VATICAN CITY, JAN. 31, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Here is the message John Paul II sent today to the priests taking part in the general chapter of the Legion of Christ, being held in Rome.
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1. On the occasion of the Third General Chapter of your Institute, I am pleased to send my greetings in a particular way to Father Marcial Maciel, your Founder, as well as to Father Álvaro Corcuera, newly elected General Director of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and of the Regnum Christi Movement. I also extend my greetings to the members of the General Council and the other Chapter Fathers.
2. The General Chapter is always a very important event to revitalize one’s foundational charism, examine with grateful hearts the wonders that God has done in your history and address the present challenges of the Church with your own spirituality, united with the many charisms that the Holy Spirit has poured out on her throughout the centuries.
You find yourselves in a historic moment for the life of the Institute in which you begin a new stage. You had the good fortune to journey for 64 years under your Founder’s guidance. Thus you grew and developed until you reached maturity. Now you must continue that journey guided by your new General Director, though not without the support, paternal affection and experience of Father Maciel, who has declined a new period of governance. This obliges you to faithfully safeguard, live and transmit the gifts you received from the Lord through him.
3. Yours now is the task of developing the work inspired in the Founder. The Institute attempts to distinguish itself by selfless service to the Church and in forming youth in solid human and Christian principles that, based on personal freedom and responsibility, in fidelity to the Magisterium and in full communion with the Pope contribute to their spiritual, social, and cultural maturity. On several occasions I have been able to personally participate in the life of your Congregation, concretely with the definitive approval of the Constitutions in June 1983 and recently, approving the Statutes of the Regnum Christi Movement.
4. Dear Brothers: I encourage you to continue radiating your spirituality and apostolic dynamism with its rich variety of works and its constant openness to new expressions in accordance with the most urgent needs of the Church in every time and place. Your contribution to the evangelizing mission of the Church will be really fruitful if you are faithful to the charism of the Institute and remain firmly united to the Rock of Peter.
Through the maternal intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I implore the Holy Spirit to enlighten you in your chapter works and at the same time impart to you my heartfelt Apostolic Blessing.
Vatican, January 31, 2005
IOANNES PAULUS II