Thy Kingdom Come!
Rome, February 27, 2014
PRESENTATION OF THE COMMUNIQUÉS OF THE GENERAL CHAPTER
1. From January 8th through February 25th, 2014, the Extraordinary General Chapter of the Legion of Christ took place in Rome. His Eminence, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, CS, and his two counselors, Fr. Gianfranco Ghirlanda, SJ, and Fr. Agostino Montan, CSI, presided. Sixty-one chapter fathers participated, 19 ex officio and 42 elected by the nine territories of the congregation and the centers of Rome.
2. This Extraordinary General Chapter marks the end of the journey of in-depth revision that the congregation has travelled since the apostolic visitation, which took place during 2009-2010, and the naming of a Pontifical Delegate in the summer of 2010. Our principal tasks in the Chapter, as Pope Benedict XVI1 indicated and as Pope Francis confirmed2, were to revise the Constitutions and to elect a new central government for the congregation.
3. In the first days, in light of the reports that the Pontifical Delegate and the pro-General Director submitted, we focused on analyzing the life of the Congregation since the ordinary General Chapter that took place in 2005. One of the outcomes of the intense exchange of ideas that took place in those days was the communiqué that the Chapter approved on January 20th, 2014, about the journey of renewal of the Congregation. This same day, the elections of the new central government took place. Once the election had been confirmed and the Holy See made the two nominations that it had reserved to itself, the elections of Fr. Eduardo Robles Gil, the general counselors, the general administrator and the general procurator were published on February 6th, 2014, the 49th anniversary of the Decretum Laudis.
4. The new constitutional text is the fruit of a broad process of revision and consultation, in which all the religious of the congregation took part over a three-year period, by means of community meetings and numerous individual contributions. In the summer of 2013, a draft that the Central Commission for the Revision of the Constitutions had prepared was examined by the territorial assemblies, which in turn presented their recommendations for the consideration of the Chapter. After revising the text number by number, we, the chapter fathers, made the opportune changes to the text and the structure. At the end we approved the new constitutions on February 25 in order to present them to the Holy See for definitive approval.
5. The new Constitutions are the principal document of this Extraordinary General Chapter. The attention of all the Legionaries should be directed to them because there they will find the principal lines of our identity, our life and our mission expressed in a renewed and more concise way.
6. This Chapter did not have the task of addressing themes connected with the entire life of the Congregation. Even so, the chapter fathers decided to dedicate the last part of the Chapter to
collect reflections and orientations about relevant issues in several communiqués in order to share them with our brothers. Many of these issues had been brought up by a number of different Legionaries.
7. This task was carried out in commissions. Each document was reviewed on at least two occasions in plenary sessions of the Chapter before final approval. It seemed opportune to make these communiqués public relatively quickly, even though they do not offer an exhaustive exposition and we have not been able to give them a uniform length or style. These texts above all seek to communicate a message. They do not have the terminological precision of a juridical text and, at times, they repeat the same idea from different points of view. We present these communiqués with the following order, which parallels the overarching structure of the new Constitutions:
a. Charismatic identity of the Legion of Christ
b. The Legion of Christ in Regnum Christi
c. Fraternal life in community
d. Liturgical life and prayer
e. The formation of the Legionary and the Ratio Institutionis
f. Our apostolic renewal
g. Government, authority and obedience
h. Administration and the vow of poverty
– Statement of the Extraordinary General Chapter of the Legionaries of Christ about the path of renewal that we are traveling
– Some reflections regarding the name of the congregation
8. At the end of the General Chapter, the Pontifical Delegate invited us to unite ourselves to Mary in order to give thanks to God and sing of his mercy. We would like to extend this invitation to all our brothers: “Magnificat anima mea Dominum…” (Lk 1:46).
1 Pope Benedict XVI, Letter appointing the Pontifical Delegate, June 16, 2010.
2 Pope Francis, Letter to the Pontifical Delegate Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, June 19, 2013.