The recent post about the "wussy Franscicans" (which has already compromised one keyboard!) has jarred loose a memory about Legion tactics that is very telling. When Franciscan University of Steubenville banned the Movement from their campus several years ago, the Legion responded in a few ways. To some, it noted that the school must be hurting for vocations and was jealous of the successful recruiting to the Legion, to others it said it really wasn't directed at the Legion because all non-Franciscan groups were banned (not true), and to still others the whisper campaign suggested that FUS was losing its Catholic identity. (Conversations with families about where to send the kids led to those, sigh, comments, sigh, that aren't really comments, sigh, but the point is made, sigh.) That was meant to make a financial impact on the school, and there's no way to quantify its success.
But there was another response that was just as scurrilous -- that Francis himself had suffered from similar temptations, accusations, and enmity in his day as those surrounding MM then. (Remember that they were insisting on his innocence and that the accusers were the enemies of the Legion/Church/God/Kingdom/Whatever.) Yes, the "dry martyrdom" was another jewel in the hagiography of the founder, but it was patent nonsense. Francis threw himself into a thorn bush or two, but he was never accused of paederasty. What an insulting crock!
Well, that was the pre-Feb'09 claim, and it seems as though MM didn't throw himself into enough thickets -- and so the story has to change. Now that MM has lost his standing in the ranks of Super Founders and A-Team Saints, the new logic is that Those Who Have Fallen or Were Dealt Crappy Hands actually have a "leg up" over those who Persevered on God's Super Highway. In the words of the great commenter below:
"Cheer up, Tommy! Sure, your spiritual father who you revered as a living saint abused you, but that makes you BETTER than those wussy Franciscans who actually have a GOOD example to follow! Because you know how miserable and wretched you are, and those other orders? They just think they're loved."
If nothing, we must commend the Legion for rolling with the punches. It is absolutely true that the Catholic pantheon has room for John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene; and the beauty of the parable of the workers in the Vineyard tells us that it's never too late to find God -- but the point here is that the Legion will use any setting to say, "We Rock!" There seems to be not only an elitism in their ability to paint any piece of crap so that it appears to be a work of art, but to schmooze the pride in their recruits to carry on the tradition. As another commenter noted, there is a chilling, utilitarian method of using vice to build MM's Kingdom:
I said [to an LC priest] that according to all of the doctors of the Church growth in humility is necessary for us to advance in our relationship with God and as a priest it must be difficult to help leaders grow in authentic humility especially surrounded by all the accolades in RC. His exact words were "It is not necessary for them to become humble. We just have to channel their ego in the right direction." Sounds like words right out of Satan's mouth.