Rome, Italy, Jul 12, 2012 / 23:02 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Pope Benedict XVI's representative has asked the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi to consider their needs and realities jointly, to prepare for the drafting of new constitutions.
“We have decided to organize a brief but intense period of joint reflection between Legionaries of Christ and the other members of Regnum Christi,” wrote Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, Pontifical Delegate to the Legion of Christ, in a July 11 letter to both groups.
It is not possible, the papal delegate said, “to properly and completely consider the government, apostolate and administration of the Legion of Christ without also taking the broader reality of Regnum Christi into account.”
“Nor is it possible, on the other hand, to think of the reality of Regnum Christi without referring to the Legion.”
Both groups are involved in a Vatican-directed reform effort that includes a revision of the Legionaries' constitutions. The period of joint consultation is necessary partly because of some overlap in the two groups' membership.
“One could say that we are seeking to elaborate a 'general statute' or a 'fundamental norm,' or a 'rule' common to all the members of Regnum Christi, including Legionaries,” Cardinal De Paolis wrote.
A central commission in charge of revising the Legion's constitutions will prepare a draft text to “guide the reflection” by members of Regnum Christi and the Legionaries.
The period of reflection will also involve “a historical investigation regarding the origins of the Regnum Christi Movement.”
Elsewhere in his letter, the papal delegate noted that a provisional rule had been prepared for the consecrated men and women of Regnum Christi. Individuals have also been appointed for the “internal government of the consecrated persons.”
While the Legionaries remain committed to the revision of their constitutions, some of their communities want additional time to reflect on “the nature and purpose of the Congregation,” Cardinal De Paolis acknowledged.
The order's particular gift, or “charism,” has been called into question due to revelations about the founder's double-life and acts of sexual abuse.
Meanwhile, as work continues on the revised constitutions, “the life of the Legion of Christ and of the Regnum Christi Movement continues on,” Cardinal De Paolis wrote.
The papal delegate said the process was “in an intermediate, necessarily provisional, phase, which requires much patience, collaboration and availability on the part of all.”