Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Years Wish for the Legion of Christ & Regnum Christi/ Deseos de Nuevo Anio para la Legion y el Regnum




that you put aside lies and deceit and that you live with honesty, sincerity, and truth as individuals, communities, and organization.

See I Peter 2,1
So get rid of every kind of evil, every kind of deception, hypocrisy, jealousy, and every kind of slander.

Que alejen de si toda mentira y enganio y que vivan con sinceridad, autenticidad y verdad como individuos, comunidades y organizacion.


That prospective members analyze the group and themselves before joining; that they seek second and third opinions; that they  listen to others, including their parents
the they be cautious about PREMATURE RECRUITING & IMPULSIVE DECISION MAKING.

Que los Candidatos analicen el grupo a a si mismos antes de entrar para EVITAR EL RECLUTAMIENTO PREMATURO Y LAS DECISIONES PRECIPITADAS

that all members are able to step back and assess their decision to JOIN LC and RC

that Superiors and Spiritual Directors STOP UNDULY INFLUENCING, and CONTROLLING the members under their care.

que los Superiores y Directores Espirituales DEJEN DE INFLUIR Y CONTROLAR INDEBIDAMENTE a los miembros bajo su cuidado. 

that you never let THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS, EVER!.

que nunca permitan que LOS FINES JUSTIFIQUEN LOS MEDIOS!

that you STOP DIVIDING THE WORLD INTO "INSIDERS" AND "OUTSIDERS", "US VS THEM"

que DEJEN DE DIVIDIR A LA HUMANIDAD EN "PROPIOS Y EXTRANIOS", "NOSOTROS CONTRA ELLOS"

that you have to courage to QUESTION YOUR LONG-HELD BELIEFS REGARDING THE FOUNDER, THE LEGION AND REGNUM CHRISTI.

y que tengan el valor de  CUESTIONAR SUS CREENCIAS ANTIGUAS RESPECTO AL FUNDADOR, LA LEGION Y EL REGNUM

that you STOP SEEING PEOPLE LIKE ME AS "ENEMIES OF THE LEGION" and be willing to MEET AND DIALOG so that together we can come closer to the truth.

y que DEJEN DE CONSIDERAR PERSONAS COMO YO COMO "ENEMIGOS DE LA LEGION" y estar dispuestos a encontrarse con nosotros y juntos buscar la verdad.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

THE PRINCE OF TRUTH! - "How YOU WERE CONNED by Maciel, Legion and Regnum Christi" - #39 in the series How to get a Loved One out





Were you taken in by the Maciel tango?


Fr. Longenecker, "Standing on my Head", wrote

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Catholic Con Men

As the sordid revelations about Fr. Marcial Marciel--the founder of the Legionaries of Christ--keep emerging the faithful ask, "Why were so many taken in by him?"

What very few people stop to consider is the complex psychology of religious belief. Religious faith is the greatest adventure and brings forth the very best of human beings, but we have to be honest and admit that it brings forth the very worst as well.

Why do people fall for priests who turn out to be such stinkers? It's pretty complicated, but it goes like this: first of all, the bad priest himself is usually a complex character. He has deep flaws and serious sins deep down in his life. To compensate he tries very hard to be good, and what better way to be good than to become a priest? Becoming a priest helps him to cover up his flaws. He puts on a uniform everyday which proclaims that he is a holy man. The uniform allows him to play a part. He is comfortable being a good pastor, a caring person, a wonderful preacher, a man of prayer. It makes him feel better about himself and if he is not careful, he soon starts believing his own priestly image.

If he is charismatic, charming, debonair and dynamic he is even more attractive. If he is wise and wonderful and eloquent and compassionate and caring and almost Jesus himself, then he becomes even more popular and the real deep down problem is only made worse by the imposture, not better. Have you ever noticed how often it is the priests and pastors who seem the very best and most wonderful who are the ones who fall? Every asked yourself if the reason they were so wonderful is linked with their crash?

Furthermore, the whole church establishment from pope to people encourages him to merge his identity into his priesthood. He is not a man doing a job. He is to become what he was ordained to be--a self sacrificing priest. Now this is a great ideal and it is one which, when it works, makes for a wonderful transformation. However, the dark side is that all we get is a man in a priest outfit playing a part. The real monster still lurks below. If the inner problems are not resolved, the man soon starts living a double life. On the surface he is Father Fantastic. Everyone loves him. He's good at everything. Indeed he is "the best priest we've ever had..."

Furthermore, the whole dynamic of parish life contributes to build up the false image. Everyone loves Father Fantastic. Everyone looks up to him. In fact they invest an awful lot of spiritual capital in him. They put him on a pedestal. In fact, the people, rather than learning to love God (which is hard work) love the priest instead. They idolize him and he can do no wrong because they actually want an idol of a priest who can do no wrong. He epitomizes for the their whole religion. All this false religion does is to make the bad priest's conflict between his inner demons and the outer false image even worse.

Then the whole facade crumbles and Father Fantastic runs off with somebody or turns out to be an alcoholic or a pedophile or an embezzler or some other kind of skunk. Then everyone says, "How could it be! How could we have been taken in!" The sick psychology continues and Father Fantastic (who was only ever Father Flawed anyhow) is scapegoated by the community. He has gone from paragon to pariah. He's an outcast. He's guilty even when proven innocent.

Why were so many taken in by Father Maciel? Because so many people wanted to be taken in. It was easier and more exciting to believe the whole fabricated fiction than to take the effort to find out the truth and follow it.

I hope people will not misunderstand me and draw the conclusion that I am a cynic or that I don't believe holy priests are possible. They are, but the best priests I've known have been the dull ones. Give me a plodder priest any day. Give me the Samwise Gamgees of the priestly fraternity. When it comes to priests, remember all that glitters is not gold.

I'm not encouraging cynicism and doubt. I'm just saying that if you come across a priest or a monk or a bishop who is too good to be true...He probably is.

Posted by Fr Longenecker at Sunday, December 20, 2009
-------
PS BE SURE TO READ HIS RISPOSTE TO CRITICISM in Comments

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"Legion will not be dissolved but heads will roll"



Bishop Ricardo Blázquez, Bishop Giuseppe Versaldi, Archbishop Ricardo Ezzatti, Archbishop Charles Chaput and Bishop Ricardo Watti
(top to bottom, left to right)


Coinciding with news of Investigators meeting in Rome,  Religion Digital, a large Religious Webpage based in Spain, chimed in with the following Spanish language article on 12/17/09

The Holy See will be particularly hard on the "Maciel Case"


Investigation of Legion of Christ will conclude in March. The Order will not be dissolved but some will be removed from office.
 
The gist of the article by Jesus Bastante [which is neither endorsed nor contested by the blogger] follows

-Visitators will hand in their reports in mid-March, 2010,  and will cease in their functions. It will be up the pope [editor: the Holy See, Vatican] to decide what is to be done.
-The order will not be dissolved but heads will roll
-The present Legion leadership is trying hard to distance itself from Maciel because of Benedict's zero tolerance for pedophiles. The pope is very disturbed by what he is learning about Fr. Maciel's life and the coverup by other superiors.
-The seminaries will be profoundly restructured
-Many top leaders will be asked to resign, including Alvaro Corcuera the present General Director

------------------
[Original Spanish]

La Santa Sede será particularmente dura en el "caso Maciel"

La investigación a la Legión de Cristo concluirá en marzo. No se disolverá la orden, pero sí habrá destituciones

Los cinco visitadores nombrados por el Papa para investigar los escándalos acaecidos en la Legión de Cristo finalizarán su misión el próximo mes de marzo, una vez entreguen sus informes definitivos ante la Santa Sede. Así lo confirma el secretario de Estado de Su Santidad, Tarcisio Bertone, en un escrito remitido al director general de la Legión, Álvaro Corcuera.

A mediados de ese mes, los cinco prelados designados, Ricardo Watti, obispo de Tepic (México); Charles Chaput, arzobispo de Denver (EEUU); Ricardo EzzatAndrello, arzobispo de concepción (Chile); Giuseppe Versaldi, obispo de Alejandría (Italia) y Ricardo Blázquez, obispo de Bilbao (España), entregarán sus informes al Santo Padre, y terminarán su función.

Entonces, será Benedicto XVI el que decidirá el futuro de la orden fundada por Marcial Maciel. En una estrategia de última hora, los actuales responsables de la Legión están tratando de desvincularse por completo de la figura de su fundador, conscientes de que, en la situación actual, el Papa ha declarado "tolerancia cero" con todo lo relacionado con la pederastia y los abusos a menores.

El "caso Maciel", pues, será tratado con la "máxima dureza" por el Vaticano, según han indicado a RD fuentes romanas, que no quieren que aflore, ni por asomo, un escándalo similar a lo acaecido en la Iglesia de Irlanda.

El Papa está visiblemente afectado por todo lo que se ha ido conociendo acerca de la vida del fundador de la Legión de Cristo, así como de la responsabilidad no sólo de Maciel, sino de muchos de sus colaboradores, que ahora tratan de evadir su responsabilidad alegando desconocimiento y pidiendo perdón.

Todo parece indicar que no habrá disolución de la orden, pero sí una profunda remodelación en sus seminarios -que siguen siendo vivero de vocaciones-, en su estructura organizativa y en los votos que los legionarios hacen en el interior de su congregación. También se espera la destitución de muchos de sus líderes, comenzando muy probablemente por su actual director general, Álvaro Corcuera, a quienes muchos acusan de haber "instigado" el silencio en torno a Maciel durante muchos

Monday, December 14, 2009

Investigators meet in Rome while Legion Ordains 59 new Priests in Triumphalistic Ceremony


Ordination at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, Rome, Italy


Apostolic Visitors of Legionaries of Christ gather for first evaluation


Rome, Italy, Dec 4, 2009 / 04:44 pm (CNA).-

The five bishops taking part in the Apostolic Visitation of the Legionaries of Christ are meeting at the Vatican for their first evaluation.
The meeting is being held today and Saturday at the office of the Vatican Secretary of State and is being led by Archbishop Fernando Filoni, Substitute for General Affairs.
The five bishops present at the meeting are Bishop Ricardo Watti Urquidi of Tepic, Mexico; Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, United States;  Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello of Concepcion, Chile; Bishop Guiseppe Versaldi of Alexandria, Italy; and Bishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Bilbao, Spain.
Officials said media reports of an emergency meeting between the bishops that supposedly took place in October were completely false.
Earlier this year on March 13, the Superior General of the Legionaries of Christ, Father Alvaro Corcuera, announced the decision of Pope Benedict XVI to carry out an Apostolic Visitation of the order, which began on July 15.

=====================

On December 4, Investigators met in Rome to present their first findings to the Vatican. This did not prevent the Legion from going through with its triunphalistic ordination at St Paul Outside the Walls on December 14, 2009

LC/RC...Official article
Bishop Brian Farrell, LC., presided at the ceremony. His homily is interesting as he indirectly mentions the present Investigation as a "cross" that the Legion is bearing.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

[2] Maciel, the Sexual Seducer of his Seminarians



In this HISTORIC photo, Bundrowes House, Bundoran, Co. Donegal, late 1960, we see Fr. Marcial Maciel surrounded by the earliest group of Irish recruits:  from left Sean X, Declan French, Francis Coleman, Maurice Oliver McGowan (the first Irishman ordained in the LC and the first ordained Irish priest to leave),  Marcial Maciel, Pearse Allen (6' 4"), Fr. Neftali Sanchez-Tinoco, James Whiston, unidentified cassocked sandy-haired; on the far right is is Fr. Felix Alarcon, one of his victims; next to Felix is James Coindreau, the recruiter ( at that time a seminarian passing for a priest). Their stories are in "Our Father (Maciel) who art in bed..."


[Excerpt from the only sex abuse chapter in Our Father, who art in bed]


Celibate or Hibernate?
In the light of sexual scandals in the Legion, which I learned
about years after I left, I add the following considerations.
During my nine-year training to be a Legionary, and indeed
during the remaining fourteen years as a Legionary priest, I
was never aware of sexual improprieties of any kind in the
order. Nor was I ever approached by a confrere or
superior in a sexually inappropriate way.
Regarding other temptations of the flesh, I must add that during all
seminary training from postulancy to the deaconate
vow of celibacy, I was never outside the “cloister” walls of a
Legionary formation center on my own, and thus never met
an attractive woman. Apparently, in order to be chosen as our
cook, a woman had to be old and ugly. It seems reasonable to
conclude that my commitment to celibacy was, like everything
else in the Legion “formation system,” an unprocessed foregone
conclusion: “I assume, therefore I have a vocation to celibacy.”
I admit I felt fleeting attraction for that Venezuelan
benefactress, Nora. Accompanied by her rather provocative
daughter, she was allowed to flit around the college in Rome
some time during my Theology studies. She must have been
contributing in no uncertain terms to the “economy of the
Legion” for Father Maciel to permit that. Although it was kind
of strange to have a woman “in the community,” with access to
the semi-private areas in our house, all Legionaries knew that
when The Founder was around exceptions could be made to
regular observance of the rules. Anyway, my infatuation with
La Señora must have lasted all of twenty seconds, that is, while
we were together in the elevator between floors at Via Aurelia
677. And there were only four floors! I may have been slightly
troubled about it at the time. Looking back, it just proves that
I had not been totally neutered by the Legion.
Most Legionaries will attest that the atmosphere
surrounding us regarding sexuality and chastity was eerily
“antiseptic,” like that sterile smell of disinfectant you got when
entering a hospital. There was a communal belief that the Legion
had been protected from impurity by a special gift from the
Blessed Virgin Mary. So that purity was a given, and impure
thoughts, feelings, or actions were unusual, out of place, and
unexpected in the Legion. It was “Don’t think. It's not happening.”
Some guys were kicked out because of voyeurism: looking into the
showers or dressing rooms when other guys were changing, or
for other offenses that to mature eyes might not appear serious.
But the superiors would never speak publicly of these transgressions.
Sex was taboo, hidden, like the nudes in L’Enciclopedia dell’Arte
in our library.
According to the rules, or norms, we were allowed six
movies a year, never in a public theater, but in our own house,
16mm or Super-8. The projectionist and superior previewed
the movie beforehand. Whenever a remotely erotic or simply
romantic scene appeared, a card was inserted between the lens
and the film to block out the bad images.
There is a standing joke about the Irish Book on Sex: all
the pages are blank; a good metaphor for our Legion sexual education.
We received no explanation of the physiology of the sexes, drives,
attraction, falling in love, and love-making. Who would talk
about something as “repugnant” and “impure” as that? Novice
Instructor, Rector, Superior, and Spiritual Director Rafael Arumí,
or obsessive compulsive Assistant Superior and Spiritual Director
Octavio Acevedo, not-too-bright Rector, Superior, and Spiritual
Director Alfredo Torres, or dog-lover and horticulturalist, Rector,
Superior, and Spiritual Director Juan Manuel Dueñas-Rojas?
Where would you find a manual, a booklet, or even some pictures?
All the remotely sensual illustrations in the Encyclopedia of Art
had been papered over. I’m sure some creative souls did their
own research…but not me.
My plate was full with my constant doubts of Faith. On the
other hand, I must admit I had found a very helpful book about
how to handle adolescent changes at the Salamanca Novitiate. It
was called “You are becoming a man.” I considered myself a normal and
healthy adolescent, with normal urges, practicing self-control
and abstinence. There might be the occasional wet dream. That
would be part of confession and spiritual direction. When I revealed this to
Father Dueñas, spiritual director, rector and superior in Rome, he
made the recommendation: “Be more careful, and try not to
let that happen again.” I’m glad Irish Christian Brother Moore had explained
things a little better back in the seventh grade.
So, regarding sex everything was silenced; it was not
mentioned among us; no education, neutral, neutered, frozen.
As a heterosexual I may have been impervious to any intrusion from superior or peer.

Father Maciel, in his later confrontations with me, appeared to
express this sentiment regarding the opposite sex:
“Women, because of their sexuality and sensuality, are
the root of all evil.” Because we were forbidden from talking
about anything personal among ourselves, I have no idea of
how others fared—whethe struggling with their impulses,  sexual identity
or homosexual feelings. Testimonies of ex-Legionaries now
demonstrate that some members, no matter their orientation,
were sexually approached by unscrupulous superiors, novice
masters and spiritual directors. But most of us had no inkling
of anything improper going on.
This enigma is partially solved
by the testimony of one of the original accusers, José Pérez
Olvera, who exited as I was entering: “It seemed that nothing
mattered more than the virtue of purity. We were wholesome
boys, but they drummed the idea of purity into us to such a
degree that we ended up being fixated on it. For us everything
was a sin. The obsession with offending God was so great that
I couldn’t even touch my penis when I went to the bathroom.
I ended up going to a Trappist monastery next door to confess.
This from the time I was a boy, from the time I entered at
age eleven. And I want to tell you that in Rome we were
surrounded by paintings of nudes. A virgin breast-feeding a
child was a sin. It was aberrant. The hypocrisy got to the point
that they would put little pieces of paper on art book pictures
so that things would not be seen [which produced the opposite
effect]. I lived in anguish. One could never feel serene. It was
as if God had not created sex. And to top it all off, Father
Marcial was a total hypocrite; it did not matter to him that he
had destroyed us.”23
I know one of my Legionary colleagues was seriously
troubled for years for having smuggled a girlie magazine
into the seminary. Once discovered, he was haunted by his
superior’s warning that such an act of impurity demonstrated
a serious moral shortcoming which seriously jeopardized his
Legionary calling. That Legion-induced guilt hung like a sword
of Damocles over his conscience for many years. He was led
to believe that if he abandoned the Legion he would lose his
priesthood: his depraved inclination would make it impossible
for him to carry on as a priest, for no bishop would ever accept
such a deviant priest into his diocese. Another ex-Legionary
colleague, Hector Carlos—calling me out of the blue after 37
years—told me that when the Legion was trying to dump him,
his spiritual director gratuitously told him, “You don’t have a
vocation to celibacy, because you masturbate.” “Who told you I
masturbate?” retorted my recently recovered companion.
***

Monday, November 30, 2009

Maciel, the Sexual Seducer [1]





[A poem by the author and contained in Our Father Maciel who art in bed; see corresponding blog]

MACIEL’S SEDUCERS IN SEVILLE

I
Approaching the Cristo de Burgos
For you I did penance and cried;
On the corner of Sales-Ferré,
Spied procession of Servite friars;
Amid Trappist’, Jesuit’ suspicions,
First Legionary adolescent needs,
-Bay of Cobreces, story Foundation-
Solace seeking with willowy priest.
In their budding homo-curiosity
-Close I to Granada’s meet,
Home to Federico de Gay-
Their spiritual father in sheets?
Now one was robust and quite virile,
The other with sweet baby face,
A third was a fair-haired blue-eyes,
The next with a delicate grace.
They all had one thing in common
As for the seminary they signed:
To be fondled, aroused and pleasured,
Aye, ravished by their Father benign.


II
So facing the float of Dolores
Descending the narrowing street,
With long brown candles burning
Their hands peak-capped Nazarenes,
I prayed for the Christ of Cotija
Stretched across his mother’s knee,
Grieving for her Jesus Maciel,
Broken, betrayed and bereaved.
They created the Myth of Abuser;
Accused him of tempting to prey;
Their saintly, innocent, Pastor,
True victim of calumnies vain.
Now one was quite strong and most virile;
The other, a round baby-face;
A third was handsome and blue-eyed
The fourth with a delicate grace.
Unbeknownst to their ignorant parents
-What little perverts they had raised! -
Had gone to the order with one plan:
His chaste body defile and debase.


III
The float forced its path through the lane-way,
Fairly crushing all bones to the wall,
My senses bewildered with brocade
Gold and silver, incense and pall.
Through the haze the halting procession,
Wending its way through the throng,
Cavorting, provocative altar boys,
All of eleven years tall.
When I tried to imagine their malice,
Fathom the evil they bore,
I coldly considered the “victim”
And burst into sobs for their souls.
So I wept for the blue-eyed conspirator,
And the boy with the soft baby-face;
For the virile, athletic and strong one,
And the one with a delicate grace.
They had come to the order with one mind:
To deceive the immaculate priest.
Were they wolves in babes’ simple clothing?
Or prey to a Wolf and a Beast?
 


In the Glorious City of Seville,
Cradle of Christopher’s Commission
And Torquemada’s Holy Inquisition.
Poetic license provoked
By some Catholics’ view
That sexual abuse by priests can be
Reduced to homosexuality, or gayness;
That the young ones are willing accomplices;
By testimonies of eight seminarians against Father
Marcial Maciel,
Founder and Superior General of the Legion of Christ;
By pro-Maciel defense and adulation of him and his
mother;
By early Legion history in northern Spain where first
rumors arose;
And inspired by walking the streets participating in
Seville’s Holy Week processions, 2003

Thursday, November 19, 2009

How to apologize to Maciel's Victims of Sexual Abuse and Legion Calumny






Any old apology is not good enough for victims of Sexual Abuse, diffamation and calumny. Ask a lawyer or a mental health therapist or...them

Maciel's victims were abused in very specific ways: they were sexually abused by Maciel on several occasions, having their childhood and youth stolen from them by the one who was supposed to be their father; a form of incest.

When they came forward in different ways the Legion Leadership [v.g Bannon and Owen Kearns] branded them as "disgruntled ex-members", "bitter old men", "envious of Fr. Maciel and the Legion". That is calumny and diffamation.  A public offense requires an OFFICIAL,  PUBLIC apology,  to INDIVIDUALS PERSONALLY,  and to the GROUP.  This would also require AN OFFICIAL LEGION PUBLIC STATEMENT, press release,  published in the Legion's own Newspaper by the Editor, Fr. Kearns, etc., and several other steps.

For an apology to be valid it has to be SPECIFIC as to the offenses/crimes, there has to be REPARATION [damages], moral and material, just as in the cases of Sexual Abuse by diocesan priests and other members of religious orders...

Corcuera and other Legionaries keep telling lies, bare-faced and otherwise! #38 in the series How to...



Dear reader, forgive this outburst.

I have just celebrated a birthday, a big number. It brings reflections on my life and how brief our time on earth is. What have I done with my life? How to make sense of my time in the Legion and what I did after leaving? I am honest with myself as I get closer to meeting my Creator?

And I learn that Fr. Alvaro has begun to attempt to outreach Maciel's victims to "beg them for pardon on his bended knee". The rhetoric of the phrase is sickening and already sounds false. He goes on to swear to the victim that he knows nothing of the lawsuit the Legion brought against REGAIN INC two years ago. "What a terrible thing! I must look into this..."
It is just not possible to countenance this hypocrisy and barefaced lying!
And poor naive -or misguided and blind- people wonder why bishop or archbishop so and so could be so misguided in kicking them out when they do so much good and carry on the values of Catholic Orthodoxy and Tradition. But they are so conniving and deceitful it is just not possible to tolerate anymore going behind the bishop's back and making a fool of him in front of his own faithful!

Such an episode turns my stomach once again. The lying, the deceit, the hypocrisy that we ex-members were subject to for years. Seems like the Legion, the Regnum and its leaders never learn their lesson. Maciel's total untruthfulness and deceit has been transmitted to the Legion superiors and Regnum Christi directors. Truth is not important to them. Only saving face, doing PR, bringing in the money and the recruits, keeping the wool pulled over the eyes of their innocent and docile -especially female- members.
Most of the Americans who have left the Legion have done so because they were lied to. It is something that Americans cannot abide by. Once they find out they have been deceived they get very angry. And this healthy anger can even break through their resistence to doubt their superiors, to break that taboo...

Good Morning, and wake up American Legionaries and Regnum Christi members!

Monday, November 9, 2009

First Visitation Report of Legionaries/Regnum may be in Vatican hands






According to Spanish news agency eFe the first report from Visitators may already be in Vatican Authorities' hands. The article
unfortunately, may be short on verified data but does contain a number of specifics on how the Visitation is affecting Legion members, an unusual peep behind the scenes of this airtight organization.

---
The visitors appointed by the Vatican to conduct an investigation of the institutions and centers of the Legionaries of Christ (LC) and the Regnum Christi (RC) were summoned to Rome in late October, where Benedict XVI was presented a first report on the results of their investigation.


Vatican Visitation of Legion/Regnum Chrisit almost complete

According to information provided to Efe by Legionary priests who are still within the religious congregation, but who disagree with the attitude of "secrecy" of their superiors, the apostolic visit is almost complete.

However, the visitors continue to work as some schools are lacking a visit, as in the case of Spain, and because there are still many people, especially the RC laity and consecrated persons, who have requested to be received by the visitors and give their testimony.

Through sources close to one of the visitors, Efe has been able to confirm the meeting: "we were called to Rome with urgency," said one, adding that the accusations of pedophilia against LC founder, Marcial Maciel, have virtually not been investigated.

The reason is that the Holy See has had already for years an important dossier about it, which led to the conviction of Maciel in 2005, and are only now receiving testimony from affected victims or who have requested to meet with some of the visitors.

The Pope, according to these same sources, "is now very clear about the situation of the Legion of Christ and the accusations against the founder. What we are deepening our investigation of, at the request of the Holy See, is the compliance with the suppression of the fourth vote of charity - never to speak ill of or denounce the superiors, as ordered by Rome. "

Also being investigated with emphasis are: "if the Legion's constitutions correspond to those adopted at the time by the Holy See, on the financial issue and ownership of properties and facilities and, by express mandate of the Pope, the possible 'coercion and control' of conscience in the consecrated members of the Legion, "sources told EFE.

Distrust and dissension

The situation that exists internally in Legionaries and Regnum Christi centres has gone from public embarrassment when it became the Pope's decision to investigate the works of Maciel and the Legion after recognizing that the founder had a daughter, to that of distrust of lack of information, to the distress of many priests and consecrated the RC for the future since the retirements of priests and lay members.

A Legionary priest, who occupies an important position in the LC and is still inside pending the decision of the Holy See at the end apostolic visit, summarized the situation to Efe:

"In the LC and RC at the moment there are three types of attitudes: those who still think that everything is false and that this is further proof that Christ calls us; those who have left and have gone out; and us who live with a tremendous frustration because of the secrecy of our superiors and are waiting on what the Pope decides and whether we convene a General Chapter.

"Everything that has been said is true," says this priest, "and has been known to some LC superiors and to the Holy See for at least twenty years as acknowledged by the Vicar General, Luis Garza,pronounced at internal conferences this summer. "

"What I do not understand is precisely the attitude of Alvaro Corcuera, director general of the Legion, who is working and forcing the territorial directors to work and act as if nothing happened, and virtually denying the facts."

"He has not even apologized to the first victims of pedophile, because deep down those responsible for the Legion wants to continue denying this fact and disguise the contradictions and double life of the founder with the recognition of the existence of a daughter.

"It's an untenable situation because when your ask questions about something specific, either you do not get an answer or they say: 'Well you are the first person to bring this up."

For this Legionary, and for other LC members who have spoken to Efe and who have asked to work in other dioceses, including those of Madrid, the "distrust" is absolute in Legionnaires centers, "you can not trust or talk about these issues to anyone beside you, either because he tells you that he wants nothing to do with it or because minutes after they tell the superior. "

This same situation is also happening in the Regnum Christi houses and Consecrated centres, although the possibility of Internet access and more information enables them to follow more easily what is happening. In Legionary centres, internet access or e-mail is strictly controlled and certain critical pages and the reporting of this apostolic visit is censored.

The disappointment, questioning their faith in some cases and the inability of many to find support in their immediate environment, have led a group of lay of the RC to create a host network, in private homes, for those members and consecrated in the RC who need to "reflect without external pressures" on the future of remaining or not in the RC.

Transparency

Also, on reports of cases of sexual abuse in Legionary schools, a group of parents whose children continue their studies in legionary schools in Mexico an association "Transparency Legionaria" has been created with the aim of uniting parents and to demand transparency in those schools.

This group has submitted their request for "transparency" to Benedict XVI, the apostolic visitors, heads of schools, the superiors of the Legion of Christ and the Integer Group- the institution that controls all funding for the Legion, worldwide through various businesses, demanding "an official, public and expeditious response" to three question:.

Monthly report of revenue and expenditure in schools, to know what happens to the money they invest in the education of their children; a statement of principles of the school, whether your goal is to educate or to "have a breeding ground for future priests or members Regnum Christi" and the curriculum of those who educate their children and how and why they are hired.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Miami archdiocese barrs Legion and Regnum Christi [Oct. 30, 2009]




it is now on some Catholic blogs and news papers; the public announcement came from Zenit, which is or used to be a Legion apostolate. It is based on a stiff letter from the chancery.
Informed Catholics of this diocese are sick of the Legion and Regnum not following diocesan guidelines and agreements and walking all over the bishop's authority.

Prestigious and balanced Catholic News Agency ran the story

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Legion's Gateway Academy Closing in St Louis?

latest news about Legion or Regnum run Gateway Academy in the St. Louis, Missouri Area [thanks for correction, Molly]

10/28/09:


Scott Brown is meeting with the parents this evening and we have heard a rumor that it is to close GA after the semester. Ironically, Fr. Thomas left yesterday. He was here for the high school closing in May and it was horrendous. This situation may be worse since they promised to keep the school open for the year. The LC is not very swift in managing these types of events.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Discernment Process #36 in the series How To....



Dear Reader,
copying post on Catholic Answers, Legionaries of Christ, Vocation thread, Troubled Legionary's Sister
---
Leaving the Legionaries of Christ

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quote:

Originally Posted by JReducation  in response to exLegionary

All of your points are well made. I just want to echo the one that I find to be criticial. When you are thinking of leaving the religious life or the priesthood or both, as in this case, you can't just jump ship. You have to begin the discernment process again. That's why the Church gives you the time to take a leave of absence or to test yourself in another setting, be it a diocese or a religious community. You don't just leave and are now free. The Church won't allow that. They will demand at least a leave of absence for at least a year and they can extend it up to five. During that time the person can return to the congregation or explore a diocese or another religious family. In the meantime, he has a year to live as a lay person. But his is bound to the vows and the constitutions of the congregation. He has to pray the Liturgy of the Hours under pain of sin. He has to remain celibate. He has to obey. He has to live poverty.

Fraternally,


Br. JR, OSF
------
exLegionary to Br. JR

We are getting some consensus here. I would venture the say the priest is "in crisis", =not a good time to make life altering decisions. But it is very difficult for the priest. Because he is so uncomfortable now, he may just feel like running away from the source of so much hurt, deceit, and hypocrisy.

We have to help him slow down and not "despair"; he needs our support as family and friends. It is quite normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes, and it is wise to seek help. I am suggesting that he get help from someone outside the Legion, who is more "neutral", to help "stabilize" his crisis and begin his new discernment process. Perhaps he can gradually overcome his narrow-minded training and realize that there is much more to the Catholic Church than the Legion of Christ. And that God is Our Loving Father who can give us a special calling and wants us to find peace in our true "calling". He may realize that the Legionary spirituality was too Maciel-centered...But I empathize. It is not easy when you see your idols -even "holy" ones- crumble. We are talking about a change in World View, in Religous View and in Church View

The good news is that I believe Legion formation is Christ-centered. Christ has not changed and will not.

He may find a more "stripped down" spirituality, that relies less on human intermediaries, including charismatic saints A scary thought!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Gateway Fr Maher walks out Gate of Legion.....#35 in the series How to...





Read brief, laconic notice below. Letter contains a typo "pray" for "prayer"
He is leaving without leaving, moving to a diocese but remaining a religious but not not living in his religious community...is there a clearer way to say this?

Dear Gateway families,

I've been in the Legion for 23 years. It's been a very fulfilling time in my life, particularly the time spent at Gateway Academy.
Through pray and discernment, I've asked for the opportunity to work in a parish and have been assigned in the Diocese of New Jersey. I remain a member of the congregation of the Legion of Christ, and am grateful for the years I have worked in the many apostolates of the Legion.
I am thankful to all of you for allowing me to be a part of your life. I ask that you keep me in your prayers and know that you will always be in mine.
God bless,
Fr. Thomas Maher, LC

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Legion Priests' in Crisis ---#34 in the series





Catholic Answers forum: Legionaries of Christ; discussion

Yesterday, October, 13, 2009, 12:46 pm


exLegionary
Trial Membership Join Date: October 13, 2009
Posts: 4
Religion: Catholic
Re: Legionaries of Christ
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quote:

Originally Posted by J:

Does anyone know of any orders of priests with a charism similar to the Legionaries of Christ, e.g. a similar missionary zeal for saving souls, orthodoxy, living in community, idealism, a committment to conquering the popular culture and media?
.......
He may be correct that his only choice is laicization. He says the burdens of his vocation feel too great for him to continue. I am very sad for him and would like to think it a simple matter to go elsewhere with his vocation. But I see it is not simple. So sad that the sinfulness of a few has such a profound and far-reaching effect on so many.
.....
Each order is so very different. The problem with the Legionaries is that they are taking no steps to make any needed reforms. Their founder got away with a very sinful life, and you would have to assume that the leadership aided and abbetted him in some way. At the very least, some of the top leaders should have resigned and they should have brought in people untainted by the scandal and unconnected to Fr. Maciel. So far, they seem to be circling the wagons and trying to protect the status quo.
Let's just say that my brother has come to the conclusion that many of the criticisms of the Legion over the years are true and he feels he is living a lie by staying there. He has never been drawn to the Diocesan life, and feels it would be too solitary and lonely for him. He loved the community life of the Legion. I hope and pray that after he gets away and takes some time to heal, God will show him where he needs to go. But he is afraid that if he does not apply for laicization now, that option will be forever lost to him. I suppose the thinking is that the Vatican will be positiviely disposed to grant laicization to Legionaries in light of the scandal. He is feeling angry and betrayed right now. He took a lot of pride in what he thought the Legion was. Another lesson in humility, I think.
-----

Thus asks/states the sister of Legionary priest  who is questioning his allegiance to the order, his priestly vocation, and talking laicisization


----------
[exLegionary responds]

J,
Just for shock value, in reply to your opening question, I might suggest the Jesuits. You know that Fr. Maciel copied much of the Legion Constitutions from the Jesuits? You would probably call them "The Old Jesuits". Fr. Maciel was very conservative in doctrine but very liberal in morals.


Seriously, there are quite a number of former Legionaries who have made a good transition to the diocesan priesthood.


Transitioning to another religious order is very complicated as you have seen from other responses.. It's not like being transferred to another soccer team...


Your question reveals a serious flaw in the Legion system: members have very little opportunity to look around them and find out what is outside their group. They may not even be able to consult with an "outside" priest. An LC priest who is considering leaving should have Spiritual Direction/Guidance from a priest outside [independent] and BE FREE TO ENGAGE IN THE PROCESS OF DISCERNMENT.


Discernment is a serious process where one has to know oneself deeply and not just jump into a group that "seems" to fulfill one's calling. I am convinced that many join the Legion WITHOUT PROPER DISCERNMENT, i.e. they skip that painful and soul searching process. Instead they jump into a group that seems to fit. [A group that like a chameleon will change its colors to fit his needs and "capture" him.]


The priest needs to start his discernment all over again. And that is a lot of hard work. It also implies trusting people he has been trained not to trust....

Sounds like he is taking a leap in the dark.
---------

Letters to a Troubled Legionary's sister



Coming soon

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Argue & then Hand it Over to God #33 in the series How to Get a Loved One out


From Catholic Quotes:

"Meg, I have borne a long time with thy husband; I have reasoned and argued with him in these points of religion, and still given to him my poor fatherly counsel, but I perceive none of all this able to call him home; and therefore, Meg, I will no longer dispute with him, but will clean give him over and get me to God and pray for him."


-- Sir Thomas More, Knight, Lord Chancellor of England, author and martyr; to his daughter Meg, regarding her husband, William Roper. To these prayers Roper attributed his return to the Faith; thereafter he was an ardent Catholic.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cult Awareness & Information Centre --#32 in the Series "How to get a Loved One out of the Legion of Christ...





This site could help you, save you wasting a lot of time in a benign or destructive High Intensity-High Demand group; it has a fresh take on cults and isms and provides a questionnaire on its home page for those who think they could never get involved in a cult. Please think and reflect before making that assumption; such an assumption lessens your empathy for those of us who were in a cult. We did not think or know we were in one at the time; maybe it dawned on us slowly; maybe we only realized it after we left!




The image is Livia Bardin's book available at International Cultic Studies Association; it is a how to book for parents and friends of those involved.

Legion Elitism: the Antidote



Pride is there. We have been guilty of a kind of Pride, of Narcissim, wanting to be so special. As we mature and come to terms with our own motivations -See how Our Father who art in bed probes his own motivation and faces it fearlessly.

Link Quote:
It was in 1984... Blessed Isidore had been beatified on the Sunday and I landed in Rome on the 3rd of October. Passionists from all over the world had gathered at the Generalate in Rome for the beatification. One of the first Passionists I dared to talk to, was from Australia. He was a Passionist Brother and none other than the personal secretary of the Most Rev. Father General ! The Successor of St. Paul of the Cross. Who would have thought that the General would have become a Bishop some day in the Caribbean, and I, back then a 1st year theology student would have been his Vicar General. Furthermore, I was far from dreaming that this General would found a Society of Missionaries of which I would be elected Superior ! God's ways are astounding.


At any rate, during that first year in theology, at meals we read the life of this extraordinary brother. I even learned a few "cooking tips" from him.
Isisdore was a HUMBLE man. Quiet, dedicated and in love with the Crucified Jesus.

This evening I was reading a blog linked to the tragedy of the Legionaries of Christ. As I read it, I found the EXACT same terminology a persons shared with me that was proper of the thinking of some persons in a certain movement in Canada. Here is the quote from the Blog "Life-after-RC":

Membership in the Movement was hermetically sealed to our baptismal call, and God ordained it;

Leaving the Movement was a betrayal of Christ Himself (like cutting off an arm, according to Marciel Maciel)

The overall good of the Church depended on our fidelity to the charism of the Movement;

Our souls (and those souls contingent on us) actually hinged on our generosity to the Movement;

Outsiders could not understand this elite vocation and couldn't be trusted to help guide members.

Obviously, this type of mentality is pervasive in all movements that are not authentic. But what is the antidote ? One has to think that underlying all this is this spiritual elitism which is very very seductive because it answers the deep beckoning of our hearts that we are made for greatness. So, people enter a movement. They hear that it is of mystical origin that they were "called" because they are "little" or "simple" of heart. As we read above, "God ordained it"... Then, of course, come the clutches. Since now you know the "secrets" revealed to the elect, then if you leave the Movement, you are betraying the Lord. The Founder of the Legionnaires said, according to the above-quote, that it is like "Cutting off an arm". The Founder of another movement I know speaks that "Grace passes only once". So, if you don't cling to the grace [which means following blindly what is said without asking yourself if it is really what the Church teaches] then you sin against FIDELITY. This engenders a fear. I remember a certain woman whose family was in a movement, as she was. Every day she prayed "for the grace of Fidelity". Obviously, it was not about FIDELITY TO GOD, to His Church or commandments, but FIDELITY to the Founder of a movement. I asked that so gracious lady what she meant, what fidelity was for her. She did not know what to answer. The ugly demon of elitism always succeeds in disguising himself. Finally, as the author above writes concerning the Legion, "Outsiders cannot understand this special vocation". Elitism once again. Those who are not in the Movement (or worse still have left it) are blinded, they "cannot see" because they "do not have the grace to understand anymore". Lies, lies, lies. All and straight from the Devil.

Isidore de Loor, this blessed Brother of the Passionist Congregation represents an antidote to any kind of elitism. His humility, his joyful service to his fellow brothers without fear, all his life centered on the Passion of Jesus is a lesson of how to live for the Lord, safe from spiritual elitism.

Are you in the RC or a movement that has the above ? Do you think you belong to a "special" movement that has a "special grace for our times" to save the world, or save the Church or "Renew the Church" etc... If you belong to any such movement, KNOW that it is not the path laid out by our God. It does not correspond to the Gospel. Have recourse to Blessed Isidore to open your eyes and bring you back to the Fold.

PRAYER
Lord God, in Blessed Isidore’s spirit of humility and work you have given us an example of a life hidden in the shadow of the Cross. Grant that our daily work will be a praise to you and a loving service of our brothers and sisters. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Legion of Christ, Papal Dilemma




Hartford Courant


Papal Dilemma


The Maciel Problem


Legion, A Problem For The Vatican


A Question Of Moral Relativism

By JASON BERRY



September 27, 2009

In a sermon opening the 2005 conclave that would elect him pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger gave a cri de coeur on Christian values: "We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive."

As Pope Benedict XVI, his papacy is a study in tension between moral absolutes and pastoral flexibility.

As absolutist, Benedict in a 2006 speech quoted a 14th-century source, scorning the Prophet Muhammad, provoking an uproar in the Muslim world. The Vatican issued a statement of regret.

As forgiving pastor, Benedict tried to draw the breakaway Pius X Society back into the fold, only to be embarrassed when a bishop in the sect denied that the Holocaust happened. More embarrassment, another papal apology..

Today, the pope faces a greater challenge to his authority. The Vatican is investigating an international religious order with its U.S. headquarters in Orange and its main seminary in Cheshire. How should the pope handle the Legionaries of Christ?

In 2006, he banished the founder, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, 86, to "a life of prayer and penitence" after an investigation of pedophilia charges The Courant first reported in 1997.

Despite testimony by 30 ex-Legionaries abused by Maciel, the Vatican failed to specify his moral crimes. To mollify his followers, the Vatican praised the order, ignoring its website that had attacked the victims. The legion then cast Maciel as falsely accused, all but scoffing at the pope.

Maciel, who died last year, was the greatest fundraiser of the modern church. The Legion's donor base includes Carlos Slim of Mexico, among the world's richest men. He lent The New York Times $250 million to keep it afloat. The Legion, with a $650 million budget yet only 700 priests, operates seminaries, colleges and schools in several countries.

Maciel impressed his priests and seminarians with lavish gifts to favored Vatican officials. Several insiders I've interviewed express regret about checks as high as $10,000 to certain cardinals, Christmas gifts of expensive wines and $1,000 Spanish hams, even a car to one cardinal. They wonder if all that was bribery.

Moreover, as two Legion priests told me in Rome this summer, seminarians — with mail screened and Web access restricted — are kept in the dark about Maciel's pedophilia history. Three years after Benedict punished Maciel, seminarians still study his writings.

John Paul II, who championed the Legion despite the allegations against Maciel, appeared in a Legion marketing video (which it no longer uses) telling a group: "You are all sons and daughters of Father Maciel!"

The irony drips like candle wax. In February, Legion officials revealed that Maciel had an out-of-wedlock daughter. In August, news reports from Madrid and Mexico City said that Maciel fathered six children by two women.

Mexico City attorney Jose Bonilla represents three of the adult children, claiming ample evidence of their paternity, demanding compensation from the Legionaries. The religious order has not refuted him..

Bonilla also asserted that Legion officials knew about Maciel's children in the 1990s. Meaning, the leadership deceived donors and two popes for at least a decade.

Fraud is at issue in a Rhode Island lawsuit that seeks to undo the will of Gabrielle Mee, a widow who lived in a house run by Regnum Christi, the Legion's lay affiliate. Regnum Christi members raise money and study Maciel's letters. In challenging Mrs.. Mee's will, which gives her $15 million estate to the Legion, a niece argues that had Mrs. Mee known the truth about Maciel, she never would have donated. Court documents allege that the Legion used her largesse to buy a corporate center in Westchester County. Residents there oppose the order's plans for a college campus.

The parents of Glenn Favreau, an ex-Legionary from Champlain, N.Y., have written the Legion, seeking the return of $13,000 they gave over 10 years.

Benedict sent five bishops from as many countries to investigate the Legion. They should hire forensic accountants to probe its finances. Anything less would continue the deception. The Vatican should order the Legion to pay settlements to Maciel's victims and his children.

And, then, His Holiness should shut down this sick operation forever. Legion priests and seminarians with a genuine vocation can find places elsewhere in the church. Preserving the Legion as a Catholic name brand name would be moral relativism at its worst, and a black stain on this papacy.
________________________
•Jason Berry, co-author with the late Gerald Renner, then a Courant reporter, of "Vows of Silence," a book about Marcial Maciel Degollado, has produced a film documentary of the same title that follows the Vatican investigation.

Copyright © 2009, The Hartford Courant

Friday, September 18, 2009

Vatican Visitator in Cheshire on Historic date





His Grace, Charles J. Chaput, OFM, Archbishop of Denver CO, arrived at the Legion of Christ house in Cheshire, CT, on September 15, 2009, two months after the public announcement of Vatican Visitation, to begin his Investigation into the religious life of the members of that community.
He will prepare a dossier with his findings to be sent to the Vatican for further study.

Legion historians will remember that [one of] the official names of the Legion is Christ is "Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and of our Lady of Sorrows" [Feast celebrated on September 15]

Historians will recall that the Mexican Revolution started on September 16, 1810, when the parish priest at Dolores, Guaranjuato, Fr. Miguel Hidalgo, himself of Spanish blood, led the people intro the streets to demand Mexican Independence from Spanish rule. The parish had just celebrated the feast day of its Patron Saint, Our Lady of Sorrows, when in the early hours of September 16, 1810, father Hidalgo, accompanied by several conspirators –Iganacio Allende, Doña Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez- rang the bell of his little church, calling everyone to fight for liberty. This was the beginning of the Independence War, which lasted 10 years.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fr. Alvaro Corcuera, LC: "We are a Work of God" ---#31 in the series "How to get a Loved one Out of the Legion and Regnum"


-----

Such a statement, coming matter-of-factly in an August 8, 2009 private letter of Legion and Regnum Director General TO ALL MEMBERS, plunges concerned Catholics into CONFUSION and hopefully  gives Vatican investigators food for thought.

ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT, Vatican Visitator, email:
shepherd@archden.org

Isn't the Vatican Investigation supposed to investigate this?

This is something that Catholics and the Public will need clarified by said Vatican Investigation.

IS THE LEGION/REGNUM A DIVINELY INSPIRED INSTITUTION, AND IF SO TO WHAT DEGREE?

How to get your Love one Out?
Cooperate to the maximum with the investigation; pester the investigators with your -briefly stated- concerns!
-

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Everything is "Hunky Dory" in Maciel's Kingdom



[A friend wrote after Reading the Legion's Encyclical about Maciel scandals and Legion errors]

Dear friends, I have not really digested everything from the letter yet and I want to let my thoughts settle a bit before commenting on it, but there is one disturbing thought that comes to my mind - this letter serves a singular purpose of telling all RC and LC members that everything is alright and good with the Legion, that

NOTHING IS WRONG:

it says that the legion apologises for any harm to individuals

it says that the legion distances itself from Maciel

it says that its finances are in order

it says that it is dealing with all possible future child abuse issues

it says that there were professions - ie the seminaries are business as usual

it says that canonically the legion has no errors (confession, direction, private vows are all in order)

Any LC/RC member will be so glad to hear all of this - what problem exists in the LC/RC that has not been fixed according to this letter? Why should any LC or RC worry about belonging to, supporting and giving their all and more for the legion?

THERE ARE NO MORE OBSTACLES (according to the superiors)

What is scary about this to me is that with this letter the Legion is

UNDERMINING the work of the investigators

- it is a pre-emptive strike to re-double the "conviction" , "commitment" and "surrender" of its members.

The investigation began with many LC and RC in a limbo, waiting to be told what to do or what to believe. This was a weak position for the LC to have its members in vis a vis the investigation - the investigators were those who held the power and control.

Now the LC and RC members will be strong in their convictions and this means that they are under the control of their superiors once again, and the investigators are suddenly weak in the possible impact of their investigations and in their ability to carry out a true investigation - members and non-members alike may sit back on their laurels now that the Legion is "hunky-dory" .

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

CHANGES ALLEGEDLY MADE BY LEGION IN RESPONSE TO SCANDALS AND ERRORS





Letter to members of Regnum Christi from Territorial Directors

See First Part containing Introduction

2nd Part describing changes

1. This brings us to a key point in relation to you, our friends. It is clear that all these facts lead us to think about the past, the present and the future. Many of you have rightly asked if the Legion has made or will make changes in its life. Yes…we have, we are and we will. Some examples:

a. One of the questions that come to mind refers to the “safe environment and child
protection” measures in our communities and apostolates. Our Constitutions, other norms and many elements of our discipline have always helped us to be particularly careful in the dealing with minors. More recently we are in the process of accreditation by Praesidium, a risk management organization now helping a great number of religious institutions in North America. Praesidium is conducting a full review of our internal rules and policies, as well as our training of all those who deal with minors. They will shortly be conducting on-site visitation of several of our institutions to verify that what is on paper is being applied. There are twenty-five accreditation standards to meet, covering the areas of prevention, response and supervision. Here in the U.S. we have also set up an external review board so that in the event of allegations of sexual abuse, we have the advantage of “outside eyes” to weigh the evidence, issues and provide us with recommendations. Praesidium accreditation is being promoted by the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, which links all the male religious orders in this country. We also fully comply with all diocesan standards, which vary from place to place.

b. On the financial side, for a long time now we have had yearly audits done by outside accounting firms. We could not have acquired the loans we needed to purchase our seminaries and found the many works of apostolate undertaken during these years
without systems in place of strict accountability and responsible financial management. In recent years, due to the growth of our operations, we have put in place a still more professional system of business management through the services of Integer Group. Staffed by lay professionals, Integer has further improved our operating and management processes to ensure the integrity of all our operations.

c. A further area of adjustment which has begun and continues in process is the way we refer to Father Maciel in the Legion and Regnum Christi. While we cannot deny that
Father Maciel was our founder and did much good, neither can we deny the reality of
what has recently come to light and his grave human failings. We have taken progressive steps to make sure that there is no inappropriate reference to Father Maciel (we have, for example, removed pictures of him from our center; we have extensively edited our websites; we are in the process of reviewing new editions of other writings, brochures, etc.). All this has led us to what is most essential: to center our life, even more, in Jesus Christ. This is an ongoing and difficult process given the need to discern his person from the solid Catholic doctrine that he transmitted and the legitimate institutional aspects of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christ. This discernment is not something that can be done lightly or overnight. Father Alvaro has and will seek the advice and guidance of learned and prudent men of the Church to enlighten this difficult question seeking not to lose God’s gifts to the Legion and Regnum Christi. We are also receiving enormous help from the Church, especially from the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, to whom we are truly grateful.

2.

a. You know that he has mandated an Apostolic Visitation of the Legion. Archbishop
Charles Joseph Chaput of Denver has been appointed as Visitor for the Legion in the
United States and Canada. Archbishop Chaput will visit our seminaries and religious
houses, see our life up close and interview whomever he wants. His mandate will be to
question, probe and assess with depth and objectivity. Legionaries are free to speak and write to him with all their comments and questions. He sets his own timetable and the points he wishes to probe, and he will present his findings and recommendations directly to the Holy See. For the moment, the Legion cannot make any specific statements regarding the content or development of the Visitation, since this would interfere with the work of the Visitors.

b. Questions and comments have also been raised regarding the “private vow of charity” that was professed in the Legion. The rationale of this vow was to ensure that the grievances one could have with his superior were brought to those who could resolve them and thus avoid irresponsible criticism or internal factions that degrade unity. This vow had been in place since 1957 and was approved by the Church. Pope Benedict XVI, who has the power to bind and loose, asked the Legion to remove it, which we did two years ago.

c. In the past two years, also following the indications we received from the Holy Father, we changed our general practice of superiors being the spiritual directors of their
subjects. This practice was based on one of the century-old monastic traditions that view the superior as Spiritual Father and Mentor of his community. We are seeing positive fruits from this change of practice.

d. There also have been changes in the Legion regarding sacramental confession. In the past, members were free to go to the Ordinary or Extraordinary confessors (assigned by the General Director for each community). They were also free to go to any other Catholic priest with faculties for confession. Members often asked to go to confession with their own superiors. Following the instructions of the Holy See, today superiors are no longer habitual confessors for those under their authority.

e. We would finally like to mention that our general director is in frequent contact with our superiors in the Holy See and also with the Apostolic Visitors to speak about these and other complex issues. These are some of the significant steps the Legion of Christ has taken. And as we said, we expect more will come in time, with judgment and prudence.

Understandably, in the midst of the present circumstances there have been a few of our members who have felt that they can serve God better by separating themselves from the Legion and Regnum Christi; others have opted temporarily to step aside to see and evaluate, waiting also to see the outcome of the Visitation. The vast majority has opted to continue doing as much good as they can from where they are, knowing that our time here on earth is limited, and trusting that with the guidance of the Church whatever needs to be corrected in time, and whatever is good will be confirmed. Each one has made his or her choice before God, moved by their love for him and their desire to serve him to the best of their ability, and for no other consideration. Let us have great Christian understanding and respect for all. Each of us must presume the best and purest intention in the other, pray for each other, and recognize that each one of us suffers and recovers in different ways and at different times.

As Father Álvaro told us in his homily, in Cheshire, St. John Chrysostom teaches us fives ways to reach reconciliation: asking for pardon, forgiving others, prayer, almsgiving and humility (cf. ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, Homilies, PG 49, 263-264). Let us ask the Lord to grant us the grace to walk this path, inasmuch as each one of us needs it, for his greater glory.

Loving, serving, and building together –that has been our life in the Legion and Regnum Christi. As tragic as the failings of our founder are, they should not cause us to diminish our efforts to bring souls to Christ, and to serve him and the Church selflessly in all our brothers and sisters. You have worked so hard to create apostolates, build schools, run youth clubs, form people in the Catholic faith – and those efforts are good and real. Let nothing distract you from loving and serving God in your neighbor. We enter now into a new chapter of our history which must be focused on the pursuit of holiness and love for souls.

May we take inspiration from our Blessed Mother who “meditated all these things in her heart” (cf. Lk 2:51). She will lead us along the path of God’s will and help us to respond as she did: “May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38).
May Saint Paul’s letter to the Corinthians inspire us during these challenging times:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

You remain in our prayers, and we depend on yours.
Yours in Christ our Lord,

Fr Scott Reilly, LC
Territorial director
Atlanta Territory

Fr Julio Martí, LC
Territorial director
New York Territory

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The 2 Sides of the Legion of Christ Regnum Christi Debate....#29 in the series "How to get a Loved one out..."



Dear Parent, friend of an Active Legionary of Regnum Christier, or Concerned Catholic or Truth Seeker,

Have you ever wondered why active LC and RC won't or can't listen to reasons or doubt Fr. Maciel, the Legion or the Regnum? Have you ever suspected that you yourself are getting carried away in the arguments. I present the following article to you for your consideration?

The idea is that very often all of us may let our emotionally laden convictions get in the way of logic. As you read, it will be hard for you to hear the message because it is wrapped in the issues of the present Health Care debate and even the War in Iraq. Here again you may be carried away by your strong feelings about theses issues depending on your political affiliation. In a nutshell: our logic and reason are often blurred by how much we care about a person or thing and how much energy and love we have put into the cause.

Back to our case in Question:

THE FACTS:
Fr. Maciel sexually abused his seminarians, lived a double life, used large quantitities of money for his own pleasure and probably to make payments to his lover and their child, etc.

LC INTERPRETATION:
Fr. Maciel, despite his weakenesses, was God's chosen instrument to found the Legion of Christ religious congregation and Regnum Christi lay Movement; Fr. Maciel's later aberrations were caused by a head injury and subsequent brain surgery which impaired his judgment. Fr. Maciel's works were preserved free from corruption by the Grace of God who used this imperfect instrument for a greater good. Judge the tree by its fruits, which are many and approved by the Vatican, the Pope and the Catholic Church. The present Apostolic Visitation is aimed are correcting and fine tuning the Legion so that it can serve the people of God better

But try to listen to the sociologists. I believe that what they say can help us understand why it is so hard to "get through" to our loved ones about the true nature of the Legion and Regnum
--

Health Care Debate Based on Total Lack of Logic

Jeanna Bryner
Senior Writer
LiveScience.com jeanna Bryner
senior Writer
livescience.com

Heated partisan debate over President Obama's health care plan, erupting at town hall meetings and in the blogosphere, has more to do with our illogical thought processes than reality, sociologists are finding.

The problem: People on both sides of the political aisle often work backward from a firm conclusion to find supporting facts, rather than letting evidence inform their views.

The result: A survey out this week finds voters split strongly along party lines regarding their beliefs about key parts of the plan. Example: About 91 percent of Republicans think the proposal would increase wait times for surgeries and other health services, while only 37 percent of Democrats think so.


Irrational thinking

A totally rational person would lay out - and evaluate objectively - the pros and cons of a health care overhaul before choosing to support or oppose a plan. But we humans are not so rational, according to Steve Hoffman, a visiting professor of sociology at the University of Buffalo.

"People get deeply attached to their beliefs," Hoffman said. "We form emotional attachments that get wrapped up in our personal identity and sense of morality, irrespective of the facts of the matter."

And to keep our sense of personal and social identity, Hoffman said, we tend to use a backward type of reasoning in order to justify such beliefs.

Similarly, past research by Dolores Albarracin, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has shown in particular that people who are less confident in their beliefs are more reluctant than others to seek out opposing perspectives. So these people avoid counter evidence all together. The same could apply to the health care debate, Albarracin said.

"Even if you have free press, freedom of speech, it doesn't make people listen to all points of view," she said.

Just about everybody is vulnerable to the phenomenon of holding onto our beliefs even in the face of iron-clad evidence to the contrary, Hoffman said. Why? Because it's hard to do otherwise. "It's an amazing challenge to constantly break out the Nietzschean hammer and destroy your world view and belief system and evaluate others," Hoffman said.


Just the facts you need

Hoffman's idea is based on a study he and colleagues did of nearly 50 participants, who were all Republican and reported believing in the link between the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and Saddam Hussein. Participants were given the mounting evidence that no link existed and then asked to justify their belief.

(The findings should apply to any political bent. "We're not making the claim that Democratic or liberal partisans don't do the same thing. They do," Hoffman said.)

All but one held onto the belief, using a variety of so-called motivated reasoning strategies. "Motivated reasoning is essentially starting with a conclusion you hope to reach and then selectively evaluating evidence in order to reach that conclusion," explained Hoffman's colleague, sociologist Andrew Perrin of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

For instance, some participants used a backward chain of reasoning in which the individual supported the decision to go to war and so assumed any evidence necessary to support that decision, including the link between 9/11 and Hussein.

"For these voters, the sheer fact that we were engaged in war led to a post-hoc search for a justification for that war," Hoffman said. "People were basically making up justifications for the fact that we were at war."

Their research is published in the most recent issue of the journal Sociological Inquiry.

Hot health care debate

The proposed health care plan has all the right ingredients for such wonky reasoning, the researchers say.

The issue is both complex (no single correct answer), emotionally charged and potentially history-changing, while debates often occur with like-minded peers in town hall settings. The result is staunch supporters and just-as-staunch critics who are sticking to their guns.

"The health care debate would be vulnerable to motivated reasoning, because it is, and has become, so highly emotionally and symbolically charged," Perrin said during a telephone interview, adding that images equating the plan with Nazi Germany illustrate the symbolic nature of the arguments.

In addition, the town hall settings make for even more rigid beliefs. That's because changing one's mind about a complex issue can rattle a person's sense of identity and sense of belonging within a community. If everyone around you is a neighbor or friend, you'd be less likely to change your opinion, the researchers say.

"In these one-shot town hall meetings, where you have an emotionally laden complex issue like health care, it's very likely you're going to get these ramped up emotionally laden debates. They're going to be hot debates," Hoffman told LiveScience.

Two-sided discussion

To bring the facts from both sides to the table, Hoffman suggests venues where a heterogeneous group of people can meet, those for and against the proposed health care system overhaul. And at least some of these gatherings should include just a handful of people. In groups of more than about six people, one or two members will tend to dominate the discussion, he said.

For either side, logical arguments might not be the key.

"I think strategically it's important that the Obama administration and advocates of a health care plan really pay attention to how people feel and the symbolism they are seeing, and not just the nuts and bolts of the policy," Perrin said. "People don't reason with pure facts and logic alone."