The Vatican has come to the aid of the “Association of Christian Life” of Peru, indicated the Holy See, appointing a “Commissioner,” as the Association’s Founder was declared guilty of abuse, days before the Pope’s trip to the country (January 18-21, 2018).
On Wednesday, January 10, 2018, the Roman Dicastery for Consecrated Life promulgated a Decree by which it puts under a sort of tutelage the Society of Apostolic Life called Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (Association of Christian Life).
The Dicastery appointed Monsignor Noel Antonio Londono Buitrago, Redemptorist (C.Ss.R.) Bishop of Jericho, Antioquia, Colombia, Apostolic Commissioner of this Association.
Cardinal Joseph William Tobin, also a Redemptorist, continues to be the referent of the Roman Dicastery, delegate for this Association and, in particular, for what concerns the economic issues.
The same press release points out that Pope Francis “has followed with concern all the information that has arrived for several years, at the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, on the situation of the Association of Christian Life.
The Pontiff” showed that he was particularly attentive to the gravity of the information concerning the interior regime, the formation, and economic and financial management, the reason for which he asked the Dicastery repeatedly for particular attention.”
Added recently to this are the serious measures adopted by the Peruvian Judiciary against M. Luis Fernando Figari,” a lay Catholic, Founder in 1971 and former Superior General of this Association, recognized as an International Association of Lay Faithful of Pontifical Right in 1994: other communities are linked to it.
“After a thorough analysis of all the documentation, the Dicastery promulgated the Decree,” putting the Association under a sort of tutelage.
The present Superior General, Alessandro Moroni, apologized in a video posted on YouTube in Spanish, with English subtitles. He asked the victims for pardon as well as those that for years denounced the situation with getting an answer, the consecrated members, the priests and the laymen, for those responsible who did not live “up to the standards,” and all those that “take part” in the Association’s works.
He said that Luis Fernando Figari is guilty of abuse against him and that he became a “persona non grata.” He denounced the Founder’s “lamentable past,” and “sad and condemnable “acts. Some 30 complaints were filed against the Founder, who in his youth frequented extreme right milieus, and was guilty of sexual and psychological abuses and abuse of power. He resigned in December 2010 for “reasons of health.”
Alessandro Moroni revealed that he spoke with Pope Francis last December, requesting the exclusion of the Founder.
And he announced a period of penance and renewal of the Catholic Association: an “integral reform” for a “new Sodalitium,” in order to “write a new history.”
It seems that the Vatican’s Decree responds to this appeal.
Translation by Virginia M. Forrester