Rod Dreher

Over the weekend, Pope Benedict moved to take over the Legionaries of Christ, still reeling from revelations that its hero-worshiped founder, the late Fr. Marcial Maciel, was a drug-abusing, child-molesting bigamist. Some praised the Vatican for moving so strongly against the Legion, the healthy parts of which Rome will now attempt to salvage. Genevieve Kineke, a former member of the LC lay movement Regnum Christi and a longtime strong critic of Rome’s marshmallowy treatment of Maciel, was upbeat. Excerpt:

No matter how much diplomatic language was used to soften the blow, this was a shattering move. … As for complicity [in protecting Maciel] in the hierarchy, this serves as a warning shot across the bow. The truth will out itself eventually and the flock will find safe pastures. Inside the curia, believe me THEY KNOW: who was co-opted by MM, who supported the Legion after the reality was made obvious, and who was maligned for the sake of the truth. They are not in the habit of airing such laundry (for whatever reason, virtuous or non) but the cleaning of the Augean stables is in process.
This was a heroic effort in a short amount of time and it’s not over. The third point, then, is entirely valid, but will be dealt with elsewhere. The important thing is that the siphoning of good will and authentic vocations will stop and that the Pope has put paid to the parallel church.

Others think Rome didn’t go far enough:

But Jose Barba, one of the men who filed the canon law case against Maciel, expressed disappointment that there was no apparent attempt to investigate complicity in the church beyond Maciel and the Legionaries.
“What about the system of protection that permitted this to happen in a church with hundreds of years of wisdom?” he said. “It seems like everything has been resolved but we have questions. Who is going to investigate the church? There were also accomplices within the church.”
While remarkable, the Vatican statement made no mention of any complicity on the part of the Legionaries’ leadership or of Vatican officials who had held up Maciel as a model for the faithful. Recent reports in the U.S. Catholic publication National Catholic Reporter have documented how the late pope’s secretary and No. 2 allegedly intervened to protect Maciel and accepted donations from him.

If you haven’t read Jason Berry’s report from last month on how Maciel spread the money around the Vatican, go now and do it. Tellingly, Card. Ratzinger refused to take Maciel’s cash. It cannot be said often enough that when John Paul entered his final stage of illness, Card. Ratzinger opened an investigation of Maciel and the LCs. There were men in the Vatican protecting Maciel, but Joseph Ratzinger wasn’t one of them. But it is he who has to clean up John Paul’s mess.

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