Friday, July 9, 2010

Pope names Vatican canon lawyer as interim head of Legionaries

http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comVATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI named the Italian Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, an expert in the church law who specializes in religious institutes, to be his personal delegate with the authority over the Legionaries of Christ.

The 74-year-old canon lawyer will now act as an interim leader while the Vatican investigation of the Legionaries proceeds.

The Vatican announced the appointment on July 9 but provided no specifics of Archbishop De Paolis' role. The Legion said it was expected that the practical details on how the archbishop will now fulfill his duties would be defined in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the Legionaries said they welcomed the appointment "with gratitude" and that they looked forward to receiving the archbishop's guidance.

"As they welcome the pontifical delegate, the Legionaries of the Christ once again express their deep gratitude to the Holy Father for his fatherly solicitude and put themselves completely at the disposal of Archbishop De Paolis," the order said on its website.

The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, told the journalists July 9 that the papal delegate would be meeting with the Legionaries' current superiors "very soon" to spell out the nature and extent of his mandate as well as any changes to the status of the order's current leaders.

He also will inform them of the terms and nature of the commission that will study the order's constitution, Father Lombardi said.

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