The letter. Farrell to CL: “The charism is not transmitted by personal succession”


The letter.  Farrell to CL: “The charism is not transmitted by personal succession”
Written by aquitodovale

Spiritual exercises of the Fraternity of CL in Rimini, in 2016

Spiritual Exercises of the Fraternity of CL in Rimini, in 2016 -.

The death of a founder and the beginning of the journey without him by the reality that he generated is always a critical step. The interpretation of the charisma that he left behind, the choice of who must succeed him in the management of reality itself, the limits of this leadership are often a source of tension. The Communion and Liberation movement is also experiencing these tensions that have led to two recent interventions by the Holy See: the appointment last September of the Archbishop of Taranto Filippo Santoro as the Pope’s special delegate for the Memores Domini – men and women of the movement that undertake to live the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience – and the change at the top of the Fraternity of CL last November with the resignation of Fr Julián Carrón, successor of the founder Fr Luigi Giussani (1922-2005), and the appointment to his post of Davide Prosperi as interim president, to arrive at the drafting of new statutes and the election of a new president.

But the change of pace wanted by the Holy See met with resistance, so much so that Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, intervened with a letter dated 10 June and published today on the website of the Fraternity of Cl. A call with clear and strong tones, which takes its cue from a letter received by the Dicastery and from “numerous reports received regarding the persistence of a worrying confusion on the themes of the charism, obedience and authority nurtured by some”.

Farrell specifies that “the doctrine of the” succession of the charism “- proposed and nurtured during the last decade within CL by those in charge of management, with aftermath that are still cultivated and favored on the occasion of some public interventions – is seriously contrary to the teachings of the Church. The moderators and presidents of ecclesial movements do not receive the founder’s charism by personal succession and are therefore not the only interpreters. If this were the case, we would be faced with an undue and misleading attempt at appropriation and personalization of the charism by those who have the role of guide; from this would derive a self-referentiality that is not admissible in the Church ”.

“Secondly,” writes the Irish cardinal again, “the Dicastery is saddened to note that some leaders and influential people within the Movement continue to suggest and promote among CL members – even publicly – a climate of mistrust of the Church and resistance to his indications; a strong personalism; internal divisions and manipulative logics; a broad dissent regarding the interventions and decisions of the ecclesiastical authority. All this inexorably compromises the awareness of the errors of the past, immobilizing the profound healing of ideas, principles and practices repeatedly requested by the ecclesiastical authority “. Farrell therefore renews all the esteem and support of the Holy See for Prosperi and removes the interim from his mandate, establishing that “it will continue for five years from the day on which his appointment took place”.

“I do not hide the fact that I feel a deep pain, presenting that the words of the cardinal will be for many of us the cause of new questions and perhaps also of bewilderment – writes Prosperi in a message to present Farrell’s letter to the Movement – I am mortified in particular due to the fact that this new initiative of the cardinal was provoked by immature attitudes held by some of us, and I understand the disturbance that it could now generate in those who wish to follow with simplicity the proposal of the Movement in communion with Pope Francis “.

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