Legionaries' future in the balance
The result of Rome's investigation (known as an "apostolic visitation") into the Legionaries of Christ will result in either the dissolution or the re-founding of the order, according to sources close to the Legionaries in Spain. There, a Basque bishop, Ricardo Blazquez, is in charge of the visitation; in the US, it is being led by the Archbishop of Denver, Charles Chaput. Their main task, apparently, is to assess whether the order's members will be accepting of whatever Rome decides.
Dissolution would mean the houses, universities and other properties of the Legionaries would pass into the hands of the dioceses where they are located.A new institute could then be founded.
Fr Marcial Maciel founded the Legionaries of Christ in Mexico in 1941. The Legionaries have 3,250 male members, of whom 850 are priests. The order also has about 1,000 consecrated women, and some 60,000 members of Regnum Christi, the lay branch.
According to a former Legionary quoted by the Spanish religious journalist Jose Vidal, the ordinary priests and members of Regnum Christi, want a root-and-branch reform --if necessary, by means of a dissolution -- in order to give a new institute a fighting chance. But the order's leaders are fighting a defensive rearguard action, arguing that they knew nothing of the double life led by Maciel, and were therefore neither accomplices in his abuses nor did they attempt to cover them up.
While the leaders admit that Maciel had a mistress and a child, and are keen to distance themselves and the order from him, they are treading carefully, aware that no order has ever survived the repudiation of its founder.
There seems to be a difference between the Americans and the Spaniards. The Americans want to get at the root of the problem quickly: they favor sacking the current leadership and making amends with Maciel's victims. The Spaniards, on the other hand, are more inclined to defend their current leaders.
If Pope Benedict decides to re-found the Legionaries, he would be unlikely to keep the current leaders in post. However ignorant or otherwise they were of what Maciel was up to, they bear responsibility for what happened -- and for the cult of personality which enabled it to happen.
The fear of rank-and-file Legionaries, according to this ex-member, is that the Pope fails to get at the root of the problem. Keeping on the current leaders, they believe, would send the opposite message.
And then there's Pope Benedict's need to be seen to dealing with clerical violations of the sixth commandment. This, after all, was among the best publicized and most damaging.
Gerry, long-time RC member, exhibits the very cult-like fervor for the Movement that is so very concerning. Any of us who dare ''speculate'' are ''enemies of orthodoxy''. If this isn't Maciel methodology, I don't know what is. LOL! The very persecution complex that Maciel bred into his Movement so very well comes out once again. We who seek the Truth are called enemies for daring to try to out it. The sexual abuse victims of Maciel were called enemies of the Church and of orthodoxy for years, too. This is just plain abusive language and clearly speaks to the twistedness at the heart of the order.
Corcuera has not contacted a single one of the original victims of Maciel. And it's been 7 months since we first started hearing about how the Legion was going to contact those ''hurt'' by Maciel. Not sure if he doesn't know how to dial the phone, or if he is using the pony express method of contact.
My response is personal, by the way. We have been connected to the Legion for well over a decade, but it is just since the news broke in February and the Legion responded so pathetically to the news that the sainted NP was actually a perverted old goat that I have come to realize the corruption and twistedness at the core of the LC/RC. Having spoken to several LC priests in the months after the revelations, I saw clearly that they were unable to do anything but regurgitate the Legion talking points back to me when I expressed my very real concerns. I then began to research online and have learned much about the injurious nature of this organization.
I do pray for the Legion, but that does not mean I will support them with ''goodwill''. You will notice how drippingly grateful the Legion always is for expressions of ''closeness'', ''fidelity'', and ''support''. That is all that matters to them, because the goal is recruitment, and they can't recruit if people aren't faithful to them. Any other response to the LC/RC makes you a ''speculator'' and ''enemy'' to them. The seeking of truth is much discouraged, as anything negative that may come out (and as we have seen, there are PLENTY of negative secrets coming out) is regarded as ''uncharitable''. Maciel taught that charity is always believing good about a person, never believing anything bad unless you see it with your own eyes, and even then you should excuse it internally. Thus, even to this day, any negative remarks about the child molester are ''uncharitable'', and we continue to see Corcuera and other LC leaders expressing their deep gratitude to the lying pederast. RC members are strongly discouraged to read online news articles and blogs about the LC/RC because it is a sin against ''charity'' and ''purity'' to read these disgraceful truths. See how insidious the Legion's methodology is!
I'm sure I'm not the only one whose eyes have been opened in the past seven months. I tell every Catholic I know the story of the LC/RC foundation in child molestation, fraud, embezzling, drug abuse, womanizing, and general deceit. And I encourage them all to do their own research into this order to discover for themselves just what the Legion's very response to this crisis indicates about the Maciel twistedness endemic to this order's very character.
Gerry writes "the Legion has apologized and Fr. Corquera (sic) is meeting with many of these victims and theior families personally".
Absolutely NOT TRUE on both counts.
Let's hope the Holy See dissolves this outfit.
How dare you insult me by calling me a "cult member." The Legion and RC are fully approved by the Catholic Church..all of the statutes, everything is approved by the church. If you don't like the apostolic zeal of the Legion, fine, but to slander the entire order because of the sins of the fouder is very dangerous. Obviosly, you think you know better than the church to make such unfounded accusations. I have heard that the Legion has a waiting list of bishops who want them in their dioceses and I am sure you don't want to hear that either.
Since when does "doing research" on the internet help one come to know the Legion. Why not go meet with them directly, attend their events, get involved and ask them the tough questions? I have never been told not to blog about the Legion. I know of hundreds of Catholics in my parish and diocese who have attended RC events, been involved in apostolates such as FAMILIA, Conquest, Challenge and may not have has a call to RC but still like to spiritual depth that the Legion provides to it's members and the parishes. I am friends with men who have left the seminary and end up getting married and remain in RC. The Legion and RC exist to bring souls to Christ..there is no other mission. We do this by promoting a deeper prayer life, eucharistic devotion, marian devotion, etc.....all the gifts that Christ have given the church, plain and simple. To surmise that their are motives other than that are blasphemous. If you want to genuinely assess the Legion, I would recommend getting to know them personally and not rely on the absurdity posted on the internet.
"As priests, our hearts go out to all those who have been harmed or scandalized by his actions. To all we extend a special apology on behalf of the Legion and our General Director, Father Alvaro Corcuera, who has, in fact, begun to reach out personally and in private to those he knows may have suffered most, offering his heartfelt apology and consolation, and will continue to do so. As he wrote in his March 29 [url=http://www.regnumchristi.org/english/articulos/articulo.phtml?se=362&ca=966&te=707&id=25805&csearch=966]letter[/url]: “We are deeply saddened and sorry, and we sincerely ask for forgiveness from God and from those who have been hurt through this.” We also regret that our inability to detect, and thus accept and remedy, Father Maciel’s failings has caused even more suffering."
Fr.'s Jonathan Morris and Thomas Williams both apologized to the victims and members on EWTN which I witnessed several weeks ago.
The editor of National Catholic Register apologized to the victims in that publication several weeks ago.
I have heard the LC priests in my diocese apologize on numerous occasions and all of them have been genuine. To state that the Legion has not admitted or apologized is for the sins of the founder is erroroneous and completely false.
For an accurate update on the founders scandal and the reforms that have already taken place within the Legion to make sure this never happens again go to [url=http://www.regnumchristi.org]www.regnumchristi.org[/url] and click on the section labeled The current situauion of the Legion of Christ.
Giselle at lifeafterrc is in contact with the original victims and assures us not a single one has been contacted by Alvaro or anybody else from the Legion.
Jose Bonilla, the lawyer representing several of Maciel's children, blogged just yesterday that he met with the Mexican visitator last week and told him that neither the sexual abuse victims nor Maciel's sons have received any kind of contact from the Legion. He asked the visitator WHO the Legion has apologized to, and the visitator replied that he does not know.
From the above letter, I would venture to say that we know who the Legion has apologized to-its own members, members of Regnum Christi, and ''friends''.
As for Owen Kearns, where is his apology from a few weeks ago? I tried googling but couldn't find it. What I did find was his vehement defense of Maciel and Legion (you can find it in the reviews for ''Vows of Silence'' on Amazon; it's quite a read!), in which he calls the molestation victims elderly liars and opportunists, trying to smear the name of the innocent Father Maciel. Any apology from Owen Kearns needs to include a direct reference to his previous wrongs of defamation of character and slander against the victims. Did it?
Meanwhile, the Legion is fundraising and recruiting to beat the band. The Atlanta section of RC received a fundraising letter just last week reminding them to be faithful to their mission of growing the Kingdom of RC and to''generous financial assistance in
proportion to your income for the support of the Church and her works,
including Regnum Christi, its apostolates, and the formation of its
priests and consecrated members''.
I do not expect the Legion to apologize for the sins of Maciel, by the way, although it's a nice gesture. What I expect them to do is apologize for their part in the hoax: the cover-up, lies, slander of the victims, and the constant recommendation of themselves as the ''solution'' to the world's ills. When LC/RC can humbly ask for forgiveness for its institutional sins and acknowlege the part it is has played in being a vehicle for its founders twisted ''virtues'', deception, abuse, and constant self-promotion, I might begin to believe there is a little hope for the remaining members.
Until then, it's just more of the same. Yawn. We've heard it all again and again and again and again. Nothing new here, folks.
I repeat, I did not call Regnum Christi a cult, nor did I call you a cult member.
I am happy for anybody who has been brought closer to Christ, no matter what the vehicle for that is. That God allows good things to result out of bad situations is just one demonstration of his great love for us. Many people have received true conversions out of movements that were later proved false-Brother Gino, etc. Many, many Catholics swear by Medjugorje and the wonderful conversions there, yet the Church jury is apparently still out on that one. The fact that some movements have been proven false in no way detracts from the very real conversions given through them by the grace of God.
I am also glad you have not experienced any of the negative fruits of the RC/LC that so many others have. Be grateful. Your experience is just that-yours. Please try to understand that many have not been so fortunate. Just because you did not experience something bad does not mean that many others did not. The same arguments were used by the Legion for so many years to ''prove'' Maciel's innocence, ''He is such a holy man!'' ''He has done such wonderful things fo me. Without him, I would be lost! He showed me how to love Christ!'' Yet this same man was perpetrating great evils on many people. Just because some people were very blessed in that they dodged the bullet of his abuse does not make him a good man. It's similar with the Legion. Just because you personally have dodged a bullet doesn't mean the Legion is good.
Thank you for becoming more charitable in your tone. You were quite uncharitable in the beginning, and this is one of the big concerns that many people have with LC/RC. The lack of charity-which they claim as their charism-is astounding. Yet they cannot see it. Case in point: the slander the LC perpetrated on those men that Maciel molested as innocent 10 and 11 year olds was beyond offensive. The Legion still has not apologized for the slander. The Legion should be hailing these men as heroes; instead they haven't even tried to make restitution for their defamation of character.
I have read all apologies made by the Legion, and I watched the EWTN piece. I was not impressed with the vague euphemisms and total lack of accountability for the Legion's part in the cover-up of the Great Hoax of Maciel. There was no expression of remorse for the slander of the victims, either. Fr. Berg's apology gave me hope in the beginning, but he has taken his integrity with him and exited the Legion. Tom Hoopes apology also was specific and humble; he too, has left his position of Legion employ. It seems the ones with integrity are heading for the doors.
Fr. Bannon mentioned that Alvaro was ''apologizing'' to people back at that Town Hall Meeting in March. The original 8 victims still have not even been contacted by the Legion, much less visited with an apology. Heck, their names haven't even been cleared in the press. It would seem these should have been the FIRST people Alvaro begged forgiveness of for the Legion slander all those years.
The simple truth is that the Legion has lost all credibility with all but the most dedicated RC membership. An order of priests founded by a child molester, womanizer, embezzler, drug addict, and con artist (and structured in such a way that the abuse was allowed to be perpetrated with impunity for 65 years) has no place in the Catholic Church. It's a terrible scandal. And we know what Christ said about those who scandalize even one little child. For our children to grow up knowing our Church harbors orders of priests founded by and for a child molester's deviant appetites-orders that have participated in the cover-up of the pedophile's crimes and in the slander of the victims of this monster and were structured and formed in such a way as to allow the monstrosities to go unchecked for 65 years-is beyond scandalous. My children were forced to treat this man like a living saint, diligently studying his works, celebrating his birthdays, revering anything he touched. Now they know he is a child molester, a fraud, and the perpetrator of a great hoax-a hoax carried out by his creation, the Legionaries of Christ. If that isn't scandalizing the young, I don't know what is.
I know of a case where a lay teacher was accused and now resides in prison; the main evidence was a recalling by a parent that she "thought" she saw the accused touch a child. The jury was ready and willing to believe anything adverse. Such is the milieu of today as Sr. Maureen . On the basis of a book written by an unhappy camper an order should be destroyed and civil law should determine where the assets go? Sounds like a re-run of the Knights Templar.
If there is ONE thing we have learned so far from this mess, it is that the Pope is NOT infallible when it comes to these types of situations. Pope John Paul II was an enthusiastic supporter of Maciel and the Legion, calling Maciel an ''efficacious guide to youth'' long after victims had first started contacting the Pope to tell him of Maciel's depravity back in the 70s. Popes are only infallible under a very particular set of circumstances; this is not one of them. We cannot rely on the opinion of the Pope (as many did when JPII praised and honored Maciel) to make judgments about such matters, especially when it comes to situations in which our children's well-being is involved.
Which doesn't mean I am not praying-HARD-that the Holy Spirit will guide Pope Benedict through this mess.
I'm not sure what you mean when you say your friend ''saw what happened to Maciel''. Because, quite frankly, not much happened as far as most people could tell. The Legion compared him to Jesus Christ, and Maciel went off to what was probably a very cush retirement proclaiming complete ''tranquility of conscience''. Meanwhile, there are reports that RC groups-including children!!-were taking pilgrimage trips to visit the Father Founder in Cotija, where they could also visit the Museum of the Foundation, meditate in the ''Fruits of the Foundation'' room, and pray at the Altar of the Foundation. (I'm not making this stuff up-see this Regnum Christi website-better look fast, before the LC hierarchy realizes people are onto these outrages and yanks the website down!!-http://www.regnumchristi.org/english/articulos/articulo.phtml?id=13829&se=359&ca=84&te=782.
From what anybody can tell, Maciel's life didn't change much at all after the 2006 communique. So forgive me if I have a little less confidence than you do that the Vatican will actually do much about this order of priests. j
I think we can both agree that prayers are what is needed!
Praying for all the victims of Maciel (the boys, the women and children he fathered, the LC priests, the RC men and women etc.).
There are reasons why canonizations should not even be spoken of until decades after one's death.
Luiz Garza, LC (Vicar General, Alvaro Corcuera's number two man) comes from an extremely wealthy, well-connected, and influential family.
The core of power within the hierarchy of the Legion will NOT go down without a fight. There's way too much at stake financially for them to quietly disappear.
To get an idea of just how much the Legion is still devoted to the Father Founder, you can see this website:
25 Legion priests just spent two months at this Museum of the Foundation/Retreat Center built in Maciel's home in Cotija, Mexico, according to Fr. Berg, former LC priest, who gave an interview in July 2009 and expressed concern that the Legion is still so attached to the Father Founder.
Time will tell what is going to happen with the only order of priests founded by a child molester in the history of the Catholic Church.
These latest revelations only show the levels of corruption that are at the heart of the Legionaries of Christ and its founder, Marcial Maciel Degollado.
The investigations by Archbishop Chaput and company should not take all that long if he and the rest of the investigating team can get the truth out of the LC officials now in charge.
However the institutional RCC probably already has much of the truth if they care to act on it. As I have said elsewhere, the LC should be suppressed and the good men given the choice to join another established religious order in the church or seek incardination in a particular diocese.
I pray that will happen.
I would also like to ask chruch authorities investigating the Legion of Christ why is it that men are still being accepted into their seminary, that their priests are permitted to actually be appointed pastors in some dioceses and that they are still opening or taking over schools?
More bishops should be expelling them from their dioceses.
Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
New Castle, Delaware
Lo and behold, the website has been pulled down as of this morning. But good news-you can still check out the Museum of the Foundation (and find contact information regarding how to set up a pilgrimage trip there, in case you are interested)here: http://www.webcitation.org/5jrxxufM9
Hopefully the Legion won't sue the webmasters of that site like they sued Regain several years ago. Something tells me the Legion lawyers have more important fires to put out right now.
And lest any LC/RC member try to tell you that nobody cares about the Museum anymore (because it was never about Maciel anyway!), bear in mind that Father Berg mentioned in his interview in July of this year that 25 Legion priests went down to the Museum/Retreat Center for a TWO MONTH retreat at the Founder's house just this summer.
As for that sickening article about the "Altar of the Foundation" in Maciel's boyhood home, it should be noted for the record that it is dated November 2005. Still very weird, especially because Maciel was alive at the time, but at least it's not something they are churning out now or since the Papal discipling of Maciel.
The pope's decision to implement a Vatican Visitation was NOT based on hearsay but on the official validated testimony of the people who have been harmed (sexual abuse, extortion, money laundering, psychological abuse, violations of Canon Law and the use of cult tactics to keep and recruit it's members).
Unfortunately most people have no idea what cult tactics are and how they violate the dignity of the human person and their ability to exercise their free will, something God NEVER does and the teachings of the Catholic Church condemn.
I would highly recommend everyone educating themselves on techniques used by cults in order to protect themselves and their loved ones. The book, 'TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE, RECOVERING FROM CULTS AND ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS'' by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias is an excellent book.
You can also contact the INTERNATIONAL CULTIC STUDIES ASSOCIATION (ICSA) for additional resources.
I don't know if the Holy Father will be able (or is even willing) to face the howling winds that are the Spanish leaders of the LC who for their own selfish purposes would rather go along as if nothing had happened. I do hope and pray the Pope cooperates with the Holy Spirit and does the right thing.
I am happy to find out that the American branch of the LC seems to be truly bent to the the kind of reform needed. I do hope that others who want to see true reform in the RCC in the US over all may find in them an example of how to root out the evil in their midst without turning unfaitfhful or to defiant dissent.
As you signed as "Victims Advocate", I would assume that you view all victims of abuse in the same light. Abuse in any form is sin, Right? It appears that you are more interested in trashing the Legion. You speak of "corruption" in the Legion, "inability to detect the truth" from the Legion, "LC should be suppressed," "more bishops should be expelling them." This seems very harsh for such a compassionate sister, especially since the results of the investigation are not complete. It sounds like you are more likely an enemy of othodoxy and therefore an enemy of the Legion!!!!
To be fair, if you are a "Victims Advocate," all you have to do is turn to the publisher of this magazine, look at the Archdiocese of Boston, or your nearest diocese. The Oregon Providence of the Jesuits alone have had more sexual abuse than the claims against Fr. Maciel. Perhaps you should script a post with the same tone directed towards the Jesuits, or another archdiocese? That's the problem Sister Maureen, you have no ineterst in being fair. As I said before, I do not at all condone the action of the founder, but come on, lets at least be fair and charitable in our posts...after all you are a religous. Let's act like one! After all, the Legion is in good hands, the hands of the church.
1) I did not call you a cult-member. I said you exhibit a cult-like fervor for the Movement. There is a difference.
2) Where is the slander? The Maciel-led cry of ''Slander!'' in reply to any criticism of the Legion was old about ten years ago. Meanwhile, none of the Legion leadership has either admitted to or apologized for its very real slander of calling the sexual molestation victims of Maciel liars and enemies of the Church for years and years.
3) I am intimately connected with the Legion and have been for over a decade. Our children were involved in LC schools and programs for years.
4) When the replies of the priests at our local LC school to our very real concerns (the hard questions, as you say)were completely vacuous and robot-like after the revelations in February, I started researching the methodology online. What I found was downright scary.
5)You and others like you are providing a huge service to our Church by exhibiting that very methodology in your invective, abusive language. Note that although you quick to accuse others of slander, you have no
problem slandering others by implying they themselves have committed
the sins of slander and blasphemy. It is not blasphemy or slander to question the motives of an order of priests that covered-up for a pederast fraud for 65 years and lied about it(for even the Legion now admits they knew Maciel was a fraud as far back as 2005, yet they were still forcing my children to venerate Maciel like a saint up till Feb of this year!), all the while attacking its victims. When ''zealous'' followers of the Maciel methodology such as you post on these blogs, it allows others to realize the depth of the twistedness of the order.
6)And just how do you think your abusive language here is bringing souls to Christ? Since when is calling anybody who dares criticize an order of priests structured in such a way as to allow a pederast fraud to continue his abuse for 65 years ''enemies of orthodoxy'' a tool for bringing people closer to Christ? Do you really believe that is what you are doing here?
Praise God the true colors of LC/RC are finally becoming known to the Catholic world at large! Let us all continue to pray for Benedict that God will continue to guide him and help him straighten out this mess in the best way possible for all concerned. The victims of LC/RC methodology (both inside and out, and yes, that includes you, Gerry!) need our prayers now more than ever.
Your characterization of me of having "cult like fervor" is disheartening. Having fervor and love for Jesus Christ is called FAITH. Faith is a gift from GOD and having great faith in GOD is a blessing, it's not a curse and it is definitely not cultic. Last time I checked, Christ had great fervor for the Father and for mankind. St. Paul had more fervor than most of the Apostles. Applying your logic....All faithful Christians with fervor are cultish. NOT TRUE Ginger.
I just gave you four sources of apologies that I have personally witnessed. I would expect that there have been many more across the continents. Did you watch EWTN and see that apology? And you don't accept the two letters of apology that I just posted? The letter still posted on the website says that Fr. Alvaro "has begun to reach out personally and in private to those he knows may have suffered most." The Legion of Christ is a world wide religous order and you cannot expect Fr. Alvaro to have all his meetings completed in a few days or weeks.
Regarding fund raising, as an RC member I get an annual letter and pledge card from my local section, nothing more. No different that what I receive from my parish. I have NEVER been pressured for money! There are special campaigns related to special projects always going on that we are made aware of and asked to help with if possible, but never under pressure. The characterization you describe above is not my experience.
For the past 10 years, I have been exposed to Legionary priests and after six years of monthly spiritual direction, confession, annual retreats and conferences, soccer games, dinners at my home, etc. I have never met more charitable, dedicated, spititually developed, well rounded men who exhibit exemplary faith and dedication first to Jesus Christ, and to his bride, the Holy Catholic Church. In fact, I attribute my deep and long lasting conversion to their commitment to faithfully sharing the gospel message of Jesus Christ. My wife is not an RC member and she can tell you first hand how I have become a "new man" and how my authentic love for her and my children has grown during this time. Every aspect of my life has been renewed, strengthened and invigorated due to this deep love for Jesus Christ. The Legion has changed my life dramatically and I am and will always be thankful for their leading me closer to God and the Church!
Calling Regnum Christi a "cult" implies that since I am a member