PROTOCOLS OF COOPERATION
AMONG LEGIONARY PRAESIDIA
ATTACHED TO APPROVED PARISHES
AND LEGIONARY PRAESIDIA
ATTACHED TO LATIN MASS CHAPELS
In a number of locations, there are already, or may one day soon come to be, Praesidia (and potentially higher councils) which are attached to some Traditional Latin Mass center or community which exists without the approval of the local Ordinary. Where such exists or are likely to exist, the following protocols if agreed upon provide the necessary and sufficient basis for their incorporation into the Legionary structure:
- Respect must be shown for all persons associated with the Legion, whether independent or diocesan. We are all human beings, created by God, and endeavoring to do our best as God requires, and to be faithful to our Church and to our Lady. Actions, remarks, or even subtle "get-the-message-across" innuendoes are ruled out from the start.
- Cooperation in coordinating all Legionary events and works among the various Praesidia (especially between diocesan and independent) must be smooth and orderly.
- Positive Attitude must be shown by all Legionaries in all activities which come within the scope of their Legionary activities. In particular, in all Legionary activities and works, the Legionaries on the diocesan side refrain from attacks on the legitimacy, validity, faculties, or character of the independent clergy or the Pre-Vatican II Church, and the Legionaries on the independent side refrain from attacks on the validity, reverence, Catholicity, or character of the diocesan clergy, the Second Vatican Council, or the Post-Vatican II Church.
- Literature given out in the course of the Legionary work may consist of prayer cards, prayer books, catechisms, general Catholic apologetic works, parish bulletins, and any other Catholic literature, PROVIDED that a) the works distributed are or have been formally approved by lawful Church authority (possess an Imprimatur (parish bulletins excepted)), and b) the works distributed contain no criticism of either the independent priest, bishops, and their orders, or of Vatican II and the changes it has brought about, and the hierarchy who carry them out.
- Invitations may be made, by any Legionary to any person visited in the course of their Legionary work, to that Legionaryís own parish, be it diocesan or independent. Parish bulletins may be used as part of that invitation process provided they comply with the standards for Literature (4).
- Authority must be obeyed by any Legionary. The diocesan Praesidia answer to their diocesan authorities; the independent Praesidia answer to their independent priest. The Spiritual Director for any Praesidia or higher Council of the Legion within the diocesan framework answers to the current hierarchy in Rome, and should that hierarchy remove him, the Praesidia or higher Council of the Legion must find another Spiritual Director. The Spiritual Director for any Praesidia or higher Council of the Legion within the independent traditional Catholic community answers to the teachings and disciplines of the Pre-Vatican II Catholic Church, and should he fail to abide by that standard, the Praesidia or higher Council of the Legion must find another Spiritual Director. Except where modified or adjusted in obedience to the particular Spiritual Directors, Legionary discipline follows within the Legionary chain of command as already discussed in the Handbook.
- Contacts made or found in the course of the Legionary work are not to be subsequently approached by Legionaries in an "off-duty" state so as to be proselytized to any particular position regarding the legitimacy, validity, or authority of any particular faction. Any contact who, on their own initiative, brings up the subject and asks about the changes or the current divisions should be given by the Legionary an objective and neutral statement regarding these things (CLICK HERE for an example). If, having read the objective and neutral statement, the contact expresses a particular preference for one side or the other, and if the Legionary does not belong to the preferred side, the Legionary should offer information to that contact to allow said contact to communicate with a Legionary or Spiritual Director of the side he or she has expressed a preference for.
- Legion Functions without a Mass and with Legionaries from both sides are to celebrated with both pre and post Vatican II Church Legionaries together, praying the Legionary prayers together, and cooperating in all facets of making the particular Function a pleasant and successful one for all present.
- Legion Functions with a Mass and Legionaries from both sides ought, if at all possible, have the Mass celebrant avail himself of the 1984 and 1988 Indult to say Mass using the 1962 Liturgical books and following them scrupulously. In this manner, all Legionaries, whether diocesan or independent may equally share in the Mysteries of the Mass together. The celebrant is not to criticize the independent clergy or Legionaries attached to him. In the event the diocese is unable to provide a celebrant familiar with the 1962 Liturgy, temporary faculties may be granted by the diocese to the independent priest who is Spiritual Director of any Legion Praesidium attending that function to say the Mass providing he agrees to use the 1962 Liturgical books for that Mass, and to avoid any polemics against Vatican II and/or the Vatican-approved clergy in his homily or at any other point of the Legion function.
- Praesidia (and any higher Councils) may be either separate (as attached to the various parishes, whether diocesan or independent), or be a mixture of Legionaries from each type of parish. The policies called out in the Handbook (Page 311, Special Insert to chapter 40, The Special Relationship With Our Sister Churches of the Orthodox Tradition, CLICK HERE) and introductory letter adding this insert to the Handbook (CLICK HERE) shall equally apply to independent parishes faithful to the pre-Vatican II Latin tradition, namely that members of such churches (living a good Catholic life) are welcome to become members in a Praesidium attached to a diocesan parish, or to set up Praesidia themselves in their independent parishes, as applicable. Members of a diocesan parish are also to be welcomed by any Praesidium attached to an independent parish. No office in the Legion shall be withheld from persons of either side so long as they do not abuse their position for polemical purposes.
- Columban Drives (Legionary Recruitment efforts) may be made between diocesan parishes and independent parishes, with the approval of the Curia (or next higher Legion Council) and the priest of the parish to be visited, and are to be encouraged. Such recruitment drives are to be directed toward the aim of either establishing a Legion Praesidium in a parish (independent or diocesan) which lack a Praesidium, or to assist the Praesidia attached to that parish in their efforts to recruit members of their parish or community.
- Violations of this Protocol need not necessarily require removal of the offending Praesidium. In many cases it may simply be a single individual who is displaying a lack of the Legionary spirit, and even that, in a moment of heated passion. Where an individual of either side clearly violates the provisions of this protocol or otherwise provokes arguments about these difficult and painful issues at any legionary function, it is the duty of that individualís Praesidium to remove that individual from any offices held, and may, at the discretion of the Spiritual Director and President of the Praesidium (or Vice President in the event the offending person is the President) remove them from active Legionary service. If removed from active Legionary service, but subsequently repentant and willing to henceforth follow these protocols, they may return to active Legionary service after a period of three months. After six months of exemplary legionary service they become eligible to hold an office. In the event a praesidium decides to stand with the offending person rather than to discipline that person, it becomes the duty of the next higher Legionary Council to arbitrate between the offending and offended Praesidia, with the possibility of even closing the offending Praesidium if need be. Spiritual Directors who violate these protocols may be barred from active participation at annual Legion functions for one year, and replacements for them should be sought.