Q&A on refoundation


In the comments' section on another thread, Eric asks me some important questions:

Pete, some have said the Legion might be refounded. How would that work?

Only the Holy Father would know for sure, since he is the one who would have to approve it. That being said, here are some possibilities, in no particular order:

1 - A name change
2 - A new set of constitutions
3 - New leadership, likely a combination of overseers imposed from outside the movement and new leadership inside.
4 - A particular apostolate and specific devotions.
5 - Some sort of renunciation of Maciel.

Of course one would also expect an apology to Maciel's victims, however, this is not directly tied to a refoundation.

If the Legion were to actually repudiate Fr. Maciel, wouldn't that be admitting that Fr. Maciel didn't impart a genuine charism of the Holy Spirit?

It would become a moot point at the time, given that a new movement would be founded and Maciel would no longer be recognized as founder.

And if that's so, what would the refoundation be based on?

A need in the Church identified by the Holy See.

Can you start a congregation without a charism?

The Holy Spirit can provide a charism through the founder, or He can provide a charism through the Holy See, or through the Bishops if the Holy See decides to break up the order into several smaller orders.

As for the charism of the movement, I see three possibilities, depending upon the AV recommendations and how the LC reacts to them.

1 - The movement decides to cling to Maciel or their way of life, paying the Holy See lip service only. In this case the spirit of the movement remains Maciel's. The Holy See would likely continue to tighten the noose until the movement collapses or goes into schism.

2 - The movement accepts the reforms half-heartedly and/or the bulk of the membership bolts. In this scenario the LC becomes a sort of "half-way house" to contain current LC members until they can find another order or diocese to go to. In this scenario, the charism is that of the half-way house, to provide pastoral support for and reintegrate former members back into the Church mainstream.

3 - The members decide to embrace the reforms whole-heartedly, in both letter and spirit, give it an honest attempt to make things work, and in the process discover a particular need within the Church that they are capable and willing to fill. In this case the fulfillment of the need becomes the charism.


What would you say today to the Holy See if they are thinking of following the previous line of Cardinals Rode and Sodano- that the LC has to keep the founder, but minimize his person and history. Keep what writings have 'merit'. (And say the LC eventually arrives to an acceptable apology to all concerned.)
Would in the end the LC be left with a festering wound, a charism that is unattractive and too shallow?
R. Michael Dunnigan made a big point on the witness of the founder- and even if some groups made it without one- will this group be setup to fail by having to keep MM at least in name.

Ditto to Pete ! Of course the Church can found an Institute. It is a fact of ecclesiastical history. Take the Society of St. Peter for instance... At any rate, the canons care clear when it comes to Institutes of Pontifical right, "An institute of consecrate life is of Pontifical right IF IT HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED BY THE APOSTOLIC SEE, or approved by the Apostolic see by means of a decree" (cf. can 589.

Leave a comment

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

You write, we post
unless you state otherwise.


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Pete Vere published on March 10, 2010 2:29 AM.

An order of secrets, strict haircuts and a charism of Charity was the previous entry in this blog.

March 10 - Prayers for James's brother is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.