Members of the Legionaries of Christ will begin their extraordinary general chapter on January 8 to elect new leaders and approve a new constitution. This even will be an important step to renew the embattled order. Benedict XVI had ordered the reform and reorganization of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi, its lay branch, after revelations that their founder, the late Fr Marcial Maciel Degollado, had fathered children and sexually abused seminarians.
Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, appointed by retired pope Benedict XVI in 2010 to govern the order, announced the date of the opening of general chapter in a letter to the 953 priests and the hundreds seminarians of the Legion of Christ on October 4.
The chapter, he wrote, “comes at the end of a long journey of spiritual renewal and will have as its principal purpose the conclusion of revising the constitutions”, which set out the nature and purpose of a religious order, the way new members are brought in and formed, and govern all aspects of the members’ life together. The constitutions adopted by the delegates – expected to be about 60 priests – must be approved by Pope Francis before they take effect.
Fr Benjamin Clariond L.C., said that as of December 31, Regnum Christi has 85 consecrated men and 655 consecrated women.
A separate letter to the consecrated members of Regnum Christi movement, communicates that a general assembly for the consecrated men would be held on November 25 to December 1 and for the consecrated women on December 2-15.