The Delegate is the Archbishop of Taranto, who assumes with full powers the government of the lay association as of tomorrow.
Newsdesk (26/09/2021 11:30 PM, Gaudium Press) Vatican News reports today that Pope Francis has appointed a “special Delegate,” Archbishop Filippo Santoro of Taranto, to the Memores Domini, which implies a “change in the management of the Association.”
Who They Are
Memores Domini is a lay association founded in Milan under the guidance of Father Luigi Giussani, founder of the Communion and Liberation Movement. On December 8, 1988, the Pontifical Council for the Laity established Memores Domini as an international association of the faithful.
The Memores Domini are members of the Communion and Liberation Fraternity, who live in the world but practice the evangelical counsels of poverty, obedience, and chastity. Contemplation in the activities of the world is part of the spirituality, understood as a “tending continuous memory of Christ”, and the mission to bring the proclamation of Christ to men.
Being laypeople and carrying out their ministry in the world, they live in community and form male and female houses, where they practice silence, prayer, and expand in the experience of the evangelical counsels.
Delegate takes Office as of Tomorrow
The communiqué of the Holy See states that the “special delegate, as of September 25, 2021, will temporarily assume, ad nutum from the Apostolic See, with full powers, the government of the Association in order to safeguard its charism and preserve the unity of its members. Simultaneously, the current general government of the Association will expire.”
Vatican News also reports that Fr. Gianfranco Ghirlanda, SJ has been appointed pontifical assistant for canonical affairs related to the same Association.
The Vatican note, in none of the various languages in which it was published, demonstrates the reasons for having appointed a special Delegate, who is a direct representative of the Pope, who in this case assumes directly the government of the Memores.
The antecedents of appointing a Special Delegate are commonly crisis situations, such as the election in February 2017 of the then replacement of the Secretary of State, Monsignor Angelo Becciu, as Special Delegate of the Order of Malta, following the crisis that culminated in the resignation of the then Grand Master, Matthew Festing.
Some media had already reported the possible appointment of the special delegate and even ventured to talk about the bad relations between Communion and Liberation and the Vatican.
The Memores Domini is also known because some members of this association attend Benedict XVI in the monastery Mater Ecclesiae in the Vatican.