Cardinal Sandoval says others better prepared for Legion job

Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez.
Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez.


After speculation by a Vatican expert that Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez would be selected as the commissioner to oversee the rebuilding of the Legionaries of Christ, his archdiocese said on Tuesday that he is “open” to whatever the Pope decides, but that the cardinal thinks the task should go to “somebody who has more knowledge of religious life, instead of a priest from the diocesan clergy.”

A statement released by the Archdiocese of Guadalajara yesterday insisted that Cardinal Sandoval has not been given an appointment as commissioner, nor has he been contacted about it.

The archdiocese stated yesterday that the task of commissioner should fall to “somebody who has more knowledge of religious life, instead of a priest from the diocesan clergy, as is the case with the cardinal.”

At the same time, Cardinal Sandoval said that he is “open to whatever the Pope's indications might be at the appropriate time.”

“The decision of naming a commissioner for the rebuilding of the Legion falls exclusively to the Supreme Pontiff,” he added.

Following the Holy See's publication of a statement at the conclusion of the year-long visitation of the Legionaries of Christ, Vatican expert Sandro Magister wrote that the only name in circulation for the commissioner position was Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez.

The Apostolic Visitation was triggered by revelations that the order's founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, engaged in what the concluding report called behavior that was “extremely serious and objectively immoral,” in some cases criminal. Some of the founder's offenses depicted “a life devoid of scruples and of authentic religious sentiment,” the statement said.

The visitors also recommended the appointment of a commissioner who would assume full powers in the work of rebuilding the Legion. It is expected that Pope Benedict will appoint this commissioner before summer, according to Sandro Magister’s latest column.

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