ROME (EWTN NEWS/CNA) — Malén Oriol, a major leader of consecrated women in the Legionaries of Christ’s lay branch, Regnum Christi, announced Feb. 14 that she has submitted her resignation.

Oriol, the assistant for consecrated life to the Legion’s general director, Father Alvaro Corcuera, submitted her resignation to Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the papal delegate overseeing the reform of the religious congregation.

Oriol also revealed that some consecrated women within the congregation have asked the Vatican to let them live out their vows under a bishop, not as part of the Legion. Jim Fair, communications director for the Legion of Christ, said, “At the beginning of 2012 there are were about 900 consecrated members in Regnum Christi, more than 800 women and about 100 men. In comparison, at the end of 2008 there were 1064 consecrated members, 956 women and 108 men. In total, a bit more than 200 consecrated members have left between 2009 and 2011, resulting in the net loss of about 150 consecrated members in these three years.”

Oriol did not state whether she intends to join the departing women, Regnum Christi said on its website Feb. 14. Oriol comes from one of the wealthiest Catalonian families in Spain. Four of her brothers entered the Legion and became priests, but over the last three years, all four have left the Legion while still remaining priests.

Regnum Christi addressed the departing women in its statement:

“We don’t yet have details of this initiative, but we wish them all the best in their new endeavor and pray that they will be blessed with great success in their spiritual growth and service to the Church,” it said.

“We are deeply grateful for all the years that they have lived as consecrated members of Regnum Christi; let us pray for them and keep the gift of the consecrated life in Regnum Christi in our prayers, so that God grant each one of us the grace to move forward in this path of renewal that the Holy Father has invited us to undertake.”