Legionaries Surprised by Miami Ban

Says Order Will Respect Archbishop's Decision

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MIAMI, Florida, OCT. 30, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ is "surprised and disappointed" that Archbishop John Favalora of Miami has decided to prohibit the order from functioning in the archdiocese, says a spokesman.

Msgr. Michael Souckar, the archdiocesan chancellor, communicated to the local clergy on Thursday that members of the Legionaries of Christ are barred from any ministry in the archdiocese, effective immediately.

In a statement sent to ZENIT late Thursday, Legionaries of Christ spokesman Jim Fair said the Legion will respect the decision: "We will be obedient to Archbishop Favalora’s directives. We also hope to gain a clearer understanding of his concerns and demonstrate our ability to serve the local church.

"It is our deep desire to work in close communion with dioceses and parishes wherever we can be of service."

Mary Ross Agosta, the director of communications of the Archdiocese of Miami told ZENIT today that the statement was a routine clarification: "From time to time the archdiocese will issue statements of clarification, often when we receive phone calls, letters or emails inquiring about issues, programs, visitors, speakers, etc.

"Such statements are not unusual, as they provide clear communications for clergy, parishioners and the South Florida community. In addition, the Archdiocese of Miami has policies and procedures for groups and individuals wishing to make presentations; at all times, these must be followed."