ordained a priest for the Legion in 1969, then served from 1970 to 1976 as director of the Legion of Christ’s novitiate in Connecticut.
Msgr. Marchesi is currently the vicar general for the Italian Diocese of Cremona, but in the past has worked in the Vatican as undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and director of the law office of the Italian Bishops' Conference. He has also taught canon law at the Legion-owned Pontifical University "Regina Apostolorum" in Rome.
Fr. Ghirlanda only recently stepped down from his post as rector of the Jesuit's Pontifical Gregorian University, where he served for the last six years. A doctor of Canon Law, he taught for 30 years before being promoted to the head of the university.
Fr. Montan, a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is the current head of the Office for Consecrated Life in the Diocese of Rome and a professor of canon law at the Pontifical Lateran University in the same city. He is also a consultor to the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
Archbishop De Paolis, as coordinator of the visitation to the Regnum Christi movement, will be in charge of naming the movement's visitor.
Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez, 68, was one of the five apostolic visitors of the Legion of Christ who completed their duties last March. He was responsible for the visitation in Spain and Western Europe, excluding Italy.
Archbishop Blazquez served as president of the Spanish Bishops' Conference from 2005 to 2008.
Regnum Christi claims some 70,000 members in 18 countries. The movement includes a branch of consecrated persons, mostly women, whose canonical status will be one of the topics of the visitation.