Saturday, April 12, 2014

(2) Thomas Williams Agonistes



[Literary note: the title of Mr. Ruse's Crisis Magazine article on the reappearance of Thomas Williams in public life seems to harken back to a review T. W. wrote on Amazon regarding a book called C.S. Lewis Agonistes and which reads as follows:]
 
Does Not Disappoint,
March 12, 2006
This review is from: Lewis Agonistes: How C.S. Lewis Can Train Us to Wrestle with the Modern and Postmodern World (Paperback)
I've read so many books on Lewis, many of them disappointing, that I'm always wary when I begin a new one. I picked up Lewis Agonistes because of the promise in its subtitle--that I would gain insights from Lewis' work on how to relate truth to the postmodern world. Almost every Lewis reader understands that the great British writer's incisive logic and imagination effectively sliced through modern thought, but perhaps few consider how he also addresses the postmodern error. Markos did not disappoint me. His book demonstrates a rich understanding of Lewis' body of work and does an insightful job of showing how it refutes both modern and postmodern thinking. It's a fine addition to anyone's Lewis Library. -- Thomas Williams, author of The Heart of the Chronicles of Narnia and Knowing Aslan.
===========
Blogger notes: it would seem that Thomas Williams possesses a knowledge of Christian apologetics and of the work on the great CS Lewis.
 ==========

The article provoking this and the previous blog was taken down shortly after it appeared. It seems that the reactions to the article by Mr Ruse were "controversial", passionate and/or divisive and the editors intervened. This blogger did not see the comments and so cannot express an opinion in their regard. We was able to salvage the article before it was taken down. Later, he may want to formulate his personal critique of the article -rather than of the life and times of Thomas Williams as such.

The article seems to have disappeared from the Internet.

The blogger could only find the opening paragraph, below:

Thomas Williams Agonistes



Each of us is called to discern the spirits that approach our heart. We must discern if they are good and to let them in or evil and to run away. While true for all of us, this is even more urgent for those under vows or promises because they have made these vows and promises to others and to God Himself.
A married person must dispel the evil spirit that tempts him from his wife. So too must a priest resist. Failure is an act of grave evil.
It is with this understanding that one approaches the breaking of the vow of chastity by a priest. It is with understanding that I must approach the subject even of a priest friend who broke this vow.
I have known Thomas Williams for many years. I first came to know him when he was helping to convert a dear female friend I was also helping to convert. Even then I thought they were too cozy and I worried, as did others. It is not uncommon that single orthodox women have what you might call “priest boyfriends,” that is, close friends who are priests. It is something that we chuckle about, at least nervously. Nothing (
ontoward happens in most cases....the author went on to say)


Read more... 

and then Crisis Magazine says:

Have you lost your way?

The content you were looking for doesn't exist on Crisis. Try one of these options to find it:"

A Propos "Thomas Williams Agonistes"

 Thomas Williams


This blog is in response to concern expressed by a former Legionary of Christ, now active diocesan priest, to the article that appeared today in Crisis Magazine. Both his and my comments can best be understood in the context of the article by Austin Ruse, a former "follower" of the famous Fr. Thomas Williams, LC. who went through a "crisis of faith in Fr. Thomas" -the blogger's phrase- after Fr. Thomas revealed he had a son and had kept it secret for years, and is now "coping" with the reappearance of Thomas Williams, "avec femme" in the public eye.

I will not pretend to summarize the indignation of my good active priest friend. Here is what he commented to the article

I just read the Thomas Williams article.  I am very disappointed that you would even waste the time and the space to print such an article.  I was with the Legionaries of Christ for 21 years.  I know Thomas Williams.  What about all of the good priests that left the Legion or even the ones that are still in that mess, that are faithful and hard working?  Why not do an article about the faithful priests that are hard working and productive for the Church, but they have been screwed over by the Legion and even screwed over and over again by the institutional Church?  Your article is ridiculous and narcissistic.  How the hell does an article like this help young teens and college guys discern a vocation to the Catholic priesthood? 



And the blogger's personal response.
Well, I too was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in the Legion of Christ left the order; and four years later left the active Catholic priesthood. By the grace of God I did not leave to take care of a son or -to put things more honestly- to be responsible and live the married life with the woman I would have been in love with.  From what I gathered from the narrative the Legion of Christ superiors -and Fr. Williams himself until he was told to do otherwise by then Archbishop De Paolis- held the following priorities:
  1. Protect the good name of the priest; cover up his double life, etc. 
  2. Only later, when it was pointed out, think of the child that will grow up fatherless unless.... In the Williams case there is mention that the child has Down's Syndrome which would make him more worthy of our compassion -which compassion could encompass the parents as well to some degree.
  3. In third place, "the woman" (Often we blame her for the priest's "fall). Traditionally, she got very little consideration from the Catholic hierarchy or from the faithful.  In this case the woman got more consideration because she happened to be well known in Rome and was the daughter of a very famous Catholic intellectual and defender of Orthodoxy, Legion of Christ supporter, US representative before the Holy See, rich and famous, Mary Ann Glendon.
I was never a famous Legionary of Christ priest. I was not as photogenic as Fr. Williams and did not have a TV ministry or cuddle up to the rich and famous (The Legion's specific apostolate)
I began my pastoral ministry on the Missions -the only ones the Legion really has- in Quintana Roo, Mexico for four year as pastor of the proletariat Divine Providence parish in Chetumal. The trip to the Missions had been prescribed for me, abruptly interrupting my MA in school psychology and administration, by the ever-wise and benevolent Fr. Marcial Maciel. However, God being God transformed that "punishment" into the beginning of my recovery from Major Depressive Disorder and my further distancing from the "Spirit and Mystique of the Legion" created by Fr. Marcial Maciel...

For more, read the memoir, available on Amazon....book and Kindle

[Blogger may return to this at a more reasonable hour]

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Legion: TV Program on the Irish in the Legion of Christ -YOU TUBE


One can pick out Frs. John Joe Monaghan (top clapping), Fergus O'Carroll (blond center), Mexican Anthony Bailleres (left), and Rev. Anthony Bannon (bottom center)  -presently in Ireland or Mexico
 
updated link for this very professional report by Irish TV (RTE) investigative reporter Mick Peelo in the Would you believe? series
                                                     Frs. Owen Kearns, Legion PR and spokesperson; Antony Bannon ........................................            Superior, "Formator" and Fundraiser for decades in the USA

                                                                                                                                                                                       
  Fr. Marcial receives the number for the draw of "Patron Saints" from novice Paul Lennon during a Christmas ceremony in Salamanca 1961/2, reproduced from Our Father Maciel who art in Bed, a Naive and Sentimental Dubliner in the Legion of Christ  (Amazon)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lawsuit for Extorsion goes forward against Legion of Christ in Rhode Island

Maciel, seguimos en televisión

 

Lawsuit Against Legion Of Christ Catholic Order By Paul Chu Will Move Forward In Rhode Island

Posted: Updated:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A federal judge in Rhode Island has agreed to let a lawsuit move forward against the Roman Catholic religious order the Legion of Christ, turning down an attempt by the disgraced order to end the lawsuit brought over a late Yale University professor's $1 million bequest.
U.S. District Judge Ronald Lagueux signed an order last week to adopt a magistrate judge's recommendation that the lawsuit be allowed to proceed. The decision does not address the merits of Paul Chu's claims, only whether he has standing to sue.
It's the second lawsuit making its way through the courts in Rhode Island that raises questions about how the Legion secured large donation from elderly supporters. The other is in state court and involves around $60 million left by a wealthy widow. It was dismissed because the judge found the woman's niece did not have standing to sue, but a state Supreme Court appeal is pending.
In the federal lawsuit, Chu, the son of retired mechanical engineering professor James Boa-Teh Chu, says his father was wrongly coerced, defrauded and deceived into signing over $1 million to $2 million to the Legion before he died in 2009. He says his father, who lived in East Providence, R.I., was led to believe the Legion's founder, the late Rev. Marcial Maciel, was a saint, even as the Vatican was investigating serious sexual abuse allegations about him.
The Legion has said everything was handled appropriately and denies the allegations. A spokesman for the group did not immediately return a call seeking comment in Thursday.
Chu's father was a member of the Legion's lay movement, Regnum Christi.

continue Here is the link to this update

Monday, March 10, 2014

TV Program: Role of the Irish in the Legion of Christ -Investigative Report

                                       
                                          At the Diplomat Hotel, Mexico City a few years ago with my wife, accompanied by Chief whistle blower, Jose Barba (standing) and Saul Barrales, another early Legionary (seated right), both Mexicans formally accused Maciel time and time again of sexual and other abuses.

"Myself" and other former and active members of the Legion of Christ were interviewed by Irish TV Host Mick Peelo for his very well researched investigative report on the history of the Legion in Ireland, its expansion in the world, the role of the Irish in Ireland, US, Mexico, Rome...

Here is the link

Friday, March 7, 2014

"The Legion" a "Would you believe it?" special on Irish TV, RTE, Sunday 9th at 9:30 pm



An Irish investigative reporter has spent years researching and another year taping a series of interviews to put this program together

It is about how the Irish contributed to the birth, growth and demise of the Legion of Christ. Here is a brief preview of the program on YouTube

Thursday, February 27, 2014

"Love-bombed" into a Yoga Cult...or the Regnum Christi







Testimony of young American woman recruited into a Yoga Cult; they used "love-bombing" to get her to join
- ever been on a Regnum Christi Vacation/Summer Camp/Fun Retreat?

Learn from this audio taped brief testimony and compare with the witness of the Candidates on "49-weeks" blog.

Below is a testimony from "49 Weeks a Year" (the time the young women were in "formation" in Rhode Island separated from family and the outside world). Separation is a characteristic of the monastic life -yes, but can also be used by "New Religious Movements" and "High Demand Groups" who use "coercive persuasion" to recruit and retain members. And, by the way, the Regnum Christi is not a monastic life; it is hybrid life-style created by Fr. Marcial Maciel which is still looking for a way to define itself within the confines of the Catholic Canon Law...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Andrea's Story

I didn’t WANT to be a nun.  I was raised Catholic. I read stories of the saints. I believed in God. I prayed. But I didn’t go looking for any sort of religious lifestyle. They came looking for me. Consecrated women, with fake happy smiles, began by encouraging me to go to youth group (and encouraging my mother to send us). While there, we were told we were called to “incorporate” into ECYD. I remember when my younger sister refused (always the rebel  :P ), they told her God spoke to them and told them she had to incorporate into ECYD. They were mad when she outright told them to leave her alone. This should have been my first clue. Other friends later were told the same thing. God told them… but didn’t send a message along to the girls themselves? But I didn’t need convincing. Why would I? It was a way of joining with other girls, being part of something. Looking back, I realize it was just the first step in indoctrination.
When I went to the summer program, I was hesitant. But the consecrated women promised fun and laughter and swimming. It was supposed to be a summer camp. No one told me I might stay. They especially never mentioned that I would be manipulated into staying.
I wasn’t there long before I knew I was staying. Conversations revolved around Christ’s calling. How could you say no? Vocation story upon vocation story told of girls as young as 12 and 13 fighting for their vocation, no matter the cost, personal, familial, or otherwise. Leave your father and mother and follow me. How could I be selfish and not give myself to him? And besides, look how HAPPY the PCs are. Look at them, not discussing anything other than their joy, their triumphs. No one dared say “run for your life”.
Other ex-PCs have done a fine job illustrating the mental and physical anguish. Some might say it’s typical teenage pain but I only stayed the one year, grade 9, before my parents refused to let me return. The typical teenage pain I experienced in 10th -12th grades (fighting with friends, highschool heartbreak, deaths of friends and peers) , although plenty traumatic in certain situations, is nothing like this.
I was a shell of myself when I returned home. Having spent an entire year crying every single day, being berated for my emotions, being told to be an example for others and not let them know my pain, being so far removed from my family (being out of country meant missing the thanksgiving visit, and the possible one visit a month for those that lived close)- it nearly broke me. Luckily, my family held me up. Luckily, I’d lost only one year, not 4, not some undetermined amount of time I most definitely would have spent consecrated had my family not intervened (and yes, I HAD decided I was called to be consecrated, at the very mature age of 14).
So parents, do not suggest this “program” for your children. And if they tell you it’s God’s will, if they beg and plead and tell you “Please Mom, this is my vocation. I don’t know if I’ll ever be strong enough to follow it again. It’s your vocation to let me”, be the parent. Realize you have a teenager who is good and loving and wants to love God, but it’s your duty to protect her. She needs you now more than ever.
14 is not old enough.