There is a must-read testimony here, to which many will be able to relate. Even though the writer is a former consecrated woman, she outlines a leaving process that will be greatly beneficial to all who have been in the Movement -- as well as those on the sidelines trying to make sense of it all. She begins with a glaring admission about how she saw ex-members:
When I left the consecrated life of Regnum Christi several years ago, I promised myself one thing -- I wouldn't let myself get bitter.
I don't know why, but it always kind of bothered me how former Regnum Christi members, or brothers leaving the Legion, would dedicate themselves to constructing Internet Web sites that spewed hatred about how the movement and Father Maciel ruined their lives. I guess to me it showed a certain amount of immaturity. I mean, we all make our own decisions in life. We can't blame others for the paths we take that didn't turn out as we planned.
That was the most common complaint about Regain -- those bitter old ex-legionaries, with the unspoken corollaries: they were quitters, liberals, disgruntled (favourite term) enemies of the Church, not to mention liars. Ah well -- try losing your youth, your innocence and your faith to a group praised to the skies by everyone from the Pope on down. ("That was not my experience!")
And then -- years later -- reality sets in. I think that most parents have gone through a transformation in their own maturation process, between the time that they thought their own parents were maddening (and ignorant!) and the time that they had children of their own. I know with my own kids, it calms me incredibly when they are short sighted or self-absorbed, because I know that one day they'll get it. I don't have to jam my reality down their throats [today!] because if they need to learn this lesson that they cannot absorb presently, there will come a time when it will be more palatable.
Likewise, I remember disbelieving the Hartford Courant stories, dismissing Regain as bitter men, and earnestly promoting a Movement that "outsiders" simply couldn't understand. Reality came eventually and now I hold those not-bitter men as my dear brothers in faith (including the victims), and I've taken years to try to figure out and share how this Movement has cleverly coopted [many of] the best and brightest members of the Church. It takes time [be sure to read comments].
Do take a moment to read this excellent testimony. Then consider the anger that is necessary to the grieving process. I know many were scandalised at what they read on the old discussion boards (the rage, the vulgarity and the ranting) and remember that the Legion formation had suppressed all emotions for years in those men (replacing them with formulaic less-sincere responses).
[I know that as an ardent RC, I even tried it with my own poor kids, training them to make all responses to people, places and things sweetness and light -- forgive me, my dears!]
I find emotions refreshing and necessary. Later they can be disciplined and channeled, but let them wander a bit upon discovering the light of day -- and let the others vent. It's news to them that years of their lives have been stolen to serve a parallel Church built on a ponzi scheme. Take time to heal -- honouring all the requisite layers.
UPDATE: elaboration and explanation of the "best and brightest angle here.