MIAMI – Miami Archbishop John C. Favalora has barred the Legionaries of Christ from exercising any ministry in the archdiocese, effective immediately.
In a letter addressed to all the priests in the archdiocese, Msgr. Michael Souckar, archdiocesan chancellor, said the decision was made because the order had not adhered to the condition set by the archdiocese that they minister only to their own members.
“Because the Legionaries of Christ have not abided by the restrictions, Archbishop Favalora has barred them from any ministry in the Archdiocese of Miami,” the priest said.
“In the past, (Legionaries of Christ) priests were given individual approval by the vicar general each time they wished to come to the Archdiocese of Miami but their ministry was restricted to their own members,” he said.
Jim Fair, Legionaries of Christ spokesman, told Catholic News Service Oct. 30 the order was “surprised and disappointed” by the news but would obey the archdiocese’s wishes.
Fair said the Legionaries hope to get further clarification on the ban and hope to restore a working relationship with the archdiocese in the future.
In a statement issued the same day, Mary Ross Agosta, archdiocesan director of communications, said: “From time to time the archdiocese will issue statements of clarification, often when we receive phone calls, letters or e-mails inquiring about issues, programs, visitors, speakers, etc.
“Such statements are not unusual, as they provide clear communications for clergy, parishioners and the south Florida community,” she said.
“In addition, the Archdiocese of Miami has policies and procedures for groups and individuals wishing to make presentations; at all times, these must be followed,” she added.
In his letter Msgr. Souckar also said that Regnum Christi, the Legionaries’ lay association, was recently discovered “to be involved in several schools without archdiocesan approval.”
“Regnum Christi is not nor has it ever been approved to work in any parish, school or other archdiocesan entity,” he said. “Any such involvement with Regnum Christi is to end immediately.”
He asked pastors and parish administrators to inform school principals and coordinators of parish events of the decision.