Friday, May 18, 2012
God does this through his Prophets: Renner and Berry, Barba, Vaca and the other 8 accusers, Mons. Charles Scicluna, Vatican investigator, blogs and websites of former members and keen observers who are not swaying by the Legion's Glittering Image.
For the Legion of Christ is all about IMAGE/APPEARANCE. Susan Nowatch wrote "Glittering Images" about the episcopal clergy. Investigative reporters and witnesses in Spanish and in English have been taking us beyond the Appearances for decades. But it seems that many Catholics prefer the images, the appearances. They are thus taking a very dangerous stance -if we remember Matthew Chapter 23.
The Legion of Christ is all about image and God has recently been tearing that down. The Vatican won't do it, the Apostolic Delegate won't do it. So God does it through his instruments.
The Legion is all about Immaculate Priests,
Immaculately dressed handsome priests, complete with their hair parted to the left, and the gold cuff links
Immaculate Training Centers
Immaculate Priest Training Centers -they are the Trainers of Today Catholic Seminarians and Tomorrow's Priests
Immaculate Reputation [once they severed away old Marcial Maciel]
Immaculate Media Presence: Frs. Morris and Williams (Morris had the decency to leave)
Immaculate credentials: approval by Popes and Vatican
Immaculate support from the Catholic Intelligentsia: William Bennet, Mary Ann Glendon, etc
Immaculate books on Priest Training [Fr. Maciel's "The Integral Formation of the Priest"} and Catholic Morals
Immaculate News Agency, ZENIT
Immaculate [Conception] Schools
Immaculate images cultivated by Marcial Maciel from 1941 until his death; Maciel, "a king of shreds and patches" in the words of Hamlet referring to his adulterous uncle.
The latest image to fall is that of the Legion of Christ's Golden Boy, the poster boy, the "Legionary Type" that Maciel and the superiors continue to cultivate.
This critique is not about Fr. Thomas Williams who is just another priest with a very flawed "formation" who hits the dust. It could have been different:
If he had been in love with the woman and accepted HIS SON and realized that he had to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for his actions. Step down from the ministry... Maybe he was in love with her and accepted his son. But he was trained to believe that his Legionary Ministry was more important than anything else in this world. His superiors and "handlers" would have nothing of going public at that time, circa 2000. It would have been a great scandal; it would have jeopardized the Legion, University where he taught, the apostolates he carried out, the books he wrote, "the Catholic Priesthood". The Legion could not lose their Poster Boy.
Beside this supreme value human love paled and the woman had to be put away and out of his life. I was a Legionary and maybe I believed it too. I lived in holy dread of making a woman pregnant because I felt that would have spelled the end of my priestly "career". Not so Catholic Tradition, the practice of bishops and the Holy See who always opted for the priest continuing in ministry...
Until our day when it seems that for the first time in history a pope, Pope Benedict XVI, takes the WOMEN AND CHILDREN OF PRIESTS seriously; not just as things, temptresses, obstacles, scandals that have to be swept under the carpet.
This CLERICALISM so rampant in the Church was present in Richard John Neuhaus' defense of Fr. Maciel and other priests who had their "dalliances" with underage boys and girls. And that is what I attacked in "Fr. Marcial Maciel, Pedophile, Psychopath and Legion of Christ Founder, Ed. 2"
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Legion knew about Fr. Williams fathering child for at least 10 years without doing anything; Vatican envoy, De Paolis, knew about it for year/months and kept silent; his excuse: "these things happen". Legion had Fr. fess up only after AP confronted them with the letter sent to Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Vatican department that oversees doctrine and discipline of priests) by Spanish watch-dog group.
Hard to know the truth about what really happened:
When did it happen?
Who was the [young] woman?
Was she a student or a spiritual directee?
How did the word leak out?
What started the ball rolling?
Was this an AP scoop?
Latest article from Nicole Winfield, 5/17/12 published by Boston Globe casts doubt upon Legion Reform: Legion knew about Fr. Williams fathering child for at least 10 years without doing anything; Vatican envoy, De Paolis, knew about it for months and kept silent "these things happen". Legion had Fr. fess up only after AP confronted them with the letter sent to Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [Vatican department that oversee doctrine and discipline of priests]
It also seems that when the superiors learned of the offense around 2000 they sent Fr. Williams away from Rome to Cheshire CT for about a year to take him away from the heat coming from the girl's family...as a way of covering up and "avoiding scandal". Maybe Fr. returned to the public eye after Legion superiors had taken care of the business of silencing the victim and her family. There is a least one full time Legionary who does "damage control"
The Huffington Post seems to be more to the point than other media and with concrete info
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Life can be cruel!
In 2011 Fr Williams kicked off the International Symposium
An International Symposium in Rome, Italy
The Splendor of the Gift
On May 14th we learned from several sources, including the New Jersey Herald, everyone picking up on Nicole Winfield AP article, that Fr. Thomas Williams, Legionary of Christ, admitted to fathering a child.
ABC News Blotter had an article and video of news personality Fr. Williams
The announcement was, as usual, shrouded by the usual Legion ambiguity, cover up, and confusion:
The blogger learned that a former Legionary, deep throat, informed the Congregation for the Doctine of the Faith, Cardinal Levada and investigator, Mons. Charles Scicluna, about the scandal; they in turn alerted the Legion and asked for an explanation. This is one of two cases of Sexual Improprieties by Legionary Priests, separate from the 7 members accused of abuse of minors.
The LEGION'S SPIN on this revelation appears NOT TO BE TRUE; the Legion did not launch the investigation; the accusation came from outside and the Legion was forced to respond/react.
Having been a Legionary priest myself, ordained prematurely, and with very poor training about sexual matters and little knowledge of and maturity with my own sexuality, I will not be casting stones at Fr. Williams
However, handsome Fr. Williams has been the Legion's PR priest for decades, and as such has probably spread many rumors and falsehoods, wittingly or unwittingly. I consider him as much a victim of the Legion flawed formation system and cult-like culture as any other unfortunate member.
Once more I am leery about this high profile case. I believe it is to take the focus off PEDOPHILE LEGION PRIESTS STILL IN THE RANKS, PRIESTS WHO HAVE BEEN ABUSING CHILDREN FOR DECADES.
The Legion of Christ religious order was hit Tuesday by its second scandal in a week after its most well-known priest - a prominent author, lecturer and television personality - admitted he had fathered a child.
The Rev. Thomas Williams, an American moral theologian, said in a statement he was "deeply sorry for this grave transgression" against his vows of celibacy and that he would be taking a year off to reflect on what he had done and his commitment to the priesthood.
The statement was issued after The Associated Press presented the Legion with the allegation against Williams, which was lodged by a Spanish association of Legion victims. The association's accusations, sent to the Legion and Vatican several weeks ago, also named other Legion priests accused of sexually abusing minors.
Williams, who was not accused of abuse, said that "a number of years ago" he had a relationship with a woman and fathered her child. He didn't identify the mother and didn't say whether the relationship was over. He also did not identify the gender of the child nor say if he was involved in supporting the child.
The Legion has been beset by scandal following revelations that its late founder, the Rev. Marciel Maciel, fathered three children and sexually abused his seminarians. Maciel died in 2008 and in 2009 the Legion admitted to his crimes.
Williams, the most prominent priest in the 800-strong order, spoke about Maciel's double life in a February 2009 interview with the Catholic ETWN program, saying the revelations were a "very, very hard blow to all of us."
Williams, the author of such books as 2008's "Knowing Right From Wrong: A Christian Guide to Conscience," was the superior of the Legion's general directorate in Rome in the late 1990s and early 2000s. More recently, he has taught theology, promoted his books and lectured.
His personal website, which lists his numerous books, speaking engagements, articles and appearances as a CBS commentator, was taken down on Tuesday.
The accusation against Williams was first lodged by the Association for Help of Those Affected by the LC, a Spanish association for victims of the Legion. The group several weeks ago sent a list of accused Legion priests to the superior in Rome, Fr. Alvaro Corcuera and the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The Legion admitted Friday that it had referred to the Vatican seven priests accused of sexually abusing minors. Most of the cases dated from decades ago and some were well-known among Legion watchers, raising questions about how long ago the Legion leadership knew about them.
The Vatican in 2010 took over the Legion after conducting an investigation into the order and the double life of Maciel. It is now being run by a papal delegate, though the leadership remains largely in place. It is not known how long ago the Legion leadership knew of Williams' child.
In his statement, Williams said he and his superiors had decided he should to take a year off of active ministry to reflect on his commitments as a priest.
In an email sent to all Legion priests that accompanied Williams' announcement, Fr. Luis Garza, who heads the Legion in the U.S., said he was relaying the news with great sadness given the Legion's recent turmoil.
"The last thing I would wish is to add a fresh wound when older wounds may not have healed fully," he wrote