Another new comment was buried on a thread , and it deserves wider attention.
I was an LC for only 22 months. Now I am a diocesan priest. I would never in a million years say to a young man the obnoxious things said to me by Fr. Owen Kearns and Fr. William Izquierdo. Eventually, things in spiritual direction got so bad that Fr. William said, "I thought I had explained that to you. Fr. Bannon corrected Fr. Owen for saying those things." Talk about an admission! But, by then, it was too late. I could not love the Legion because I had been too much hurt by her and especially by Fr. Owen. Thank God I got out before vows. Twenty six of us entered on the soccer fields of Cheshire. Only four of us made it to the altar, and then, by twisted routes. Only one is a Legionario de Christo. The other three found a diocese. They have ruined so many men's lives.
In light of this, we wonder:
- What is the status of faith in those 22 young men who left the seminary?
- What kinds of men do make it to the altar and into the ranks of LCs?
- What kinds of men make it into positions of authority in such a system?
- Whether the Legion remains in existence or not, what is the future of LC priests?
I don't want to paint these generous souls as tainted in any way -- at least not by their own fault, but if this young man could encounter such horrid experiences in less than two years in the ranks, what about those who are there 10, 12 and 14 years before ordination. To what end? To sit in a fund-raising office making cold calls and schmoozing donors? To be harried road teams trapped in a cross-country vehicle with someone who you cannot trust or even talk to?
Think back to when those road teams visited your home or parish -- most likely there was no indication of the stress and constraint, and yet the ones who have left now admit it was quite a painful time. We must continue to pray for vocations -- and I mean that God preserves those men he calls to the priesthood, that they be able to serve Holy Mother Church in freedom without scandal. Saint John Vianney, intercede for us!
ADDENDUM: I made the comments above fully aware that many men return home from the LC seminary full of affection for their time there, the men they left behind and the system. For all who were scarred and left the Church, there are countless others who truly believed that they were deficient in some way, and some go on to serve ardently as members of RC for years afterwards. It is perplexing, until many make their way past the nonsense they swallowed (or take off the "emerald glasses" issued during their novitiate) to realise that their experience in Oz wasn't what they thought at first.
The Legion presents itself as an infallibly-ordained gift to the Church, which is made up of an elite squad of the most talented, most dedicated and most pious. Something in that twisted "anti-charism" leads men to believe that if they are sent home, they must not have measured up. Like the SEALS, or the like. I admire this testimony because -- through grace -- he looked the methodology squarely in the eye and called it "obnoxious." Bully for him!