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Tuesday, February 1, 2005


VATICAN CITY, FEB 1, 2005 (VIS) - Made public yesterday evening was John Paul II's message to the third Ordinary General Chapter of the Legion of Christ, which is being held in Rome.

  The Pope sent a special greeting to the organization's founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, and to Fr. Alvaro Corcuera, recently elected as director general of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and of the "Regnum Christi" movement.

  "You find yourselves facing a historic moment in the life of the institute," the Holy Father writes in his message. "A moment in which a new phase is beginning. For 64 years, it was your good fortune to advance under the guidance of your founder, and you grew and developed until reaching maturity. Now you must continue, guided by your new director general, although not without the support, paternal affection and experience of Father Maciel, who has declined a new period of governance. This obliges you faithfully to safeguard, practice and transmit the gifts you received from the Lord through him."

  John Paul tells the Legionaries of Christ that they are faced "with the task of developing the work which finds its inspiration in the founder. Such work seeks to distinguish itself by selfless service to the Church and by educating youth in solid human and Christian principles which, based on personal freedom and responsibility, contribute to their spiritual, social, and cultural maturity, in fidelity to the Magisterium and in full communion with the Pope."

  In closing, the Pope encourages the Legionaries "to continue radiating your spirituality and apostolic dynamism with its rich variety of works and its constant openness to new forms of expression, in keeping with the most urgent needs of the Church in all times and places. Your contribution to the evangelizing mission of the Church will be truly fruitful if you are faithful to the charism of the institute and remain firmly united to the Rock of Peter."
MESS/.../LEGIONARIES OF CHRIST:MACIEL               VIS 20050201 (330)

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