Legion Adopts New Norms Regarding Founder

Says Decree Reaffirms General Practice of Members

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ROME, Italy, DEC. 13, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Legionaries of Christ and its lay movement Regnum Christi will no longer refer to their founder as "Nuestro Padre," celebrate his birthday, or hang photos of him in their centers.



These and more norms regarding the figure of Father Marcial Maciel were published Friday by the general director of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi, Father Alvaro Corcuera, with the authorization of the pontifical delegate, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis.

According to a statement published on the Legion's Web site, the decree was promulgated Dec. 6, and is "the result of many considerations and suggestions, and of an ongoing exchange among the major superiors of the congregation."

"The decree formalizes in broad strokes what has for the most part already been general practice," the note added.

The norms establish that "in institutional writings, the way of referring to Father Maciel will be as 'founder of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi' or simply 'Fr Maciel.'" Among the Legionaries and members of Regnum Christi, it was general practice to refer to the founder as "Nuestro Padre" (our father).

The new norms also confirm that "photographs of the founder alone or with the Holy Father cannot be placed in Legionary or Regnum Christi centers," and Father Maciel's "personal writings and talks will not be for sale in the congregation’s publishing houses, centers, and works of apostolate."

However, the norms do allow Legionaries and consecrated members of Regnum Christi to keep a photograph among their personal belongings, and to read Father Maciel's writings or listen to his talks in private. Additionally, the writings of Father Maciel may be used when giving talks and sermons, but without citing the author.

Feast days

Additionally, the decree states that the priest's birthday, baptismal day, name day and priestly ordination anniversary "are not to be celebrated," and "the anniversary of his death, Jan. 30, will be a day dedicated especially to prayer."

Regarding the burial place of Father Maciel, located in a cemetery in the priest's native Cotija, Mexico, the norms state that it "will be given the value that pertains to any Christian burial place," and "will be treated as a place of prayer for the eternal repose of the deceased."

In the same cemetery, members of Maciel's family are also buried, as are several Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi consecrated members.

The norms state that the retreat centers in Cotija "will continue offering the same services, but a place for prayer, reparation, and expiation will be created there."

For all other matters not covered in the norms, the Legion reported, the superiors and directors should proceed "according to the criteria of this decree [...], taking their communities' and teams' personal preferences into account."