Magister: Legionaries continue to be held hostage by leadership

I followed the Legionaries of Christ scandal intensely until the announcement was made that an official Vatican visitation had been called. This is the most significant update I have seen in several months. Sandro Magister argues – as I feared – that the attempts by the Legion to embrace reform are being impeded by the Maciel-loyal leadership.

These men were appointed by the disgraced founder of the order – Marcial Maciel – and are refusing to relinquish their power even as it becomes more evident that they knew about and covered up Maciel’s egregious sins. Magister reproduces a letter from Cardinal-designate Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, who has been appointed by Pope Benedict to salvage what remains of the Legionaries of Christ:

[Archbishop] De Paolis dedicates numerous passages and one entire paragraph of the letter to the need for superiors to change the way in which they act. For the first time in an official Church document, he states in black and white the thesis according to which “the current superiors could not have been unaware of the offenses of the founder,” and so “by remaining silent about them, they would have been lying.” He does not endorse this thesis, but he also does not rule it out. In conjecturing that their knowledge of the outrages of the founder would have come about “late and gradually,” he does not say how or when. And in effect it is now common opinion, even among the Vatican authorities, that Garza and the other ultra-faithful of Maciel knew of and covered up his double life as early as the early 1990’s, long before his denunciation in 2006 and his death in 2008. [Continue reading…]

As I wrote when I first began commenting upon and exposing this scandal, only a firm recourse to the truth will save the Legion now. For the best good of the order, those who directly served under Maciel ought to step aside immediately and relinquish all control of it. By continuing to lead it, they only compound the hurt caused by Maciel’s offenses.

For those of you interested in this topic, I urge you to read Magister’s entire column and Archbishop De Paolis’ letter to the Legion leadership.



26 thoughts on “Magister: Legionaries continue to be held hostage by leadership

  1. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of Life After RC – check this out….

    [J]ust in from the Spanish language Blog El Trastevere (Source: Ex Tipazo)… One of the pillars of legion in Spain, a major superior and head of the legion school in Madrid, Fr. Santiago Oriol, has publicly announced he is leaving the legion. As some of you might recall, the Oriol family is one of the wealthiest families in Spain, they come from nobility. There are at least 4 Oriol brothers who are (or were) legionaries. Santiago is the oldest and most influential of all. His brother Alfonso, also a legionary, was at the meeting and supported his decision. Most of the Fr. Santiago’s community which he heads is following and leaving, too. He has invited the school’s parents to reconsider pulling their children out of the school, and said he “doesn’t know, love, or trust the legion anymore.” A few years ago, the legion tried to force the Oriol brothers (and a 3gf) to surrender to the legion, right then and there, their inheritance. The youngest Oriol legionary wouldn’t allow it and Nuestro Fraude himself made his life impossible. From another source I learned that Luis Garza had used the Oriol inheritance money, along with his own and his 3gf’s inheritance money, to fund the legion’s growth, promising them higher returns on their investment.

    One of the Oriol legionaries, by sheer coincidence, once discovered Nuestro Fraude with one of his “families.” This priest immediately confronted Nuestro Fraude and went to his superiors. He was hushed, of course, and ordered to say nothing. This was the beginning of the Oriol family’s disenchantment with legion. Now, as these pillars of legion/regnum start abandoning ship, things will begin to unravel more quickly. At least for Spain, this is HUGE. Without the Oriol family, there would be no legion/regnum in Spain.

    Rebecca – we do not care about Maciel’s lies – he is dead. It is the lies that continue that hurt all of us and our Church. That is why people will not stop shouting from the rooftops until truth and justice prevail.

  2. Johnny says:

    I was involved with RC/LC for 12 years. I saw how the Legion stroked everyone’s vanity and their drive to push numbers for their apostolates all in the name of God. I have a family member who was abused while in LC and my son has left the Church in response to his experience in RC. They have lived in denial through all of the accusations and have continually put a positive spin on every negative thing that comes to light. Its members cannot stop defending this group even after they have been proven wrong time and time again. The Legion will be dissolved and they will still be defending it. Some people just cannot see the writing on the wall. This thing is dead

  3. Robert Badger says:

    I have been watching this whole drama unfold for some time now. It took me a long time to accept that Fr Maciel did the things he was accused of doing. In 2006, when I saw that he was removed, I knew that there was truth behind the accusations.

    I know from our history that many founders of religious institutes endured great calumnies and great opposition. I had hoped that Fr Maciel and his Legionaries would be in that category, but now we know that this is not entirely true.

    I was not raised Catholic. I was a raised a Mormon. As a former Mormon, I was taught to venerate the person of Joseph Smith, founder of the religion almost as much as God himself. We even sang hymns in praise of the man. When I learned of his past, it was as if my whole world fell apart. He was a polygamous, something I didn’t know. Not only that, he married the women of other husbands and in some cases, very young girls. Additionally, he had a troubling past as a village scryer using seer stones to look for buried treasure. When I learned the truth, I knew I had no business remaining within Mormonism.

    I am sure that many Legionaries are undergoing similar traumatic experiences. My heart goes out to them. I honestly feel badly for them, at least the rank and file members. But when it comes to the Garzas, the Corcueras, and so forth, it is much harder for me to generate much sympathy. From my past as a former Mormon, part of me wants to see this whole nasty mess canonically suppressed once and for all with vindictive penalties imposed on all the evildoers. But I’m afraid it isn’t going to be that easy.

    Cardinal-designate De Paolis needs our prayers and support. That job has to be utterly awful. May all the saints and angels come to his aid! He’s going to need it, I’m afraid.

  4. Polish Pilgrim says:

    You express your pain very openly and honestly. I hear you. If this will help, I think that many of the comments on Tom Peter’s and especially Life-After-RC’s blogsite are from ex-members who are venting and doing some mental processing. So you see a variety of responses. I can see how this leads you to think that a “broad brush stroke” is being applied t the Legion, but really, it’s mostly people trying to come to grips with something very painful to them. Many include qualifiers in their posts such as “99.2-percent of the people I met in RC/LC were good, holy people like myself.” Maciel’s crimes and sins extended far beyond what he did to his own life and effected thousands of people in regards to proper discernment to religioous life, splitting apart of families, manipulation of souls (“you were meant for RC since conception” as an example) and financial coercion. That’s a lot to sort out and many members are tyring to come to grips with all this in their postings.

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