Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Vatican Cardinals discuss Relgious Life

According to a leading Vatican journalist, Andrea Tornielli, writing in "La Stampa," Pope Benedict XVI convened a special meeting of the leaders of the Roman Curia on June 13 to discuss several concerns about religious life.

At the meeting, the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, brought up the subject of the obedience due to the founders of Religious Congregations. In discussing the excesses that should be avoided in religious communities, the Church leaders reportedly emphasized that the commitment to a religious congregation or movement should never work against the unity of the universal Church, the authority of the teaching Magisterium, or the conscience of the individual member.

The conversation on this point appears to reflect the painful lessons learned from the crisis within the Legion of Christ. In addition to encouraging adulation of their founder, the late Father Marcial Maciel, the Legionaries also followed the rigid system of discipline imposed by the Founder, which included a private vow never to criticize a superior.  This vow, suppressed by Pope Benedict, effectively curtailed any criticism of Fr. Maciel’s actions facilitating his ability to lead a double life. 

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