Friday, October 23, 2009
Discernment Process #36 in the series How To....
copying post on Catholic Answers, Legionaries of Christ, Vocation thread, Troubled Legionary's Sister
Leaving the Legionaries of Christ
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.
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!