Regnum Christi

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Regnum Christi
Regnum Christi Sheild.jpg
Regnum Christi Shield
MottoThy Kingdom Come!
FormationJanuary 3, 1959; 61 years ago (1959-01-03)
TypeCatholic lay ecclesial movement
HeadquartersRome, Italy
General Director
John Connor
Key people
Sylvester Heereman - Vicar General and acting superior;

Gloria Rodriguez - directress of the consecrated women;

Jorge Lopez - director of the consecrated men;

Marcial Maciel - Founder;

Velasio de Paolis - Papal Delegate

Álvaro Corcuera - Previous General Director
WebsiteRegnum Christi website

Regnum Christi is an international Catholic Movement. It is open to all lay Catholics and in addition has three consecrated branches the Legion of Christ (seminarians and priests), consecrated women, and consecrated men.[1] Regnum Christi is dedicated to promoting the Catholic faith. Their motto is "Love Christ, Serve People, Build the Church."

It was founded by Marcial Maciel, who led it until 2005. In 2006, Maciel was investigated by the Holy See and suspended from his ministry, initially over breaches of celibacy, and following public revelations later confirmed as sustained, over sexual abuse of minors.[2] Maciel died in 2008, aged 87. After Maciel's death, and following more revelations, Pope Benedict XVI ordered an apostolic visitation of the Legion of Christ 2009. At the conclusion of that visitation, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis was delegated to conduct a visitation of Regnum Christi. On October 19, 2012, De Paolis published a cover letter for a summary of the Regnum Christi's charism which he had approved as a working document.[3]


Its spirituality can be described as five loves: love for Christ, love for Mary, love for souls, love for the Church, and love for the Pope.

Love for Christ is, for Regnum Christi members, a personal experience. Through the Gospel, the Cross, and the Eucharist, they come to know Christ intimately, and love him in a passionate way by embracing him as their model of holiness.[4]

Love for Mary flows from imitating Christ; the Blessed Virgin is loved as both Mother of the Church and their mother. Regnum Christi members try to practice her virtues of faith, hope, charity, humility, and cooperation with Christ's plan of redemption.[4]

Love for Souls is expressed in an ardent desire to spread Christ's kingdom in this world and an ardent charity for one's neighbour. Regnum Christi members want Christ to reign in everyone's heart and practice charity with all independent of any external factor.[4]

Finally, there is Regnum Christi's love for Church and Pope. The Church is loved because it is the Body of Christ, and the beginning of his Kingdom on earth. Thus Regnum Christi members honor her by faith, submit to her in obedience, win souls for her through evangelization, and put her above all other earthly things in their lives. This love of the Church leads many in Regnum Christi to speak of being always in step with the Church, neither ahead nor behind: a commitment to Catholic Orthodoxy. It also explains the members' special affection for the Pope, who is supported in his charism of primacy and magisterium. All bishops in communion with the Roman Pontiff, as the Apostles' successors and teachers of the Catholic Faith, are likewise honored.[4]

Activities of its members[edit]

Members of Regnum Christi make a commitment to specific daily prayers and meditation, weekly meetings, and annual spiritual retreats. They are called to work actively in some concrete way in service to the Catholic Church - usually through specific Regnum Christi apostolates. Its members call these works apostolates. These include those specific Regnum Christi (Mission Youth [Youth for the Third Millennium], Helping Hands Medical Missions, Familia, Conquest, Challenge, and Pure Fashion[5]), and other works in parishes or dioceses.

As of 2017, there were about 21,500 members in more than 30 countries.[6]

Degrees of commitment[edit]

Among the members of Regnum Christi, there are three degrees of commitment:

1st and 2nd Degree[edit]

They are non-privately promised lay members of Regnum Christi. 2nd degree members offer a greater service to the Church and the movement.

3rd Degree: consecrated lay members[edit]

These are both the consecrated women, consecrated men, and consecrated religious Legionaries. As of 2010, there were about 900 such members (not counting Legionaries), nearly all women, but also a handful of men. They give up possessions and ties to their former lives much in the way nuns or priests do. They adhere to Vatican-approved statutes that include private vows (poverty, chastity and obedience) in imitation of nuns or religious men who have public vows. This is a new form of consecrated life in the Church with a unique canonical status.[7]


There is also a special reduced level of commitment for young people who are members of ECyD (Experiences, Convictions and your Decisions). The members of ECyD make commitments to be a better friend of Christ, by saying a few prayers, practicing virtue, and doing some apostolate (service project).[8]


The first draft of the statutes for Regnum Christi was written and promulgated in 1959. On November 25, 2004, Pope John Paul II personally approved the statutes of the movement (this approval was for the core statutes not every single statute).[9] These statutes define the goals, spirituality, and structure of Regnum Christi. In a November 21, 2011 letter, Cardinal Velasio de Paolis asked the consecrated in Regnum Christi to edit their core set of norms, and took force away from a more extensive set of norms. He set up a small commission to revise them.[10][11]

Relationship with the Legion of Christ[edit]

Regnum Christi was founded out of the Legion of Christ and is directly related. When the statutes were approved in 2004, it was described as the apostolate of the Legion of Christ to expedite approval. Although the Legion is a distinct entity, its members are closely involved with Regnum Christi.:[12]

"Working with lay people is an essential part of the Legion’s apostolic methodology. The Legionaries carry out their apostolate above all with Regnum Christi members, forming them in human and Christian virtues, serving them with their priestly ministry, launching them in pastoral action, uniting efforts in their shared mission, and thus spurring on a great variety of works at the service of the Church."[12]

On October 19, 2012, a working document put forward that the Legion is a branch of the Regnum Christi movement which would make each legionary a Regnum Christi Member.[1]

Sexual Abuse Scandal[edit]

The Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi have received criticism both from members within the Catholic Church and without.[13][14][15][16]

On May 1, 2010 the Vatican issued a statement condemning Maciel as "immoral" and acknowledging that Maciel had committed "true crimes".[17] Pope Benedict also said he would appoint a delegate to reform the Legionaries’ charism, spirituality and constitutions. Pope Francis proceeded to revolutionize the Legion of Christ. Under the guidance of Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the congregation announced the order's complete restructuring at its Extraordinary General Chapter in Rome in January 2014.[18]


  1. ^ a b "PRINCIPLES OF THE CHARISM OF THE REGNUM CHRISTI MOVEMENT" (PDF). Regnum Christi. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  2. ^ Povoledo, Elisabetta (May 11, 2012). "Vatican Inquiry Reflects Wider Focus on Legion of Christ". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
  3. ^ "letter of Velasio De Paolis to the Legionaries of Christ and members of Regnum Christi" (PDF). Regnum Christi. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d "Spirituality - Regnum Christi". Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  5. ^ "Mission Network". Mission Network. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  6. ^ "RC Lay Members". Regnum Christi. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  7. ^ Canon Law and Consecrated Life in the Regnum Christi Movement Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
  8. ^ "ECYD on the Regnum Christi Site". Archived from the original on 1 December 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Catholic News Service". Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  10. ^ "English Translation of Card. de Paolis's Letter" (PDF). Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Rules for Legion-linked group invalid". Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  12. ^ a b "What we Do - Legion of Christ". Archived from the original on 14 August 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  13. ^ Abolition of Legionaries should be 'on the table', National Catholic Reporter.
  14. ^ Nelly Ramírez Mota Velasco, El reino de Marcial Maciel, Editorial Planeta, Mexico City, 2011, ISBN 978-607-07-0624-0.
  15. ^ The Cost of Father Maciel, First Thing.
  16. ^ Money paved way for Maciel's influence in the Vatican, How Fr. Maciel built his empire, National Catholic Reporter.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2012-01-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "Francis revolutionizes the Legion of Christ". Retrieved 18 November 2017.

External links[edit]

Regnum Christi Sites