Pope will make final decision on Legionaries, Vatican spokesman states

Pope Benedict XVI will make the final decisions regarding the Apostolic Visitation of the Legionaries of Christ, clarified the Vatican spokesman on Wednesday. A meeting between the bishops involved in investigations of the religious congregation will take place in Rome on Friday.

The Apostolic Visitation of the Legionaries was called for by the Holy See in March 2009 and began on July 15. Archbishop of Denver Charles Chaput is among the five bishops from Europe and the Americas responsible for compiling reports for the visitation.

A meeting of the five Apostolic Visitors will take place in the Eternal City on April 30.

Fr. Federico Lombardi explained in brief message released through Vatican Radio on Wednesday that it will be the Pope who will make any decisions concerning the Legionaries.

The Vatican spokesman told journalists that no specific decisions are expected to result from the encounter this week as the five bishops plan to use the meeting to present their initial reports and proposals.

A decision will come at a later date, after Pope Benedict has had the opportunity to review and reflect on the conclusions of the reports.

Fr. Lombardi added that a statement will follow Friday's meeting.

The five apostolic visitors designated by the Holy Father are: Bishop Ricardo Watti Urquidi of Tepic, Mexico; Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, Colorado; Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello of Concepcion, Chile; Bishop Giuseppe Versaldi of Alejandria, Italy; and Bishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Bilbao, Spain.

Each of them is responsible for presenting a report concerning the five distinct geographical areas of the Legionaries' international operations.

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