The Legionaries of Christ in Regnum Christi

[Translated from the Original Spanish]

Rome, February 27, 2014

 

Regnum Christi

22. The General Chapter has reflected on the reality of Regnum Christi and the place of the Legion of Christ within it.

23. We reaffirm that the Legion of Christ is a part of Regnum Christi (Cf. CLC1 1, § 22). Regnum Christi came into existence because of the effort and commitment of many Legionaries. Nevertheless we recognize that our congregation was only the beginning of a reality whose origin is in God and has developed to maturity in its different states in life.

24. Regnum Christi is made up of men and women who share the same charism, lived out according to each one’s own vocation and specific identity: religious priests – the Legionaries of Christ – , consecrated lay men and women, lay people who live in the world and diocesan priests. Each vocation expresses the shared charism in its own way.

25. In the communion of Regnum Christi, we share the same spirituality and mission. The complementarity of the different vocations brings a unique evangelizing strength to the Movement.

26. Two potentially helpful images have been used to express the nature of Regnum Christi: the human body and the family. The image of the body expresses the inseparability of the parts of Regnum Christi, which can only achieve their purpose when united and whose head is Jesus Christ. The image of the family highlights that our common Father is God, our equal dignity, our affection for one another and the interdependence of the members. Both images represent the participation of all in what is common to all.

1) Remembering the journey travelled with the Pontifical Delegate

27. In these years, we have walked a path of renewal, clarification and reflection on our charism. This journey should continue. We would like to highlight four aspects: the self-governance of the consecrated branches, the participation of the lay members, the placing of the Legionaries within Regnum Christi and the quest for a canonical configuration.

a) The self-governance of the consecrated branches

28. The General Chapter sees the self-governance of the consecrated branches as a step forward in consolidating the whole of Regnum Christi. The request they made to the Holy

See to canonically erect associations of faithful responds to the need to establish de iure what they already are de facto: a group of persons who live the evangelical counsels under their own governance. This does not mean that the other branches are breaking away, but that they are maturing in their own identity and hence that the whole body of Regnum Christi is maturing. Their Statutes, which were recently approved by the Delegate, are an important and beautiful outcome of the journey they have travelled. It is deeply gratifying to see in them both the family traits we all share as well as the unique characteristics with which each branch enriches the whole of the Movement.

29. At the same time, the Legion sees the need to respond to the desire and the commitment to live in unity and communion expressed in the general assemblies of the consecrated branches. The Chapter observes the same strong desire in the congregation. We want to serve you as priests and accompany you as our brothers and sisters in following Christ and announcing his Kingdom.

b) The participation of the lay members that do not profess the evangelical counsels

30. With the lay members, we share the grace of baptism and the invitation to holiness and apostolate proper to the Christian life. Along with the members of the consecrated branches, we share the particular vocation to Regnum Christi as a path that God offers us to develop this Christian life and bring it to its fullness. The lay members, because of their state in life, make the Kingdom of Christ present in their families and in their social and professional surroundings. We Legionaries value their lay vocation and together with them we wish to bring to fullness the mission that God has entrusted to Regnum Christi for the good of the Church.

31. Convoking the lay members to participate in a reflection about their identity and mission was a good decision, since they are the ones that have received this specific vocation and are directly responsible for developing this gift. It is a journey that must continue in the next years. We trust that it will bear abundant fruit for the spiritual and apostolic renewal of the Movement3.

c) The placing of the Legionaries of Christ within Regnum Christi

32. The journey we have travelled has enabled the Legionaries to enter more deeply into our own identity within Regnum Christi and how we live out the shared charism as religious and priests. The Legionary is always a member of the Movement and wherever he is, Regnum Christi is present. Without reducing the broad range of apostolates and tasks that the Legionary can take on, our specific mission in relation with the other members of Regnum Christi consists in exercising the spiritual fatherhood proper to the priest by accompanying them, forming them and encouraging them as they walk the path of holiness and engage in the apostolate (Cf. CLC 4).

33. The consecrated women, lay consecrated men, and the lay members, as well as receiving our priestly service, are our companions in the mission. For this reason we appreciate their capability and commitment in decision-making and in the development of the Movement and its apostolates, as fits in each case. They contribute gifts that we do not have, gifts that are necessary to bring Regnum Christi to its fullness.

34. We are grateful for the support and encouragement that the members of the other branches have always offered us, especially in these past years. We thank all the Legionaries who have taken the charism of Regnum Christi to so many different places in the world and have helped others to discover and flourish in their vocation to the Movement. We also wish to ask for forgiveness, in the name of all Legionaries, for the times in which we have not sufficiently appreciated and promoted the individual vocation and mission of each member.

d) The quest for canonical configuration

35. Under the guidance of the Delegate, the previous central government, together with the representatives of the other branches, began a reflection in search of a possible canonical configuration for Regnum Christi as a whole. It has not been possible to arrive at definitive conclusions since we must still reflect more on the possibilities that canon law currently offers and on the proposal to make to the Church regarding how to live the communion and the mission of Regnum Christi in light of the developments of these years. For this reason, we have sought intermediate steps that could offer a framework that will foster the communion among the branches that already exists and offer channels through which we can collaborate apostolically and address the difficulties that may arise.

36. In this context, the Pontifical Delegate gave us his authorization to explore the possibility of making a “working agreement” (convenio de colaboración) between the consecrated men, the consecrated women and the Legion of Christ. A draft was written up and the general assemblies of the consecrated men and of the consecrated women and the General Chapter of the Legionaries were asked for their opinion on the subject. Afterwards, it would be the task of the three governments to decide how to proceed adequately in provisional agreement.

37. The judgments of the General Chapter and the general assemblies have been positive as a whole, with some specific observations. Both we and they have reiterated our firm commitment to follow this path together, to make the necessary commitments to one another and to take the canonical steps that are possible in each moment. For his part, the Pontifical Delegate reminded us that we are not called to create a new reality, but to bring to maturity the one that already exists and that we must live better each day. The chapter fathers are confident that the three central governments, working together, will both address the current issues of collaboration and take the necessary steps towards the canonical configuration of Regnum Christi.

2) The path towards the future

38. The life of the Movement continues, and we will continue living closely united, in our service to the mission, with the different realities that make up the life of Regnum Christi and the works of apostolate.

39. The General Chapter urges the Legionaries to once again take up the task of evangelization in communion with the other members of the Movement. These years have been characterized by a deep self-examination that has been necessary and that, in a certain sense, should continue. But we cannot forget what the Lord has called us to do and our purpose in the bosom of the Church.

40. While the canonical configuration of the Movement continues to mature in dialogue with the Holy See, we should strengthen and institutionalize, insofar as is possible and appropriate, the channels that will allow us to express and live the communion that unites us. We should develop an adequate collaboration and coordination between the different vocations according to what Regnum Christi already is de facto. The collaboration and participation that we truly achieve will be an excellent example and a good basis on which to present to the Church a definitive configuration that would express our reality. This task requires dialogue and a sense of what is essential in order to define effective solutions.

41. We would like to call to mind that fruitfulness in the mission and the depth of our communion depend first of all on the union that each one of us has with God and not on definitions or juridical instruments. Such instruments protect, guard and foster the institutional development of the charism, but they presuppose a lived experience of the gift of the Lord.

3) Recommendations to the government of the Legionaries of Christ

42. In light of the indications of the Pontifical Delegate, of the current canonical possibilities, of what was discussed in the chapter hall about the draft of the working agreement (convenio de colaboración), and considering the comments on the draft of the agreement received from the general assemblies of the consecrated members and the suggestions of the directors of the consecrated branches, we wish to ask the following of the new government:

i. That the general director, together with the central governments and representatives of the other branches and in dialogue with the Holy See, continue the quest for an adequate canonical configuration of the whole of Regnum Christi.

ii. That the general director guide a reflection regarding the identity of the first and second degree of the Regnum Christi Movement. We ask him to facilitate a broad participation of the members throughout the world, as well as of the Legionaries, consecrated men and consecrated women, since we are convinced that to understand the identity of Regnum Christi and each state of life within it requires dialogue between all the members of the family.

iii. That, in agreement with the central governments of the consecrated branches, provisory norms and mechanisms of joint direction in the apostolate be defined, that would promote an adequate participation and shared responsibility of all the branches on the international, territorial and local levels.

iv. That the goods of the congregation be administered with an adequate participation of the consecrated branches and that mechanisms be established to make this possible, since these goods are intended to support the Legionaries, the consecrated members and the mission of Regnum Christi.

v. That the general director urge the territorial directors to implement the preceding indications according to the circumstances of their respective territories.

vi. That the general director keep the Legionaries informed about the advances, reflections and actions taken in this area.

43. We also ask all the Legionaries of Christ to reflect, in the presence of God, in prayer and dialogue, on what it means to belong to Regnum Christi, in order to grow in appreciation of the unity of the Movement and the richness of the different vocations that make it up, notwithstanding the inevitable difficulties and tensions of daily work, thus creating a climate of communion, collaboration and mutual service among one and all.

 

1 Translator’s note: The abbreviation “CLC” refers to the constitutional text which was approved by the Holy See on October 16th, 2014.
2 This paragraph of the constitutions has yet to be approved by the Holy See, as the definitive canonical configuration of the Regnum Christi Movement has yet to be defined.
3 Canonically, the first and second degree members continue to belong to the private association of the faithful with the statutes that were recognized by the Holy See in 2004.