Zenit Founder Jesus Colina Fired from Zenit by Legionnaires of Christ
by John-Henry Westen
Thu Sep 29, 2011 ROME, September 29, 2011
Jesus Colina, still in his early 40s, is one of the more dynamic Catholic laymen in the world. 14 years ago he founded Zenit News agency which soon became the largest Catholic news service in the world. He spoke with LifeSiteNews today from Rome explaining how, despite founding the service, he has now been terminated from it.
There will be much more heard from Colina in a new and very significant career change, but that is for another story.
Inside the Vatican put Colina in their top ten people of 2006. While running the major news service Colina found the time to raise three children with his wife Giselle in Rome.
The involvement of the Legion of Christ with Zenit was a natural thing, Colina said in a phone interview from Rome. He was a member of Regnum Christi, a lay group of the Legionnaires and it was a custom of a layman running a Catholic organization to associate it with a religious order as a guarantor of orthodoxy.
Colina doesn’t regret the relationship either. “We did beautiful things together,” he says without bitterness.
The main points of contention which led to his dismissal surrounded Colina’s concerns about the reputation of the Legion of Christ and its affect on the reputation of Zenit. “Especially in countries where that relationship was known,” he said, there were problems due to the scandal about the head of the Legionnaires, Fr. Maciel.
Beyond this, Colina was wanting to ensure there would be transparent financial accountability and long term sustainability.
To solve these difficulties Colina suggested opening the governing board to other religious communities and creating an editorial board consisting of other media professionals.
In the end, he said, it came down to a perceived lack of trust with the Legion and thus the decision to terminate the relationship.
Colina is in good spirits. He has big plans which will be revealed shortly, and remains a man on a mission to promote faith and life.