[Below is a testimony submitted to this site. It speaks for itself.]
During my six years in Regnum Christi, I heard it over and over. And yes, I admit, I said it myself: "My experience has been so good!"
I went in with my eyes wide open. I read the Regain and Legionary Facts sites. I kept up on the news from multiple online sources. I boldly proclaimed that I was unsure on the question of whether Father Maciel was guilty of any wrongdoing. I assumed that those who spoke of ill treatment, duplicity and using people for the kingdom had just encountered some bad apples in a great organization. It had to be, because my experience was so good.
And it wasn't just good for me. It was good for my family. My kids were getting amazing formation in Challenge and Conquest and ever encouraged to consider vocations. We got a lot of attention when my daughter signed up to attend a summer program for girls interested in consecrated life. And when she decided not to go, I didn't think twice about it.
But things changed for her. Her spiritual director made it clear that she thought it was a mistake. Not only that, but the fact that she was now interested in a boy at school met with overt disapproval. For a whole school year, she was told she owed it to God to go on that retreat and see if she had a vocation. During that time, her spiritual direction also included grilling about the other kids at school. Her spiritual director wanted to know who had boyfriends or who was having trouble at school. Her friends also told her that their spiritual directors asked about her as well.
I dealt with all of things in the Regnum Christi way. I went to my spiritual guide and then to the director of formation at her school. They totally agreed with me. This behavior was unprofessional and would be dealt with. Apparently I had found one of those bad apples, but it would be taken care of. I was so relieved. I knew it would be fine because overall, my experience was so good.
Because of the problems we had with my daughter and spiritual direction, I sent a letter to the school to let them know that we did not want her to have spiritual direction under any circumstances. I knew they would respect this because the Church teaches us that parents are the primary formators of their children. I was shocked when they continued to approach her for spiritual direction. One of the consecrated even said that it wasn't spiritual direction, but 'just a talk.'
I was so lucky though. My daughter told me everything that happened. I was able to intervene and coach her on how to say no. She was to tell them to call me personally if they had any questions. I recall thinking that not all kids would go to their parents and tell them what was happening and that not all kids would be so comfortable saying no. Again, I took my concerns to the people in charge. I made sure to cc many people on my final note reiterating my instructions that my daughter was not to have spiritual direction. I am ashamed to admit, I really just wanted it all to go away. I wanted these people to straighten up their act because I was sure that this was not an organizational problem because my experience had been so good.
Later that year, I was not shocked when the
issued a communiqué asking Father Maciel to retire from Priestly life. After all, I had read all of that stuff, I always knew it was a possibility. I was sure that the good work of the Legion and Regnum Christi could continue, as the communiqué stated, 'apart from the Founder.' I truly believed it was time for the LC and RC to face up to the fact that some of the allegations about Fr. Maciel might be true, make restitution and move forward in humility. Vatican
I eagerly awaited the visit of Fr. Scott Reilly to let us know what was going on. Of course things would have to change and he was going to tell us how. I will never forget hearing Fr. Scott explain that we're all called to prayer and we're all called to penance. The
was simply asking Fr. Maciel to do what we are all already called to do. I was livid. I knew no one would stand for it. I knew people would insist on more information and demand that we start to move on 'apart from the Founder.' Surprisingly, the few people I talked to said they were heartbroken because they knew that Fr. Maciel was innocent. They knew that the truth would come out one day and they admired him for being so Christ-like in accepting this directive with such docility. Vatican
I was aware that not everyone felt this way. I read angry comments online and wondered where those people were and if any of them were in my area. But in spite of my anger, I decided that surely this would not continue. Things would have to change. The Legion would realize that they needed to be more transparent about the past and their current operations. It had to be ok. Why? Because my experience had been so good.
So, I waited. I did hear of a few people who left. I wondered if they had actually gone to the people in charge and tried to resolve things and assumed they probably hadn't. I figured if they had, it would've been fine and they would've stayed. I couldn't understand why they would throw out so much good because of a few problems. I certainly wasn't going to do that. Yes, there were a lot of problems, but my experience had been so good.
As time went on, I didn't see any improvement in open communication. I grew more and more concerned. I wasn't really even surprised when it was revealed that yes, in fact Fr. Maciel had led a double life. I knew this was it. It was time for the truth to come out. Apologies had to be made. It was time for full disclosure and transparency. I waited. And I waited. Then I quit. And, I am still waiting.
Since I left, I've talked to some of my friends who are still in RC. If they ask me why I left, I will recount a few of the stories. They usually agree that those things are unacceptable. But then I hear it. "It's really hard because being in Regnum Christi had been so good for me." It didn't take too long for me to realize, to my great horror, that I myself had been using this same logic since I joined RC. I knew people had been hurt and not received any apologies or restitution. Yet, I stood with the people who had hurt them because my experience had been so good.
I was terribly wrong. It was wrong for me to ignore the red flags for all of those years because I wanted the benefit of being in Regnum Christi and it is still wrong today. To turn a blind eye to the injustice of others indicts the one who refuses to see.