and now it is having its own problems -scandals of embezzlement
See NCR article
Conservative Catholic group gripped by scandal
by John L Allen Jr on May. 02, 2012
ROME -- For a long time it was Opus Dei, and then, even before massive sex scandals exploded around their founder, it was the Legionaries of Christ. Today, at least in Italy, it now seems Communion and Liberation’s turn to be the conservative Catholic group generating the most controversy, the sexiest news headlines, and the greatest volume of conspiracy theories.
That’s likely a special source of heartburn for Pope Benedict XVI, for whom Communion and Liberation has always been his personal favorite among the new movements in the Catholic church.
It’s also a colossal case of bad timing, since a beatification cause for the group’s founder, the late Italian Fr. Luigi Giussani, was recently opened and endorsed by the bishops of Lombardy, the region where the cause is based.
The May 1 letter from Carrón indicates something of a shift in tactics, or at least in tone. Rather than complaining of unfair treatment, Carrón apologized for the failure of some members to follow Giussani’s lead – although he did add, “It will be up to the judges to determine if the errors committed by some also constitute crimes.”
It remains to be seen if that softer, gentler approach will be enough to put out the fire. One early test would seem to be whether the sainthood cause for Giussani moves forward quickly, or is put on a back burner while the current scandals play out.
Communion and Liberation was founded in Italy in the 1950s as an outgrowth of Giussani’s teaching and youth ministry. Today it’s an international movement present in roughly 80 countries around the world, including a small footprint in the United States, where its best-known exponent is Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete.
Among the core ideas of Communion and Liberation is that of the encounter with Christ as an “experience” which transforms all of one’s life. As a result, the group sharply rejects any effort to style Christianity as a purely private matter without social consequences.
Communion and Liberation sponsors an enormous annual meeting in the Italian seaside city of Rimini, which is usually seen in Italy as the informal kick-off to the annual political season after the summer break because of its all-star lineup of political and journalistic heavyweights. The meeting often draws around 700,000 people, and is seen by many observers as a cross-section of Catholic civil society.
Over the years, Communion and Liberation has sometimes been seen as a right-wing alternative to the more progressive ethos of other sectors of the Italian church, especially in the vast Milan archdiocese from 1980 to 2002 under Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, a hero to the church’s more liberal wing.