Opening of the 2020 General Chapter of the Legionaries of Christ

This Monday, January 20th, marks the beginning of the 2020 Ordinary General Chapter of the Legionaries of Christ. The General Chapter has three primary tasks: evaluate the last six years of governance, analyze the challenges and goals of its evangelizing mission in communion with the Church, and elect a general government able to pursue the priorities set for the next six years. 

According to canon law the General Chapter is the supreme authority in a religious congregation. In the case of the Legionaries of Christ, the General Chapter is convoked every six years, according to the Constitutions approved by the Holy See in 2014 as part of the renewal of the Legion carried out with the help of the Church. The General Chapter’s duty is to elect the general government and to address the most important matters pertaining to the mission and identity of the congregation. Its decisions affect all Legionaries of Christ.

Review of the last six years

Father Eduardo Robles-Gil, LC, the current General Director, will be held accountable by the current Chapter for the mandates he received from the 2014 General Chapter. Of particular importance are the mandates that the Congregation begin living and exercising authority according to the new Constitutions, elaborate a ratio formationis to renew the Legionary formation process, implement safe environment policies for the care and protection of minors, and establish a canonical configuration for the whole of Regnum Christi under the guidance of the pontifical assistant Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda, SJ.

Election of a new government

The General Chapter will also elect the new general director, his six councilors, and the general administrator. In addition, this will be the first Chapter the Legion celebrates as part the Regnum Christi Federation that was recently approved by the Holy See. The new general director will form part of the general directive college of Regnum Christi together with the general directors of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi, and the Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi, assisted by two laypersons with a consultative vote. In these days the Consecrated Women and the Consecrated Men are also celebrating their respective General Assemblies in Rome, and similarly will elect their new governments.

Challenges and Goals

The Chapter itself is sovereign, setting its own agenda of topics to analyze and determining its working calendar. Nevertheless, some of the principal topics are the apostolic mission of the Congregation in relation to the other vocations of Regnum Christi, the formation of seminarians; advances in support of victims of sexual abuse; possible coverup, negligence or omission in relation to past abuse; the living of poverty in the Congregation; community life; vocational ministry; the formation of seminarians; and religious discipline in general.

Official Website

The official website is: https://legionariosdecristo.org/capitulo2020. It will offer brief daily updates, press photos, and official communications and videos.

Participants

In total 66 Legionary priests with voice and vote will participate, of which 18 participate by office and 48 were elected. The chapter fathers represent the nine territories (Chile-Argentina, Brazil, North America, Spain, Western and Central Europe, Italy, Mexico, Monterrey, Columbia-Venezuela) and the delegation of Rome and the Holy Land. The average age of the chapter fathers is 51. The oldest is 72, and the youngest 36. Of the 66, 12 are participating for the first time. (List of participants).

In relation to recent developments in the case of Fernando Martínez, and the participation in the Chapter of some legionaries involved in the handling of this case, the Congregation in Mexico has published a communique and the North American Territory offers an English version for the members of the North American Territory here.

Participation of 2020 chapter fathers in prior general chapters

Number participating for the first time in 2020
Number participating for the first time in 2018
Number participating for the first time in 2014
Number participating for the first time in 2005
Number who participated for the first time in 1992
Number who participated for the first time in 1980
12 19 23 4 5 3

 

 

 

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