Friday, January 29, 2010

LC Superior General Urges NOT TO CRITICIZE as Legionaries discuss differences

Found this article on

Sorry for changing the title of the Catholic News Agency original article but I thought mine reflected the reality beyond the words, a necessary interpretative skill when dealing with the Legion and the Regnum.
In Legion parlance, "charity" is a code word, coined by founder, Fr. Maciel, and carried down through his faithfull successors. It usually means not doubting anything about the Legion Myth as imbedded in members though the Legion's peculiar "formation" system. "Charity means never criticizing the Legion or the Superiors -thus Maciel's "Private Vow"  continues despite Vatican prohibition, etc.
From Corcuera and Superiors' point of view, discussions between Legionaries have been getting a bit out of hand:  for the first time ever, and probably under pressure from the Vatican Visitation, Legionaries were getting some freedom of communication among themselves. Not being used to it some may have expressed their real thoughts and feelings -  very unusual up to now - and the Superiors are concerned different opinions and points of view are being aired, a very dangerous situation for an organization where Information Control is a keystone of survival and success. Hence Fr. Alvaro's letter to the members...

When Novice Instructor [superior & spiritual director] Fr. Rafael Arumi preached the Explanation of Rules in Salamanca in the '60ties one of the Principles of Legion Spirit and Mystique was UNIFORMITY OF THOUGHTS AND WORDS, Uniformidad de Pensamiento y de Palabra,  among all Legionaries. Some people call that Totalitarianism, a la Lenin, Stalin and old Communist Party.

See Comments at end of original article on CNA, some of which coincide with this blogger's interpretation of the Corcuera Letter

Fr. Corcuera urges charity as Legionaries discuss future

Mexico City, Mexico, Jan 28, 2010 / 10:52 am (CNA).- In a recent letter sent to members of the Legion of Christ, Director General Father Alvaro Corcuera, L.C., urged members to be charitable towards each other during their internal discussions regarding the future of the congregation.

In response to a growing exchange of emails between Legionaries about two main issues: the role their founder should play in the future of the congregation, and also the measures that should be put in place to prevent similar situations from happening, Fr. Corcuera called on members to “console each other and accompany each other mutually,” as Simon of Cyrene did for Christ.

Fr. Marcial Maciel founded the Legion of Christ in 1941. Though he died in 2008, revelations of his inappropriate behavior as a priest and leader surfaced early in 2009.

Responding to criticism by some in the Legion who accused their current leaders of being accomplices in the misconduct of their founder, Fr. Corcuera asked members to help one another “live this gift of peace, mutually encouraging one another, understanding one another, truly loving each other, mutually forgiving one another, without recriminating or judging each other, much less humiliating each other.”

A veteran Legionary who spoke with CNA to provide the context of the letter, explained that Fr. Corcuera has asked that the email exchanges, which express “charitably but energetically” conflicting positions regarding the future of the congregation, come to an end.

“These are differences that more or less run along cultural and linguistic lines,” he said, with some English-speaking Legionaries calling for an open discussion about the errors of Fr. Maciel and a change to the “internal culture” of the order. On the other side, many from Spanish-speaking countries think the sins of the founder should be left in the past and that the evils should be corrected “by the faithfulness of the members to the foundational spirit.”

The email exchanges, which have been ongoing for a month, motivated Fr. Corcuera to send a second letter on January 24, calling for an end to the email debates.
“I believe the exchange of opinions through emails between numerous groups of priests, as has taken place recently, is a display of trust and the love we have for each other. But I think that it will never end if we continue like this and we may even cause misunderstandings and opposing positions,” Fr. Corcuera wrote.
“We must all continue working, and seek the best path to allow everyone, especially priests, to calmly contribute with their gifts and reflections to responding to what God is calling us to at this time, especially through the direction which we expect to receive from the Holy See. For now we must let it mature in the hearts of each one of us, as a family, helping each other to purify and build up this work to which God has called us,” the letter stated.

At the beginning of the year, renowned American Legionary, Fr. Richard Gill, announced he was leaving the Legionaries of Christ over irreconcilable differences with his superiors about the direction the congregation is taking following the revelations of Father Maciel’s double life.

Currently, five bishops are conducting an Apostolic Visitation of the Legion and are expected to conclude in March 2010.


  1. "You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God". I think Corcuera is keeping on pulling our legs and his letter sound like a curse. The news from Rome say that Legionaries are extremely divided: where is their Charity and Love? And their special "Mission"? The number of consacrated candidates seems to be halved after beginning of scandals. Some seminarists and consacrated women are leaving the legion and rc.
    Some Priests are trying to join the Dioceses, but there seems to be problems with it (Vicariate of Rome has no intention to do it).
    Anyway, Roman Curia doesn't love Legionaries no longer.

  2. Anonymous, your post has piqued my curiosity. Are you saying that there are LCs who want to leave the Legion, want to move to diocesan roles, and are encountering difficulties?

    We have seen some high profile LCs move to dioceses. However, I have noticed they seem mostly to be moving to the diocese of New York. Is there a reason for that? You mention Vicariate of Rome. Is it not feasible to move to the diocese if one has found a willing and supportive bishop?

  3. Dear Bro. N.,
    You may be refering to an article I posted, rather than to my personal post. However, I picked up the same confusion as you in some of the messages and blogs about the Legion.
    For any Legionary priest to leave he just needs to find "a friendly bishop" who will welcome him to his diocese for a trial.
    And there are many, in the USA, and around the world.
    However, because of "information control" and a certain paranoia that is intentionally spread by the superiors some lc priests may think it is very difficult to find that friendly bishop. So the problem could be in their heads.
    At the same time, and common sense, bishops dont want to look like they are feeding off the Legion's misfortune, and on the other hand they are leary of priests who are too old and would be financial burden on the diocese, or wary of "problematic" priests coming in their direction as they flee the sinking ship...

  4. Anonymous 2, you were referring to Anonymous 1's comment about the Vicariate of Rome.
    I was anwering Anonymous 2
    You may find something in my previous comment as Anonymous #3 that addresses your concerns.
    I think it could appear as "opportunism" if the Vicariate were to take a group of Legionaries... You may be referring to American born Legionaries...they might prefer to come back to the USA...and may have contacts at the American College... NOt sure if there could be immigration problems also for American born priests wanting to stay in Italy...

  5. As far as I am concerned, I think that the Vicariate is waiting for the Holy Father's decisions. Anyway, in Rome legionaries seem to be divided in groups/parties, who are fighting to control Rome/Italian structures. I feel very strongly that "les juex son fait" and defeated legionaries, who look like depressed/scared, want to leave the Legion. I don't know if it is an Italian matter or international one. In Rome someone suppose that all Maciel's scandal could be a consequence of a war inside the Legion.

  6. Thanks for the clarification, im43.

    I am heartened by any reports of division among the LCs, because it seems to indicate some of them are actually starting to think!

    Does anyone have an estimate of the numbers who have left since Feb. 09? I know it would be impossible to count the number of RCs (by this I don'tmean 3gf), because the movement uses vague language like "gone inactive" or "stepped away". But how many LCs have left the Legion? And how many do you guys in the know predict will leave a. if the AV result is reasonable reform, and b. if the AV result is a whitewash?

  7. jane,
    i would need help with that answer!
    The Legion continues to be one of the most closed groups in the world, information coming in or going out being strictly controlled. The news items that leak out are just that, leaks; the group is still pretty well sealed. Therefore, speculation abounds. I do not have any facts. Maybe others can help with this one
    Thanks for your interest in the blog.

    There may be a number of members and outsiders who are waiting for some momenteous event to happen with the Apostolic Visitation; but judging by the Vatican's intervention up to now re Maciel, Legion and Regnum such interventions tend to be muted.
    The Vatican still operates with much secrecy, and putting people under oaths of secrecy, etc, which IMHO does not help in a case like the Legion/Regnum which possesses very good mechanisms for damage control and massaging the message.