Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, pontifical delegate for the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi, announced that an extraordinary general chapter for the Legion will begin Jan. 8.
The chapter is projected to conclude at the end of February, though as the meetings progress, a timeframe will be established.
A few more than 60 Legionaries are expected to participate in the chapter. Approximately one-third will participate based on the posts they already have in the Legion (directors, etc.) and two-thirds will be elected.
When Benedict XVI assigned Cardinal De Paolis to guide the reform of the Legion in wake of the scandals surrounding the congregation’s founder, Marcial Maciel, the cardinal was entrusted with governing the Legion “for as long as it takes to carry out the path of renewal and lead it to the celebration of an Extraordinary General Chapter, whose main purpose will be to bring to completion the revision of the Constitutions” (letter of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, June 16, 2010).
In a letter Friday announcing the date for the general chapter, Cardinal De Paolis said: “From the beginning it was clear that the necessary time could not be less than three years. Now, three and a half years have passed. The moment has come to summon the Extraordinary General Chapter indicated by the Holy Father. I thought that it would be good to announce it on the day that the Church celebrates the memory of St. Francis of Assisi. Let us place this important event under the protection of the Poverello of Assisi. It comes at the conclusion of a long journey of spiritual renewal and effort revising the Constitutions.”
The cardinal added, “It is useful to remember that this Chapter’s ‘main tasks will be the election of a new Government for the Institute and the approval of the new Constitutions’ (letter of His Holiness Pope Francis, June 19, 2013), which will have to be presented to the Holy Father. Other questions will be considered according to a list of issues approved by the chapter fathers themselves, in the degree to which there is time available.”