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MPI said: "I believe they are manipulative. You argue they are not smart."

The two are not mutually exclusive. One can be both manipulative and lack common sense.

Giselle wrote: "If they had reacted differently in 2006, then it would be a different organisation."

Possibly. At the very least the organization would look different, as it would have begun to strip away Macielisms from its internal structures. Whether it would have stuck to the same name or not, nobody knows.

However, in holding tenaciously to Maciel's innocence in 2006, in continuing to defend him and sell his works, in not stepping away from the founder when clearly invited by Rome to do so, in allowing Maciel's poison to seep through its veins for another three years, in suing its critics out of a web presence, the Legion only compounded the eventual scandal when it eventually did break.

But to demonstrate my point, ask yourself two questions:

- Do you believe claims Fr. Alvaro knew nothing about Maciel's double life?

- Did you believe Fr. Berg, prior to him leaving the Legion, when he said he knew nothing about Maciel's double life?

Had the Legion done what they were invited to do in 2006, one would be more inclined to believe them with this scandal broke.

LOA RC wrote: "Something that just hit me too is that this letter is just to the U.S. territories which represents maybe 100 LC priests and 10K RC members out of the 70K in the world? It is not from Fr A to all RC which to me would have way more impact. How are we to know that these sentiments are shared by the LC and RC in other countries and more specifically by the LC hierarchy who calls the shots for the movement?"

We don't.

They are still acting as if all of the problems were with MM only. My family and I experienced the emotional (abuse) manipulation from Fr. Paul Moreau. We never even met MM. I believe Fr. Paul's conscience is completely deformed. It was all "for the sake of the movement." I will know when I hear them admit to this type of abuse that they are serious about reform. They have not yet been humbled enough to do this. I think the priests that are the most culpable will have the hardest time facing the truth. It would be too much for them.

K - Can you elaborate? I saw a reference recently to accusations of emotional abuse by Fr. Moreau, but no details. Are there legal actions being pursued?

This letter was written to just the US, but it was approved by Fr. A himself. The Legion is undergoing the greatest scrutiny in the US b/c of our penchant for the truth and justice. It seems that pious and vague apologies work in other countries, and we tend to demand explanations and details.

I think the old saw is applicable here with respect to Church members' view of the credibility of any words of LC/RC:

"Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

The ONLY statement from the Legion that I would consider to be meaningful at this point would be 1)an admission that they have lied repeatedly and seriously for decades and a humble request for help from the Vatican to help them unlearn the habit of deceit, 2)a public letter of not only apology but GRATITUDE to the original accusers, thanking them for trying to protect the Church and our children from this giant fraud, 3)an acknowledgment that they don't have a clue if their charism is real or not and an expressed understanding of the difficulties inherent in the notion of adhering to the spirit (per Vatican II) of their perverted, deceitful founder, 4) a complete moratorium on all further recruitment, and 5)a statement of their plan to help un-do the malformation resulting from being founded by and for the sin of a child-molesting fraud. In particular I'd like to see an admission of their twisted views of many virtues, especially charity and docility.

If the LC did this, I think I could believe that they were truly interested in getting to the bottom of their twisted foundation. I could give them a second chance. Instead, I see more lying, hubris, and manipulation.

I don't believe a word they say. Why should I?

Don asked if the Atlanta and New York directorates covered the entire US. Don, I believe they do. Both directorates have basically divided up the US "territory" and each RC section in the US will report to one of the directorates.

Anonymous noted that the US is more demanding of truth and justice, and that vague apologies work better in other countries. Anon, sadly I believe you are correct, esp. given the reference in this letter to "cultural sensitivities". One of the first defenses I heard last Feb. from the LC and consecrated (and this was just in "pep talks" to RC members) was that Americans are too demanding of the details, too impatient and, at some point, someone actually said that other cultures find this "offensive", if you can believe it. I can't recall the reference but regarding this very issue an online commentator pointed out that these are not issues being addressed with "American sensibilities" but with Christian ones. Since when is truth, honesty and integrity strictly an "American" concept?

I hope someone can remember the exact quote because it's worth posting.


I heard that in Jan/Feb Alvaro had spent 6 weeks going from center to center around the globe to inform people of MM's daughter, and the news didn't leak anywhere. He arrives in the States (intentionally last) and the news leaks within two hours of his arrival.

You know the Legion hates Americans, right? They are only here for our money. I say we kick 'em back to Mexico where they belong. If they don't like our values and "sensibilities" they can kiss our butts!

Anon,

That story made me laugh out loud! I have no doubt it is entirely true, too. Thanks for the chuckle.

We Americans are not into political/religious (or both at the same time!) powers-that-be lying, scheming, defrauding us, and screwing around while portraying themselves as saints. I guess it doesn't make for a happy marriage between the US and deceitful, fraudulent organizations like the LC. (Not that we Americans don't have our own dysfunctions and ideosyncracies! LOL)

I have no doubt NO letter like this will be sent to the Mexican RC. They are still lighting candles in Cotilja and listening to the likes of Lucrecia chastise them for being uncharitable and disloyal if they so much as consider the idea that Maciel may have been anything but a living saint.

"...this is their "charism"---recruiting and fundraising to survive), and it will do WHATEVER it takes to survive. Including giving lip service to having some "difficulties" in order to satisfy the rank-and-file and the Vatican." Well said A. This great evil needs to be rooted out everywhere, Mexico deserves better. While other communities mention their charism no one emphasizes it as much as the legion, is that because they realize their whole foundation is a fraud? Deliver us from evil Lord!

The LC/RC was founded on fraud, plain and simple as that. Like a marriage founded on fraud, it never really existed and the LC/RC should be annulled outright. The letter simply shows they are STILL in DENIAL about the CONSEQUENCES even if they are coming to grips with what MM did. The consequence is there can be no LC/RC, period. There is nothing to see here. move along...just rip off the bandaid already and get it over with. That's the merciful (and just) thing to do.

The problem is, they have sooo much invested in LC/RC that they will need to be forced to dismantle since they will hold on in denial for a very very long time. They are blind and need to be shown the way.

Quote from letter above:
"In the recent past, after Father Marcial Maciel had retired, we came to know that he had had a relationship with a woman and fathered a child."
That was around 2005.

Pope sanction in 2006.

Excerpts from Letter from Fr Alvaro to Leaders and Formators in March 2008:

"On the one hand, this year’s Easter is tinged with special sorrow, being our first one without Nuestro Padre’s physical presence—but it also is one of deep joy and hope knowing that he accompanies us much more closely from heaven"

"I am certain that you understand your mission of being light, formators and cofounders, and that being team leaders is not something sporadic or circumstantial in your lives, even more so after the example Nuestro Padre left us."

Anonymous, I was under the impression that actually the news didn't leak because it was confined to LC priests (and maybe only certain LC priests). I know that such a group of LC priests met in Rome in Nov. or Dec. to discuss the implications of the news about the mistress and daughter. At the meeting were members of the curia, incl., I believe, Cardinal Sodano and Cardinal Rode. I'm not really sure that LC brothers or even that all the LC priests knew before end of January, when you started to see commentary from Changobeer and then from Fr. Berg shortly thereafter. Both reactions were highly charged and it was apparent to me that they had just heard the news very recently before. Someone is welcome to correct my impression or memory of this.

By early February, the LC was beginning to inform the RC laity (including consecrated members). I'm almost positive most, if not the vast majority, of the 3gf's didn't know because my spiritual guide (consecrated) was completely undone by the news in Feb. whereas I had just seen her the month before and she was fine. The notifying of the RC membership seemed to be timed with a general news release and I'm guessing that members throughout the world were generally finding out at the same time. Someone is free to correct me here too if I'm wrong. In any case, I don't think the LC was scrambling to cover leaks - I believe they released the info with the general expectation if making it completely public.

Despite the LC's excuse that it took extra time to inform everyone because it was all person to person, that's BS that this was the reason for the lapse betw. the time of informing the Vatican and breaking the news generally. When the news broke, the phone calls were made quickly, using a "Phone tree" approach employed by the key formators in the sections, and the news was able to spread quite quickly (within a few days) throughout this territory at least. That's very obvious when you look at timing betw. Changobeer's posting of "Requiem for a Dream" (Jan. 30 or so) and the LC's press release (Feb. 4 or so). That's how long it really took.

So why the delay? Well, I'm guessing they were probably working out their defense - they did come out with that whole "charism is valid" thing very quickly after the news broke and I believe it was supposed to be based on what they had heard from Sodano and Rode. Or possibly, they were still working out a financial or confidentiality arrangement with the mother and daughter.

Oddly enough, I actually do find this encouraging. You won't find many people more suspicious of the LC/RC than I am -- I lie awake at night trying with all my might not to hate them all -- and yet, at the same time, I'm hopeful in every slight improvement, because at least it's something for those poor people who are still dealing with this. Because I know that those friends of mine who are still "in" will not believe anything I say, or anything the press says, but they will believe what the territorial directors say. That means they are getting a *little* bit of truth. I don't expect honesty from these people, but *more* honesty is always better.

I'm also encouraged by their promise to abide by safe-environment policies when dealing with minors, and actually committing to getting checked out by these people. Unfortunately, most of the abuse of minors that takes place is of an emotional kind that these organizations might not be checking for -- but it's a start, and I want everything possible that will help these kids.

Actually, it's funny because I was just discussing this with a friend who happens to be American and quite active with the RC.

Most of you don't see it because you're American, but you are more demanding when it comes to truth, detail and disclosure. Not that I think it's a bad thing (which is why I'm often mistaken for an American).

Here in Canada the reaction is more to quietly stop showing up at activities, offering the excuse that Monique has piano lessons during that time or Mark's hockey schedule is a little more intense this year. And rather than take place openly between those both in and out, as it does in the U.S., the discussion usually happens in whispers over coffee at Tim Horton's when former members run into each other.

***
U.S. Conversation

"I left RC because Fr. Maciel is a pedophile.

"I could put up with that, now that he's gone, but I cannot tolerate the lack of apology from the LC."

or

"But look at all the good work they do!"

***
Canadian conversation

"Hi Jim, haven't seen you in a long time, how's RC going?"

"It's going good. Why haven't you been out?"

"Mark made the travelling team this year, so I'm busy running him to hockey practice. Say hello to everyone for me. Which reminds me, I'm off to the arena right now. Just ran out for a quick coffee, but I better get back since the game is going into the third period."

OR

"Hi Jim, haven't seen you in a long time, how's RC going?"

"I haven't been out in a while. Mark made the travelling team this year, so I'm busy running him to hockey practice. Say hello to everyone for me."

"Oh, I've been too busy with the Knights of Columbus, since we moved the council to the parish, to get out to RC. So I haven't been out either."

"You too, eh? Actually, with all the allegations surfacing about Fr. Maciel, this is probably the break I needed."

"I understand. I don't say this too loudly, but I read on one of the American blogs that he may have fathered up to six children at last count."

"Really? I can understand keeping a low profile, that's what I'm doing, but those Americans are certainly kicking up a fuss. I think they're on to something. Hey, Mark was just in the second intermission when I left, so I've got an entire period before I need to get back. Do you have time for a quick coffee?"

"Not now, I have to be at the parish in ten minutes. We're holding a spaghetti dinner tonight to raise money for the local right to life. Jim and Wayne are also gonna be there with their families. They've gone inactive with RC as well, and are now volunteering with the knights and local right-to-life. Why don't you drop in after the game? Family rate of $20 and it will save you having to rush home and cook supper. We can catch up then."

"Sounds like a great idea! I've been meaning to become a little more active with the parish. See you then."

Still RC,

What you say about the Nov/Dec meetings is more or less true. I'm not sure who attended the meetings, but it seems right that Sodano/Rode would be there.

The news broke in the states the last week of Jan, with things heating up the first days of Feb.

Fair came out with a statement in answer to questions coming from the press, which he gave first to CNA, on Feb. 3 or 4. But there was no public statement made freely by the Legion before that. They let the rumors swirl for a few days before responding.

The Legion had been telling people the news in various territories outside the US much before that. A friend of mine in Spain had heard the news in early Jan, but they had been asked not to say anything.

Actually, I know for a fact Alvaro was in Mexico holding secret meetings with LCs in middle January. Not all LCs were informed, however. An LC I know in Rome didn't find out until Feb. 1.

Once the news was told to the section in Atlanta -- or was it DC -- that's when the whole thing was leaked on the Internet.

The Legion wasn't totally caught off guard, b/c they knew it would eventually happen, but they didn't expect it to happen so quickly after Alavaro arrived to the States. And they hadn't made it to all the formation centers before it leaked, and that caused problems b/c consecrated/seminarians were hearing it through people in their sections or from family, and not through Alvaro himself.

Paolo Scarafoni also made a statement after being contacted by the secular press, and Alvaro came out with one a few days later on Feb. 7.

The LCs and Fair were really scrambling that week. Nothing was really organized or orchestrated.

I sympathize with your views, ambivalentPC but do want to point out that the Praesidium initiative (which Fr. Scott also told us about last Feb) is really only complying with most of the dioceses' rules for "safe child" measures put in place the last few years. In fact, it appears the LC was slow to get this going compared to many dioceses which is really incomprehensible for a group that purports to work with the Church AND has extensive youth apostolates. The letter states that this is a more recent initiative and I got the impression too from Fr. Scott last Feb.

Perhaps someone can correct me here, but I can't help but think that the LC initiated this as a "defensive" measure to avert bad press, and it may not work - mainly because they are closing the gate after the horse escaped.

Anyway, to finish my thought, it would be a mistake for Legion superiors to conclude this is a uniquely American problem just because Canadians (and members from other English-speaking countries) aren't as vocal. They might not be speaking as openly and as candidly, but most Canadian members with whom I have corresponded pretty much agree with the Americans.

Nor does it help Legion apologists to play the anti-American card. After all, it's easier to respond to open criticism than to a whisper campaign.

Having said that, I was told by someone well-place in RC when the story first broke - someone who was still defending the movement at the time - that Americans were informed last, after members in all other parts of the world had been informed, and that the process of informing members in the U.S. was hastened because of how quickly it leaked to the outside after the first U.S. members were informed.

Still RC -- I got the impression that the Legion avoided the "safe child" measures for a few reasons: many in the US thought they were ridiculous (practically making the children responsible for what are adults' grave defects), exposing kids to sexual ideas unnecessarily, and with the Legion's "stellar" reputation, no one could imagine the need. (In that respect, I think the entire Church has had a wake-up call about abuse and not to go by appearances.) Then there is the standard LC elitism that sets them above the rest, much like they managed to exempt themselves from the nationwide visitation of religious houses.

"As we have just mentioned, we wish to be close to anyone who has suffered in any way, and at the same time ask them to live the Christian virtue of pardon from the depth of their hearts."


This is so very arrogant. No humble apology, just a guilt trip for their victims about how they should react.

Sickening.

"On the other hand, the Legion is facing a much larger scandal right now than it would have faced had it accepted the Holy See's 2006 invitation to separate themselves from the work of the founder."

Bingo.

It cannot be said enough! I am still in the trenches and hear RC Men and Women still singing the praises of MM. Brainwashing runs very deep and it takes years to see the light.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the most obvious reason for the letter: That the investigation is underway and in any battle a pre-emptive strike is better than just staying in the defend mode.

Clearly this was written to make Chaput feel like some of his work is already done; that sweeping changes don't have to be made because, well, see, we already made them.

And it was written to prepare LC/RC members for how to answer during the visits--get them to the next stage in grief counseling so they give better answers to Chaput.

I worked for the Legion in their Territorial Administration for many years. I can't, in good conscience, help but comment on a few of the financially related remarks.

"On the financial side, for a long time now we have had yearly audits done by outside accounting firms."

Q. What do Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, Worldcom, General Motors and Enron have in common? Anybody?
A. They are the top 5 bankruptcy cases in history and they all had yearly audits by world-renowned accounting firms.

Anyone who has worked in the Legion's US Fundraising Office or Territorial Administration of the Legion knows:

• The Legion has MANY separate US corporations. The relationships are very confusing and not transparent.
• An audit of The Legion of Christ, Incorporated (one of these corporations) implies -- but does not necessarily mean -- the audit of ALL these financial entities. And, it definitely does not apply to any of the hundreds of Legion entities in other countries.
• If the Legion in the US sends money to the Legion in Rome, a US auditor has no knowledge of how that money is used.
• These financial audits watch out for embezzlement, but don't concern themselves with whether donations were used in the manner designated by the donor when given. I worked for the Legion for a long time. There were many donations that were not spent in the manner intended by the donor. There was one poor family that gave over a half a million dollars for a chapel at ICAS in New Hampshire. That chapel was never built and the money was spent on something else.

"We could not have acquired the loans we needed to purchase our seminaries and found the many works of apostolate undertaken during these years without systems in place of strict accountability and responsible financial management."

Ha, ha, ha --- have these guys heard about all of the bank failures due to bad judgement and bad lending practices? Hello?

"In recent years, due to the growth of our operations, we have put in place a still more professional system of business management through the services of Integer Group. Staffed by lay professionals, Integer has further improved our operating and management processes to ensure the integrity of all our operations."

Hahahahaha!!!

Stop. Please. You're killing me. No, really. I can't breathe...

Polish Pilgrim is on the right track, re: the timing of the Visitation and the Stages of Grief. Excellent observation.

I also believe that the news of the other Maciel children came at a bad time for the LC. The RC activities slow down in the summer, and without the reinforcement of regular contact with fellow RCs, I sense that the months of waiting for the Legion to do the right thing has begun to wear on even the most faithful RCs.The latest revelations of more Maciel children, as well as the difficult questions about how much Pope JPII knew may well have been enough to push loyal RCs over the edge.I would not have been surprised if, come September, the number of "active" RCs dropped dramatically.I think the Legion saw this, and knew they needed to put out a statement, any statement, that would give the weary RCs a reason to hold on a little longer. It has probaby worked, too.

In the spring, Father Bannon promised that apologies were iminent, that the Legion was trying to find the victims to apologize. It didn't happen. Later, some RCs were assured that the Legion was going to make private apologies to individual victims. We know that has not happened either. I would feel foolish hoping this latest promised apology is any more believable just because it is couched in slightly less flowery, tedious, Macielesque tones than most LC messages of the past 7 months.

I do wish, for the sake of the abuse victims, that this is a promise they will actually keep.

there are still only a few people making comment for many. aside from mm's abuse victims,et al, the group mentality of its members which is a lifestyle hiding the individual person are the current victims as they are being used to support the vapor of LC/RC's elitism. they are the ones who think they can still make this work because they are the ones who still believe that they can do the work necessary to prove they yet have a charism, and that charism is the one they have been hammered into believing, by the few who speak for them now. when who they really believe in is themselves and their own intrinsic charism, the one they were born with, in the church they were born into. it will take the vatican to remove the vapor of LC/RC elitism.

this would then be humility as the highest gift. gifts of their personhood no longer subject to a false god, or a facsimile of the catholic church, but the church herself. perhaps it is an impossible task, and it's just wishful thinking that somehow a tragedy can be avoided.

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