Behold the destruction that Marcial Maciel hath wrought

June 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

By now, a year and a half after the well casing of Marcial Maciel’s double life finally blew apart, wrecking the Legion-of-Christ rig he had constructed to house and conceal it, and gushing a torrent of nauseating revelations into the public consciousness, we all have a bad case of Maciel-fatigue. I know I do. I’m sick of it. (And if you aren’t sick of it, watch the video at the bottom of this post and I predict you will be sick of it too — sick at heart.)

And yet, we should shake off the fatigue, brace ourselves, and take stock of just how widespread the damage could become that this man (and whoever knowingly abetted him in his depredations) has inflicted on the Church.

How bizarrely ironic that the order Maciel established to be a vanguard of joyful, militant, conquering supporters and defenders of the pope should now be one of the present pope’s biggest headaches. This thought undoubtedly torments many Legionary priests and affiliated laypeople who’ve been wondering whether to abandon the burning rig or stay put and, hoping against hope, wait for the fire that threatens to consume everything to be extinguished.

In my estimation, amidst all the uncertainty, at least one thing is certain: The Legion of Christ as we have known it is over, and it’s not coming back.

Most people’s guess is that the house that Marcial Maciel built will either be completely rehabbed from its foundation to its gables — everyone knows that a fresh coat of paint won’t do the job — or it will be razed and rebuilt from the ground up with fresh materials. Some are clamoring for it simply to be razed, plowed over, and sown with salt. I doubt that will happen. Pope Benedict is benevolent and sagacious, and he knows that while the organization’s founder had a rather Molochian appetite for children, the Legion is not Carthage.

Three scenarios seem possible, either of the first two being far more likely, it seems to me:

1) The Legion may be radically reformed and reoriented and thus salvaged;
2) It may be drastically reduced in size (i.e., personnel), scope of activities, and influence, due to continuing defections of its priests, a drying up of new vocations, and the vigorous pruning by the pope and his collaborators;
3) It may go away altogether.

If the last scenario plays out, the Legion’s far-flung empire of schools, seminaries, apostolic enterprises and, most importantly of all, priestly vocations, would all have to be somehow absorbed en masse into the infrastructure of the Church.

Just a few years ago, heck, one year ago, such a notion would have been unthinkable. Like BP, the Legion of Christ was just too big to fail.

ss="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:medium;">Well, stranger things have happened. Stranger things might yet happen.

What’s really strange, and I mean “strange” in the baleful and sinister sense, is how Fr. Maciel’s cerement-swathed hand reaches out from the grave to besmirch the memory of Pope John Paul II — the pope he feigned such adoring dedication to for all those years. While he surely harmed many men, women, and children by exploiting and devouring their trusting innocence and generosity in order to sate his own appetites, it seems that what distinguishes him as a truly implacable sociopath whose life was “devoid of scruples” is that he preyed upon even his own children.

The more it goes, the more it seems as if the trail of destruction lying in the wake of this man’s astonishing 87 years of bustling activity on this earth doesn’t just diminish, but dwarfs, whatever good he may have done along the way in the greedy, grubby pursuit of his goals.

As the pope and those who are helping him weigh the options and pray for divine guidance, I have no doubt that they are doing some pretty intense cost/benefit analyses.

St. Paul reminds us that where sin abounds, God’s grace abounds all the more (Rom. 5:20). I believe this with all my heart. Which is why I also believe the Church will need an immense amount of grace if it is to repair and restore what has been lost here.

If you have trouble viewing the above video link (apparently some of my foreign readers have), here’s another one which should work:

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84 Responses to “Behold the destruction that Marcial Maciel hath wrought”
  1. Patrick Madrid says:

    Estimado Padre exLC,

    Ya soy yo un agorero? Creo que no. Tampoco hay que ser “erudito” para comprender el daño horrendo lo que infligió el P. Maciel en la Legión tal como lo hizo a mucha gente buena que confiaban en él — a los seminaristas y sacerdotes (a Ud. su mismo, padre, no se olvide de eso), a todos los padres y parientes de Legionarios, benefactores, etc., verdaderamente a toda la Iglesia.

    Soy padre de cuatro hijos que pasaron colectivamente años y años dentro de la Legión como seminaristas y estudiantes. Mi hermano menor pasó 9 años, y mi cuñado, casi 11 años. ¿No cree usted que es un poco presuntuoso reprender a las personas que fueron engañados por este charlatán por hablar al respeto?

    Sí, es verdad que tengo un ego (¿pero no es cierto esto de Ud. y todas personas a un cierto grado?) y le pido al Señor la gracia que me ayude a ser más humilde. Pero, mi propio orgullo pecaminoso y mi falta de humildad, no son los temas importantes aquí.

    En relación con el otro tema, personalmente, no veo muchas opciones para las circunstancias futuras de este grupo al margen de las tres que he mencionado aqui. ¿Y Ud.? Y no veo nada que sea algo malo por formular y compartir aquí algunas observaciones al respeto.

    ¿Por qué me reproche Ud., deciendo que yo he sequido “divulgando el escandalo hasta los detalles mas amarillistas” de este sórdido y lamentable asunto? Todo el mundo ya está bien consciente de todas estas realidades en la vida del P. Maciel. Seguramente Usted ya sabe eso.

    ¿Y cada vez que el Santo Padre habla en público acerca de la “polución,” “cochinada,” y “putrefacción” lo que se encuentra en la Iglesia hace poco, no cree Ud. que él tiene en mente los crímenes cometidos por P. Maciel? Yo sí.

    Por mi parte, padre, si yo fuera Ud., me gustaría y esperaría muchisimo que todos los detalles de este asunto saldrían en una manera completa y definitiva, y no lentamente y en pedazitos, para que el trauma de que la Legión y la Iglesia Católica están experimentando pudiera por fin piadosamente terminar.

    Le deseo lo mejor. Oremus pro invicem.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Silencing is a very old Legion tactic.

    It's not working so well for them anymore.

  3. Anonymous says:

    El Sr. Madrid puede hacer como complace. Si usted no quiere su blog, entonces se ausenta de ello.

    Estoy agradecido para la capacidad de Sr. Madrid para vivir en la verdad.

    Gracias el Sr. Madrid.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sr. Madrid, deje que el Espiritu Santo y las autoridades competentes de la Iglesia resuelvan este tremendeo embrollo como se tiene que resolver por personas que gozan de la gracia de estado para hacerlo y no por agoreros como Ud. y otros "famosos" eruditos ortodoxos catolicos (Mr. Wiegel) que creen tener la ultima palabra acerca de los problemas de la Iglesia Catolica y de la Legion de Cristo.

    Desde luego que seguir divulgando el escandalo hasta los detalles mas amarillistas, como lo hace Ud., presentando estos videos para que la gente sencilla se enferme como Ud. quiere que se enfermen no ayuda nada a la causa de la fe del pueblo de Dios. Esto solo favorece a los media sensacionalistas a los que Ud. sigue dando mayores detalles de que hablar y hablar y hablar. Todo indica como dicen vulgarmente en ingles que Ud. pretende "the shit to continue to hit the fan" en vez de rezar, perdonar, dejar que Dios y quien tenga la autoridad juzguen si es el caso publicamente.

    Por cierto que su presentacion en ropa de leopardo ( o de Tarzan ) a primera vista manifiestan un ego protagonista que Ud. confirma con sus escritos. Un mucho de humildad nos hace falta a todos.

    Sacerdote exLC

  5. Dymphna says:

    Anonymous @ 8:45: I think hero worship, especially in the church, is dangerous. We have been so busy worrying about our little corner of the spiritual world, that we have ceased looking squarely at such things as what went on in Regnum Chrisi.

    I've gotten to the point where I distrust any separate "movement" within the church, although I do have my own favorite devotions.

    I've seen so many people get hurt by such movements that promise salvation if only you follow this one person's every command.

    Too, I wonder if our whole visual society doesn't encourage a cult of personality in our church. It is dangerous. We are becoming too "political" and loosing sight of the real point: Christ.

    IMO, we have no right, as individuals, to run around saying that "God told me" this or "the Holy Spirit told me" that. It is dangerous.

  6. Anonymous says:

    A perfect illustration of the Regnum Christi stubborn refusal to look at the negative – a post asking "If your child's faith was shattered by the movement, would you still defend the movement?" goes completely unanswered. RCs don't face the messy bad stuff. The important thing is that "my experience has been good".

    Sigh. What's a lost soul here or there if "your" experience is good?

  7. Anonymous says:

    It's hard to know how to react to the Legion and Regnum Christi.

    I knew people in RC. Some very (very) well. They were solid, serious, good-hearted, devoted people.

    But to me there was always something creepy about the Legion and RC. I read "Christ is My Life" and it fairly screamed "fraud" at me. I wondered how anybody could be taken in by this guy.

    And then I started to hear about the hero worship of Maciel. And then I heard about the psychological manipulation to keep people in line. The creepiness factor went off the scale.

    So where was the Holy Spirit in all of this?

    People claim that the Holy Spirit guides them. Well? Why didn't that happen?

    Why was the pope fooled? Why were thousands of sincere, honest, dedicated Catholics fooled? Wasn't the Holy Spirit able to break through this deception? All that time they were praying …. nothing.

    I don't know how you can trust in the guidance of a "Holy Father" who was fooled by such an obvious con artist. And I don't know how you can believe in a "Holy Spirit" who was unable to tell all these Catholics they were following a lunatic pervert.

    Fr. Neuhaus had "moral certainty" Maciel was not guilty. I hope everyone laughs the next time some popular priest claims to have "moral certainty."

    JPII called Maciel an "efficacious guide to youth." I hope everyone remembers that the next time the pope praises someone.

    Maciel's defenders said he had to be the real deal because of all the "good fruit." Remember that too.

    Yes, Maciel has done incredible damage to the Catholic Church. But it seems to me this was only possible because the Catholic Church is a pitiful shell. The leadership is beyond corrupt. The people are so beaten and downtrodden that they fall for an obvious fraud, simply because he says what they so long to hear.

    It's so lame. So sad.

  8. Anonymous says:

    "There is a concerted effort here to continually attack Father Maciel and the Legion of Christ. It would appear you will not give up until the Legion is destroyed with all it's good works.

    We must examine our conscience for the vice of envy and ask the Lord to enlighten our minds."

    "Finally, Father Maciel is innocent."

    Perhaps you should send your concerns to the Holy See, as they have determined Maciel to be completely without scruples and devoid of any authentic religious sentiment. A criminal.

    Are you suggesting that the Holy Father and Visitators are guilty of hatred and envy? I certainly hope not, but otherwise your post really makes no sense whatsoever. It seems you think the Holy Father and investigators need to pray to be enlightened as to Maciel's innocence.

    For those who believe Maciel to be a man of great evil (as the Vatican itself has made it clear he was), it is charity to try to rid the Church of his pernicious legacy, while trying to salvage all the good so many unsuspecting Catholics brought into this mess with them.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am not a Regnum Chrisit member and never have been.

    There is a concerted effort here to continually attack Father Maciel and the Legion of Christ. It would appear you will not give up until the Legion is destroyed with all it's good works.

    We must examine our conscience for the vice of envy and ask the Lord to enlighten our minds.

    Jesus Christ desired the salvation of the soul of Judas and called him friend. We are to pray for those we consider our enemies. That is the Christian faith!

    Further, here is the definition of hatred, from The Modern Catholic Dictionary (by Father John Hardon):

    "HATRED. A voluntary act by which someone or something is regarded with bitter aversion. On the first level hatred is directed against either God or some rational being; on the second level it is directed against some quality in another but without hatred of the individual personality.

    Personal hatred of God may take the form of disgust, when a person detests God because he punishes sinners. It is a grave sin because it is contrary to the justice of God. Another form is the hatred of enmity, when a person actually wished evil to God. Such hatred is of its nature diabolical, and is the most grievous of all sins, since it approximates the enmity that the devils have against God.

    Personal hatred of a human being is the direct opposite of the virtue of love. Where love inspires a person to wish well to another, hatred arouses the desire to do harm or have harm befall the one hated, not as a source of possible good, but precisely as evil. The gravity of such sins of personal hatred depends on how serious the harm wished or intended, and on how deliberately the malicious desires are harbored.

    Hatred or a quality in someone may be either sinful or not. If the hatred is directed only toward some evil quality that a person has, but does not touch that person, it is not sinful. It becomes sinful only if the hatred extends to the person who has some admittedly evil trait or sinful habit. Moreover, it becomes specially sinful when the hatred is directed at some virtue that a person possesses, even when the enmity does not extend to the individual personally."

    Finally, Father Maciel is innocent.

  10. Anonymous says:

    A question asked 3 days ago at 1:18 PM has gone unanswered –

    WHAT is the great benefit of the movement that makes all this suffering worthwhile?

    Thank you.

    JUNE 24, 2010 1:18 PM

    If your child's faith was shattered by the movement, would you still defend the movement?

  11. RobertG says:

    Thank you, Anonymous, for your well-written reply.

  12. Anonymous says:

    "No, the Legionaries – who should more appropriately be called the Millionaires – are not a normal religious order, tarnished only by a malign individual who by chance, by mere coincidence, happened to be its founder.

    The Legionaries are the very same perverse mentality of such founder, transfigured into a worldwide machine of allurement, psychological domination, manipulation of conduct, and concealment of crimes."

    Robert,

    I believe the writer is referring to the ORDER of the Legionaries in this statement, not indicting the intentions or culpability of individual men in the order. The order itself is the machine of allurement, psychological domination, manipulation of conduct, and concealment of crimes. Individual Legionaries were part of this machine, as as part of it were cooperators in Maciel's plan. But that does not mean they did so knowingly or willingly. I believe this is what the Holy Father was referring to in the Communique when he mentions the system of power and that ensured the silence that allowed Maciel's perversions to go unchecked. The very structure and norms of the order deformed conscience in such a way that the men contained in this "machine", well-meaning and of good will as they might have been, were used to allure and recruit, dominate others psychologically through the formation, and manipulate conduct (thinking they were doing good by following the will of their superiors, mind you) of those in their control.

    It's the machine that reflects the perverse mentality of its founder. Visitator Watty statements to the fact that the very structure of the Legion—it's apostolates, it's governance, it's very formation–have been damaged by the imprint of the Maciel personality, seem to confirm this notion:

    " But before getting into that, we Bishops and Cardinals stressed, with the Pope’s endorsement, the person of Fr. Maciel: We see a very damaged person who did much harm; we see an immoral person, not in accordance with the Gospel, not even with human dignity.

    There is nothing more we can say; others may be capable to study the personality. But this what we're able to see: He affected the work he started — and how he affected it — with positive elements of his personality, and he imprinted it with negative traits of his personality. And this is what worries the Church right now……..We must take care of this in the name of the Church.

    Another aspect, we would say, is our positive evaluation of those who form and constitute the Legion of Christ. It’s not as if one person is bad, so the rest are, too. But, yes, the structure is damaged; in its life, its governance, its formation, its apostolate; because this damage was imprinted by the person who founded the work. This is what worries us: A Legion, a religious congregation that is damaged and itself feels damaged, but also feels the need for outside help."

    There are good men caught up in this machine. Benedict is sending his Delegate precisely to rescue the good so many people brought into the machine with them, and which through the grace of God, survived the damage of that machine. How the Pope and Delegate plan to rescue the good people from the damage of the machine remains to be seen.

  13. RobertG says:

    "The Legionaries are the very same perverse mentality of such founder, transfigured into a worldwide machine of allurement, psychological domination, manipulation of conduct, and concealment of crimes."

    I disagree with this paragraph: It is true of some, but certainly not all.

  14. RobertG says:

    I am silenced after reading Olavo's essay. I'll read it over a couple of times in an effort to properly reprogram myself. And I'll continue to pray for my brothers in Christ and for the Church. Thank you. –Ex-Legionary (1992-1994)

  15. Anonymous says:

    The link to the original essay by Olavo de Carvalho mentioned by Lauretta is here:

    http://www.olavodecarvalho.org/english/articles/100401_en.html

    I thought the last paragraph summed it up pretty well:

    "It is simply not possible to preserve, at one and the same time, the dignity of the Church and the reputation of the Legionaries. I do not think this is what Benedict XVI wants, but it is clear that both among the enemies of the faith and in the upper hierarchy of the Church itself there are many people interested in giving the impression that this is precisely what he wants."

    Behold the destruction.

  16. Lauretta says:

    Con't
    It is most evident that what differentiates the Legionaries from all the other religious orders is not only the personal conduct of its founder: it is the whole organizational conception of that entity, designed to serve goals that have nothing to do with its nominal purpose, serving the latter only to the extent they were useful to the former.

    For what purpose would a religious discipline need to add to the traditional vows of poverty, obedience and chastity, a heretic and extravagant “vow of secrecy,” if not to hide from the outset something intended to be hidden?

    For what purpose would a Catholic religious order have to adopt for its novices and lay faithful, besides the old and established pedagogical and disciplinary methods, certain behavior control techniques which originated in the anti-Christian “New Age” movement and in social engineering laboratories, engaged in building the world civilization of the Antichrist?

    For what purpose would a religious order need to establish, besides the usual norms of respect and obedience, the idolatrous worship of its leaders, who were flippantly proclaimed as “saints” at first sight, without the slightest critical examination, in outpourings of collective hysterical emotionalism which blaspheme the very notion of holiness?

    For what purpose would a religious order need to practice large scale imposition of forced vocations, allegedly revealed by the Holy Spirit to the leaders of the organization and then impinged on astonished youth as a mandate from heaven to which they would never dare say “no”?

    Why would a religious order need to devote so much effort to enticing rich laymen and to the speedy build-up of financial and property holdings worth billions?

    Why would a religious order need to infiltrate parishes to dominate them, disregarding the jurisdictions of parish priests, and unlawfully constituting itself as an authority higher than that of archdioceses themselves, up to the point that some of these, in the United States, found themselves forced to ban all contact between their parishes and the invading organization? What kind of Catholicism is there in a Gramscian “war of position” against Catholics by a militant body soi-disant Catholic?

    No, the Legionaries – who should more appropriately be called the Millionaires – are not a normal religious order, tarnished only by a malign individual who by chance, by mere coincidence, happened to be its founder.

    The Legionaries are the very same perverse mentality of such founder, transfigured into a worldwide machine of allurement, psychological domination, manipulation of conduct, and concealment of crimes.

    The Church has no reason to ask forgiveness for the evil that has been inflicted upon it from within by a power-and-wealth-hungry group of psychopaths, but it also does not have any reason to try to save face of an organization that turned good into an instrument of evil. This evil must be exposed in all its sinister grandeur, making it clear that it was not practiced “by” the Church, but against it.

  17. Lauretta says:

    The following is from here: http://insidecatholic.com/Joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8329&Itemid=80

    I would just like to share a piece written by philosopher Olavo de Carvalho on the Legionaries of Christ. You might find it interesting. Here it goes:

    Good as an instrument of evil

    Olavo de Carvalho
    Diário do Comércio, April 1, 2010

    In a world degraded by the arrogance of modernity, the fact that the Legionaries of Christ are an organization nominally devoted to reliving the experience of traditional Catholicism only makes the crimes perpetrated by both its founder and its other leaders all the more serious.

    The relationship between the seeming traditionalism of the Legionaries and the modernist deformations of Catholicism is exactly the same as the one St. Augustine observed between pride and the other capital sins: all vices, said he, cling to evil that evil may be accomplished; pride alone clings to the good that good may perish.

    Modernists and leftists in general preach error and lies, deform doctrine and liturgy, and do the reverse of what the Church has done for two millennia. Marcial Maciel and his partisans preach the authentic doctrine, follow the rituals faithfully and, seen from the outside, look much like the good Catholics of old, except that they reduce all this to a shell, to a camouflage in the service of crime and wickedness. The former attack the Church from the outside, ostensibly stripping it of everything which adorns and protects it; the latter preserve its vestments and its physiognomy, all the while wounding it directly in the heart.

    The damage Maciel and his gang did to Catholicism even reaches the point of surpassing, in some respects, the overall effect of so many blows accumulated over more than one hundred years. Under attack from external enemies or heretics and infiltrated agents, the Church not only preserved its dignity but shone even brighter by means of the glory of martyrdom. Now it is forced to humiliate itself before the world, apologizing for the evil that well-disguised enemies inflicted upon it not from without, but from its innermost circle, under the asinine protection of a pope, John Paul II, who did not want to see the truth in time and ended up protecting the criminals instead of helping the victims.

    If making the Church pay for the crimes of its betrayers already constitutes a monstrous injustice, even more intolerable are the attempts to mitigate the scandal, reducing everything to the personal sins of a priest and saving the appearances of the organization he created.

    The plea for forgiveness released by the order’s current superior, Álvaro Corcuera, is a masterpiece of cynicism and issue-dodging. On the one hand, it reduces everything down to sex offenses, now four-decades-old, and says nothing of the judicial persecution more recently set in motion, under the leadership of Corcuera himself, in order to intimidate and silence the victims, and to safeguard the sacrosanct public image of the criminal. On the other, it throws all the blame on one isolated individual, as if the vast concurrence of crimes he committed would have been possible without the complicity of his closest advisors and, even more, without the peculiar structure he bequeathed the organization, making it a perfect machine of domination and cover-up.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Robert ,
    What you just posted above only reinforces what all of us ex-members are trying to get across to those outside- ladies and gentlemen, behold the malformation: " so much good has entered my life BECAUSE of the Legion…etc" The legion took whatever good you already had received and twisted it and used it for its own ends. The Legion is not the church- any good that is still there is because of the church's patrimony- and it remains INSPITE of the Legion , not because of it. Holy Father, please bring out the salt, and by the ton!

  19. Beth says:

    With LC schools serving as seminaries for kids in grades 7 to 12 why has the Vatican –at the very least–not offered them protection? The LC is in no position to be helping these boys discern their vocation and shame on the parents who are putting their kids in this position. The lack of a tangible reponse to this mess is a disgrace.

  20. RobertG says:

    For some reason, I cannot wish ill toward the Legion anymore than I could consent to having an old faithful dog put down due to an incurable disease: "Save the dog, kill the disease!" So much good has entered my life because of the Legion, I wouldn't be half the Christian I am if not for them. I'll just leave it in Gods and continue to pray for my brothers in Christ and for the Church. Viva Cristo Rey!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Patrick, I want to thank you for continuing to write about this situation.

    I was in RC for six years and for a long time, I really thought I was crazy for having so many doubts and questions about certain practices within our local group and in the Legion of Christ. It helps to read what ethical, intelligent observers have to say about this.

    A friend recently wrote this and I echo her sentiments: My participation and membership in Regnum Christi and associated apostolates implies my consent to this corrupted system regardless of the level of my knowledge or lack thereof. To all of those who have been hurt, isolated, and maligned because of LC/RC, I was complicit and I am profoundly sorry. The burden and shame of this scandalous mess will follow those of us who have ever been associated with the Legion and Regnum Christi for the rest of our lives.

    Johnna H., St. Louis, MO

  22. Jenni says:

    Just to be clear, Familia and Challenge Girls are RC apostolate, i.e. places for them to recruit. They are keeping the RC name as far away as possible, but they are still recruiting through these groups and fundraising here in Colorado Springs.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Also, thank you Patrick Coffin for posting. You two Patricks are two examples of real courageous godly men today. We NEED you. Thank you.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, so much, for having the courage to do this post. I can always count on you, Patrick, and that is why you are one of the few Catholic sites I still check frequently. God bless you, and PLEASE: keep it up.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Patrick is telling the truth in a very reasoned way – I wonder if he even knows that the Legionnaires in Connecticut are and have been aggressively fund raising throughout the whole scandal…what do they plan to do with the money? I trust Pope Benedict will have the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to know what is the best thing to do. The leadership of the Legion wants to remain in place – why??? Surely those intimates around Maciel know what was going on and how many were involved in the same disgusting activity??? Pope John Paul could not have known what was happening…he would have acted as Pope Benedict did if he had known…the Legionnaires, the young ones, need to be 'deprogrammed' and healed and the given a healthy formation…there may be some who have not yet reported abuse and they need our prayers and help…let's just pray with our Holy Father for healing for Church members who have so hurt the young entrusted to their care and let us pray for a flourishing of healthy and holy vocations…we still have an enormous amount of active homosexual men in the Priesthood and religious life…even among female religious…so we have to be strong in faith as new incidences are reported…

  26. Beth says:

    How can anyone continue to send their
    child(ren) to any LC school? Is enrollment declining? Any statistic on the numbers of LC/RC that have managed to get out? What if you are a member and have no other way to support yourself and you are unable to leave? any funds for these individuals?

  27. Peter N. Nevraumont says:

    Very well put, and very sad. A child who is sexually abused never fully recovers; I speak from my own experience.

    There is a certain amount of Catholic bashing surrounding this issue, which has a number of causes. I don't think it helps, however, to conflate pedophilia with homosexuality. There is no research that I know of that shows homosexuals are more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexuals. In fact, I am going to guess the opposite is true.

    And I don't think it is helpful to draw a distinction between abusing pre-pubescent children vs. post-pubescent children. The psychology of children suffering from sexual abuse is a complicated one in which the victim is made to feel guilty by the abuser and society in general.

    The Church will survive, but only made truly whole if it addresses this situation with a completely open heart.

  28. Patrick Madrid says:

    Anonymous 1:46, what specifically did I say that you feel is malicious?

  29. Miguel Serrano Cabeza. says:

    Fon NON US citizens, which are unable to watch HULU, here's the YOUTUBE video link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoMGws-bc7A

  30. Anonymous says:

    I use "anonymous" because our paycheck is signed by Legion, and while I don't like that fact, in this economy, a job is a job when you have lots of little mouths to feed.

    There is just too much history of Legion suing, damaging reputations, and basically making life hell for those who come out publicly against them. Perhaps they are no longer so powerful, but I don't want to be the guinea pig who finds out.

    If you call that cowardly, so be it. Personally, I think it is more cowardly for RC members (of which I am not, by the way) not to say anything at all than to come out anonymously.

    There is a long history of various types of persecution at the hands of this organization. I (obviously!!) don't blame anybody for wanting to protect themselves from retribution (and even if the Legion itself is too busy trying to put out larger fires, reputations can still be ruined through whisper campaigns and shunning performed by local RC friends and family).

  31. Maite Tosta says:

    I didn´t get to see the video, it doesn´t stream outside the US……

  32. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mr. Madrid,

    Why do you speak with such maliciousness?

  33. Patrick Coffin says:

    General observation: What's with RC members using pseudonyms or the coward's mask of "Anonymous" in com boxes?

    Some people, even now, find the RC/LC Koolaid to be quite tasty.

  34. In RC But Not Of It says:

    "I agree with Tsunami. Also, Anon. has made a point that I have been stressing with friends who think the Legion is done. The Pope is not ever going to dispose of 800 and throw them out of their communities into some sort of ecclesial foster care. Yes, they are priests of the Church first, they are mostly (except for the top ones) great priests, and their effectiveness comes from the solace and support of community living."

    Do we actually KNOW at this point how many priests are still with the Legion of Christ? They keep throwing that 800 number around. Does anyone know the real current number? Community living might not be as big an issue if the "community" has become significantly reduced in size of late. In fact, that might be an indication to the Holy See that no such "community" truly exists.

  35. Tom says:

    Tsunami-

    Okay…what do you make of the fact that LC is recruiting teenagers into apostolic schools. Do you think this is prudent? Good?

    Thanks,
    Tom

  36. Anonymous says:

    Tsunami,

    You say "I have a friend who had bad dreams for years after leaving an LC seminary until he managed, at last, to get therapy! I AM IN NO WAY SAYING that the offense was light, nor am I some heartless bastard. But I am called to love ALL men, not just those who are most evident in need but those less evident, and right now, the LC priests, while less evident, are certainly still in need."

    Touche.

    But I would argue that your implication that those who argue for dissolution of the LC/RC, who have a different idea of what is best (and indeed, as free Catholics, we are all allowed to form educated opinions and even argue them fiercely), somehow don't love or care about the LC priests as much as you do is every bit as presumptuous and offensive, if not more so, as those who point out your comments seems to reflect some narcissism. Because the Visitators have clearly stated the LC/RC are damaged people by virtue of the imprint of Maciel's (very narcissistic and sociopathic) personality.

    I don't know what the right thing to do is. I personally can't see how this cult can be deprogrammed without virtual demolition and reconstruction. But just because I can't see it doesn't mean it can't happen. I pray for the Pope and the Delegate and all the good people so damaged by this hideously ugly beast of a creation of Maciel.

    Meanwhile, local LCs are still stating they know certain things to be true because "Nuestro Padre said so", and this was just this week (I'm not joking). And nobody in LC/RC (as far as I can tell) is ready to admit that there are any problems where they are. Fr. Hopkins at Gateway is talking about what a noble institution they are running, ICAS isn't planning on sending the boys home for any longer than the two weeks this summer as usual (you would think that at the very least, they would suggest these boys stay home with the families for the summer—but no, they are still so afraid the delicate Legion vocations might be damaged by being at home with family), and most everyone in LC/RC seems genuinely puzzled because they haven't seen any of the damage where they are. Must be happening somewhere else. No worries, the Delegate will figure out where the problematic areas are (not here, of course!!), and after a tweak or two in the problem areas, the Movement can zealously move forward with building Kingdom!

  37. Anonymous says:

    "The reason, I think, so many of the Mexican RC members are still loyal has more to do with their sense of family respect and value than some blind devotion to Maciel"

    So I guess us US folks who left RC and were not loyal do not have a sense of family respect. Can you see how unhealthy your statement is? Those who leave are branded not loyal and not supportive of the "family". This was part of the guilt trip heaped on all RC even after the scandal broke…do not leave the family…stay in the boat…stay at the foot of the cross…and than we leave and we are the traitors. Macielism at its best.

    Maciel betrayed first….those who left just responded to that betrayal.

  38. Lauretta says:

    I truly do not think that we can judge the holiness, or lack, of anyone in this group. For one thing, holiness is attained through freedom. If, as I have read, these members have been programmed to always have a happy face and never allowed to say anything negative, they do not possess the necessary freedom to be holy. We could classify them as nice guys but we still don't know if they are nice because of their own decision or because that is what they have been forced to be.

  39. mydogoreo says:

    I agree with Tsunami. Also, Anon. has made a point that I have been stressing with friends who think the Legion is done. The Pope is not ever going to dispose of 800 and throw them out of their communities into some sort of ecclesial foster care. Yes, they are priests of the Church first, they are mostly (except for the top ones) great priests, and their effectiveness comes from the solace and support of community living.

    For now, can we just wait and see what the Commissioner does?

    Patrick, I met you many years ago at some Legionary events when you were associated with them. Like you, myself, and anyone who has ever known them, this whole scandal is hurtful.

  40. William says:

    Why does the Church owe Raul Gonzalez anything? He admits he had no idea that his father was a Catholic Priest – so how is the Church liable for recompense for Maciel's offenses to his own son?

    If Maciel worked for Microsoft, would Microsoft be liable for the crimes one of its employees commited against his own family??

  41. Anonymous says:

    When they ask, "What order are you?" and answer, "Legion," it sure becomes a loaded question! I don't know what the Church can do in this instance. My personal opinion is that the order needs to dissolve and the priests need to find either another established order or go into diocesan work. The works of this founder needs to be buried and salt strewn all across the earth wherever he walked. And I don't remember anything in the history of the Church that parallels this event.

  42. Nat says:

    A severe contraction or a complete shutdown are all possible especially if the complete rebuild/rehab is faint-hearted.

    One of the best takes on the tough road ahead was accepted, deleted, and then undeleted by Jim Fair.

    Ginger: "The good came from the virtue and spirituality well-meaning people brought with them to the LC/RC movement. The good could not have flowed out of a man the Vatican has declared to be completely unscrupulous and irreligious—in other words, a man without any real virtue whatsoever…It would have been better had Maciel been stopped in the 50s, during the first visitation (we know this because Christ himself said it would be better for Maciel's ilk to have a millstone tied around their necks and thrown into a lake—-harsh judgment from Our Lord himself). But he was not, and now the Pope and the Delegate have the difficult work of trying to salvage the good God has mercifully allowed to survive in all the souls who have been affected by this debacle, while at the same time making sure justice is served for all those damaged by it."

  43. RobertG says:

    They are not all "very evil people" according to the Communique:

    "The five Visitators testified to the sincere welcome accorded to them and the spirit of genuine cooperation shown by the Congregation and by the individual religious. While they acted independently of one another, they arrived at a broadly convergent evaluation and a shared judgement. They attested that they had encountered a large number of exemplary, honest and highly talented religious, many of them young, who are seeking Christ with authentic zeal and offering their whole lives for the spread of the Kingdom of God."

  44. Anonymous says:

    "How do we account for the many good works from the many good Legionaries?"

    I'm sorry for being so blunt, but I've heard this so many times it makes me throw up a little in my mouth. Let's clear this up: Very evil people can – and often do – some good things. It's often done ON PURPOSE. To point to, when the evil is uncovered, to exonerate, to sow confusion, to dissuade people from discovering that underlying evil. Youth leaders do it all the time, "Oh, not him! He was so good with the kids!" Mussolini made the trains run on time. The Communists gave people jobs.

    "Hitler, now there was a painter! He could paint an entire apartment in one afternoon…two coats!!"

  45. Anonymous says:

    People on the inside of LC and RC assume that any desire to see dissolution is borne out of a lack of charity. However, I know several LC brothers, and I wish for them to have a joyful, fruitful life as priests. I shudder to think of them living their whole priestly life under a cloud of suspicion, in a congregation that is working to reform. As Fr Richard Gill said when he left the Legion, reform will take many frustrating years, and the likelihood of success is not guaranteed. I love these young men like they are my own, and this is not what I hope for for them.

    There was and is so much suffering that has come out of RC. I have a child who has lost their faith after their RC experience. How difficult it is, as a parent, to know I entrusted my child to these people, and despite my good intentions, my child is now one of those Catholics who claims to have had "a bad experience" in the Church. There is turmoil and division in my parish. There is deep alienation among people who were previously the closest of friends. I continue to suffer my way out of the effects of RC. Outside of my own lousy experiences, LC/RC have been banned in about 7 dioceses. The list goes on.

    None of these "bad fruits" I list have anything to do with MM or his scandalous life. The damage and suffering and scandal cannot be swept into a tidy pile, and labelled "Nuestro Padre's mess". Yet I hear RC claims again and again of all the "good works" and "good fruits" of the movement. What that tells me is that all the suffering, scandal, the hurt in my own family, the division, the diocesan bans, all the bad fruits represent "acceptable losses" or "collateral damage". I would love for someone who remains in RC, standing in solidarity with people who HAVE caused great harm (not every member, not every LC, but certainly someone has got to be responsible for these bad experiences) please tell me, WHAT is the great benefit of the movement that makes all this suffering worthwhile?

    Thank you.

  46. RobertG says:

    Can somebody post a link to the Communique? I would like to read it again. Thanks.

    And thank you, Anonymous, for your comment on my comment. I will chew on that for awhile.

    I just don't want to do pass a judgment of total annihilation upon the Legion before the Church does.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Tsunami, you assure us that the individual priests in the Legion are almost all holy and innocent of complicity – "I say this not because I am working off some universal idea, but because I know them. I am speaking from what I know." But how can you expect anybody to take such an assurance from you seriously at this point? You guys inside all said that about Maciel until long after everybody uninvolved had learned the truth. Frankly, I think a good first lesson for you guys to take away would be to quit making these breathless declarations of "Fr. So-and-so is SUCH a holy priest."

  48. Adrian Yanez says:

    This is just another in a log line of half baked apostelates that have been hatched in the Catholic Church for the past 45 years, since Vatican II. John Paul II was a dupe at best and colaborator at worst.

    45 years of liturgical abuse, homexual priests abusing teen age boys, priests who promote new age ideas like eneagrams, Father Richard Rohr, nuns who promote abortion and lesbian lifestyles, catholic politicians who promote abortion and homosexual marriage. I am waiting to see all of those fruits of VAtican II that everyone keeps talking about. Oh maybe these are the fruits of VAtican II.

  49. Tsunami says:

    Addendum:

    "I am going to send my pontifical delegate so that he accompanies them along the process of purification, of renovation, of conversion, of change that the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ requires."

    Sounds to my like the Holy Father is not planning to dissolve.

    "You could take every religious order and lay organization that ever existed within the Church and shut them down today, and the Church would still be everything we ever needed for salvation. To suggest that any of these organizations are indestructible is just plain wrong—they can come and go. The only institution God guaranteed was the Church itself."

    While the latter part is true, and the former part is true in principle, the Orders are the members of the Church. You would be hard-pressed to find a theologian or a historian who thinks that the Orders are utterly frivolous to salvation, because they aren't. God works through secondary causes, both natural and human, for the fulfillment of His Plan ALL THE TIME.

  50. Anonymous says:

    IMHO: Genuine charity and justice DEMANDS the Legion be dissolved and the members freed. They do not know what genuine religious life is. They have been living a lie and living in a cult for decades. They all need to be set FREE, not continue in a watered down version of what was ultimately a monument to an evil monster.

  51. Tsunami says:

    I would like to make one thing clear, that any attempt to paint me as a blind unthinking cultist just because I am a member of RC goes unappreciated. This is the first mistake, to presume that my being RC tells you anything more in effect than that I am Catholic and I think prayer is important.

    "How you translated…What? What's imprudent about pointing out the massive destruction this incestuous pederast has brought about?"

    I was saying that the first commentor could have been interpreted easily as making a comment about Patrick's imprudence in mentioning this scandal this time. It's a fair interpretation.

    "It's very narcissistic to be so much more concerned about the suffering of the LC/RC members right now than about how all the victims of this order have been suffering for years, even decades."

    It would only be narcissistic if I did so out of self-love. Do you think, as connected to LC as I am, I don't have FRIENDS who were messed with by the institutional corruption? I have a friend who had bad dreams for years after leaving an LC seminary until he managed, at last, to get therapy! I AM IN NO WAY SAYING that the offense was light, nor am I some heartless bastard. But I am called to love ALL men, not just those who are most evident in need but those less evident, and right now, the LC priests, while less evident, are certainly still in need.

    "What is keeping you from leaving? Are you afraid you are leaving your calling? Are you afraid you would be leaving your friends? Why can't we be friends without RC? Why RC? Why not your parish? Shouldn't they be your family?"

    My parish is my family. So is my family. So is my Diocese. RC, up until now, has been remarkably self-contained, owing to two facts: I told my LC Spiritual Directer early on that I wasn't ready to decide to become a priest, at which point he said okay. I went to Thomas Aquinas College, where LC priests are not supposed to come on campus. I graduated. I loved philosophy and theology so much I am now studying at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley. This is my life. Furthermore, I managed to avoid most of the Maciel-based formation in RC simply by not doing it and expressing my discomfort. So I am not your stereotypical RC member, I have ALWAYS been uncomfortable with the Maciel image they presented. Long and short of it is: don't think you've got me figured out. And my friends all know this, as I was the most social member of my class at TAC; even the current freshmen know me, and I graduated in 2009.

    "you need to start taking responsibility for your horrendous judgement (best case) and in many cases willful ignorance. I had family members in RC and I pleaded with them for years to actually read the constitutions, read the docs from the General Chapters, listen to critics, and–generally speaking–think critically about the movement they were part of."

    As far as I was concerned, the Movement in effect demanded only that I say my prayer commitments and devote myself to apostolate, and this was never challenged by the LC. I was not making a vow to any alternate Church, and moreover, being sometime a theology student, I know what vows are.

    I think RobertG, in all this, seems the most REASONABLE in response to all this: there are weeds, but that doesn't mean you pull the whole garden.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Robert,

    Here is an excerpt from Bishop Watty's talk in May (because the Communique clearly states all five Visitators were in agreement, I think we can safely say Watty speaks for all of them):

    "Regretfully, while we admit we are all sinners, the harm that priests can inflict is grave, serious, as was the case with Fr. Maciel. We need, then, to take care of his victims, as much inside as outside the Legion, and to compensate them for damages. This is something we all agreed on, and the Pope accepted — just as he has been doing, and bravely so. We must take care of this in the name of the Church.

    Another aspect, we would say, is our positive evaluation of those who form and constitute the Legion of Christ. It’s not as if one person is bad, so the rest are, too. But, yes, the structure is damaged; in its life, its governance, its formation, its apostolate; because this damage was imprinted by the person who founded the work. This is what worries us: A Legion, a religious congregation that is damaged and itself feels damaged, but also feels the need for outside help. And for that reason, the Pope (wisely, based on what he was able to hear, and what he had certainly foreseen), says, “I am going to send my pontifical delegate so that he accompanies them along the process of purification, of renovation, of conversion, of change that the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ requires.”

    Does this sound like an organization that has been well-grafted into Christ's Church? I think not.

    And even if it were, the Church does not teach, nor ever has, that ANY organization, no matter how well it fits in with the Church, is indestructible. That, quite frankly, is nonsense.

    You could take every religious order and lay organization that ever existed within the Church and shut them down today, and the Church would still be everything we ever needed for salvation. To suggest that any of these organizations are indestructible is just plain wrong—they can come and go. The only institution God guaranteed was the Church itself.

    I believe any "good" wrought by the Movement happened because of the virtue people brought with them when they came into it. I don't see how you can say good flowed out of the creation of a man devoid of any religious sentiment and which was designed to suppress conscience and pervert authority so that none of the Movement members would have the ability to see him or the Movement malformation for what they really were.

  53. RobertG says:

    Jesus cured sinners not by killing them first and then raising them up again. He doesn't work that way. He can pull weeds without damaging the wheat.

    I am not convinced that "the whole Movement is corrupted" and I believe that the baby should not be thrown out with the bath water. How do we account for the many good works from the many good Legionaries? Should we just deny that they are/were good works?

    If inspite of the sinful founder the Legion has been well-grafted into Christ's Church, then not even the gates of hell can destroy it. Time will tell.

    I'm hoping for option A: reform.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Tsunami-

    You write: "But to judge the legion by them is to judge Legionnaires by the few and unrepresentative, and the ones whom I do indeed know very well have done nothing wrong."

    I agree that most of the members and priests are good people, fine Catholics and well-meaning people. At some point, though, you need to start taking responsibility for your horrendous judgement (best case) and in many cases willful ignorance. I had family members in RC and I pleaded with them for years to actually read the constitutions, read the docs from the General Chapters, listen to critics, and–generally speaking–think critically about the movement they were part of. All of the evidence that something wasn't right existed a long time ago. But they refused because of a disordered notion of "charity."

    Additionally, what LC priests and RC consecrated are doing now is unconscienable and flat wrong: i.e. still recruiting into the Apostolic schools given the current state of flux. They don't even know what their status will be, or what the charism is, yet they proceed to bring children into these schools. Totally uncharitable.

  55. melody says:

    I agree with Jenni. I have no desire to add salt to the wounds of those in the LC/RC but the continued recruiting efforts are at best innapropriate.

    The video was a trial to watch. Really gut wrenching. And though it is true that we do not yet (to my knowledge) have solid evidence of the truth of this man's testimony, it is also true that the story fits the pattern of Maciel's life perfectly. There is nothing in the evidence that we already have that makes this story even slightly implausible. That alone is deeply disturbing.

    Should Patrick (or any of us) be sharing this information so freely? I think that, in this case, we definitely need to have this rotten, stinking filth aired and cleansed asap. That means laying it all out. There are so many victims on so many levels who deserve our full, immediate and honest attention. It is unfortunate that non-Catholics will see these things and use them against us but that is an unavoidable consequence of the man's sin. Revealing the truth is painful indeed, for all of us, but necessary.

    As unbelievable as it may sound to those of us so familiar with this information, there are many, many among the Catholic faithful who have no clue this is going on. Somehow, they have missed it. There will be no end to this scandal as it continues to shock and rock the Church well into the future as people discover it for the first time. Think of every Church scandal that is ever dredged up by people…on mega steroids. Better to have as much of it out now as possible so that nothing is left under the rug. For this reason, Patrick's posting of the video with his intelligent and gentle commentary is a service to the Church.

  56. Susan says:

    Tsunami and anyone else still in RC:

    What is keeping you from leaving? Are you afraid you are leaving your calling? Are you afraid you would be leaving your friends? Why can't we be friends without RC? Why RC? Why not your parish? Shouldn't they be your family?

    RC is a parallel family and a parallel Church. The division comes from those who refuse to believe that their consciences have been corrupted by Maciel's methodology. His is a gift that keeps on giving.

    It is better to leave, decompress, and figure this out for yourself. Keep your friends. If you can't, or you are afraid you can't, that tells you all you need to know about the Movement. There is still a "with us" or "against us" mentality. You still won't discuss the truth charitably. The whole Movement is corrupted!

    The Pope praised you as Catholics. He praised you as people who love the Church. He did not praise you as RC. The more you defend it, the more you show that your identity is bound in RC and not in Christ.

    I am sick to death of this too, Patrick. The Pope says they are sick and he is there to heal, and they go on, business as usual. I fear schism.

    The SSPX people think they are building the Kingdom too, just for reference.

    -EXRC2009

  57. Anonymous says:

    Tsunami,

    How you translated "Actually I am just sick of people like you who call themselves Catholic and use their blog to promote more scandal and their egos." into "s saying that Mr. Madrid made an imprudent statement rather than that Catholics should never discuss scandals." What? What's imprudent about pointing out the massive destruction this incestuous pederast has brought about?

    For those of us whose with children whose spiritual lives were damaged by the actions of very holy-looking LC priests who were simply following the Maciel Methodology they believed in with all their hearts, NOT discussing the massive destruction this man's creation, the Movement, has wreaked in people's lives, is much more imprudent than keeping our mouth's shut so that we don't hurt the feelings of those loyal followers who are so hurt by these revelations they studiously ignored for years and years (and called those trying to get the truth out liars and enemies of the Church, I might add).

    I don't mean to sound harsh, but quite frankly, this is not about your feelings. I'm sorry it is painful, I really am. But that's not a good reason to keep quiet about the truth. It's because of all that "charitable" keeping-quiet that this scandal keeps dribbling out in the painful way that is enraging so many Catholics (it's also because of all that charitable silence that Maciel got away with sodomy, womanizing, embezzling, and drug use for 60 years or more—hardly charitable for the state of Maciel's own soul). Get it all out, no matter how ugly it is, once and for all, so that true justice/restitution can be meted out by the Vatican.

    I don't mean to dump on you specifically, Tsunami. But all this self-absorbed talk of how much suffering the LC/RC are enduring seems to me to reflect exactly what the Pope and Visitator Watty have said—this man's narcissistic, sociopathic personality imprinted itself on the very structure, formation, and apostolates of the Movement. It's very narcissistic to be so much more concerned about the suffering of the LC/RC members right now than about how all the victims of this order have been suffering for years, even decades. Justice requires the entire truth coming to light, so that people can see this man Maciel and his Movement for what they really are. The entire Movement was constructed to malform the consciences and render the followers blind, deaf, and dumb regarding Maciel's life of predation. And it was remarkably successful at it.

    To the anonymous who doubts Raul is really Maciel's son. You really think the Legion wouldn't have requested a paternity test if they had any doubt whatsoever? Jim Fair just this week stated the Legion acknowledges Raul is Maciel's son. Moreover, the Mexican Bishops' conference recently announced that to their knowledge, Maciel had sexually molested nearly 200 people. So who gets the benefit of the doubt here?

    The Vatican found Maciel guilty in 2006. The entire reason for this AV was not to investigate Maciel—it was to investigate how Maciel's total depravity and lack of any kind of authentic spirituality, damaged the order. What the AV found apparently alarmed the Visitators and the Pope quite a bit, given the strong statements of the Communique and of Watty's May speech regarding what they found and how concerned they are about all the damage this structure of abuse of conscience and authority has wreaked on so many.

    I don't pretend to have the answers, but I do know getting the truth out is important, no matter how painful. I pray for the Pope and the Delegate.

  58. Jenni says:

    Whatever happens, the LC need to stop active ministry and recruiting for multiple years. How could one in good conscience ask someone to join in light of what is goin on? Yet, they are still actively recruiting!

  59. Anonymous says:

    It never seemed to amaze me, those who are still defending the Legion they are so in denial. They are so untouchable . . . even now!

  60. Tsunami says:

    "As the May 1 communique stated, Maciel had no religious sensibilities and his disorder has infected the methodology of the Legion as a whole."

    The methodology, yes. The holiness of individual priests, especially those recently ordained and those in more remote areas, as well as those who knew nothing about the evils and genuinely believed the actions of the order to be for the sake of uniformity of example? Not a whit. I say this not because I am working off some universal idea, but because I know them. I am speaking from what I know. Institutions can be amended, disciplines can be amended, and this is precisely what the Legion has now decided to do, given that they need to find a way to continue their charism, the REASON they became priests in the Legion and not, for example, Dominicans (whom I also love very much.)

    "Is the Legion unique in its inability to be easily absorbed?"

    It may be that they can be absorbed if the Pope should command it (it's not as though the Legion is in rebellion against the Church; right now the only state the Legion is in is shock.) The question at hand, I think, is whether it is the best idea to do so, for everyone's sake. One often has to do something unpopular in order to be charitable even to those who do not wish it.

    "Their first family anyone should belong to is the family of God and the Church. The only reason the LC exists is for the Church. They should all be willing to do whatever the Lord asks …we shouldn't feel sorry for them if they are removed from the "LC family"…they came to serve the Lord and since their founder was a fraud – they might have make a change."

    Religious Orders live in community. Community is essential to every religious Order and without it there is and can be no such Order. It is that special form of community a religious Order has to which I refer when I refer to the LC as a "broken family." And in saying this you are presuming that the Lord is ASKING that they be dissolved. That's a big claim, since to the rest of us unenlightened folk, this is a tough prudential decision.

    "But that statement also made it clear that the Legion is a house built on sand…This is what a cult looks like."

    Correct. But as so many have observed, cults rarely persist past the death or exposure of the leader. On the other hand, part of the Legionary education is that like it or not, being a priest is forever in the order of Melchisedek. So, the cult's gone, but the priests are still there, and while their old, cancerous head is gone, a new head has been appointed, one not complicit in Maciel's actions; they have the beginnings of a rebuilding, which would be possible were it not for the fact that too many people want to take a swing at the old building which no longer houses the principle of the evil they hate. Is the Legion damaged? Yes. Beyond repair? I really don't think so.

    "The problem doesn't just lie with Maciel, it lies with the order itself…Because of that, all priests in the order are malformed and will need de-programming. Some, like myself, simply believe that this can be best achieved by dissolution."

    I have read the communique. So you dissolve the Order and release a bunch of new priests with this bad programming into a world where they know nobody who's going through the same thing. To be blunt, I think that what that would "achieve" is an increase in the sale of rope and sleeping pills. These men live in community, and at this point, it is all that is helping them recover and mend what was broken. Taking that from them will not help them, it will break them.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Some things don't connect in this presentation. Raul states he met the Pope after a private Mass. That photo of him is in the Aula Nervi . . not the location of a 'private Mass' with JP II. It doesn't connect.
    With Maciel dead, it's Raul's word against whose? Seems like Mr. J. Anderson is on the hunt again for money . . another side show to the disasterous tale of the Legion. I don't trust Anderson. I don't trust the Legion. I don't trust Nightline.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mr. Madrid,

    I've always thought you to be a thoughtful and faithful Catholic man. I appreciate your insights and your apostolic zeal. After reading this blog post, I do not think these things to be any less true of you. However, I was profoundly disappointed.

    There is no doubt that the founder of the Legionaries has transgressed, and grossly so. The Apostolic Visitors used very, very strong language to make this point. Moreover, there is not doubt that some very hard decisions are coming and it will require much patience, prayer, and faith of those within and without who will have to make those changes.

    What disappoints me about this blog post is that it is just the latest in a string. I am concerned that you have a quite unhealthy fanaticism for exposing the wickedness that is there. Certainly, we cannot and ought not to deny that wickedness. However, we ought also to avoid glorying in it or raising it up on a billboard. See how Pope Benedict deals with the priest abuse scandal. He very frankly acknowledges it, but also generally very tersely acknowledges it. It is a reality that must be admitted and addressed, but not a wound to be reopened repeatedly. Why can you not wait and see? Allow those the Holy Father places in charge to do their work before penning endless blog posts wherein you say not much new of substance but very much that is painful and needless to relive.

    Case in point: you chose to post, without comment, the vignette from ABC News. However, no one knows whether or not this man is telling the truth. Has a paternity test been conducted? Is there any evidence other than circumstantial that Maciel is actually the father? You can see above that I'm not trying to exonerate the guilty. However, we also know that there have been false abuse claims made by persons trying to ride the coattails of the lawsuits against the Church. My point is that you posted this video without a concern for the veracity of its underlying claims. In this, you colluded with the mainstream media by imitating their inability to be guided by charity.

    There was a time in the Church and in society where libel and slander were taken very seriously. They were considered very serious sins, under the Fifth Commandment (Against murder), particularly because a reputation was the iconic Humpty Dumpty: once broken, it was practically impossible to put together again. Moreover, there was also a time when this applied in an even stronger way to the dead. Perhaps the things this ABC News story presents are true, but perhaps they are not. The evidence is far from strong.

    Perhaps then, silence is both golden and prudent and time will tell more relatively soon. To paraphrase St. James, the man who controls his tongue (or pen) is a perfect man.

    Peace to you and your family.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Tsunami,

    The problem doesn't just lie with Maciel, it lies with the order itself. Re-read the Vatican communique and you will read that Maciel's sins have had dire consequences on the order. The methodology is tainted (I say irreparable) and the formation flawed. Because of that, all priests in the order are malformed and will need de-programming. Some, like myself, simply believe that this can be best achieved by dissolution.

  64. RobertG says:

    "The more it goes, the more it seems as if the trail of destruction lying in the wake of this man's astonishing 87 years of bustling activity on this earth doesn't just diminish, but dwarfs, whatever good he may have done along the way in the greedy, grubby pursuit of his goals."

    If so many good fruits has come forth from the Legion (as I believe has), then there must exist many very holy Legionaries to have more than counter-balanced (dwarfed) the corruption of the few core rotten apples. In other words, I'm more inclined to believe the opposite: the many good works must have come from the many good Legionaries who remained close to the True Vine and inspite of the founder's bad works.

  65. Jeannette says:

    Tsunami,
    This is nothing like claiming that Opus Dei had assassin monks. Maciel had no scruples or authentic religious sentiment, so the Vatican isn't sure the LC's have a charism beyond that of all Catholics, the "militia Christi". Maciel misformed his priests and all those who followed his Movement. If you read the materials LC and RC members were supposed to study, you'll quickly see that there are huge problems, Catholicwise. It isn't an attack to warn LC and RC members that they've mislearned Catholicism.

    Um, if Opus Dei DID have albino monk assassins, it would be an act of charity to warn them that it's a huge problem, Catholicwise, and that they should abandon any Opus Dei study materials that advocate albino monk assassins.

    As far as I know, none of Maciel's children had to fight to survive an abortion; they "only" had to fight to recover from being abused by their own father, Marciel Maciel.

  66. Anonymous says:

    The video scene where Maciel is kissing JP2 is slowed down to make it appear more passionate and digusting! I have seen longer versions of this same video at the same slow speed, and people in the background walk passed and abnormally slow speed.

    Just more of the usual american media shenanigans!

  67. Cassandra says:

    Patrick,

    I don't think it's strange how "Fr. Maciel's cerement-swathed hand reaches out from the grave to besmirch the memory of Pope John Paul II."

    I think it is a bucket of reality washing the pixie dust out of the eyes of the JP II groupies. If Benedict had respected the wisdom of the Church in her established waiting periods for sainthood investigations, the call for sainthood would have been a lot more subdued. I am quite convinced that time will only show how mediocre JP II was.

  68. Anonymous says:

    Tsunami, Well said. We must always hope and look to lift up, not tear down.

  69. Don says:

    Really , Tsusami? Is that why people are still jumping to the defense of the Legion? Because they perceive an attack on the Legion as an attack on the priests? Really?

    Yes, the priests in the Legion are real priests, and the Holy Father is concerned for their well-being and the continuation of their priestly vocation. That is why he did not dissolve the Legion outright, and is the reason for item 7 in May 1 statement by the Holy See. But that statement also made it clear that the Legion is a house built on sand. The structure was created by a narcissistic sociopath as a way to cover his evil deeds. This required forming the members of the congregation to never question, to abandon use of their critical thinking skills. This is what a cult looks like.

    According to the communiqué, Maciel’s behavior "had serious consequences for the life and structure of the Legion" It was built, not by a flawed individual, but by a person "devoid of scruple and of genuine religious sentiment." The Franciscans, Jesuits, etc. all have an authentic charism they can hold on to which was bequeathed to them by their founders. With no authentic religious sentiment, Maciel could bequeath no charism. The first job of the new delegate will be to try to "redefine the charism". Good luck to him on that!

  70. Tsunami says:

    I should add, for the sake of transparency, that although I am perhaps not the most active member, I am in fact a member of Regnum Christi. This ought not to disqualify me from the discussion any more than being a member of a certain Diocese should disqualify someone from talking about their Bishop. So I have a few points to make:

    To the first Anonymous, I think Mr. Madrid has enough "cred" in the Catholic community to make a few observations. Moreover, I sincerely doubt it's a matter of ego. But I can recognize the sadness you have at reading this stuff, because I of all people should be able to say that I share it.

    Truthisstrangerthanfiction: Do recognize that this is a subject which pains more than just the victims, and is wont to cause imprudent statements; so while I disagree with the first Anon, it seems that one can charitably interpret him as saying that Mr. Madrid made an imprudent statement rather than that Catholics should never discuss scandals. Not that this interpretation, itself, means that Anon is somehow being charitable.

    To the Anon following K: Seriously? You think sending MORE reflections on how bad what Maciel did was "to both LCs and RCs" is going to help anything? Because as an RC who knows a lot of LCs, if there's one thing that we've heard a lot of since it happens, it's recriminations of what he did. You think one or two more is going to make the blow sharper? By all means, punish us with more reminders that Maciel was an extremely clever and evil con artist. You know, because being solid Catholics isn't difficult enough without a gigantic and un-asked-for and unwilling monkey on our backs. Or wait, never mind; on second thought, please, send us your reflections, because the suffering is a gift. We can always use lots more. But if you do so, you'd best also send us your prayers, because when you force your brother to lift a five ton weight, it's only loving to do everything you can to help him carry it.

    To my former brother in RC: I haven't been keeping abreast of the literature, so I won't comment, but I will say this, that it's not always blind loyalty. A good portion of it is the loyalty a remaining parent or sibling has to a broken family. And even broken families can be made whole, and bear fruit, in charity. The reason, I think, so many of the Mexican RC members are still loyal has more to do with their sense of family respect and value than some blind devotion to Maciel, except perhaps in the case of some delusional ones. And who can blame them? Their father was a servant of the Devil, and they just found this out on his deathbed.

  71. Anonymous says:

    "The priests of the Legion are as much "priests" as Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans, and diocesan priests. Yet because of the sins of their father, you would remove the children from what family is left to them."

    Their first family anyone should belong to is the family of God and the Church. The only reason the LC exists is for the Church. They should all be willing to do whatever the Lord asks …we shouldn't feel sorry for them if they are removed from the "LC family"…they came to serve the Lord and since their founder was a fraud – they might have make a change. The Pope and delegate will guide them as they have already done so well. Thanks Patrick for your analysis. I hope alot of LC/RC folks read and ponder your thoughts.

  72. Deirdre Mundy says:

    Patrick: Concerning dissolution, you said:

    If the last scenario plays out, the Legion's far-flung empire of schools, seminaries, apostolic enterprises and, most importantly of all, priestly vocations, would all have to be somehow absorbed en masse into the infrastructure of the Church.


    Is the Legion unique in its inability to be easily absorbed? For instance, if there was a Dominican melt-down, it seems like parishes and schools would just naturally meld into the diocese… that Dominican priests could easily become canons regular, and the sisters could continue to teach and live in community, but under the bishop's authority.

    Why couldn't the Legion be similiarly absorbed? And if the problem is with the formation that members derived from Maciel, is it fair to keep it open as a 'half-way house?" Aren't we then chaining the current members to Maciel's legacy?

  73. Anonymous says:

    Wall of water, Patrick said it better:

    "Some are clamoring for it simply to be razed, plowed over, and sown with salt. I doubt that will happen. Pope Benedict is benevolent and sagacious…"

  74. Lauretta says:

    "Consider, as people make such dire predictions about the Legion and call for blood…"

    I don't look at peoples' comments as calling for blood so much as calling everyone to recognize how serious this situation is. As the May 1 communique stated, Maciel had no religious sensibilities and his disorder has infected the methodology of the Legion as a whole.

    This group was started by an atheistic sociopath for his own perverse entertainment, for amassing wealth for himself, and as a cover for his bizarre behavior. As much as we must appreciate the sincerity of many of the members, this is the sad reality of the reason for the existence of the group.

    Maciel was not alone in what he did. There have been those who have traced five "generations" of sexual abuse going back to Maciel himself. This is serious. When young men are brainwashed to believe that immoral behavior is acceptable because "Nuestro Padre" assured them it was fine, the odds of it continuing on in future generations is phenomenal. Consider the fact that some state he may have abused 100 young men and think about how many sexually abused young men may have been victimized by this one group.

    There is also the fact of the wealth of this group. How did they get so much money? Are they a cover for drug activity as some have speculated? Are they a money-laundering operation for the wealthy? We don't know yet but this is much bigger than just "a man who was a sinner". I'm a sinner and I haven't had anywhere near the global effect that he has right up to affecting the credibility of the Pope and the Church.

  75. Tsunami says:

    "The more it goes, the more it seems as if the trail of destruction lying in the wake of this man's astonishing 87 years of bustling activity on this earth doesn't just diminish, but dwarfs, whatever good he may have done along the way in the greedy, grubby pursuit of his goals."

    While I would not, unlike Anonymous, accuse Patrick of impropriety in observing the evil that Fr. Maciel wrought, I do feel compelled to remind whomever might have the stomach to listen that the existence of evil, no matter how great, is, based on the very goodness of God, a prediction of how much greater the good that God will bring even from these travesties.

    Consider, as people make such dire predictions about the Legion and call for blood (and whether you couch it in terms of an Order or individual priests, to attack the Order is to attack the priests, as surely as to claim that Opus Dei has assassin monks is to cast aspersions on Opus Dei members) that the Legion, in all this, has for the most part the situation of an unwanted child that is struggling to survive an abortion. Yes, of course, there were in the very highest echelons of the Legion some few people who were "in the know", and themselves, I am sure, not complicit in Maciel's filth. But to judge the legion by them is to judge Legionnaires by the few and unrepresentative, and the ones whom I do indeed know very well have done nothing wrong.

    And amidst all this, we hear many people calling for the Order's dissolution, as though corruption even in priests is something NEW to Catholics. We MUST always remember, as Catholics, that our religion is about salvation, even that of an individual human soul; for as Thomas says, it is perfectly valid to say not only that Christ died for ALL men, but, indeed, for "me". And the Legion, like an unwanted but good-natured child, is trying to take stock of what its nefarious father has left it with, pick up the pieces, and do again what the men of the Legion became priests to DO.

    And this is the linchpin. The priests of the Legion are as much "priests" as Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans, and diocesan priests. Yet because of the sins of their father, you would remove the children from what family is left to them. And indeed, I am not too proud to say that this might be the right move; yet nevertheless, knowing as many Legion priests, before and after, as I personally do, I would plead that such a measure not be taken.

    This is not their fault, but the fault of their father, and we hope for redemption for the Legion. Not to do so is an act of despair.

  76. Anonymous says:

    There is now a new Regnum Christi Handbook. I've only skimmed it so far, but it seems apparent that the fiasco just continues on and on. They can re-package it, but it still remains shrouded in the "mystique" and the "charism" of the founder.

    As a former RC member, I am sick at heart, and I pray for my brothers and sisters who have chosen to remain. I find it hard to believe, however, that they can remain so blinded by this kind of "loyalty" after all the overwhelming evidence. Of course, most of them are from Mexico….

  77. Anonymous says:

    Here's my defense: He will come to judge the living and the dead. Let the dead bury their own dead.

  78. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Madrid, thank you! You have stated it so well. I am going to save this and send it off to both LCs and RCs. The scandal to our Church has got to stop. I believe in the sincere desire for reform among many RCs and LCs. However, I also believe it will take years of effort and Church resources, and with no guarantee the suffering and scandal will end. For the love of the salvageable vocations, for the sake of healing so much division in the Church, I pray the end will come soon.

  79. K says:

    Two words: cadaver synod.

  80. Truthisstrangerthanfiction says:

    So now Catholics shouldn't even mention the scandals being discussed in the press? For fear of spreading more scandal? Perhaps we should all just stick our heads in the sand and pretend none of it is happening. Yeah, that's the Catholic spirit!!

    Most likely, the first anonymous is a Regnum member whose famous Movement "serenity" Patrick has had the nerve to disturb with this subject.

  81. Anonymous says:

    Dear Anonymous, what is sad is the fact that you call Mr. Madrid out like this without trying to rebut what he has said. How is talking about what is out in the media universe more scandal. Give a defense or something and not just leave a lame comment like this.

  82. FR Bill Peckman says:

    I am not sure how Patrick has done either thing accused of him by anonymous. This episode is not by any means unusual in Church history, and as disheartening as it is to have a media to beat it past death as a public spectacle, the Church has survived and even thrived in such conditions. AS sad as it is to see the Legionnaires collapse, the Holy Spirit will carry the Church to carry on. But we must acknowledge what happened and learn from its errors lest we be condemned to make the same mistake again.

  83. Anonymous says:

    Actually I am just sick of people like you who call themselves Catholic and use their blog to promote more scandal and their egos. Sad.

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