ROME, JAN. 31, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The Legionaries of Christ have established an Outreach Commission for those who are looking for a response from the congregation regarding the “implications and consequences” of the conduct of their founder, Marcial Maciel.
The commission is in response to a request made in October by Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the papal delegate for the Legionaries of Christ, to establish a commission that would address “those who in some way put forward claims against the Legion.”
A statement posted today on the Legion’s Web page note that the commission will have two tasks: “In the first place, they will listen to the people who are requesting a response from the Legionaries of Christ because of Father Marcial Maciel or in relation to him. Then they will write a detailed report, which they will submit to the papal delegate. With the help of his advisors, he will then make decisions about what the Legion of Christ should do in each case.”
“The decree constituting the commission stated that it would deal only with cases having a direct relation to the person of Father Marcial Maciel,” the noted added. “It will not intervene in cases awaiting decisions from civil or ecclesiastical courts.”
Father Álvaro Corcuera, the director-general of the Legion, stated that the commission aims to “continue facing with seriousness and responsibility our recent history as regards Father Marcial Maciel’s conduct and the implications and consequences it has had on some people.”
“Insofar as it is humanly possible,” he added, “we want to close this chapter in its more painful aspects, seek reconciliation, and allow justice and charity to prevail.”
Monsignor Mario Marchesi, a personal advisor to Cardinal De Paolis, will lead the commission’s work, and he will be assisted by two Legionaries: Father Florencio Sánchez, chaplain of the Francisco de Vitoria University in Madrid, and Father Eduardo Robles-Gil, Regnum Christi section director in Mexico City.
Two external experts will also aid the commission in its work: Father Silverio Nieto Núñez, a priest from the archdiocese of Madrid, a former judge and magistrate who now directs the Civil Juridical Service of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference; and Jorge Adame Goddard, a titular researcher at the UNAM Juridical Research Institute and a law professor at Panamerican University in Mexico City.
The Legion also announced today the names of the two Legionaries who will be added to the general council: Father Juan José Arrieta and Father Jesús Villagrasa
The general council assists Father Álvaro Corcuera in the governance of the congregation, and is normally composed of four members. Cardinal De Paolis expanded the council to six.
Juan José Arrieta was born on Aug. 19, 1956, in Baracaldo, Spain. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1983. Since 2007, he has been a pastor at the parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Philip the Martyr in Rome.
Jesús Villagrasa was born in Zaragoza, Spain, on April 5, 1963. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1994. Since 1999, he has served as a metaphysics professor at the Pontifical Regina Apostolorum College.
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Contact information for the Outreach Commission:
c/o Legionari di Cristo
Via Aurelia, 677
I – 00165 Roma