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On the Commissionerate of the Heralds of the Gospel
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On September 28th, the Heralds of the Gospel received, at their House in Rome, notification of the Decree of Commissionerate of this International Private Association of the Pontifical Faithful. The news of the Commissionerate then began to circulate in the communications media of Italy and other countries.

Some press outlets, however, have attempted to sidestep the official facts supplied by the Holy See, suggesting that the process is being implemented as a kind of penalty, or even that it is a new investigation. Rather than abiding by the Vatican statement – which generically indicated the motives leading the Holy See to appoint a commissioner for the Institution – they relied on old and inaccurate news, without the normal up-to-date fact-checking. Now, given the speed of information today, these misrepresented reports – like so much fake news – spread rapidly through the capillaries of the Internet, to the detriment of the institution’s image and reputation, in a scenario that may even lead to the filing of indemnifying action.

In view of this, it is a duty of justice and charity to clarify that:

      1. The Apostolic Visitation, made up of an Archbishop, a Bishop and a Religious Superior, began in 2017. All the houses of the Herald were visited and almost all members were interviewed, as well as many of their cooperators. Additionally, numerous former members, and families of members and of former members were also able to testify. There were many testimonies in favour of the Institution. Over the course of the investigation, hundreds of laudatory testimonials arrived from Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, and priests from around the world.
      2. After the diligent inquiry, which lasted just over a year, the Apostolic Visit concluded its proceedings. According to the testimony of the visitators given in meetings and gatherings at which the General President of the Heralds of the Gospel was present, registered in duly archived minutes, nothing was found against morals, sound doctrine or ecclesiastical and civil laws.
      3. In August 2018, the visitators presented eight questions from persons openly ill-disposed towards the Heralds, containing false accusations that circulated profusely on the Internet. The response – of 570 pages, accompanied by 75 annexes, collected in 42 volumes – was prepared by a special committee composed of professors and doctors in various theological, canonical and juridical areas. The visitators and the Holy See presented no observations on this response from the Institution.
      4. It is to be borne in mind that the Commissionerate is a practice provided for by the juridical system of the Church and can be used as an instrument of communion. According to the official Vatican report, the reasons are related to certain shortcomings, but it should not be considered as a sanction. Anything that is reported contrary to these guidelines, therefore, plainly constitutes defamation.

Lastly, the Heralds of the Gospel respectfully and in a spirit of ecclesial communion welcome the appointment of his Excellency Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, Emeritus Archbishop of Aparecida, as Pontifical Commissioner, as well as his assistants, Bishop José Aparecido Gonçalves de Almeida, Auxiliary Bishop of Brasilia and Sr. Marian Ambrósio, IDP, Superior General of the Sisters of Divine Providence.

Invoking the maternal and unfailing protection of Our Lady, the Heralds of the Gospel place themselves at the disposal of the competent authorities, in a spirit of filial and trusting transparency, certain that this new phase will be an occasion to certify their uninterrupted communion, both affective and effective, with the Holy See and with the Bishops, successors of the Apostles.

São Paulo, October 01, 2019, Memorial of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

Press Department.