Saturday, September 25, 2010

"Commissioners" named for Legionaries and Msgr. Velasio De Paolis

The names of the four commissioners who will assist the Papal Delegate to the Legion of Christ have been named. I can't find any "official" citation from the Vatican. However, the names - which had been speculated about for the past couple of days - have been made public. They are the same ones revealed in the leaks I mentioned in a prior post.

Bishop Brian Farrell, L.C. (Secretary for the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity). Brian went to the same high school, in Dublin, as I did. He joined the Legion a year before me. He is a thoughtful and spiritual man who, because of his full time work at the Vatican and his legal obligation to the Pope as a Bishop, has had at least as much exposure to the universal Church as he has had to the LC. My hope is that he will use his personal experience, as a Legionary, to describe, interpret and translate the internal secretive Legionary culture for his colleagues. Brian's brother Kevin (who features in some of the escapades described in my memoirs about the Legion, "Driving Straight on Crooked Lines"),  left the Legion shortly after me. He worked as a diocesan priest in Washington, DC where he was consecrated Bishop. He is now the Bishop of Dallas, TX.

Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda, SJ (native of Rome, noted canonist and former rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome)

Monsignor Mario Marchesi (Vicar General of the northern Italian diocese of Cremona and former professor of canon law at the Legionaries University Regina Apostolorum in Rome)

Monsignor Agostino Montan (a member of the religious congregation Josefino de Murialdo, professor of Canon law  at the Lateran University, Rome)

The special delegate to the consecrated women of the Regnum Christi Movement is:
Bishop Ricardo Blázquez, Archbishop of Valladolid, Spain since last April (formerly Bishop of Bilbao). Archbishop Blázquez was one of the "Apostolic Visitors" who audited the Legionaries.

It's an interesting team. An Irish Legionary Bishop, who has spent most of his life more immersed in the Vatican than in the daily life of the Legion; an academic Jesuit canonist, and two specialists in Canon law. No one from Mexico nor from the United States. I presume their first order of business will be  a total revision of the constitutions and rules of the Legion. That should be followed by a General Chapter which will accept the revisions and elect new leaders. (A General Chapter is convened for that very purpose - comprised of voting representatives from all regions of the congregation. Up now, the prior chapters were convened and controlled by the disgraced founder, Marcial Maciel).

For the sake of so many Legionary seminarians and priests - especially the younger ones - who, I am told are growing increasingly anxious because of the leadership void, and of course the thousands of lay people involved with the Regnum Christi and Legionary schools, I trust the Delegate and his "commissioners" will move expeditiously to right the ship of the Legion.

Bishop Blázquez, former president of the Spanish episcopal conference, should have a good understanding of daily life in the Legion following his experience of the Apostolic Visitation. He started his own priestly life in a minor seminary (Apostolic School in Legionary parlance). He is experienced in matters of doctrine and is well known to Pope Benedict because of his work at the Congregation for the Faith. The situation of the consecrated women in the Regnum Christi is perhaps the most poignant. Now they have the Delegate they requested. Let's hope that he moves quickly and pastorally to normalize their situation in the Church.


Cory said...

Is Blazquez one of the visitators along with Archbishop Chaput who wanted to reform the Legion rather than dissolve it?

Anonymous said...

Blazquez, Arch of Valladolid, Spain, was one of the 4 Visitators -he was for the Spanish speakers in Europe; I believe he did not express an opinion re reforming or dissolving -that was not his mission- but handed in a very severe analysis of the Legion. The harshest condemnation of Maciel came from this investigation and is reflected in the Vatican press release of May 1, 2010. IMHO

Anonymous said...

IMHO Chaput is much more benign towards the Legion and was probably a mistake as a Visitator; he seemed biased towards the present leadership; either too naive, or too stubborn, too defensive of Holy Mother the Church. I would not put Blazquez in the same basket -forgive the tongue-twister- as Chaput.

poman said...

Chaput may or may not be benign to the Legion, but I trust his judgement. He has never been one to shrink from speaking the truth or expressing strong, unpopular opinion. The fact that he chooses to do so in a measured and charitable way does not diminish his capacity for discernment. I thought he was a good choice (IMHO as well).