Cardinal Velasio de Paolis, the Pope's man on the task for helping the Legionaries deal with revelations about its founder, essentially rebuked those who want “vengeance” on the Legion by destroying it. Instead, the pope wants the religious order to remain and to flourish. He asks for prayers that the Legionaries and consecrated in Regnum Christi persevere in their vocations as apostles. EWTN's article below with my comments in blue and emphasis in bold:
Cardinal Velasio de Paolis, the Pontifical Delegate for the Legionaries of Christ, said the Pope appointed him not to destroy the order but to help promote and encourage new life in it.At a Feb. 27 Mass – celebrated on in the Mexican city of Leon for some 10,000 students who attend Legionary schools in the country – the cardinal noted that his “presence here is an expression of trust on the part of the Holy Father.”
He said the Pope appointed him delegate “because he trusts in the Legion and the Regnum Christi Movement. And he pointed his Delegate not to destroy but to revitalize, discover and renew the great vigor that exists in the Legion and the Regnum Christi Movement.”
The cardinal said his mission was not to encourage members of the Legion and its lay movement Regnum Christi to “change vocations,” but to remain in the two religious bodies. [Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict) worked in the CDF during the investigation in the 1980's, I don't think anyone is more informed then he, except perhaps the Cardianl delegate who has visited with every member and house of formation of the order since the beginning of the visitation.]
“The Pope has trust,” he continued. “He has trust in man's ability. He has trust, above all, in grace. [Reference here to an unofficial version of gratia supplex?] As Christians, we can see the future with great hope because we believe in God's kindness, which continually renews and restores our hearts and makes us able to carry out our work in ever more grand and beautiful ways.”
Despite our weaknesses, the cardinal added, grace “allows us to persevere and not to be scandalized even by sin because the grace of the Lord is greater than our misery, than our weaknesses and even our sin.”
Cardinal de Paolis said the future belongs to those who trust and commit themselves to living and persevering in their own vocations.
“Let us pray that all of us will persevere in our Christian vocations; for the Legionaries, that they persevere in their vocations; for the consecrated souls of the Regnum Christi Movement; and for all the faithful committed to spreading (the faith), to devoting their efforts to getting others to know and love the Lord.” [Indeed.]
I have met too many people who don't like the Legion because of what they have heard rather than actually experienced. Yes, the order grew fast (and continues to). Yes, there have been issues of overly strict policy and confidentiality (which the pope moved to abolish a few years ago).Yes, they maintain many priniples that are not popular today even in mainstream Catholicism. Yes, the founder had fallen into serious sin. But to say that the order as a whole must also be corrupt or even defective, without any experience other than gossip or without any attempt to understand the reasons why they do things the way they do, is off base. As we find is the purpose of the blog, when you find yourself in a potential disagreement with someone, you must first try to understand their position and then square yours up against it. As Aquinas paraphrases, strengthen the argument of an opponent if it was not presented well,
If we give the most charitable read possible of another's words, we will always act virtuously.
I would add to the list though, that I have met dozens of Legionaries and I think I can say Yes, every one that I have met is dedicated to Christ through the Church above all, which is manifest by their obedience to it, rather than whatever projects they undertake. My personal experience with the Legionaries has been positive and I hope they continue the great work they have already done by being faithful to Christ and the mission given it by the Church.
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