Baltimore archbishop restricts the work of Legionaries of Christ

Baltimore, Jun. 11, 2008 ( - An American archbishop has placed restrictions on the work of the Legionaries of Christ in his archdiocese.

Archbishop Edwin O'Brien of Baltimore, Maryland, has sent a "letter of understanding" to Father Alvaro Corcuera, the superior general of the Legionaries of Christ, setting forth the conditions under which he will allow the group to be active in the Baltimore archdiocese. The archbishop's letter, written after a meeting with leaders of the Legionaries, is posted on the website of the Baltimore archdiocese.

"Knowing that your willingess to accept the discernment of ecclesiastical authority is but a further proof of the authenticity of the charisms of the Legionaries and Regnum Christi, as pastor of the local Church in Baltimore I need the following from you," Archbishop O'Brien wrote, adding a list of stipulations.

The archbishop asked Father Corcuera to designate a priest as liaison between the Legionaries of Christ (LC) and the archdiocese. That priest, he said, should provide a complete listing of the LC priests working in the archdiocese and a summary of their current activities; he should also list the members of the affiliated lay group, Regnum Christi, and their activities. The LC liaison should inform local pastors about any activities undertaken by the Legionaries or Regnum Christi within the boundaries of their parishes, Archbishop O'Brien ordered.

Showing special concern about the reports of aggressive efforts by LC members to recruit young men to the priesthood, the archbishop said that in order to avoid "undue sense of vocational obligation," LC priests should not act as spiritual directors for young men under the age of 18.

Archbishop O'Brien asked for a full listing of boys from the Baltimore archdiocese who are enrolled in LC high-school seminaries and boarding schools. He said that the archdiocesan director of vocations would "review that information with the parents and pastors of those candidates."


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