Father Maciel scandal: A father to more than his flock?

Maciel and John Paul.jpgThe late Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, the venerated and vilified founder of the powerful conservative Catholic order, the Legionaries of Christ, may have been a father in the biological as well. At American Papist, Thomas Peters confirms rumors circulating in recent days of scandalous news coming down the pipe about a prominent Catholic.
It’s hard to see how Maciel, who died in January 2008 after being disciplined by Pope Benedict in 2006, could become more controversial. Maciel was accused of being an almost cult-like leader of the insular community he founded, and so great was his influence in Rome (he is shown here in a New York Times photo with the late John Paul II, who greatly admired Maciel) that persistent reports of his sexual abuse of seminarians were ignored. But Benedict, to his credit, allowed the victims to have their say, leading to the 2006 disgrace–which some say still amounted to no more than a slap on the wrist.
Now it turns out Maciel may have fathered at least one child, a woman now in her early 20’s, and may have illicitly used funds to support his family and a “double life.”
Some will shake their heads and say, well, he certainly got around. But if this leads the Legionaries to renounce Maciel as the “spiritual founder” who continues to guide and shape the order post-mortem, then it could be a true catharsis that could lead to an LofC that is more integrated into the Church. That certainly seems to be Benedict’s goal with the movements, and the Legionaries–he had already forced them to give up the secret, private vow Maciel had new members take.
And Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien has also put the LoC on a leash.

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posted February 3, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Our intense prayers are with all the members of the Movement at this difficult time. That said, to reform the Legion requires an entire overhaul of the methodology that 1. established MM firmly as the “perfect Legionary,” and 2. provided mechanisms by which all criticism and independent thought was banned. That’s a lot of revamping to do. Not impossible, but the Legion’s official acknowledgement of this latest step will reveal much in how it is worded. We all love the Church. Now it remains for that love to find room to prioritise Benedict over any charism, and to apologise for years of calumny against those who tried to tell this story all along.

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ed gleason

posted February 3, 2009 at 1:54 pm

The ‘old boys club’ in the Church has to learn how to ‘throw offenders under the bus’.. e.g abuse coverup…
Obama just threw Dachasle an old loyalist ‘under the bus’.. Of course this take cojones … in short supply in Rome…

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Mere Catholic

posted February 3, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Mr. Gibson, did you really need to headline this post in this manner?
If these stories are confirmed, there is at least one young woman who will be answering yes to your question. Irrespective of the sins of Father Maciel, she deserves respect, or at least something better than a tabloid-style headline from “an award-winning religion writer.”

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David Gibson

posted February 3, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Dear Mere: Point taken. The headline was too cute by half–at least–given the content. Changed it as you’ll see. Though not easy to improve a hedder on such a story.

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Looking for Truth

posted February 3, 2009 at 3:41 pm

We pray for all members of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi at this moment. As Christians, we are not the ones to judge persons or situations we don’t have all the facts about. We leave that up to Christ, and in this case, his vicar, the pope, who obviously took the actions that he saw prudent upon having all the facts. It calls to mind again that the church is a family, and a mother of souls, and therefore seeks to do the most charitable action while maintaining justice (even if it was surprisingly-and perhaps reasonably-long in getting to the justice part!) . It is a relief to know he’s finally been exposed so the deceit can go on no longer. But it’s also a relief to know that despite the founder’s possible grievances, the congregation and movement as a whole is fully approved and even beloved by the Church…so I for one won’t be punishing the children for the sins of the father by criticizing them. In fact, knowing all the good they do for souls, the growing holiness and integrity of LofC/RC members, and the spiritual richness Maciel has bequeathed (who knows how this worked out, but he was God’s instrument), it’s almost hopeful that if God could still bring about all that despite his atrocities, then hopefully God will be able to do as much good through us ordinary folk…hopefully without the gravity of sin…though “he who is without sin may cast the first stone”…

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Denis Miller

posted February 3, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Where is the proof…and What does the Pope say about this….I Believe whatever the pope says even though it is incredibly hard to even imagine this being true…
I love the legions retreats and will never doubt the legions orthodoxy and morals…

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Charles Cosimano

posted February 3, 2009 at 5:37 pm

It is hard to avoid asking if there was an altar boy shortage at the time.

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mike Ference

posted February 3, 2009 at 6:07 pm

War Tactics Should Be Applied to Abusers and to Those Who Offered Protection
By Mike Ference
Every day brings new evidence that we no longer live in a civilized and principled society. The worst part, it usually concerns another case of sexual misconduct involving a Catholic priest, young children and a church hierarchy that helped to cover up the case.
The recently unveiled federal grand jury investigation into the Los Angeles Archdiocese and it’s leader, Cardinal Mahony clearly suggests that a regime change should have been made long ago.
To be sure, media pressure and public outrage and a billion dollars in pr fees, legal fees and settlements have inspired displays of contrition from Mahony But as more and more cases of abuse — and cover-up — come to light, one begins to wonder whether Mahony should be considered any more trustworthy than, say, Saddam Hussein.
So — what should be done if the grand jury finds Mahony to be just another member of the hierarchy more concerned with protecting dysfunctional sex freaks than innocent children? Given the level of wreckage and anguish caused in the lives of so many people, it seems appropriate to look to the war on terror for a model strategy.
A first prong of attack might involve a Special Forces unit made up of highly skilled and trained military personnel capable of tracking down and obtaining confessions from any current or former priests accused of acts of sexual abuse against children. If rights are violated, if military personnel sometimes go a little too far, so be it. The Catholic Church had ample opportunity to fess up and repent. Those incapable of civilized behavior shouldn’t expect the rights and privileges of civilization.
A deck of cards can be created to help identify hard-to-find priests as well as the disgraceful church leaders who permitted, and in essence, condoned the sexual abuse of young children. Photos of the most deviant and reprehensible church officials accompanied by a list of their offenses will encourage us all to do our patriotic duty in helping the authorities track down suspected priest-terrorists or at least be able to identify the culprits as they come and go freely because their sins where covered up and the time to criminally prosecute has expired.
Another option would be to divide the nation into territories. A color-code warning system would be established, alerting parents about abusive priests being transferred into their respective regions. Depending on the designated color for a particular region, parents would know whether their children should serve at Mass, go on field trips, or even attend Catholic school that day.
To aid this unique war on terror, a pool of money should be collected, not involuntarily from taxpayers, but voluntarily from those decent human beings who believe crimes committed against our children are sins that God takes very seriously. Some of the funds raised could then be turned into outrageously tempting reward sums for information leading to the capture of our targeted criminals. Once the rogue clerics have been imprisoned and forced to talk, I recommend that their confessions be given to someone like Steven Spielberg or George Romero. Hollywood writers and producers could create a blockbuster movie like Roots or Schindler’s List to serve as a bitter reminder that these crimes should never again be permitted to occur. Tom Savini could be hired to recreate the horror on the faces of child actors chosen to play parts.
Proceeds from the movie could go to victims of abuse and their families. And no matter how old the crime, compensation would be available. There should be no statute of limitations when the rights of children have been violated by those who lived much of their adult lives perched on a pedestal heightened by the trust of innocent and vulnerable believers. In fact, I would extend compensation to the second and perhaps even third generation of sufferers. It would certainly include siblings denied the experience of growing up with a brother or sister untraumatized by such abuse. And since crimes of abuse tend to echo, it would extend to the victims of the victims as well.
If all else fails, is it any less rational to declare war on the Catholic Church as part of a war on child abuse than it was to declare war on Iraq (which had nothing to do with 9/11 or Al-Qaeda and apparently had no weapons of mass destruction) as part of a war on terror? How many innocent children have been verifiably lost to this menace — and how many more will be lost if we don’t make a preemptive strike?
As horrific as sexual abuse by priests may be, the perpetrators might merit a more forgiving place if only their superiors had the courage to do the right thing. For a few, counseling and close supervision might have been enough to prevent future abuses. Others clearly required something more intensive — a mental hospital or a prison.
But repeated abuse, as well as willfully hiding the crimes and the criminals — as far as I can see, this brings us much closer to the realm of mortal sin. And the sinners include not just the church hierarchy, but also attorneys who ill-advised parents not to buck the system and take on the Catholic Church, or may even have provided inside information to thwart legitimate cases against the church, law enforcement officials who may have thought it best to warn church officials of pending investigations, and janitors, housekeepers, teachers, and employees of the Catholic Church who kept silent because of concerns about a paycheck, a 401K, a pension, or a fear of standing up to church authorities. God has a place for everyone — and if you abuse children or protect the abusers of children, we can only hope that your place is called hell.

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Barbara Dorris

posted February 3, 2009 at 6:11 pm

We are glad that the truth is finally emerging about Maciel and this secretive, trouble organization. We hope that anyone who has been hurt will seek help and begin to heal from thee horrific crimes.
Barbara Dorris
Outreach Director
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

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posted February 3, 2009 at 6:27 pm

Marcial Maciel Degollado seems to have been a real live ecclesiastical reincarnation of The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker.

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posted February 3, 2009 at 8:20 pm

This is all very sad. I can not imagine how a Legionary Priest feels at this time. I imagine they feel betrayed and disappointed. However, it does not change the fact that there are really good Legionary Priests who have done so much good for the church and for society. It also does not change the fact, that the Holy Spirit can work through and do wonderful things for souls despite the sinfulness of the instrument he chooses to use. I am so disappointed in Fr Maciel and his actions and we must pray for all those who are deeply affected tonight.

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dan mcnevin

posted February 3, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Fraud and Double Fraud. The whole movement is founded on lies.

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posted February 3, 2009 at 11:08 pm

Though it is sad to hear this news. Remember always that this congregation the Legionaries of Christ and the Reignum Christi movement were founded by Christ through Father Maciel. The movement is Christ centered not Fr. Maciel centered; the movement was built for the church to serve the church; the movemnet is and always will be for Christ. And so I pray that the members are not shaken by the news because their vocation does not depend on nor did it come from a human being, but rather Christ.

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posted February 3, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Last night, as many of you are learning this morning, some very sad news about Fr. Marcial Maciel’s duplicitous actions began seeping into the mainstream. While a significant number of people knew ahead of time that this was coming down, no specifics were disclosed publicly until yesterday, and more details will come tumbling out soon in the mainstream press.
Predictably, the range of reactions to this bad news spans the gamut from outrage and stunned incredulity to something approaching despair to blasé “I-told-you-so” unconcern.
Regardless of how you react to this unfolding tragedy, be sure you look at it in perspective. Judging from what I’ve seen in the blogosphere in the past few days, it appears that some people just don’t seem to understand what this deplorable situation really entails and what ramifications may arise from it.
Some have prattled on about how this really isn’t bad news. It was long expected and now that it’s been proven and publicized, and the temptation to lounge smugly in the worldly-wise posture of “I-told-you-so” may be something too difficult for some to avoid. But we should avoid it, because this story is bigger than just the sum of the embarrassing details of this man’s sexual (and other) sins. Let’s keep in mind a few points.
First, this is indeed very bad news — the worst possible kind — for the tens of thousands of good and faithful Catholics in the Legionaries of Christ religious order and its lay-affiliate, the Regnum Christi Movement — the vast majority of whom have, over the years, steadfastly refused to believe any accusation against Fr. Maciel, however plausible and vehemently attested to by those who claim to have been witnesses. Now, these faithful and dedicated Legionary priests and seminarians (there are thousands of them, don’t forget) and the tens of thousands of good-hearted Regnum Christi folk are realizing that they have been duped. They are faced with the stunning, crushing, irrefutable evidence that their trust in this man was in vain, their unshakable faith in his goodness and innocence has finally been shaken to pieces. The gleaming giant of holiness they had admired for so long has been shown to have feet of clay (Daniel 2:31-32).
Yes, many of Fr. Maciel’s ardent followers have been naive in their refusal to consider that there may have been some truth to at least some of the myriad of accusations that mounted against him, but I believe theirs was a naiveté born of sincerity and love for Christ and the Church. This sincere love attached itself firmly (and now we know, undeservedly) to a man who, at least by outward appearances, merited their trust. If nothing else, this sordid saga proves the truth of Scripture’s reminder: “Put not your trust in princes, in man in whom there is no salvation. When his spirit departs, he returns to his earth, and on that day his plans perish” (Psalm 146:3).
Second, it is true, as some are saying, that, while painful, this bad news is actually a good thing, at least insofar as it entails light shining in a dark place.
This may be exactly the necessary impetus — albeit a horrible one — that will lead to a purification and renewal of an organization that could do great good for souls in ways that go way beyond what many critics say was merely good work that had serving the Legion as its ulterior motive. I make no judgment personally on that criticism, as to whether it is legitimate or not, but regardless, this new chapter in the Legionary saga can become the starting point for a very good thing in the Church. It may in fact be a bitter harbinger of a sweet and long-hoped-for outcome: a Legion of Christ that becomes free from the controversies and complaints that have dogged it for decades, a religious order that is seen by others to be truly at the service of the Church as a whole and not, as many of its critics allege, merely at the service of itself. It could be that, by God’s grace and the prudent courage and honesty of the group’s leadership, there can be a good outcome — possibly a spectacularly good one. There may be a viable effort to undertake a thorough reform and reconstitution of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, although there remain nagging reasons to wonder if that will really happen. It’s too early to know. But we should be praying now for that to happen, if it be God’s will. Time will tell.
One thing is for sure, though. If the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi movement are going to emerge from this crucible in one piece and remain in existence for the long haul, they cannot lapse into robot mode, they cannot don a happy-face mask and attempt to deny that this is a very serious problem for them. At this precise juncture, denial and dismissal of the clear and present danger that this situation poses to the Legion, will, I believe, sooner or later, prove fatal to its efforts at sustaining itself.
Again, we must keep this unfolding situation clearly in perspective and not sucumb to the various myopic temptations that beckon: at one end, to shrug and simply ignore it as a non-issue, and at the other end, to join in a gleeful feeding-frenzy of morose delectation. Already, on the blogs, one can see people falling into both camps.
Third, let’s be realistic. No matter what some of the Internet pundits and commenteers may be saying, THIS IS BAD NEWS. To call it anything else is to badly misunderstand the import of what’s taking place here. These salacious revelations (please God, may there be no more of them) have caused and will continue to cause serious damage, not only to the shell-shocked members of this group (many of whom have spent years in dogged defense of the holiness of Fr. Maciel and who now feel the sharp knife of betrayal and fraud sever the bonds of trust they once had in this man), but to the Catholic Church in general.
Watch and see. You’ll soon notice certain people trying to use this scandal to malign Pope John Paul II (a long-time supporter of Fr. Maciel and the Legion), in a way similar to how some are right now attempting to exploit the recent SSPX Bishop Williamson Holocaust-debacle against Pope Benedict XVI.
As I’ve been saying all along on my blog, what we need to do is pray earnestly for all the people involved in this mess. They need our prayers, now more than ever. Pray for the soul of Fr. Maciel. Pray for the Catholic Church and also for those outside the Church who will be swayed or disoriented by this scandal, many of them seeing in it confirmation of their worst suspicions about Catholics and Catholicism. And let’s not omit to pray for ourselves, that we might not fall from our own fidelity to Christ, however firm or tenuous it might be.
Now is a good time to contemplate the famous maxim that “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” If nothing else, these revelations about Fr. Maciel should serve as a cautionary tale to hammer that point home for each one of us.
Finally, it’s worth repeating: Don’t lose your sense of perspective. Don’t think that this bad news isn’t bad news. Let’s call it what it is and avoid the temptation to slap a happy-face sticker on it.

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posted February 4, 2009 at 1:53 am

Am exLC directory, neutral meeting ground, networking and contact group for former members may be found here:
Hundreds have already joined. Contact old friends.

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posted February 4, 2009 at 6:30 am

I get it now – “sex for me but not for thee unless it’s sex with me”.
LC/RC is one of the most anti-sex RCC Inc groups out there (along with Opus Dei and the Blue Army), yet the leader is allowed sex with boys and young men and no one says anything and calls the survivors of his abuse liars and money-grubbers, yet he has sex with a *woman* and suddenly he’s evil? Hypocrisy! Yeah, I guess sex with women is the worst thing a man can do unless it’s in the service of producing more children to pimp to RCC Inc.
I hope Maciel’s child/ren all become Satanists and have normal sex lives. We all need RCC Inc off our backs and away from our children – this proves that RCC Inc has a pathological attitude toward normal and loving sexual relationships and that it’s all about sexual exploitation, repression, and control.

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posted February 4, 2009 at 9:04 am

I don’t think TW and others understand that LC and RC cannot be reformed — or “purified” or “renewed”. The organization is corrupt. The fact that good has come out of the organization in the form of service and devotion on the part of the members is a testimony to the organization’s connection to the Catholic Church and not to anything intrinsic to the organization.
It is not an accident that all this bad stuff has come to light over many years — about Maciel and about the organization in general — secrecy, coercion, placing recruitment and fundraising above all other concerns, among other things.
“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Mt 11:15
It seems that the only logical course of action would be suppression of the organization. The former members of the organization should then seek guidance from their pastors (of the church they attend — not LC) about what course to follow in their spiritual lives.
The LC priests should seek guidance from their diocesan bishops or the bishops to whom the Church directs them.
The employees of the organization — and there are very, very many — will have to look for other jobs.

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posted February 4, 2009 at 10:43 am

What are you talking about, this is not sad news it is good news. The only sad thing is that no one believed the confessions of all the men that Maciel abused before, and now, they believe he had a child and all of the sudden everybody realize he had a double life?
I guess they chose to believe the minor of the evils, so it wouldn’t be so traumatic for the Catholic Church.
IMO the order’s destiny is to disappear, how can one possible stand being part of an order based on lies.

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posted February 4, 2009 at 2:49 pm

I disagree ainos and believe it is sad news. Make the order disappear. How could one even think that would be a solution. What is very very sad is that people will judge RC and LC’s because of the actionn of one man. Let us remember he is just a man. He is like you and I and has all of the temptations that you and I have. He sadly to say fell. Should he have come forward and remove himself and admit with humility what he did. Absolutely, however he did not. Why, we don’t know and it is not our place to judge. What needs to happen is the Legion to come clean on everything. They should investigate and release the report so that we know. But to abolish an institution that belongs to the Church and does great work for you and I. I think not. Do you not have pity on the men and women of the Legion who have given their life to Christ. Remember, they did not give their life to Fr Maciel. They dedicated their life to Christ. Let those who wish to continue go on and live holy good lives. Remember I am RC, and I am struggling a lot with this news. But, I know that by the grace of God there go I and I hope my fidelity is never tested. I hope I can pass and I hope you can too.

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Vince Reardon

posted February 5, 2009 at 10:20 am

And believers wonder why we former believers (and now unbelievers) are cynical of organized religion. Religion is the largest and most successful scam ever perpetuated in human history. Paul Tillich said it best, “All institutions are demonic.”

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posted February 5, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Where is the girl? Why doesn’t she appear? I think that this is only a bad note with the intention of ruining the Legionaires of Christ.. Besides that, Marcial Maciel is not equal to the Legionaires of Christ, he is only the founder.. so, what is the problem?
This note makes me believe and thank even more the education and values that I received from the Legionaires. I studied 12 years in their schools, my best friends are from Legionaire schools, I KNOW what are the reality…
People only like to talk and judge, as if they were God. Those people that judge the other people should go to hell. Maciel’s sins can only be judged by God. You hypocrites…

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posted February 5, 2009 at 7:08 pm

MR… there’s a difference between a sinner who sins out of weakness, and one who premeditates the sin. The degree of complicity is vastly different and by nature, creates an increasingly intense dynamic that begs to be propagated. What makes you think it STOPPED with Fr. Maciel? Honestly?
He didn’t just “sin” against individuals by falling into a weakness, he deliberately planned his sins, then executed them, then sought to cover it up, then actively and openly proclaimed himself to be innocent of all charges, thus putting the entire weight of the sin no the victim. For years. And years. All the while, continuing to perpetrate fraud (I won’t go into the other allegations, but keep it simple for now). On top of that, in order to cover up those sins, he directly made others complicit in his actions. Which then became “their” actions. It’s a Domino effect that never works in isolation. You know that, right?
In legal terms, it’s the difference between manslaughter and organized serial premeditated murders. They have very, very, very different punishments. Punishments which (at least should be) directly related to the degree of gravity and complicity.
Yes, God is merciful. But that doesn’t mean He is not also just. Have you forgotten about His justice?? It’s not just about Fr. Maciel. If it were an issue of him sinning on a minor level, then experiencing true repentance, I highly doubt he would’ve continued to hold himself up as a respected dignitary who was a gift and grace to the church. A truly repentant sinner would’ve excused himself from such an elevated position. I know of people who have been in positions of authority, who have made mistakes, and paid for it by sacrificing their respective offices. I have great respect for those individuals.
Fr. Macial did none of the above. How in the world can you continue to preach “He who is without sin, cast the first stone”?? You obviously don’t understand its’ relationship to this situation, for if you truly did… you would be apologizing and not stop apologizing. You would listen, and hear and understand the grievances for what they are, and would humbly accept that the ONLY answer to this is complete and total public abnegation by anyone who is publicly connected with the L.C. This is not the time to point fingers at those who are angry. This is a time to accept the repurcussions of everything this entails. Period.

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David Lorenz

posted February 7, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Israel – You condemn everyone for judging Maciel and then condemn them all to hell. Who is doing the judging and who is being the hypocrite?

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posted February 8, 2009 at 2:37 pm

I have to admit that the whole story about Fr. Macial is extremely disturbing and I have also found many people sharing this feeling. The scandal even shook my personal esteem of the late John Paul II for a moment, because it seems inexplicable that he supposedly resisted taking any action when presumably learning about the complaints officially filed against Fr. Macial. I also started asking myself how many more conspicuously excellent personalities and founders of organizations of the Church lead a double life. It is a tremendous blow to anybody’s faith and can shake the foundations of the entire Church.
However, I believe that we cannot and should not judge the Church by any of its individual members, but by what it represents — Christ Himself. Nor can we judge people no longer alive, because they cannot defend themselves. However, this opinion does not imply tolerating situations exposed over the last 20-40 years with men and women, still alive, and who sexually have molested and keep abusing subordinates and the young. Worldly justice considers molestation a punishable act, so why do we make a distinction when dealing with religious representatives, never mind their status within any church or religious congregation? President Clinton was brought to public attention for a sex-scandal, and although nothing happened because no adolescents were involved, the public did condemn him for lying. Why, then, can a priest or a bishop not be exposed, while still alive, for a CRIMINAL act when young boys are involved as victims of nefarious activities? A man is innocent until proven the contrary and has the right to defend himself in a court of law, so why do we exempt high-ranking religious personalities from this obligation and right?
The more we try to hide things, the worse they become, and it is, after all, only a question of time before the truth is brought to public scrutiny and judgment. Because a court of law judges and punishes a leader for a crime, it does not mean that the organization, country, race, or idea he represents or belongs to is wrong or condemnable. Because President Nixon was obliged to leave office, it did not indicate that The United States is a corrupt nation. On the contrary, once the truth is revealed and the public has overcome the initial shockwave, the organizations surge stronger than ever.
We must now overcome the first shockwave. Let us rather investigate those still alive who covered up and keep covering up the offensive acts and objectionable moral vows imposed by Fr. Macial during his lifetime, because accomplices can and should be legally made responsible for their leaders’ crimes. Who are the people that managed to profit with their silence either by growing in position and power or even economically benefited from their counterfeit and convenient loyalty? Silence approves. We cannot keep silent facing injustice, but let us judge the living, here and now.
Exposing unnecessarily people’s faults once they have passed away will not undo the mistakes and remedy their crimes. Let us rather build a better future by constructing on acts and ideas that have proven to be positive, eliminating the negative sides and by continuing widening and expanding the admirable results that Fr. Macial’s ideas and organization have accomplished. God Our Lord and All Knowledgeable Judge will take care of the details and the acts of each soul He calls to His Divine Justice. However, let us not confuse tolerance with libertine, respect with cowardice, and religious posture with hypocrisy amongst the living.
“By their fruits ye shall know them.” I am convinced that the order of the the Legionaries of Christ has proven to be a tree that has given and is giving good fruit. Let us cut the branches that have dried — not the tree itself.

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posted February 8, 2009 at 10:26 pm

What Fr. Maciel did was inexcusable. We must pray for those faithful Legionaires who are suffering because of their founder’s actions. We must remember that we are all members of the Body of Christ, the Church. What one member does affects all it’s members. Therefore, let us pray for each other. Our Lord was also speaking to us when He said, “Ye who is without sin cast the first stone.”

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posted February 9, 2009 at 10:43 am

Fr. Maciel always struck me as a transparent fraud, and the fact that he was able to fool Pope John Paul II gave me misgivings about the pope.
Why was the pope so fooled by this horrible man?

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posted February 11, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Maciels actions are inexcusable! Totally and utterly unacceptable for a founder of a religious order.
To the Legion I say:
1. Recognize all Maciel’s victims and approch them personally in the spirit of forgiveness and reparation. General admissions and apologies don’t cut it.
2. Reform your order and movement! There are many good people in the LC/RC but Maciel couldn’t have gotten away with these crimes for so long without having had help on the inside, therefore route out the other guilty parties. Route out the other abusive priests.
3. Re-found the order without Maciel.
4. Abandon the teachings and writings of Maciel.
We don’t need a patron saint of fraud and abuse!
Pax et Bonum!

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posted February 12, 2009 at 11:51 am

I think we need to pray for the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi. I am a sinner. Lord have mercy on me. We leave the judgement to Christ.

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posted February 12, 2009 at 1:11 pm

I was associated w/ the Legion for 10 years and an active member of Regum Christi for 6 years. While attending the St. Louis Youth and Family Encounter in 1997, I experienced the personality-cult behavior
of members towards Fr. Maciel for the first time. I found it troubling and excessive. But I continued on for several years, encountering and witnessing many troubling issues as I went. To be brief, I’ll only discuss the last incident here. It all came to a breaking point when the local Legionary Priest, and my spirtual advisory, requested that I send my junior high school boys off to an expensive Legion boarding school in Chicago, far away from home. He insisted, he demanded, he would not stop – no matter how carefuly and politely I told him the issue was closed. Why?? Because the Legion wanted my children and they wanted my money directed towards exorbitant tuition – with a profit for them.
The errors within the Legion run from top to bottom. The relentless persuit of money and high profile members of society. Dividing husbands and wives w/ secrecy requirements: “Don’t tell your wife about this discussion … ” Pulling children away from parental control and influence. Pulling Catholics away from their local parish.
Questionable accounting practices, large blocks of money moving on and off the books without explanation.
I’ll stop here by saying the lay members are kind and devoted to their faith. The Legion spirituality, the Legion Mass, it’s beautiful. I pray the errors can be rooted out, and the beautiful spirituality that first attracted me can go on to thrive.

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posted February 14, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Isaac, Anabela, and Paul – you are all right in your conclusions.

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posted February 15, 2009 at 8:35 pm

A man has fallen from grace. There is nothing in our human history to indicate that this should be a surprise. It is simply more of a reason to prepare ourselves in spiritual battle. That said, anyone familiar with Regnum Christi members has nothing but admiration for them. The Legionary Priests are true theologians, and spiritually enlightened, beyond any norms.
Regnum Christi is dedicated to service and evangelization. Their leader is obviously Christ. Regnum Christi members inspired me through their example and provided programs in our parish to grow in Christ. That was the first time I had ever read the Catechism. It was the first time I had ever read the Pope’s teachings. It was the first time I understood the facts that support our traditions, sacraments, and doctrine. They ministered to me and I fell in love with my church and learned to put Him first.
Europe has fallen out of love for the church, and simply fallen. Latin America is turning to other faiths and turning away. In the US, few Catholics can defend their faith against those that make false accusations. Too many “practicing Catholics” don’t know, or follow doctrine. Regnum Christi programs are needed now more than ever.
The premise that one man’s failings discredit an entire community is silly. It is deception that leads people to believe that “man” must be perfect to love God, or that God only loves and works through perfect people.
God doesn’t want us to suffer the consequences of sin. Sin always hurts us and others. Calumny is certainly another big one on that list of regrettable human actions.

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posted February 18, 2009 at 3:40 pm

It’s precisely because the Legion based itself so heavily upon the personal life and writings of Fr. Maciel that this is a crisis. “Nuestro Padre!! Nuestro Padre!!!” And now we learn Fr. Maciel’s life was a shame and his personnal writings are fabrications created by others. Fr. Maciel scandalized the Church with fraud, rape, and pederasty.
Calumny and detraction, yes I studied those in depth with the Legion as well. But there’s a clear lesson for today’s Catholic, it’s clear to anyone who followed the sex abuse cover-up, the only way to keep our Church holy is to expose evil in public. Shine the light of truth on those who wish to hide within the church and do evil.

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posted April 14, 2009 at 10:46 pm

I have been a Regnum Christi member for about 15 years now and have worked in houses of formation, have visited Rome and have gotten to personally know at least a dozen or more Legionary priests. I can only say that they call themselves the Legionaries of Christ for a reason. It’s Christ who is their focus, their one love. When I see Legionary priests at work, I see them working themselves to the bone for other souls, spending themselves till they have not one ounce of energy left. If that is what makes them a cult, then so be it, let them be a cult! Mother Teresa’s order and all the nuns in it grew excited when Mother Teresa came around. Of course members love their founder! And why not? So many lives changed, so many souls helped and all because of one person who was an instrument for good. Do you think many new Christians became disillusioned when they found out that Judas was a thief and eventually hung himself? If so, they may not have had the faith in the first place. I still love the Legionaries. And even more, I love Christ, my Lord and my God who is so merciful and full of kindness. For those of you who cannot see how Christ could be forgiving towards Father Maciel and want to secretly see the downfall of this good order which has been approved by the Church, I invite you to read the diary of Sister Fautina, where you ( as I myself am learning more and more as I am currently reading it ) will learn of the Merciful and Loving Heart of our dear Lord.

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posted May 20, 2009 at 11:39 pm

My children went to a Legionarios de Cristo here in Mexico. I thought that it was a good choice when they started but began to see how the ” consagradas” were totally brainwashed – we were not allowed to speak to the teachers, you needed to only speak with the director and the teacher sat quietly listening. They were after money all the time and did target those children that were high acheiver to recruit them as consagradas in the church. One of the girls in my daughters class was literally held and not allowed to talk to her parents. Her parents went to south america to be able to meet with her and were only allowed to see her for 1 hr. She was 18 years old. It is a verY WIERD cult. They did very little if anything to help in the community we lived in. When I mentioned to the other mothers the news that Padre Maciel had been accused of abusing some young boys in Mexico City they looked at me like I had blasphemied and told me that the devil was inventing those things to test the church….right….the truth will set you free…

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posted June 5, 2009 at 6:21 am

i need address john pop father of christian

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posted July 28, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Walker, said.
Jane and other RC members.
It is really sad to see somebody like Maciel in disgrace. Someone who was presented to us as a real holy man. A disgrace like this reveals the enormous amount of cover-up from people like Fr. Arumi, Duenas, A.Torres and so many other legionaries from the first generation; not to mention bishops, cardinals, and… Sad as it sounds, maybe from JPII.
It took me five years -after leaving the Legion- to begin questioning his life and began to read, to ask about him. He deceived the whole world. He made others believe what he wanted them to believe. Master in how to manipulate minds, in how to reach important people; people of money, people of power, and to make all of them believe of him what he wanted. In short he was a master of fraud, a master of deception that some times brings to us the life and image of that man from Russia, the diabolic Rasputin.

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