VATICAN CITY – The Vatican has named a Jesuit canon lawyer as special papal adviser to the Legion of Christ to help guide it for the next few years following revelations that its founder was a pedophile and a fraud and that the order needed reform.
The Rev. Gianfranco Ghirlanda is the second pontifical envoy named to try to turn the Legion around. Cardinal Velasio de Paolis presided over a three-year reform effort that ended in February. Ghirlanda had been one of de Paolis' deputies.
His appointment signaled that Pope Francis, himself a Jesuit, doesn't trust that the initial reform resolved all the Legion's problems. The Legion said Thursday that Ghirlanda, while not part of the central government, would help clarify the Legion's relations with its lay movement, Regnum Christi.