Regnum Christi

Regnum Christi

Regnum Christi is an international lay ecclesial movement associated with the Legion of Christ, founded by Fr. Marcial Maciel. Regnum Christi is a movement of lay Roman Catholics who are dedicated to promoting the Catholic faith. Their motto is "Love Christ, Serve People, Build the Church".


Fr. Maciel wrote the first draft of the statutes for Regnum Christi in 1959. On November 25, 2004 Pope John Paul II personally approved the statutes of the movement. These statutes define the goals, spirituality, and structure of Regnum Christi. It was an unprecedented move for the Pope to personally approve the statutes: It is typical for the approval to be given by the proper Vatican congregations. This is viewed as a sign of Pope John Paull II's favor for Fr. Maciel since it was announced on the 60th anniversary of Fr. Maciel's ordination.

Relationship with the Legion of Christ

Regnum Christi is directly tied to the Legion of Christ but is a separate entity within the Catholic Church. The nature of the association is that each member of the Legion of Christ is first a member of Regnum Christi and then a member of the Legion of Christ. A priest of the Legion is considered to be a third degree member of Regnum Christi. One of the primary tasks of Legionaries is to direct the activities of Regnum Christ and to teach, train, and give spiritual direction to the members.

Activities of its members

Members of Regnum Christi make a commitment to specific daily prayers and meditation, weekly meetings, and annual spiritual retreats. They are required to work actively in some concrete way in service to Regnum Christi and the Catholic Church. Its members call these works apostolates. Their apostolates include Youth for the Third Millennium, Compass, Helping Hands Medical Missions, Familia, Catholic Kids' Net, Conquest, Challenge, and Pure Fashion, and are listed at []

There are three degrees of commitment:

"1st Degree: non-consecrated lay Members join Regnum Christi."

"2nd Degree: non-consecrated Regnum Christi members offer their full service to the movement (often by working as "co-workers" for Regnum Christi or the Legion)"

"3rd Degree: consecrated members. These are both the consecrated women, consecrated men, and consecrated Legionaries."

There is also a special reduced level of commitment for young people who are members of ECYD (Education, Culture and Youth Development). The members of ECYD make commitments to pray, work in an apostolate, and try to recruit new members.

Members of Regnum Christi are encouraged strongly to actively recruit new members. The founder has been quoted often exhorting the members to work harder to bring in new recruits.

Criticism and controversy

The Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi have received criticism both from members within the Catholic Church and without. From within the Church, it has been regarded with distrust and accused of "creating a parallel church." [A. Frick, cite web | title="St. Thomas More: A church divided" | url=, The Yale Herald (February 4, 2005 VOL. XXXIX, No. 4)] It has also been criticized as elitist because it chooses to target leaders in its effort at recruitment.G. Renner, cite web | title="Turmoil in Atlanta" | url=, The National Catholic Reporter (November 3, 2000) ] Jose de Cordoba, cite web | title="With elite backing, Catholic order has pull in Mexico" | url=, The Wall Street Journal (January 23, 2006) ] The "Manual of Regnum Christi" encourages members to "attain important posts in social, civic, cultural, professional, economic and other organizations... in order to procure a growing number of members for the Movement." ["Manual of Regnum Christi", #244.]

Schools and youth clubs (called ECYD) sponsored by the movement also have the primary purpose of recruitment. According to Fr. Maciel, Regnum Christi's schools "must not be worn down by operating solely as teaching facilities. They will not accomplish their true goal in God's plan for us if they do not bring a large number... into Regnum Christi." ["Manual of Regnum Christi", #344.]

Regnum Christi is also viewed as having overly strict demands on its members. [Michelle Martin, cite web | title="Legionaries stay on task despite penance of its charismatic founder" | url= Our Sunday Visitor, 7/12/2006] Third degree members take the private vow "to never openly criticize... any act of governance of any person or director of the Movement, and to immediately report... any subject [person] who has done so." ["Manual of Regnum Christi"]

From outside the Church, Regnum Christi has been criticized for its conservative views and its close ties to the Vatican and the Pope. [L’Osservatore Romano, cite web | title="Pope's address to the Legionaries of Christ" | url= L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English, 17 January 2001, page 5]

There is a history of allegations against Father Maciel, founder of Regnum Christi. They may be seen at the article Marcial Maciel.


External links

* [ Regnum Christi]
* [ Regain Network]
* [ Legion of Christ Document Collection] at Wikileaks

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