Sunday, February 28, 2010

[1] What should Legionaries do now that the Legion is under Vatican Visitation?

UPDATE: see very heated debate in Spanish on El Trastevere with input by former Legionaries and Regnum Christi s

The poster will open the floor to the following comment challenging the blogger. Much has been written already in response to this [rhetorical] question in Catholic blogs, Conservative and otherwise: First Things, Patrick Madrid, Peter Vere...all staunchly Orthodox Catholics have given their opinions and suggestions. Anonymous may not have read these or believes they have not answered his question:

"By the way, I want to know what the blogger's response is to the questions made earlier by some anonymous, you kind of drifted away from the question, about what the Legion should do now, after all aren't they having a visitation now that that founder is dead?"

In answer to the question the Blogger replies:
Legionaries, especially superiors, should have already cooperated fully with the Investigation. This implies being honest and forthcoming with them and not using deceit, subterfuges, and manipulation . This obvious condition is not so obvious because it has been demonstrated that Fr. Maciel and superiors actively deceived the First Vatican Visitators in 1956 by "preparing" the members to be less than honest in order "to protect the Founder and his Work of God." Some suspicion of a desire to control information lies in the various "responses" and "letters" emitted by the superiors which suggest a basic way to interpret the Investigation itself which is not necessarily truthful; v.g. "The Vatican is coming to confirm our charism" or other euphemisms,
"The Pope is sending the Visitation to confirm us in the faith", etc. 
"Now that we have denounced the sins of Fr. Maciel we have done all that is required to preserve the Work of God"....

With the first rumors of the Investigation back in January 2009 Legion leadership began shuffling superiors and moving members from one front to another...or taking men out of the front lines and sending them to more remote destinations...

See Patrick Madrid's post in July 2009

Legionary Troop Movements in High Gear

In recent weeks, there has been a flurry of "troop movements" within the Legionaries of Christ, and it's not entirely clear to me yet what is behind it. To be sure, for a large, multi-national organization such as the Legion to have some level of constant movement of personnel is quite understandable and quite common to any group of this type, secular or religious.

But some of these recent LC perigrinations are unusual both in that they involve priests and lay people abruptlyleaving the organization — a number of them high-profile folks (Fr. Thomas Berg, Tom Hoopes, Paul Bernetsky) — and others who are being transferred far afield at precisely the time of the apostolic visitaion, which is undertaking the Vatican investigation of the alleged problems within the order, in the wake of the recently disclosed Father Maciel scandals.

These new movements are in addition to the rumor that upwards of 25 Legionary priests (a dozen of whom are said to be Americans) are soon to depart en masse from the order to establish a new religious congregation. Keep in mind that that is merely a rumor. But given the recent high-level LC and RC defections, it is a plausible rumor.

Legionary-watcher "Cassandra" offers some intriguing tidbits about all this in a recent post. Some of these I've known about, others are new to me. But all of them, taken together, indicate a new pattern of LC personnel changes that is, at the very least, curious.

Father Antonio Rodriguez, for ages academic dean at the Legionary seminary in Cheshire, Connecticut, hasremoved to Switzerland. How will he now be able to testify to the apostolic visitation about the seminary?

Tom Hoopes, National Catholic Register editor, resigned this week. Together with Brendan McCaffery, Chief Operation Officer for Circle Media, let go last week, these represent decades and decades of experience at the highest level of Legionary operations in Connecticut. Will the visitation seek them out in Kansas or Les Avants-sur-Montreux or wherever or lose forever their testimony?]

Life-after-rc the other day reported that there is evidence that the Legionaries have been moving members around possibly to make them less available for the apostolic visitation to interview.

History may be repeating itself: that’s certainly what the Legionaries did in the late summer of 1956 in the face of 
the first apostolic visitation. Legionary Brother José Domínguez, who had recently helped Father Maciel draft the fourth vow, was moved for the duration to Massa Lubrense on the southern extremity of the Bay of Naples. Brother Saúl Barrales spent nine months of 1957 in the Canary Islands. (See González “Testimonios y documentos inéditos” 278 and Berry and Renner “Vows of Silence” 182.)

In light of that, interesting:

Father Jonathan Morris, formerly vice rector of the Legionary seminary in Rome, is now on sabbatical for six months or more at Old St. Patrick’s in Manhattan. (
exlcbloglinks to the Old St. Patrick’s bulletin with this information.)

Yesterday, July 16, the National Catholic Register’s accountant was let go. This may have been another cost-cutting move – in the downturn the Register became a bi-weekly -- though cost-cutting was not the purpose of the 
acquisition of Southern Catholic College announced yesterday as well.

Such movements would provoke an important procedural question for the apostolic visitation: will the visitators interview only Legionaries and employees currently in place or will they also seek out former Legionaries, those on sabbatical, and those no longer employed? It’s not as if Father Morris can hide in lower Manhattan, but how can Bishop Versaldi, whose responsibility includes Italy, interview him if he is not in Rome? How will Archbishop Chaput, whose responsibility includes the US, interview him if he is on sabbatical from a Legionary assignment? (continue reading)

1 comment:

  1. I think that the answer is wrong. Legionaries shouldn't have done what they have done... ;)
    Your in Christ and Viva Mexico!
    Edmond Dantes