Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Vatican to name new adviser to oversee Legion of Christ

Does Pope Francis trust the Legion to Reform itself?


Vatican to name new adviser to oversee Legion

  • Article by: NICOLE WINFIELD
  • Associated Press
  • June 24, 2014 - 8:00 AM
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican next week will name a new adviser to help oversee the Legion of Christ religious order in the latest sign that Pope Francis doubts the Vatican's three-year reform experiment has resolved all the problems in the troubled congregation, officials said Tuesday.

Francis has kept the Legion at arms' length since he inherited the reform project launched after the Legion admitted in 2009 that its founder sexually abused his seminarians and fathered three children.

Francis has yet to meet with the new superior and didn't send a message to the congregation when it met earlier this year to chart its new course, as he has done with other congregations. The Vatican insisted on naming two members of the Legion's new governing body and during his recent trip to Jerusalem, Francis skipped a luncheon planned by the Legion and ate instead with the Franciscans.

The current superior, the Rev. Eduardo Robles Gil, said in a video posted Monday on a Legion-affiliated website that the Vatican's congregation for religious orders was expected to announce details about the external "assistant" during a meeting with the leadership July 3.

He stressed that the Legion's governance would remain "autonomous" but that the Vatican was providing "a special assistance" as the congregation moves forward with implementing reforms.

A Legion spokesman, the Rev. Benjamin Clariond, said it wasn't clear what the adviser's mandate would be, but noted that the order still faces some daunting challenges, including figuring out a legal structure for its lay group, Regnum Christi.

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