Monday, May 03, 2010

The very strange case of the Legionaries of Christ


What is their charism now?
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The visitation is completed, the Vatican has spoken and apparently the Pope will assign a special delegate to direct the order along with a special commission to examine the founding documents.  NCR has the details from John Allen's column Vatican statement on Maciel, Legionaries.  Anyone interested may read about it there. 
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All I can say is that it took long enough for the Vatican and the superiors of the Legion to even admit there was a problem, and only after numerous denunciations and condemnations by the Legion and Church officials of former Legionaries, who blew the whistle on Maciel's "extremely grave and objectively immoral behavior (of Fr. Maciel), which has been confirmed by irrefutable testimony, takes the form of true crimes and demonstrates a private life without scruples or authentic religious sentiment" - Vatican statement.
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I can't imagine how such a dysfunctional congregation can even be re-formed considering how the founder was essentially a social-climbing con-artist.  Obviously aspects of the formation process had to have been flawed, encouraging secrecy amongst the members as well as isolating the community from association with mainstream clergy.  It would seem to me formation was based upon falsehood and deceit.  I believe it reasonable to assume that the dysfunction of the founder has its effect throughout the entire organization.  What is their charism now?
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When media reports upon this story they like to point out that the order was greatly admired by JPII and some of his entourage mainly because they  attracted so many vocations - as well as funding.   Aside from the order's claim of fidelity to the Magisterium, the reputation of elitism was for a long time pretty much all I ever knew about the group.
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I'm totally amazed the Legionaries still have men who want to remain.
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Photo:  Maciel in his 'CIA' persona.  Sort of latter day Rasputin.

12 comments:

  1. I have to say, as well, Terry, I'm "verklumpted"...
    How this could happen is beyond me; I guess our little "portion" here is so small that even a "whiff" of "impropriety" by any of us would immediately set off the "red warning signs"...how Maciel engineered this whole debacle is beyond me (although from reliable sources, he WAS a psychopathic personality...in other words...someone who could "fake" his way through all kinds of hoops and still come out looking good...for a time, I guess..with no real sorrow, repentance or desire to change (which all of us as sinners and in need of Divine Mercy are always subject to).
    My guess...and it's only speculation, is that Pope Benedict, even though he knows all the "dirty secrets and misdeeds" wants to give the members of LC and RC a chance to re-found; to begin again; to shake off this horrid legacy.
    And I pray they can.
    May God give them every grace and blessing.
    This is so sad.
    And for the victims of Maciel's abuse: know you are loved; we pray for you; God is so good...don't give up on Him even though you were treated in such an evil way.
    He is above all of this. He is LOVE.

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  2. The Legionary priests I know are amazing and holy. I agree there was a lot wrong in their formation as far as the rules for secrecy and what not, but there was even more RIGHT in their formation because these priests are holy and inspiring confessors and homilists and they celebrate the Mass with such sincere reverence that there is no doubt about them. They are awesome priests!

    The trick will be to identify and keep all the *right stuff* in the order's rules and formations, and identify and throw out what that the psychopath instilled in order to control his victims and keep his secrets.


    May God help these holy men with true vocations as they suffer under the load of this extremely heavy burden.

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  3. Anyone can say Mass and follow the instructions. It should be no more complicated than baking a cake or a casserole.

    I'm with you Terry.

    Pretty Masses mean precious little.

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  4. "I can't imagine how such a dysfunctional congregation can even be re-formed"

    The congregation most probably can't be re-formed, but there are thousands of priests and lay members who surely can be reformed. The ordinations and consecrations are surely valid. All things are possible with God.

    I'm surprised I have not read about the possibilities of satanic intervention here in the life of Maciel.

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  5. The NY Times has an article today on this matter.

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  6. Ray, my thoughts run the same line as your regarding the re-form of thousands of priests and lay members. I am sure this revelation is a heavy mental cross for many, but their ordination and consecrations are valid ... and they need support, encouragement and prayers. The Church needs them. Hopefully, the lessons learned from this horrific and long running charade will fully be grasped by those in authority to seriously discern the spirits for the good of the Church, her priests and laity.

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  7. This is the creepiest story I have heard since the Devils of Loudon.

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  8. I believe that my parish has at least two young men in the LC seminary....

    I wonder what will be come of them...

    Terry mentioned creepy...what always struck me about their mailings ( and I seemed to get mail from them at least once-twice a month) was that all their seminarians seemed to be VERY Handsome young men...almost like it was a requirement that you had to be a male model to be considered for entrance to their seminary...

    Sara

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  9. Maria7:42 PM

    Sara--You are too funny. Thanks for the levity. Lord, it is easy to become exhausted by all of this, isn't it?

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  10. Maria7:43 PM

    Sara--You are too funny. Thanks for the levity. Lord, it is easy to become exhausted by all of this, isn't it?

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  11. Anyone who has known LC priests and seminarians immediately recognizes a militant zeal, obedience to and love for the Holy Father, the fullness of their teaching, and the energy of their many apostolates.

    Those diocesan and religious clergy who are quick to throw stones should first explain why their novitiates and seminaries are empty.

    The hundreds of young, militant LC priests and seminarians, along with their dynamic Regnum Christi Movement, will obediently repair the flaws and damage done by their founder. That such a dynamic and powerful force in the Church has flourished, despite its compromised founder, demonstrates that LC/RC is a work of God, and not that of a man.

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  12. Thanks Daniel - very encouraging words. God bless.

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