Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the papal delegate charged with reforming the scandal-stained Legion of Christ (LC), has removed the conservative order's director-general four years before the end of his 12-year mandate, reports The Tablet.
In a letter on October 10 to members of the Legion and their Regnum Christi (RC) lay movement, the cardinal announced that Fr Álvaro Corcuera had agreed to take "a sort of sabbatical year", ostensibly for health reasons.
Fr Corcuera, 55, was elected head of the two groups in 2005 after the Vatican blocked their founder, the late Marcial Maciel, from re-election.
After his death in 2008 Maciel was found to have abused seminarians and fathered up to six children. Fr Corcuera was considered close to Maciel.
STORY Rome asks Legion head to step down (Tablet)